An archipelago of 33 islands, Bahrain (meaning the ‘Two Seas’ in Arabic) is a tiny, wealthy country in the Arabian Gulf known mainly for its oil and pearls.

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.

Formula One fans will enjoy attending the Grand Prix, sun-worshippers can spend the day by the beach, and there is interesting modern architecture to check out on the many reclaimed lands.