Petty Crime in Bahrain: What Travelers Need to Know

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Crime in Bahrain is at a low rate, but is taken very seriously by local authorities, with harsh punishments for guilty perpetrators.

A man walks through the ruins of Manama, Bahrain Photo © Getty Images/Moatassem Ziad / EyeEm

Crime statistics indicate the majority of petty crime incidents in Bahrain are instigated by people from overseas. Here are some of the more common crimes and scams that occur in Bahrain.

In recent years Bahrain has seen an influx of peddlers selling fake gems around the souks and at trade fairs. Enticed by a cheap price several tourists and dealers have found seemingly genuine items are not as represented.

The Bahraini authorities have stepped up regulations in this area and it is advisable to buy from a reputable dealer in the souks or malls.

Crime rates are low in Bahrain however, have increased, with a lot of petty crime directed at visitors. This is mainly focused on the market and souk area and involves thefts from bags such as purse snatching and pick-pocketing. It is very important not to wear expensive jewellery or have items such as mobile phones and cameras on display. Visitors should be aware of their belongings at all time and, where possible, use the hotel safe.

Visitors should consider using a money belt and be particularly careful with passports and other identification documentation. Visitors to Bahrain are expected to carry a proof of identity with them at all times. At night it is important to ensure you are able to lock your hotel door as some of the night entertainment (such as discos) in hotels attract unwanted attention. There have been incidents of hotel rooms being burgled and therefore it is vital to be discreet with valuables and to use the safe where possible.

At night visitors should only use reputable taxis to get around Manama and other towns in Bahrain. There have been problems surrounding unlicensed cabs which are of particular risk for women. Unlicensed vehicles also overcharge visitors and may have unroadworthy vehicles. Hotels will be able to give advice on registered taxi companies.

There have been reports of vandalism to cars in some areas of Manama around Exhibition Road which include smash and grab crimes, so it is important not to leave any items of value on show.

In general petty crime in Bahrain is relatively low, however a little vigilance will help avoid any problems of theft and vandalism.

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