Fire and rescue services
Exercise a high degree of caution in Bahrain due to the threat of terrorism and risk of civil unrest.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Bahrain due to the threat of terrorism and risk of civil unrest.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Terrorists have killed and injured people in recent years. The main targets are police and security services.
Bahraini authorities warn residents and foreigners to avoid suspicious packages and objects.
Attacks could occur at any time. Possible targets include:
Authorities have increased security. They may reinforce these measures at short notice.
Maintain personal security and awareness. Monitor local media and security developments and announcements from local authorities. Adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
For assistance and emergency services, call 999.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
The security situation in the region remains unpredictable and could deteriorate with little or no warning.
Public protests and events that draw groups of people can turn violent.
Demonstrations and protests can take place at any time and place. Even peaceful demonstrations and protests can turn violent without warning.
Since 2011, protests and clashes have occurred throughout Bahrain, including in:
Protests and clashes may take place in other locations. Security forces sometimes use force to disperse protesters. Demonstrations can result in blockages to roads, highways, and other routes, including to or from the airport, and the causeway with Saudi Arabia. Security checkpoints can be deployed in or around the areas of demonstrations and protests.
Public rallies and meetings of large groups without the permission of the authorities are illegal. You could face legal action if you join them. If you're caught up in unrest, authorities could arrest you.
Monitor the media for political and regional tensions, and any announcements or warnings by the local authorities.
Take extra care around the time of Friday prayers, periods of mourning and religious anniversaries and festivals.
If you're in an affected area:
If unrest disrupts transport, contact your airline, travel agent or insurer for advice.
The overall level of crime in Bahrain is low, however pickpocketing and bag snatching occurs. Criminals target the old market areas (souks).
To protect yourself against petty theft:
Where possible, avoid travelling alone or at night.
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
Bahrain often has extremely high temperatures. From June to August, the temperature can be above 50°C.
To avoid heat stroke and dehydration:
Sand and dust storms happen often.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs and hospital stays, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
If you need counselling services, contact the Australian Consular Emergency Centre on (+61) 2 6261 3305. Ask to speak to a Lifeline telephone counsellor.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
Some skincare products and E-cigarette refills may contain ingredients that are illegal in Bahrain such as Cannabidiol (CBD) oil. CBD oil or products are illegal in Bahrain even if they are for medical or recreational purposes. It is considered a serious crime to carry illegal drugs or CBD oil or products in Bahrain, even if you are transiting through the airport Bahrain from another country. Punishment can result in imprisonment and deportation.
For more information, please contact and check with your nearest Bahraini Embassy or consulate prior to your departure to Bahrain.
Take enough legal medicine for your trip. Carry your medicine in its original packaging and a copy of your prescription or a dated letter from your doctor that states:
Get DFAT to authenticate medical documents before you leave, if required.
Bahraini authorities may detain or deport travellers for:
You may be at risk of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Cases have been reported in several Middle Eastern countries. Other countries have had cases from returned travellers.
Avoid contact with camels. Don't consume raw camel milk, undercooked camel meat, or anything contaminated with camel secretions.
Get medical advice if you have a fever, cough, breathing difficulties or diarrhoea.
You're at risk of waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases.
To protect yourself from illness:
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
The standard of medical care is high. In some facilities the care may be below Australian standards.
You may have to pay before treatment begins. Costs can be high.
The Bahraini Government may ask you to repay all costs of emergency treatment.
If you did not pay or can't afford to pay your medical bill and you didn't get travel insurance:
If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive. Ensure that your insurance can cover these costs.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
The nearest Australian Embassy is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It doesn't have direct access to police, jails, hospitals and other services. Our ability to provide consular assistance in Bahrain may be limited.
The Australian Embassy has to formally ask for access through the Bahraini Embassy in Riyadh. Authorities approve this on a case-by-case basis, so there may be a delay.
Behaviour in Australia that you might consider offensive or anti-social, but not criminal, could be illegal in Bahrain. Anyone breaking Bahraini law, even without knowing, may be subject to severe punishment.
Bahraini law applies to you even if you're transiting and don't leave the airport.
It is illegal to give birth out of wedlock. Bahrain does not recognise children born outside marriage and does not issue birth certificates for children born outside marriage.
Non-Muslims who are officially residents in Bahrain may be allowed to marry in civil or religious ceremonies. However, all marriages must be registered with a Bahraini civil court. Civil courts also adjudicate matters such as divorce and child custody for non-Muslims. Seek local legal advice for more details.
Penalties for drug offences, including possession, even if you are transiting Bahrain, are severe and include the death penalty and life sentences.
Some cosmetics products and E-cigarette refills may contain ingredients that are illegal in Bahrain, such as Cannabidiol (CBD) oil. For more information, please contact and check with your nearest Bahraini Embassy or consulate prior to your departure to Bahrain.
Bahrain's laws differ from Australia's in several areas, including:
If you have family or commercial interests in Bahrain, get professional legal advice from a lawyer in Bahrain on your legal rights and responsibilities.
Authorities might stop you from leaving Bahrain if you have a commercial or labour dispute, legal proceedings or unpaid debts. See ('Travel').
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
You may face the death penalty for serious crimes, including murder and drug offences.
You may face imprisonment, deportation, fines, and future bans on re-entering the country for some offences, including stealing.
Always carry photo ID, or authorities may fine you.
You must have a valid work permit from the relevant Bahraini authority for any type of employment. Do not work in Bahrain on a tourist or non-work visa. Being involved in any kind of work or employment (paid or unpaid) without a valid and official work permit will result in detention, fine and deportation from Bahrain.
If you drive under the influence of alcohol, authorities will detain, fine and ban you from driving.
Drinking excessively while in transit through the airport could result in detention and a fine.
You may be arrested and jailed for criticising or mocking Government policies or people in Bahrain. This includes if you made comments on social media before you arrived in Bahrain.
Bahraini authorities have arrested and jailed people who made posts about Islam on social media. Bahraini law criminalises the mocking of any of Bahrain's recognised religious books, including some non-Muslim texts.
It's illegal to:
Ask for permission before photographing people. Don't take photos of locals, especially women and children, without permission.
In some cases, it's illegal to take photos of government buildings, official motorcades and sensitive infrastructure, including oil fields.
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.
Women may be taken into custody when reporting sexual assault, as they may have to prove that the sex was not consensual to avoid being charged under extramarital sex laws. For more details, please check the local laws and seek legal advice from a local lawyer.
If you're associated with groups that are anti-Bahrain government, you could be refused entry or arrested and detained.
The personal and commercial use of drones in Bahrain is controlled by Bahraini rules and regulations. There are some restrictions to the use of drones in Bahrain. The Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) advises that drone operations are allowed in Bahrain, subject to regulations. Contact the CAA and the Kingdom of Bahrain Ministry of Interior Customs Affairs for information and requirements on approval to bring or use a drone in Bahrain.
If you're in danger, or you/your children have been a victim of domestic violence in Bahrain, call:
Children and minors who may be victims of cybercrimes, cyberbullying, grooming, potential sexual or physical assault, and other forms of harm can contact the General Directorate of Anti-Corruption and Economic & Electronic Security on 992 from a local Bahraini mobile or landline number.
When reporting domestic violence:
If you file a police report or use any Bahraini victim services, authorities may inform your sponsor or guardian.
Sharia (Islamic) courts have jurisdiction over custody cases involving Muslim parents. The Australian Embassy cannot intervene in court proceedings, private and/or legal matters including family and custody disputes. Seek advice from a competent local lawyer.
Custody orders and judgments issued from foreign non-Bahraini courts may not be enforceable in Bahrain.
Bahraini Civil courts also adjudicate cases related to divorce and child custody for non-Muslims. When a custody case arises between parents and one of the parents is Muslim, custody decisions may be based on Islamic law.
When custody disputes arise and a custody case is before the local court, the local court may impose a travel ban on the child/children.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Bahrain doesn't recognise dual nationality.
If you're a dual citizen and you enter Bahrain on your non-Australian passport, this may limit the consular services we can provide you.
If you're a dual national of another country (for example, an Australian-UK citizen) you can only exit Bahrain with the passport that you used to enter.
The Bahraini weekend is Friday and Saturday.
Respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules and customs. Be aware of sensitivity around Ramadan and Shia religious festivals.
Respect religious and cultural customs and laws during the Islamic holiday month of Ramadan.
Avoid dressing inappropriately, eating, drinking or smoking in public or around people who are fasting.
Standards of dress and behaviour are generally more conservative than in Australia.
If you disrespect Islam, you'll cause great offence.
Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Hotels may refuse couples who can't prove they're married.
Avoid public displays of affection - they may offend.
Same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults aged over 21 years are not criminalised. However, LGBTI activity isn't socially accepted. It's likely to attract the attention of Bahraini authorities under some broader morality and public order laws.
Some LGBTI travellers have reported difficulties entering Bahrain on a passport bearing a name and photo that do not correspond to their gender identity. For more information, please contact your nearest Bahraini Embassy or Consulate prior to your departure to Bahrain.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
Entry and exit rules can change at short notice. Contact your nearest Bahraini Embassy or Consulate for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Bahrain has resumed visas on arrival for Australian passport holders. Please check with local authorities for further details on visa requirements. Visas to enter Bahrain can also be obtained online through their eVisa portal.
If you're already in Bahrain and need to renew your Bahraini visit visa or require any information on Bahraini visas while in the country, you can contact the office of Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs (NPRA) at the Ministry of Interior.
There's no Bahraini embassy in Australia. The nearest embassy of Bahrain is in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Mandatory COVID-related health preventative measures may be in place. Please check with local authorities for up-to-date information.
Authorities may ask detailed questions about why you're visiting. They sometimes refuse entry to Australians based on their answers.
They may not let you enter or exit Bahrain:
The legal age of maturity in Bahrain is 21. A child of a Bahraini father does not need his permission to leave Bahrain unless there's a travel ban imposed on the child in connection with custody proceedings.
Bahrain's only land exit is into Saudi Arabia. The King Fahd causeway land crossing border is open. If you're exiting Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, please read the travel advice for Saudi Arabia.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. If you're travelling on an Emergency Passport, you may not be allowed entry to Bahrain. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport isn't valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
Bahrain has rules about the amount of currency you can bring in and take out. Currency limits can change. Check details with your nearest Bahraini embassy or Bahrain Customs before your departure to Bahrain.
The local currency is the Bahraini Dinar (BHD).
Credit card facilities and ATMs are widely available.
Ask your bank if your cards will work in Bahrain.
Road travel can be dangerous. Unsafe driving is common, especially speeding. Public transport buses in Bahrain are very limited.
Visitors can use a foreign driver's licence and an international driver's licence for a certain period. The international licence must be endorsed by an office of the Bahraini traffic department or at any car rental office (available at the airport).
Visitors to Bahrain can only drive hire cars and not privately owned vehicles. You may only be allowed to use your Australian driving licence and International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to 3 months from arrival in the country. Check with the local Traffic Police and your rental company for up-to-date information.
If you have a residency permit in Bahrain, you must obtain a Bahraini driver's licence. This can be done in one day through Bahrain's traffic department. Applicants for the licence need to pass a vision test.
You must carry your driver's licence and vehicle registration cards when driving. If you're involved in an accident, notify the traffic police and ask for their instructions.
Watch for roaming animals and drifting sands.
Off-road driving can be dangerous. Ensure vehicles are suitably equipped and maintained.
If you plan to drive:
Only use licensed taxis, ride-hailing service providers, and limousines, preferably arranged through your accommodation or licensed rideshare services.
If you choose to use official public marked taxis, ensure that the driver turns the meter on before you start the journey.
Don't share taxis with unknown passengers and refuse offers from drivers who approach you.
Many areas of the Gulf are sensitive to security issues and territorial disputes.
Disputes about sea boundaries can occur. There are disagreements about the sea boundaries and control of Abu Musa and Tunbs islands in the Southern Gulf.
Authorities can inspect your vessel, detain you and arrest you. There can be government curfews on the waters.
Ships and boats might not meet the safety standards you'd expect in Australia.
Always use available safety equipment, such as life jackets, even if others don't.
If the right safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Bahrain's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
The Bahraini Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture must approve all pets imported into the Kingdom of Bahrain. You must obtain a permit from them before you bring your pet to Bahrain.
Contact your airline or travel agent for information before you travel. Also check the information available on the Bahraini Customs Affairs and the Contact Us | Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture for more information and requirements.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Make sure you know your travel insurer's 24-hour emergency number.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Bahrain. The Australian Embassy in Saudi Arabia can give consular help to Australians in Bahrain.
Abdullah Bin Hozafa Al-Shami Avenue
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Phone: +966 11 250 0900
Fax: +966 11 250 0902
The embassy in Riyadh is open Sunday to Thursday.
Check the embassy website for opening hours and temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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