The Southern Governorate (Arabic: المحافظة الجنوبية; transliterated: al-Muhafazah al-Janobiyah) is the largest of the five governorates of Bahrain in terms of area size, and the smallest in terms of population, with a population of 91,450. It includes parts of Bahrain's old municipalities - Al Mintaqah al Gharbiyah, Ar Rifa' wa al Mintaqah al Janubiyah, and Juzur Hawar (the Hawar Islands). It is the least populated of the regions on Bahrain and the least economically productive, per capita.
The Governor of the Southern Governorate is Shaikh Abdullah Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, the son of The Minister of Interior H.E. Lt. Gen. Sh. Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.
The Bahrain International Circuit (Arabic: حلبة البحرين الدولية) is a motorsport venue opened in 2004 and used for drag racing, GP2 and the annual Bahrain Grand Prix. The 2004 Grand Prix was the first held in the Middle East. Beginning in 2006, Australian V8 Supercars raced at the BIC, with the event known as the Desert 400. However, the V8 Supercars did not return for the 2011 V8 Supercar season. 24 Hour endurance races also hosted at BIC.
The first Bahrain Grand Prix took place on April 4, 2004, making history as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East. Bahrain fought off fierce competition from elsewhere in the region to stage the race, with Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates all hoping for the prestige of hosting a Formula One Grand Prix.
Riffa Fort or (Arabic: قلعة الرفاع; transliterated: Qal'at ar-Rifa') it is now named (Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Fort) offers a splendid view across the Hunanaiya valley. With Riffa being home to the seat of government until 1869, this fort was strategically important in at the time.
Built as a fort during the reign of Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Al Khalifa in 1812, while another source claim that it was built during the rule of the Persian Safavid Empire of Iran over Bahrain during the 17th century, the fort was converted into a residence in the 19th century for Shaikh Salman Bin Ahmed (Al Fateh) Al Khalifa.