The Kingdom of Bahrain is a Middle Eastern archipelago in the Persian Gulf, tucked into a pocket of the sea flanked by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It's an oasis of social liberalism – or at least Western-friendly moderation – among the Muslim countries of the region. It's popular with travelers for its authentic "Arabness" but without the strict application of Islamic law upon its non-Muslim minority. Case in point: homosexuality is legal here. Although it has a heavily petroleum-based economy, its more relaxed culture has also made it a social and shopping mecca (so to speak), which has helped it develop a fairly cosmopolitan middle class not found in neighboring countries with just a rich elite and subsistence-level masses.
Bahrain is the smallest of the independent Persian Gulf states, and has often had to walk a diplomatic tightrope in relation to its larger neighbours. The country has few oil reserves, but it has established itself as a hub for refining as well as international banking, while also achieving a socially liberal (by Gulf standards at least) monarchy. Its economy depends to a small extent on Saudis interested in a little entertainment, not available in the strictly Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain features a tropical desert climate, but due to land reclamation has very few beaches. Man-made beaches at luxury hotels are nice, but only accessible for a price. Winters in Bahrain are dry and average daytime temperatures in the low 70sF, night time lows in the 50sF. Spring and fall are pleasant, with dry weather and nights cooling off into the 60sF after days of around 85F. Late winter and spring are known for dust storms which, while not as severe as those found elsewhere in the Gulf, are still rather unpleasant. Summertime is very hot and muggy in Bahrain, with daytime temperatures being from 100-120F, and nights cooling down to anywhere from 75-90F. The shallow waters around Bahrain are typically anywhere from 75F in winter to 85F in spring and fall, and usually around 90F+ in summer. Due to the shallowness of the water, it is possible to get heat stroke while swimming.