Bahrain, which is officially known as the Kingdom of Bahrain, is a small country in the Middle East. Located east of Saudi Arabia, it lies on an archipelago in the Persian Gulf. After gaining independence from the United Kingdom on the 15th of August 1971, Bahrain now uses a parliamentary and constitutional monarchy. Currently King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa oversee the country of 1,343,000 people. The country stretches over 780 km2 of land.