Monday, December 20, 2010


I was recently in Bahrain for a meeting regarding an ABS plant in Saudi Arabia. Bahrain is a 2 hour drive from Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia so it is a convenient location for our colleagues. Americans can get a visa-on-arrival so it makes a good location for short notice meetings.

That is Abdullah on the right, Khalid next to me and Robin and Ahmed further to the left.

Bahrain is an island (actually several) in the Persian Gulf (Arabian Gulf on the western side of the gulf) connected to Saudi Arabia by a causeway.

Close up of Khalid and me.

Bahrain is a pretty open country compared to others in the Middle East. Women can vote, drive, and dress as they like. Alcohol is served in western oriented restaurants - but not at this one.

The outside of the restaurant.

Bahrain was a British protectorate for a number of years. The infrastructure (roads, signs, etc.) seem to have similarities to Singapore and Malaysia. Bahrain did switch to the correct side (American side) of the road back in the 1960s.

As a testament to Bahrain's openness, here is a shot of the Christmas tree in the lobby of the hotel. Most of the holiday music in the restaurant was secular but I did hear Oh Holy Night and a few others. People are free to worship as they please. Not sure about whether or not Muslims are allowed to convert or not.

There was even a real gingerbread house there. We were staying at the Crowne Plaza - part of the Holiday Inn group.

My flight left at 10:00 PM to return. We had a couple of hours to kill after the meeting finished. Took a taxi to the City Center Mall. Huge place - this picure is maybe 1/6 of it. All the designer brands and many chains you are familiar with. I think that picture on the left is the king and the crown prince below.

Speaking of chains - can you figure this one out?
Click on the picture. Notice the women sitting down for coffee and how they are dressed.

English is widely spoken. Arabic is the official language but with so many expatriates (a huge number from South Asia) English seems to be a common denominator.

I took these pictures out the taxi window on the way back to hotel.

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