As far back as 3000BC, the Dilmun civilisation was a trade centre between the Indus Valley and Ancient Mesopotamia. The former capital of Qal'at al-Bahrain was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. Bahrain was taken over by the Assyrians, the Persian Empire and various Arab and Mediterranean countries. Since 1783, the Al Khalifa family have ruled Bahrain, and in the 1830s Bahrain became a British Protectorate. In 1968 Britain ended its treaties in the Gulf, and in 1971 Bahrain became an independent country.
The Kingdom of Bahrain has many different attractions to cater to a myriad of interests. There is the rich heritage of ancient civilisations, with many temples, while Forts at Riffa, Arad and Bahrain Fort are remarkable examples of ancient architecture. Recently restored houses of Muharraq depict Bahraini style during the last century. The island has a history of pearl diving which is still a popular experience for visitors. Nature lovers visit the Al Areen wildlife sanctuary where they will see flamingos, ostriches, camels and Oryx. The Tree of Life which has survived for hundreds of years in the desert is a popular attraction.
Bahrain has become a hub of sports in the Middle East, including, golf, horse racing at Sakhir and of course the annual F1 Bahrain Grand Prix in March. As you would imagine, water sports are common, and diving is a popular pastime with a recently opened Diving Theme park featuring a Boeing 747 as well as many natural and artificial reefs.