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Bahrain

If you’re travelling to Bahrain, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >

Overview

Security status

Avoid Non-Essential Travel

Security Status Last Updated: 17 March 2020

Latest Travel Alert

COVID-19 is still a threat, but with continued public health measures, vaccination and testing, it will be possible to travel internationally. You will need to plan your travel carefully and there are risks.

Department of Foreign Affairs services and practical supports to all Irish Citizens travelling abroad can be found on dfa.ie/Travel

Travel to Bahrain

At present, entry to Bahrain is restricted to Bahraini citizens, residents, GCC citizens who don't need visas, passengers eligible to obtain a visa on arrival, passengers with valid eVisa, diplomats, military personnel, airline crew or holders of official, service or UN Passports.

Visas on arrival have been reintroduced for citizens of eligible nationalities. To determine eligibility and to obtain eVisa prior to departure to Bahrain, you can visit www.evisa.gov.bh.

All passengers, vaccinated or non-vaccinated, arriving to the Kingdom of Bahrain, aged 6 or above must:

  1. Undergo two PCR tests (costing BHD 24 for both), which will take place on arrival and on the 10th day of their stay.
  2. The cost of the PCR test can be paid through the “BeAware Bahrain” mobile application in addition to the platforms at the airport which permit payment in cash or electronically by credit cards. 
  3. This decision does not apply to passengers younger than the age of 6.

Passengers who have received a single dose or are not vaccinated must present a negative test certificate with a QR code for a PCR test administered no more than 48 hours prior to their departure for Bahrain. They must also:

  1. Undergo two PCR tests (costing BHD 24 for both), which will take place on arrival and on the 10th day of their stay.
  2. Quarantine for 10 days in their own homes or at a licensed quarantine facility approved by the National Health Regulatory Authority.
  3. Provide proof of a pre-paid booking in their name at a quarantine facility before their departure to Bahrain.
  4. Passengers who choose to spend their quarantine periods in their homes must provide proof of residence, whether owned or rented in their name or the name of an immediate relative, before boarding.
  5. This decision does not apply to passengers younger than the age of 6.

Bahrain regularly updates its red list of countries and passengers arriving from Red List countries, including passengers who have transited through any of those countries at any point in the preceding 14 days, are prohibited from entry unless they are citizens or residents of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

For up to date information on quarantine and other requirements if you intend travelling to Bahrain from a red list country, please regularly check Covid Travel Information (bahrainairport.bh)

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control provide health-related information on coronavirus.

General Travel Advice

All residents and visitors must carry photographic ID. It is an offence not produce ID when requested by a member of the Bahraini authorities and you could be subject to a fine of 300 BHD.

The best help is often close at hand; try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

There is no Irish Embassy in Bahrain, so we are limited in the help we can provide in the event of an emergency. You can contact the Irish Embassy in Riyadh if you require assistance or advice. Irish citizens with a genuine emergency can leave a voicemail message on the outside of office hours. Make sure to leave your name, mobile number, current location and the nature of the emergency. An Embassy Duty Officer will return your call.

Travel to Ireland

Up to date information on travelling to Ireland can be found on gov.ie 

Information on Travel within Europe (EU/EEA) can also be found on Re-open EU.

 

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Crime

Crime remains relatively low in Bahrain but you should take sensible precautions: 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place;
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home;
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business;
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible; and
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.

Reporting crime

If you are a victim of a crime while in Bahrain, report it to the local police immediately. If you require further assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Riyadh.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Bahrain, you should be extremely careful. Unsafe driving practices, roaming animals and drifting sands can make driving hazardous, and off-road driving can be particularly dangerous. Always make sure your vehicle is well equipped and properly maintained. If you want to drive:

  • Bring your Irish and/or international driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance;
  • There is zero tolerance to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught;
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights; and

Hiring a vehicle

If you are hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you are allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms. 

Alcohol

It’s against the law for any Muslim to purchase alcohol from retail outlets.  There is zero tolerance for drunk driving.

Local culture

Bahrain is a relatively liberal state in comparison to other countries in the region.  But some Bahrainis may find scanty clothing or immoderate behaviour in public offensive. It is best to dress conservatively, except within the confines of hotels or clubs, at least until you know your way around, and avoid public displays of affection.

Hotels may refuse accommodation to couples unable to provide proof of marriage.

Muslim culture

Bahrain is a Muslim country so be sure to observe and respect religious and social sensitivities, especially during Ramadan as well as during other religious festivals when black flags and banners may be in evidence. Bahrainis observe a number of religious anniversaries that may not be celebrated in other Gulf countries.

LGBT

While Bahraini law does not criminalise same sex-activity between consenting adults who are at least 21 years of age, sodomy is illegal and same sex activities are not socially accepted.  Given prevailing conservative attitudes in the region, caution and discretion are advised at all times. 

Forbidden products

You should not bring DVDs into the country, as these may be withheld on arrival at the airport.

Business activities

If you’re involved in commercial disputes with Bahraini companies or individuals, you may be prevented from leaving the country until the dispute is resolved.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

All travellers to Bahrain face increased scrutiny from the Bahraini authorities and a number have been refused entry. Visitors must have legal status when they depart and may incur heavy fines if they overstay or fail to extend their legal residency.

Visas

If you are unsure of the entry requirements for Bahrain, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Bahrain.

It is possible to obtain a visa on arrival but to ensure a smoother process at the border in it is best to get a visa in advance, either online or from the nearest the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

On arrival in Bahrain, visitors can be issued visas for 24 hours, 72 hours, 2 weeks or 3 months, depending on their need and at the discretion of the Immigration Officer. You may be asked to provide evidence of onward or return travel. If you enter as a visitor you must not take up employment.  Business travellers and journalists must obtain a visa before travelling.

Passports

Your passport must be valid for 6 months from the date of entry into Bahrain.

It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you.  During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.

Exit requirements

You must have legal status in Bahrain when you leave. You may be prevented from leaving Bahrain if you are subject to a travel ban, involved in legal proceedings, have unpaid debt, or are a child subject to a custody dispute. You can be fined if you overstay or fail to extend your legal residency.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

If you are an Irish citizen and require emergency out of hours assistance you can contact the Duty Officer at +966 550 543 386.

Embassy of Ireland
Diplomatic Quarter
P.O. Box 94349
Riyadh 11693
Saudi Arabia

Tel: +966 11 4882300

Sunday to Thursday 09:00-11:00

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. Abdullah Buhindi
Honorary Consulate of Ireland
Irish Consulate
Mezzanine Floor, Seef Palms 2,
Seef District,
P.O. Box 2244, Manama
Kingdom of Bahrain

Tel: + 973 1 772 8146
Tel: + 973 1 772 8555
Fax: + 973 1 772 8400

Email: Email us