Category Archives: Bahrain

Currency in Bahrain: Dinars

What’s the Currency in Bahrain?

Bahrain’s currency is called the dinar (دينار Dīnār Baḥrainī‎), abbreviated BHD (or BD for short). The unit of money for the currency in Bahrain is called the dinar and is divided into 1000 fils (فلس). Photo of Bahraini currency below.

The Bahrain Dinar is the 2nd highest valued currency unit in the world. Trivia: what’s the highest?  Answer at the bottom of this page.

Exchange rates: Currency in Bahrain for US Dollars

Current exchange rate for Bahrain currency in US Dollars is found here. So during my trip, 1 BHD was worth 2.65 USD (one USD was worth $0.38 during my 2011 trip). This should be rather consistent as the Bahraini Dinar is pegged to the US dollar.

Conversions:

From Google Finance: USD AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY
From XE.com: USD AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY
Bahrain Currency - Dinars are the Currency in Bahrain
Bahrain Currency – Bahrain Dinars

What’s pictured on the Bahraini Dinars?

Pictured in the above image:

1 Dinar. The back displays galloping horses and the Sail and Pearl monument, and the other side, the front displays Al Hedya Al Khalifiya School (Bahrain first school).

10 Dinar shows Sheikh Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifah (Bahrain King)

The King’s Parking Lot

If you want to see everything in a country in just 7 hours of daylight, you have to be organized, and thus on my flight over I put together a list of places I wanted to visit and mapped them to see if it was feasible. Upon arrival I always try to get local feedback, because often there’s a gem that just doesn’t get publicized.

I hired a taxi driver to tour me around for the day, and he offered to show me some great places that “you can’t leave Bahrain without seeing.” Outstanding! That’s precisely what I was looking for.   However, it appears that his idea of the can’t miss sights greatly differed from mine. He had such a tremendous respect for the Bahrain King and it appears that may have influenced his perspective.  For example, he took me to the parking lot of a old building that the King typically uses when he visits this area.  I figured I heard him wrong, but he repeated it a bunch of times.  It looks like every other parking lot you’ve seen.  A parking lot?

Architecture in Bahrain

The Al Fateh Mosque (Grand Mosque) can accommodate more than 7000 worshippers. Its dome is world’s largest fiberglass dome.  The Grand Mosque is named after Ahmed Al Fateh, the conqueror of Bahrain.

I really loved my day in Bahrain – fortunately I was there before the Middle East fell apart (see link in “related posts” below)

19 Hours in Bahrain

My tour of Bahrain was really efficient – I landed in the early afternoon and had a flight out the next morning.  It’s a really small country so I had a driver just drive me around to see the sites that I had picked out beforehand.  He was very proud of his country and tried to tell me about the history – I wish I could understand his English because he seemed to have a wealth of knowledge.

7 Flights in 2 Weeks

For those of you keeping score at home, at this point of the trip I’ve been on 7 flights with 5 different airlines (Air Canada, China Air, Garuda Air, Air Asia, Gulf Air), and been through 8 airports (Newark, Vancouver, Beijing, Hong Kong, Denspasar/Bali (Indonesia), Surabaya (on Java, Indonesia), 2 in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Bahrain. Compared with our domestic airlines in the US (I’m talking to you AA & Delta!), when you fly international airlines the experience is typically sooo much better, even for comparable distances. So maybe this past one was my lucky #7.

Smoke on my Flight to the Middle East

This was my first time heading to the Middle East, and the flight from KL to Bahrain was easily the worst international flight I’ve taken.  Please pardon the upcoming rant. Like many flights, this was a packed plane with seats crammed together like cattle in coach. The guy in front of me reclined so much that the seat slammed against me every time he repositioned. There was no room to even open my tray table if I wanted to.  This creates a chain reaction where everyone reclines just to have room, but do so at your own peril since people sitting behind tend to fight back.  There was no support on my seat either. My seat kept getting kicked, pushing me forward into the one in front of me.  As people walked down the aisle they’d grab and pull the seats next to them for balance, which would jerk the whole seat back.

2 security checks. Really??

After an 8-hour layover in the Kuala Lumpar airport, it was time to head to Bahrain, a small country bordering Saudi Arabia.  Among the many security policies I find to be annoying are the policy for liquids. I finished my water, passed through security, and bought more water for the flight after passing through security.  Then came the surprise – the gate had their own security check with the same no-liquid policy. Really?  Is that needed?  After passing through, you’re basically quarentined at the gate, with no access to water or bathrooms until you can get on the plane.

We’re heading to the Middle East, so I guess two security checkpoints feels like a great idea. But it’s a long flight so not being able to have water is a challenge. They’ll bring you a little 6oz cup of water when they offer drinks. Awesome. Thanks Gulf Air!  Eck.  I had looked them up and they actually came highly rated online so we’ll see.