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Bahrain

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An archipelago of 33 islands off the coast of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain — the "Two Seas" in Arabic — is a tiny, wealthy country in the Arabian Gulf known mainly for its oil and pearls

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Torn between Iran, the UK, and Saudi Arabia before declaring its independence, Bahrain built its fortune during the pearl-diving era, as well as later with the discovery of oil. It became the fastest-growing economy in the Arab world in 2008, and now, the tiny country welcomes four million visitors each year.

What's the draw to Bahrain? Well, Formula One fans will certainly enjoy attending the Grand Prix, sun-worshippers can spend the day by the beach, and there's plenty of interesting modern architecture to check out on the many reclaimed lands. And did we mention the underwater, scuba-diving theme park? You might even find a pearl of your own.

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