Bahrain is an Arabic word meaning “Two Seas”, and refers to two facts, that the islands contain two sources of
water, sweet water springs and salty water in the surrounding seas, and that to the south and north, the waters
of the Gulf separate it from the Arabian coast and Iran, respectively.
Bahrain is a mature, well-established business hub with the largest financial institutions in the Gulf. With a modern
business track record of nearly 40 years, Bahrain is still the financial services leader in the entire region. The Central
Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the country’s single regulator, is unquestionably the region’s best and most respected
regulator. Countries in the Gulf look to Bahrain when formulating their own regulations and structures, because
of Bahrain’s tested, transparent and enforced rule of law.
Bahrain provides a free, open and transparent environment for businesses and has a globally competitive,
value-creation story which focuses on sustainability, skills and good governance.
A growing demand for ICT products and services is a natural consequence of strong growth in other sectors.
Financial services, construction, retail, manufacturing and the energy industry all need more and more ICT
support, products and systems integration.
His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
His Majesty the King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
His Highness Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa
In February 2001, a referendum for a National Action Charter was voted into legislation by an overwhelming (98.4%) majority. On the first anniversary of this event, His Majesty the King declared Bahrain a Kingdom 'Royal Order on Kingdom of Bahrain', in accordance with the consensus of the popular referendum. His Majesty the King also ordered the full reactivation of Bahrain's Constitution, including the amendments dictated by the National Charter 'Translation of King's address to nation'.
In line with the second chapter of the Charter, the ruling system in Bahrain is a constitutional hereditary monarchy. This was amended to stipulate that Bahrain is a fully sovereign, independent Islamic Arab Kingdom. The Constitutional Authority will be the two Councils of Shura and Parliament. The selection of the Shura Council members will be by appointment and the selection of the Parliament members will be based on direct free elections. Municipal elections are to be held on May 9 of this year, while legislative elections are to be held on October 24, 2002.
The amendments of the Charter ensure equality between the Shura Council and Parliament on the legislative specialization for both councils, but the monitoring role will be performed by the elected Council.
The Charter gives equal rights to men and women, with all citizens having equal political rights and being entitled to elections and candidacy according to the law.
In order to ensure that no law contradicts the constitutional provisions, it was agreed to establish Constitutional Court to supervise the proper application of the constitutional rules and regulations. The constitution was also amended to achieve complete independence of the Financial Control Bureau and facilitate its monitoring role.
Also in 2001 was the definitive ruling in Bahrain's favor by the International Court of Justice endorsing Bahrain's sovereignty over Hawar Islands, after a long dispute with neighboring Qatar. The resolution of the issue has noticeably strengthened the relations between Qatar and Bahrain, as is evidenced by the agreement between the two countries to build a causeway enabling direct land access. This further strengthens political stability and regional cohesion.