Bahrain is a country off the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the Persian Gulf. It is an archipelago of 33 islands, the main one being the island of Bahrain, where Manama, the capital, is located. There are also many smaller islands, sand banks and reefs opposite the central south coast of the Arabian Gulf. The country’s surface area is 728 km2, and it has sovereignty over about 3,000 km2 of territorial waters.
WWF classifies Bahrain’s ecoregions as Persian Gulf desert and semi-desert, and the landscape is mostly arid desert. However, the marine habitats are very diverse, including seaweed beds, marshes and coral reefs as well as coastal islands. There are no mountains of importance except for the Jabal ad-Dukhan, at the centre of Bahrain island. Farming – date palms and fruits – is made possible, only to the north and north-east of this mountain, by the use of artesian wells, springs and desalination plants. The rest of the territory is desert, with some small lagoons.
The winters can be considered cold with some rainfall (74 mm/year) and last from December to February. The climate is influenced by low pressure systems coming from the Mediterranean and travelling eastwards via the gulf. Summers are hot and humid (relative humidity of 67-82%) with temperatures between 38 and 42°C.