The Kingdom of Bahrain is at once an ancient and contemporary nation. Reaching back to the Bronze Age, when it was the site of the Dilmun Civilization and an important trading hub between the Mesopotamian, Sumerian and Indus Valley civilizations. Many historians say that research and references in ancient writings, point to Bahrain being the original site of the Biblical Garden of Eden.
Its geographic location meant that Bahrain was a coveted hub and was ruled periodically by ancient Persians and Greeks and by Arab tribes. In 1521, the Middle Ages, Bahrain was seized by the Portuguese, who ruled for 80 years.
After many skirmishes, the House of Al Khalifa moved to Bahrain as the dominant tribe in 1799. They were recognized as the rulers of Bahrain by the rising British powers with whom the Khalifa signed several treaties ushering in a long era of peace, progress and prosperity that continues to this day. In the late 1800s, following successive treaties with the British, Bahrain became a protectorate of the United Kingdom.
In 1971, Bahrain declared independence. Today, Bahrain is a sovereign democratic monarchy, ruled by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. It has a high Human Development Index and is recognised by the World Bank as a high-income economy. It is a global financial hub with many offshore banks, an emerging Fintech hub and a respected centre for Islamic banking.