SAFETY AND SECURITY
On January 3, 2020, an Iranian military commander and Iraqi paramilitary leaders were killed in a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad International Airport. This incident has led to increased tensions in the region.
The security situation could worsen with little warning. There is an increased threat of attacks in general.
Remain extremely cautious if you are in the affected area.
There is a threat of terrorism. Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
- Western interests in and around Manama
Increased security measures are currently in place and may be reinforced upon short notice. Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching occurs. Violent crime is rare.
- Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Exercise caution in the old market areas (souks), villages and poorer districts, especially after dark
Demonstrations take place regularly, particularly on evenings and weekends. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. Participants have been known to throw rocks, Molotov cocktails and use makeshift explosive devices during protests. Police have historically used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse crowds.
Areas prone to demonstrations include:
- Bani Jamra
- the Budaiya Highway and surrounding villages.
Demonstrations can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.
Women have been detained when reporting sexual assault, as they must prove that the sex was not consensual to avoid being charged under extramarital sex statutes (see Laws and customs).
Safe-travel guide for women
Road conditions are very good throughout the country. Drivers, however, are often aggressive. Drifting sands and roaming animals can pose hazards.
Off-road driving can be hazardous.
- Only go off-road driving in a convoy of four-wheel-drive vehicles and with an experienced guide
- Leave your itinerary with a family member or friend
- Be well prepared, and carry extra gasoline, water, food and a cellular phone
In the event of an accident resulting in injuries, do not move your vehicle until a report has been filed, even if the vehicle impedes traffic. If there are injuries, call 999; if there are no injuries, call 199.
Taxis are generally safe.
- Use only officially marked taxis
- Negotiate fares in advance, or insist that the driver use the meter, as you may be overcharged
On June 5, 2017, the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen announced the severing of diplomatic relations with Qatar. Some airlines have suspended flights to and from Qatar. Further measures could impact transportation. If you are planning to travel from Bahrain to or through Qatar, verify your travel plans with your airline or travel agent. Monitor local media for the latest development.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
There is a curfew in effect on the waterways around Bahrain from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. Vessels operating in these waters may be detained and inspected, even outside curfew hours.
Regional tension may affect your travel. Exercise caution in the following areas, as vessels have been subject to detention, inspection and attacks:
- Gulf of Oman
- Northern Arabian Sea
- Gulf of Aden
- Bab El Mandeb
Exercise increased caution when travelling by dhow (small sailboat), as they may not be up to Canadian safety standards.
GENERAL SAFETY INFORMATION
Cellular phone coverage may not be available in some parts of the country.