With the smallest oil reserves in the Gulf, Bahrain was the first country in its region to diversify its economy away from a dependence on crude, in the 1990s. Today, it is a major hub for financial services and tourism. An archipelago of more than 30 islands, the Shiite-majority nation has long been ruled by the Sunni Khalifa dynasty. Bahrain is grappling with rising debt levels, and is economically and strategically reliant on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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