Driving in Bahrain



In view of the limited size of the public transportation system in Bahrain, your own transportation is the best way to move around the country. Increasing traffic has led to a spurt in traffic snarls and road accidents.

Traffic Police

"Shurtat Almuroor" is the local name for traffic police in Bahrain. Shortened to "muroor" meaning traffic, it functions as a separate unit distinct from the public safety police in the country. You can identify the traffic police by a red stripe on their white vehicles and a matching white uniform (with black pants, sometimes white).


Unlike the UK, Bahrainis drive on the right side of the road. An international driving license is a must for all visitors to Bahrain. Always wear your seat belts and do not drink and drive. Respect speed limits and do not cross a red light. All cars must be registered and be legally insured with car insurance.

Most of the traffic lights on main roads and highways have a road sensor behind the white line. You must ensure that your car stops behind the white line so as to get a green light especially during late hours. Many long stretches of road end with a traffic light and a speeding camera. Respect lane boundaries and pay attention to painted arrows on each lane to see what directions are possible from your current lane.

Roundabouts are a distinct feature of roads in Bahrain. They have been the source of many accidents and traffic problems and are gradually being phased out. Bahrain gives the right of way to people inside the roundabout. Some general rules to help you navigate roundabouts are: if you want to turn right or head straight, hold the right lane and if you want to go back hold the left lane. Stay in the middle lane if you want to exit or turn left. If you miss your exit then simply take another round on the roundabout and then try to exit again.

Keep a safe distance between the vehicle in front of you and yourself. Do not force your way through or do anything to endanger others. If you happen to miss a turn, continue driving until you can ask for directions at the next traffic signal. Always use your signals to indicate where you are going and a double signal is necessary if you encounter an obstacle or accident. The slightest smell of alcohol on your breath is enough to get you arrested.

Long horns indicate danger so listen carefully, short horns could be considered as minor warning while repeated horns are to urge other drivers to move quickly. Repeated beeps indicate traffic jams. Be careful on weekends (Thursday nights and Fridays in the Gulf countries) when drivers from neighboring countries may be driving around. There can be quite a lot of rash driving around then.

In Case of Road Accidents

Should you have the misfortune of being in a road accident, call 199 for a minor accident where no one is injured. Call 999 in case of a serious accident if the vehicle has toppled over, is on fire and serious bodily harm is involved. If your vehicle is operational then you can drive to a nearby traffic police centre where to police will inspect the vehicle and write out a report of damages required for car insurance purposes.

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