Bahrain /bɑːˈreɪn/


1. a sheikhdom consisting of a group of islands in the Persian Gulf; pop. 728,700 (est. 2009); official language, Arabic; capital, Manama.
Ruled by the Portuguese in the 16th century and the Persians in the 17th century, the islands became a British protectorate in 1861 and gained independence in 1971. Bahrain’s economy is dependent on the refining and export of oil.

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