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Bahrain Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia

    • Map references:
      Middle East

    • Area:

        total area:
        620 sq km

        land area:
        620 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

    • Land boundaries:
      0 km

    • Coastline:
      161 km

    • Maritime claims:

        contiguous zone:
        24 nm

        continental shelf:
        extending to boundaries to be determined

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      territorial dispute with Qatar over the Hawar Islands; maritime boundary with Qatar

    • Climate:
      arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers

    • Terrain:
      mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment

    • Natural resources:
      oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      10 sq km (1989 est.)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        desertification resulting from the degradation of limited arable land, periods of drought, and dust storms; coastal degradation (damage to coastlines, coral reefs, and sea vegetation) resulting from oil spills and other discharges from large tankers, oil refineries, and distribution stations; no natural fresh water resources so that groundwater and sea water are the only sources for all water needs

        natural hazards:
        periodic droughts; dust storms

        international agreements:
        party to - Climate Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity

    • Note:
      close to primary Middle Eastern petroleum sources; strategic location in Persian Gulf through which much of Western world's petroleum must transit to reach open ocean

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