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Reviewed: 19 April 2013, 11:25 NZDT
Still current at: 24 May 2013
There is a high risk to your security in Bahrain due to civil unrest and threat from terrorism. We advise against all tourist and nonessential travel.
Civil unrest/Political tension
Since February 2011, there have been continuing sporadic demonstrations and protests in Bahrain, some of which have been violent, resulting in fatalities. The security situation remains unpredictable and further clashes cannot be ruled out. There continues to be a visible security presence in Bahrain, particularly around the city centre and Shia villages.
Demonstrations and unrest have at times spilled over from Shia villages to adjacent roads, including major thoroughfares such as Budaiya Highway and Saar Avenue. At times this unrest has taken place in the Central Business District and in shopping malls. Police checkpoints remain in place in certain areas.
A curfew is in place in the waterways around Bahrain from 1800 hours to 0400 hours. We recommend you adhere to curfew provisions.
As there is potential for further civil unrest in Bahrain, New Zealanders are advised to avoid any protests, demonstrations and large public gatherings. If you are in an area affected by demonstrations or violence, you should find a safe location, remain indoors and heed any local advice. Visitors to Bahrain should reconsider their need to travel outside the central business district at night and restrict travel to major routes at all times.
We recommend monitoring events through local media, maintaining a high level of security awareness in public places and adhering to any instructions issued by the local authorities and security forces.
There is a threat from terrorism in Bahrain. Terrorists continue to issue statements threatening to carry out attacks in the Gulf region. These include references to attacks on Western interests, including residential compounds, military, oil, transport and aviation interests.
On 1 February 2013, three policemen were injured by a bomb which exploded in the Jidhafs region. On 7 November 2012, a pipe bomb detonated in the Gudaibiya area when a vehicle drove over it. No-one was injured in the incident. On 5 November 2012, five homemade bombs exploded in two separate locations in Manama close to the CBD. Two people were killed and another critically injured in the explosions.
New Zealanders in Bahrain are advised to maintain a high level of vigilance and personal security awareness at all times – particularly in public and commercial areas known to be frequented by Western expatriates and travellers. If you see a suspicious looking package or object in a public place, you should move away from the immediate vicinity and report the location of the item to police.
General travel advice
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Bahrain to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour.
During the holy month of Ramadan, New Zealanders travelling to Muslim countries, including Bahrain, should show respect and pay attention to religious and cultural sensitivities. New Zealanders should refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public view during the daytime.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Bahrain should have comprehensive travel and medical insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders in Bahrain are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Contact details are
Street Address Diplomatic Quarter,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Postal Address PO Box 94 397, Riyadh, 11693, Saudi Arabia
Telephone +966 1 488 7988 Facsimile +966 1 488 7912
Office Hours Sat - Wed 0800 - 1200hrs, 1230 -1500hrs