Bahrain - Services

Services contributed 53 percent of GDP in 1996. Tourism is Bahrain's fastest-growing industry and a heavily-promoted sector. It already accounts for over 10 percent of GDP and employs 16.7 percent of the workforce. Most visitors (3.3 million in 1999) come from the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), especially Saudi Arabia, to enjoy the beaches and the comparatively liberal atmosphere in Bahrain, where alcohol is served and Muslim women are not forced to cover their heads. As of July 2000, the government has allowed citizens from member states of the GCC to visit the country using their local identity cards, and the number of tourists is expected to increase substantially over the next few years.

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