Bahrein (or Aval) Islands, a group consisting of one large island and several smaller ones in the Persian gulf, in a bay on the E. coast of Arabia, between lat. 25° 30' and 26° 30' N., and lon. 50° and 50° 30' E.; pop. about 00,000. The most important of them is Bahrein, about 27 m. long and 10 broad. The interior is hilly; the soil is fertile, and produces wheat, barley, dates, figs, and other tropical fruits. Springs are plentiful in the interior, but on the coast fresh water is procured in skins from springs beneath the surface of the sea, by divers. Manamah, the largest town, has a good harbor and is the centre of commerce. The island next in size is Moharrek, so named from the capital, situated on its southern side. It contains two or three forts close to the seashore, and the sheikh's palace. The Bahrein islands are noted for their extensive pearl fisheries, which were known to the ancients, and employ a large number of boats, each manned with from 8 to 20 men. The annual value of the pearls is estimated at from $1,000,000 to $1,500,000. Tortoise shell, shark fins, and dates are also exported.

The inhabitants are Arabs, governed by a sheikh tributary to the sultan of Oman.