Barbados
September 01, 2014
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Map of Barbados
National Flag
National Flag
Facts about Barbados
Airport
Grantley Adams International (BGI)
Annual Rainfall
56 inches
Area
425 sq km
Area Code
246
Banks
8am-3pm Mon-Thurs, 8am-5pm Fri
Beaches
All beaches are public to the high water mark
Capital City
Bridgetown
Co-ordinates
13 10'N, 59 32'W
Currency
Barbados dollar (BD$)
Departure Tax
BD$55
Dimensions
34 km long x 22 km wide
Dress Code
Casual daytime, swimsuits on the beach, nudity and camouflage clothing illegal
Driving
Left, permit required (BD$10), seat belts mandatory
Drugs
Illegal
Electricity
110V, 50 cycle
Exchange Rate
BD$1.98 - US$1.00
Highest Point
Mount Hillaby 372m
Language
English
Medical
Emergency - police 211, fire 311, ambulance 511
Nudity
Illegal
Population
294 000
Public Transport
Government-run and privately owned buses, $1.50 flat rate
Shopping
Mon-Sat 8.30am - 9pm/some Sunday  shopping
Smoking
No smoking in public places
Taxis
Not metered, settle fare early
Telecommunications
Phone cards, cellular phones with roaming, internet access
Temperature
Average 80F
Time Zone
Atlantic Standard
Tipping
10% sometimes included
Water
Potable, bottled available
ABOUT BARBADOS
History
The first Europeans to land on Barbados were the Portuguese who were en route to Brazil. A map produced by a Genoese mapmaker in 1519 showed and named Barbados in its correct position. The Amerindian name for Barbados was Ichirouganaim. The first indigenous people were the Amerindians who arrived from Venezuela around 350-400BC. These were followed by the Arawak people around 800AD. The Caribs then arrived from South America around 1200AD, and succeeded in displacing both the Arawak and the Salodoid-Barrancoid tribes. The Portuguese claimed Barbados from around 1550 to 1610. The British then arrived in 1625 at present-day Holetown. Barbados was under uninterrupted British rule until the island gained independence on 30th November 1966. Barbados became one of the world's largest sugar producers after Brazilian Jews introduced sugarcane to the island in the 1800s. This quickly replaced tobacco as the main crop. Barbados also had one of the largest slave populations in the Caribbean due to it's huge sugar industry. The statue of Lord Horatio Nelson in National Heroes Square in Bridgetown predates the famous Nelson's Column in London by 27 years. In 1884, efforts were made to have Barbados admitted as a member of the Canadian Confederation. Women were given the right to vote in 1942. From 1958 to 1962, Barbados was one of the ten members of the West Indies Federation. The Barbados Museum, Arlington House, George Washington House and the Jewish Museum successfully depict the island's history.

Geography
Barbados is the easternmost island of the Lesser Antilles, situated north of Guyana and east of St Vincent. The island is relatively flat, with some higher regions in the interior. Geologically, the island is predominantly limestone-coral and it is surrounded by coral reefs. The climate is tropical, and Barbados enjoys constant trade winds off the Atlantic Ocean. 85% of the island's surface consists of coral limestone 24 to 30 meters thick. The Scotland District in the east of the island contains outcroppings of oceanic formations. Some of the soil is quite fertile, erosion is a problem in some areas, the few small streams that exist are in Scotland District. There are, however, quite a lot of underground rivers such as Coles Cave, which can be explored during the dry season. The climate is tropical and breezy, making it ideal for windsurfing year round. Rainfall occurs primarily between July and December.

Economy
Since gaining independence, Barbados has transformed itself into an upper-middle-income economy based on tourism and the offshore industry. Barbados has one of the highest standards of living and literacy rates worldwide, and the human development index ranking is consistently among the top 50 in the world. The island has introduced a "No Smoking" policy in public places.

Religion
Residents of Barbados fall into the following main religious categories: Anglican, Episcopalian, Evangelical, Hindu, Jehovah's Witness, Judaism, Methodist, Moravian, Mormon, Muslim, Pentecostal, Quaker, Rastafarian, Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, Spiritual Baptist. There are more than 60 Anglican churces alone on the island, with that many again being shared between the other faiths.

Language
The local English and West African-based creole language spoken in Barbados is called Bajan. In general, Barbadians (or Bajans) speak standard English and save the Bajan dialect for more relaxed situations.

Sport
Cricket is the most popular sport on the island, and Barbados hosted the final of the 2007 Cricket World Cup along with several preceding matches. The island boasts five golf courses, and hosted the WGC-World Cup in December 2006. Barbados has produced several Olympic athletes, soccer is fast growing in popularity, horse racing has long had a dedicated following and the prestigious Sandy Lane Gold Cup held in March every year attracts entries from around the region. Polo is a popular spectator sport on the island, and teams from South America, North America, the UK and Jamaica regularly compete against the local teams. There are five golf courses on the island that are open to visitors. There is a large gymnasium which hosts tournaments in basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and other sports. The astro turf hockey field is nearby as is the Olympic standard swimming pool.

Entry Requirements
All visitors must have a valid passport and a return ticket. All visitors with the exception of the citizens of the Caribbean Community, the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, the EU, Australia and New Zealand, must obtain a visa before traveling to Barbados. The single-entry visa is obtainable on arrival from the Grantley Adams International Airport and is US$50; the multiple-entry visa is obtainable from any Barbados' Overseas Mission and is US$60. Access to the island is easy - from North America or Europe via it's ultra modern international airport, and there is frequent scheduled airline service throughout the region. Barbados is also a regular port of call for cruise ships year round.

Purchasing Property in Barbados
By law, only an attorney-at-law can provide legal advice in Barbados regarding the buying and selling of property, and the buyer and the seller each require their own legal counsel. Agreement for Sale. This document is prepared by the Lawyer acting for the Vendor, at which time the Purchaser signs in duplicate and pays the appropriate deposit - usually 10% of the purchase price. The Agreement and the deposit are then passed to the Vendor's lawyer for signature, and a signed copy returned to the Purchaser's lawyer. After the Agreement is signed, the Purchaser's lawyer conducts a search to ensure that there are no debts against the property, such as mortgages, charges or liens, and that the Vendor does indeed hold title to the property. Such debts include unpaid judgements, outstanding bills and taxes on the property. After the search has been completed satisfactorily, the Vendor's lawyer prepares the conveyancing documents, which are exchanged at the time of final payment. The Vendor must also pay stamp duty and property tax, stamp duty at 1% of the sale price and transfer tax at 7.5%. All legal documents pertaining to the sale of property in Barbados must be prepared by an Attorney-at-Law on the island. The fees charged by lawyers in Barbados are regulated by Barbados Legal Profession Rules 1997 which dictates a minimum fee scale as a percentage of the cost of the property. This is a minimum fee scale only. VAT is also payable at 15%. Non nationals purchasing property in Barbados must obtain all financing from outside of the island. If it is acquired on the island it must be through an offshore financial institution. These funds must be registered with the Central Bank of Barbados.
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