Safety and security
Irish nationals in Bahrain are advised to maintain a high level of security awareness especially in public places and on the roads. Avoid crowds and demonstrations.
If you come across any suspicious objects, avoid touching them and inform the local authorities immediately on 999 or 8000 8008.
Always keep yourself informed of what is going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.
The Bahraini authorities announced a ban on public protests and gatherings in October 2012. However, protests continue across various parts of Bahrain and can be violent. Tensions may also be high at religious gatherings. We advise you to respect the ban on public protests and gatherings, and avoid crowds and all demonstrations.
Demonstrations can occur spontaneously in reaction to certain events or news. Protests may include attempts to disrupt traffic, protests in villages and near economic centres, burning tyres, throwing Molotov cocktails, and the use of improvised explosive devices. There could be clashes between government security forces and protesters. Irish citizens should monitor local media sources for any reporting that may prompt local unrest and adjust your routine accordingly.
In addition to regular demonstrations, government security operations continue and there is a sea curfew on the waters around Bahrain between 6pm and 4am, which we strongly advise you to respect. In the past, vessels entering certain sensitive areas of the Gulf have been detained and inspected, and there have been occasional arrests.
There is a general threat from terrorism in the region. Attacks could be indiscriminate, and targeted against Western interests as they have been elsewhere in the Middle East.
In the last year, incidents involving home-made explosive devices have killed and injured a number of individuals. These explosions occurred in public places including outside a cinema, in a shopping mall and on motorways.
Crime remains relatively low in Bahrain but you should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place;
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home;
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business;
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible; and
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.
If you are a victim of a crime while in Bahrain, report it to the local police immediately. If you require further assistance you can contact the Irish Embassy in Riyadh.
If you’re planning to drive in Bahrain, you should be extremely careful. Unsafe driving practices, roaming animals and drifting sands can make driving hazardous, and off-road driving can be particularly dangerous. Always make sure your vehicle is well equipped and properly maintained. If you want to drive:
- Bring your Irish and/or international driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance;
- There is zero tolerance to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught;
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights; and
- While travel on the main routes in Bahrain has returned to normal, police checkpoints remain but have been reduced along the main highways.
Hiring a vehicle
If you are hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you are allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Tue, 09 May 2017 14:17:08 BST