Bahrain, known as the 'Kingdom of the Two Seas' is a small island country in the Persian Gulf. While Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands, the largest (Bahrain Island) is 55 km (34 mi) long by 18 km (11 mi) wide. Saudi Arabia lies to the W and is connected to Bahrain via the King Fahd Causeway, which was officially opened on 25 November 1986. Qatar is to the SE across the Gulf of Bahrain.
Bahrain is an oasis of liberalism – or at least Western-friendly moderation – among the Muslim countries of the region. It's popular with travelers for its authentic "Arabness" but without the strict application of Islamic law upon its non-Muslim minority. Case in point: alcohol is legal here. Although it has a heavily petroleum-based economy, its more relaxed culture has also made it a social and shopping mecca (so to speak), which has helped it develop a fairly cosmopolitan middle class not found in neighboring countries with just a rich elite and subsistence-level masses.
The country is also the home of many popular structures such as the Bahrain World Trade Center and the Bahrain Financial Harbour, and also the home of many skyscrapers, including the proposed 1,022 m (3,353 ft) high supertall Murjan Tower. The Bahrain International Circuit is also located here, and is the place where the popular Bahrain F1 Grand Prix takes place.