those taxi drivers are terrible. last week my car broke down and i had to use the taxis. the drivers do not want to use the meters - even when i threatened to get out of the taxi he couldn't find his meter. please don't accept this - leave the taxi - it really is a problem here. i wouldn't mind so much if the taxis were in working order, but they are knackered!
Unique Suggestions: don't accept their first offer, second or even third offer. ask for the meter to be turned on and keep asking until the taxi driver does turn on the meter. otherwise, leave the car at the first available point.
Fun Alternatives: the limo taxis appeared to be more expensive - but they are clean, new mercedes. very nice! if you tel 801999 they'll come and pick you up. you'll find that if you're new to bahrain, and in manama town, these taxis will probably work out to be cheaper and definately will be far less hastle than using the waiting taxis.
One of my worst memories of Bahrain and a disgrace to the overall fraud-free country: TAXI FRAUD! I stayed quite long in Bahrain and had to use taxis on a regular basis. See below what's important:
It is mandantory for official taxis (orange-white / orange-gold colour) in Bahrain to use their meters and fixed fares.
However, most drivers first try to fool new vistors by stating completely overpriced fares for a route. Many visitors agree as they do not SEE the installed meter as it is often HIDDEN by the driver (e.g. behind a cover or the infamous box of Kleenex ;)
Insist on a metered fare or you will be ripped off!! Repeat it 1 or 2 times and you'll see it works (oops, there IS the bloody meter...:)
Generally, stopping one of the many taxis from the street is cheaper than taking a waiting taxi as they charge you also for their "waiting time".
Especially during praying time (see newspapers), on Fridays and around the mega malls it can be difficult to find a taxi.
Unique Suggestions: To be sure you make it in time, you can order a RADIO TAXI. There is only one company offering this service, so its recommendable to order in time.
Telephone 682999 in Manama. Fares a slighly higher, ca. 20%. Still, mostly hassle-free.
Fun Alternatives: By the way, make sure at least YOU know approx. where to go. Many drivers don`t know the city very well or young cousins take over uncle's car for a while - double-check that the driver knows the area you head for! Otherwise you might end up with some extra Dinar on the meter.
Have fun exploring Bahrain!