Governorates of Bahrain

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The ISO code BH-16 for Central was officially withdrawn on 2015-11-27.

Update 12 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2013-06-30. It says that the codes for Central and Northern governorates were issued correctly, but were switched in a recompilation of the standard document. This update restores them to the correct codes, as shown below.

FIPS 10-4 Change Notice 12, dated 2007-06-11, has FIPS codes for the new governorates. The table has been updated accordingly. It uses different Arabic names for some of the divisions, which I report as variants under "Other names of subdivisions".

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter I-8, published on 2007-04-17, shows ISO governorate codes for the new administrative structure of Bahrain. They are shown in the table below.

Country overview: 

Short nameBAHRAIN
ISO codeBH
LanguageArabic (ar)
Time zone+3


Bahrain was a British protectorate until 1971-08-15, when it became independent.

Other names of country: 

  1. Arabic: Dawlat al-Bahrayn (formal)
  2. Danish: Bahrain
  3. Dutch: Bahrein
  4. English: State of Bahrain (formal)
  5. Finnish: Bahrain
  6. French: Bahreïn m
  7. German: Bahrain n
  8. Icelandic: Barein
  9. Italian: Bahrein, Bahrain m
  10. Norwegian: Bahrain, Staten Bahrain (formal)
  11. Portuguese: Bahrein, Barém (variant-Portugal), Barein (variant-Brazil), Estado m do Bahrain m (formal)
  12. Russian: Королевство Бахрейн (formal)
  13. Spanish: Bahréin, Bahráin, Estado m de Bahréin (formal)
  14. Swedish: Bahrain
  15. Turkish: Bahreyn Devleti (formal)

Origin of name: 

Arabic al-bahrayn: the two seas

Primary subdivisions: 

Bahrain is divided into four governorates.

CapitalBH.CP13BA16Al Manamah
MuharraqBH.MU15BA15Al Muharraq
NorthernBH.NN17BA18Ash Shamaliyah
SouthernBH.SN14BA17Al Janubiyah

Further subdivisions:

Each of the governorates is divided into constituencies.

Territorial extent: 

Bahrain consists entirely of islands in the Gulf of Bahrain, an arm of the Persian Gulf. The largest is Bahrain itself. Near it are Al Muharraq, Sitrah, and Umm Nasan, all connected to it by causeways. Just off the coast of Qatar is Hawar Island and some neighboring islets.

The UN LOCODE page  for Bahrain lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Al Manamah: Arabic al-manama the place of dreams
  2. Al Mintaqah al Gharbiyah: = Western Region
  3. Al Mintaqah al Wusta: = Central Region
  4. Al Mintaqah ash Shamaliyah: = Northern Region
  5. Ar Rifa` wa al Mintaqah al Janubiyah: = Rifaa and Southern Region
  6. Madinat Hamad: = Hamad Town
  7. Madinat `Isa: = Isa Town
  8. Mintaqat Juzur Hawar: = Hawar Islands Region

Change history: 

  1. 1960: Bahrain consisted of four municipalities: Al Hadd, Al Manamah, Al Muharraq, and Ar Rifa`.
  2. 1971-08-15: Bahrain became independent. It then had six municipalities: Al Hadd, Ar Rifa` al Gharbi, Judd Hafs, Manamah, Muharraq, and Sitrah. By ~1984, their status had changed from municipalities to manaṭiq (sing. minṭaqah: regions), and three new regions had split off.
  3. ~1985: Al Hadd split from Al Muharraq.
  4. ~1988: Madinat `Isa split from Al Mintaqah al Wusta.
  5. ~1991: Madinat Hamad split from Ar Rifa` wa al Mintaqah al Janubiyah. At this point, the regions were as shown below.
Al HaddBH.HD01BA0111,6378,6105,300114Al HaddMuharraq
Al ManamahBH.MN03BA02153,395136,99989,4002710ManamaCapital
Al Mintaqah al GharbiyahBH.MG10BA0826,14922,0348,70015761Northern, Southern
Al Mintaqah al WustaBH.MW07BA1149,96934,3046,7003514Central, Northern
Al Mintaqah ash ShamaliyahBH.MS05BA1043,69133,76310,6003714Northern
Al MuharraqBH.MQ02BA0391,93974,24544,200218Al MuharraqMuharraq
Ar Rifa` wa al Mintaqah al JanubiyahBH.RF09BA1379,98549,75212,600292113Ar Rifa al GharbiSouthern, Central
Jidd HafsBH.JH04BA0552,45044,76919,500249Jidd HafsNorthern, Capital
Madinat HamadBH.MH12BA1452,71829,055135Northern
Madinat `IsaBH.MI08BA1236,83334,5097,500125Central
Mintaqat Juzur HawarBH.MJ11BA093,8753,2425220Southern
12 regions650,604508,037215,800712275
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • 2001, 1991, 1971: Populations according to the censuses of 2001-04-07, 1991-11-16, 1971-04-03.
    The total for the 2001 census includes 4,053 Bahrainis living abroad.
  • Governorate(s): Governorates formed from each region, starting with the largest section.
    There may be some small slivers of territory not accounted for.
  1. 2001-03-16: International Court of Justice ruled on territorial disputes between Bahrain and Qatar, awarding the Hawar Islands to Bahrain and the city of Zubarah and its environs to Qatar.
  2. 2002-07-03: Decree-Law No. 17 for 2002 replaced the ten divisions with five governorates.
Capital BH.CA13BA16329,510163,69638 15 Al Manamah
Central BH.CE16BA19326,305167,69185 33 Al Wusta
MuharraqBH.MU15BA15189,114103,57664 25 Al Muharraq
NorthernBH.NO17BA18276,949166,82414355 Ash Shamaliyah
SouthernBH.SO14BA17101,45644,764 439170Al Janubiyah
5 governorates 1,234,571650,604770297
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Pop-2010: 2010-04-27 census. Total includes 11,237 with governorate
    "not stated."
  • Pop-2001: 2001-04-07 census. Total includes 4,053 Bahrainis living
  • Area: 2012 (source [5]).


Postal codes are three or four digits. They consist of the ISO region code followed by two additional digits, with the leading zero suppressed.

  1. 2014-09-25: Central governorate abolished and split up among Capital, Northern, and Southern.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Al Hadd: Hedd, Hidd (variant)
  2. Al Manamah: Al `Asimah, Manama (variant)
  3. Al Mintaqah al Wusta: Al Wasat (variant); Central (English)
  4. Ar Rifa` wa al Mintaqah al Janubiyah: Rifaa, Rifa'a, Riffa, Rufaa (variant)
  5. Jidd Hafs: Jidhafs, Judd Hafs (variant)
  6. Mintaqat Juzur Hawar: Eastern, Huwar Islands, Howar Islands (English); Ash Sharqiyah (variant)
  7. Sitrah: Sitra (variant)


  1. [1] Population by Governorate, Nationality and Sex - 2010 Census . Kingdom of Bahrain Central Informatics Organisation (retrieved 2012-07-07).
  2. [2] Decree-Law No. (17) for 2002  (retrieved 2003-11-23).
  3. [3] Bahrain in Figures 1999, had 1991 census data (dead link, retrieved 2002-10-27).
  4. [4] Bahrain in Figures 2000, had 2001 census data (dead link, retrieved 2002-10-27).
  5. [5] Area of Kingdom of Bahrain by Governorate - (2008 - 2012)  (retrieved 2015-01-10).
  6. [6] "Central Governorate dissolved."  Gulf Daily News (dated 2014-09-23; retrieved 2015-01-10).
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