The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is a country consisting of more than 700 islands, islets, and cays within the Lucayan Archipelago. Formerly a British crown colony, it became an independent Commonwealth realm with Elizabeth II as its queen in 1973.
Since the Lucayan Archipelago doesn’t border the Caribbean Sea, the Bahamas is strictly speaking a part of the West Indies but not a part of the Caribbean. For practical reasons, it is commonly grouped with the Caribbean nations anyway, e.g., when it comes to tourism.
The Bahamas is located north of Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and east of the Florida Keys. The distance between its capital Nassau and Miami on the U.S. mainland is 290 km (appr. 180 miles).
By terms of GDP per capita, The Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas. A lot of offshore companies and other entities are based here. Tourism is also very important for the economy.
The country is becoming an increasingly popular seat of operation for companies in the Forex industry. This is due to the fact that the Securities Commission of The Bahamas have made it attractive for Forex Brokers to incorporate here. The Securities Commission of The Bahamas has created a regulation that is very business friendly for these brokers. The Bahamas is a fast, secure and professional place to operate your brokerage from and the country is in high standing with other nations making it easy to do business in the US and Europe.
What’s the official language in The Bahamas?
The official language in The Bahamas is English.
Many people in the Bahamas speak Bahamian Creole, which is an English-based creole language also known as the Bahamian dialect, Bahamianese or Bahamian English.
The Haitian diaspora, which makes up about a fifth of the population in the Bahamas, speak Haitian Creole, a French-based creole language. In The Bahamas, the term creol will typically refer to this language and not to the Bahamian Creole, which many regards as an English dialect.
The language taught in Bahamian schools is based on British English, not American English.
What’s the official currency in The Bahamas?
The official currency is the Bahamian dollar BSD.
United States dollars (USD) are widely accepted. The fact that the BSD is pegged to the USD on a one-to-one basis makes it very easy for establishments to accept both BSD and USD since no conversion of the prices is required.
The Bahamas is an appealing tourist destination with pleasantly warm weather, sandy beaches and plenty of casinos. Many of the tourists come with cruise ships. Tourism is a very important part of the economy of The Bahamas; it accounts for roughly 60% of the GDP and more than half of the workforce has jobs in the tourism sector.
Important: Due to the country’s strong ties to the UK, driving in The Bahamas is on the left side.
An appealing climate for tourists
The Bahamas has a tropical savannah climate with no winters. On 19 January, 1977, snow mixed with rain fell on Grand Bahama, but that type of weather is a truly rare thing to experience here.
The Bahamas tend to have long dry periods with no rain and averages more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per annum. In an average year, there are approximately 340 sunny days. A majority of the rain falls during the summer season.
Hurricanes are not very common here, but there is a risk, and they can bring very large amounts of rain in a very short period of time. One Category 5 hurricane and seven Category 4 hurricanes have struck The Bahamas since 1851. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew passed over the northern part of the country, and seven years later Hurricane Floyd passed near the eastern part.
Castaway Cay is a thousand-acre island leased by the Disney corporation until 2096. It serves as an exclusive port for the Disney Cruise Line ships, and the ships can dock alongside the pier which means that cruise ship passengers can walk from the ship to dry land – there is no need to use boat transport. Disney has kept a lot of the island in its natural wild state, with only 55 of the thousand acres being used for buildings, logistics, etc.
Casino gambling in The Bahamas
Casino gambling and sports betting is legal in The Bahamas, but the restriction laws for the citizens are strict and the betting industry is intended to cater to foreign tourists (over the age of 18). Some still frequent illegal card rooms or break the law by playing in online casinos.
Examples of casinos in The Bahamas:
- The casino in the resort Baha Mar, on the northern coast of New Providence. New Providence is the island where the capital Nassau is located.
- Atlantis Casino, and luxury hotel & casino complex on Paradise Island. This is a small island located just off the northern coast of New Providence main island and connected with it through two bridges and a ferry system. Don’t let the size of this little island fool you – The Atlantis Casino is the largest casino in the Caribbean!
The player doesn’t pay any tax to The Bahamas on winnings. Instead, the government collects tax revenues directly from the casino operators, and these taxes account for a sizeable chunk of the government’s income.
Good to know
Size: 13,878 km2 (5,358 sq mi) of which 28% is water
Population: Circa 390,000 estimated for 2016
Most populous city: Nassau
Official language: English
Currency: Bahamian dollar (BSD), but USD is widely accepted
Time zone: UTC -5 (Eastern Time Zone), UTC-4 during DST
Driving side: Left
Internet top domain: .bs
ISO 3166 code: BS