While being a Muslim country, Bahrain is known in the Gulf for being open and tolerant to its foreign guests. Bahraini men and women socialize and congregate at local cafes and restaurants and, though people dress conservatively, it is not required for women to cover their hair. Extended family ties play a fundamental role in Bahraini culture and some marriages are still arranged or at least require parental approval. A Muslim man is allowed to have up to 4 wives, but today’s younger generation does not see polygamy as a desired lifestyle.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is a small island country situated near the western shores of the Persian Gulf and consists of 84 islands and islands groups in total. Bahrain has a high Human Development Index score and was recognized by the World Bank as a high income economy. The country's capital, Manama, is home to many large financial institutions. Bahraini people are ethnically diverse with at least 8 to 9 different ethnic groups of citizens and many temporary residents as well. Arabic is the official language of Bahrain, though English is widely used. 92% of Bahrain is desert with periodic bouts of extreme drought and dust storms. The country experiences mild winters and very hot, humid summers.