Middle Eastern food is delicious, and Bahrain has some excellent restaurants and cafes offering both international and local food.
However, failure to wash hands before and after meals, or failing to follow Bahrain dining etiquette, could result in becoming ill or causing cultural offence – neither of which is ideal.
Bahrain has some excellent restaurants and cafes which offer both international and local cuisine. One of the best ways to avoid illnesses with food and water is to wash your hands before and after meals which is commonplace in Islamic culture. This is particularly important if you have been near animals, in the souks or on public transport. Use of a hand gel where there are limited water supplies is also advisable.
Muslims use the right hand for eating and for clean things such as shaking hands. The left hand is considered dirty in Islamic culture and if is offensive to use it for eating. The left hand right hand rule is well worth considering to avoid an upset stomach during a visit to Bahrain.
If you are planning to camp anywhere then washing hands before meals is of the utmost importance in preventing infections. If you visit an internet cafe, wash your hands after using the keyboard as this will have been touched by many hands before you and can bea common source of germs. If you are unable to cook, peel or wash food, you may want to consider whether it is a good idea to eat it. Restaurant buffets are also areas to exercise vigilance, particularly where food may have been reheated or left to stand for a long time. Hot food cooked quickly is usually safe.
The tap water in Bahrain is not considered safe to drink unless treated or boiled. Alternatively, bottled water is widely available.
Like other countries in the Middle East, Bahrain is hot with temperatures reaching 104 - 122 degrees Farenheit (40 - 50 degrees Celsius). It is therefore imperative to drink at least three litres of non-alcoholic fluid a day to avoid dehydration and heat stroke.
If you drive or walk into the desert or a remote area, ensure you take sufficient water for your trip as there may not be any water sources where you are going. It is also important to wear a sunhat and to use sun block. If possible, avoid strenuous activity in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest.
Bahrain has some great culinary experiences and a small amount of vigilance and preparation can go a long way to preventing illness on holiday.
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