30 Interesting Facts About Brunei Darussalam

  1. Brunei is a small country in Southeast Asia with an area of 2,226 sq. miles. It is the 4th smallest country and the 2nd least populated country in Asia (after the Maldives).
  2. Brunei is located entirely on the island of Borneo. It is the only sovereign country on this island. A large part of Borneo is under the control of Malaysia and Indonesia.
  3. Brunei is located on the northern coast of Borneo. The South China Sea is located in the north of Brunei, while the county is surrounded by Malaysia on all other sides.
  4. The official language of Brunei is standard Malay. However, more than 65% of the country’s population speak the Brunei Malay. People in different areas also speak several minority languages.
  5. According to an estimate, the Sultan of Brunei owns around 7,000 cars. These include a few of the most expensive and rare cars in the world.
  6. The Sultan of Brunei was once the wealthiest man in the world. He is now the world’s 2nd richest king (just behind the king of Thailand), with a net worth of more than $20 million. (Source)
  7. Brunei is one of the few countries that still practice absolute monarchy. Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is the head of state and government.  
  8. The Sultanate of Brunei was established in the 14th Century. The same royal family is still ruling Brunei.
  9. The majority population of Brunei converted to Islam in the 15th Century. Around 80% of people in Brunei are adherents of Sunni Islam of the Shafii school of thought.
  10. Brunei has the world’s lowest national debt among sovereign nations and the 3rd lowest after Macao and Hong Kong .It is around 2.5% of its GDP. (Source)
  11. In 2001, the Sultan of Brunei was made an honorary admiral in the Royal Navy. The Queen also made him an honorary air chief marshal of the Royal Air Force. (Source)
  12. Sultan of Brunei is also the 2nd longest-reigning monarch in the world after Queen Elizabeth II. His reigning period started on 4th October 1967. (Source)
  13. Brunei remained a powerful state between the 16th and 19th Centuries. During that period, it was controlling the northern part of Borneo and adjacent islands. It lost Sarawak (now part of Malaysia) in 1841.
  14. Brunei became a British protectorate in 1888. It gained independence from Great Britain in 1984.
  15. Brunei participated for the first time in the Olympic Games in 1988 when it sent officials (without athletes) to these Olympics. Athletes were sent for the first time in the 1996 Olympics. The maximum number of athletes sent by Brunei to the Olympic Games is 3.
  16. Istana Nurul Iman, the official home of Brunei’s Sultan, is the world’s largest residential palace. Its construction took place in 1984 at $1.4 billion. This palace covers an area of 200,000 m2 and contains 1,788 rooms, 257 bathrooms, five swimming pools, a mosque, a garage, an air-conditioned stable, and a banqueting hall for 5,000 guests. (Source)
    A school in Kampong Ayer, Brunei
    Kampong Ayer is the world's largest floating village

  17. Kampong Ayer (water village) in Brunei is the largest floating village in the world. It is spread over 38 km (23.6 miles) and is commonly known as “Venice of the East.” This village is more than 1,000 years old. (Source)
  18. In 2013, Brunei became the first Asian country to ban shark finning. This small Southeast Asian country has also banned the catch and landing of all shark species and the importation and trade of shark products. (Source)
  19. There is no personal income tax, sales tax, manufacturing tax, and export tax in Brunei. The government gets most of its revenue from petroleum tax, which is 55%.
  20. Brunei remained under Japanese occupation during World War 2. Japanese rule continued for more than three years and ended in 1945. 
  21. Brunei announced the Shariah panel code in 2013. This law was implemented in 2019, which include strict punishments for several crimes. (Source)
  22. There is a Billionth Barrel Monument in Brunei erected in 1991. Its purpose was to commemorate the billionth barrel of oil extracted from the Seria oil field by the Brunei Shell Petroleum Company. This monument is near the first well discovered in 1929. (Source)
  23. Brunei is the only country with a yellow background on the flag. The current flag was adopted in 1906, where the yellow color represents the sultan while white and black colors are for his chief ministers. The red coat of arms with a yellow inscription on the flag was introduced in 1959.
  24. Brunei is one of the few countries in the world that provide free education and healthcare services to its citizens.
  25. Brunei has the highest number of vehicles per capita in Asia and the 9th highest in the world. There are 636 motor vehicles per 1,000 people in Brunei. (Source)
  26. Brunei enjoys a strong economy. It has one of the highest HDI (Human Development Index) and GDP per capita in Asia.
  27. Brunei is one of the 27 countries in the world without any UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Source)
  28. There are around 6,000 species of plants, 157 mammals, 455 birds, and 73 reptiles in Brunei. More than 50% of the forested area in the country is under some protection. Almost 100% of Brunei’s forests are intact. (Source)
  29. Brunei is the world’s most biodiverse country based on per unit area. Brunei’s biodiversity index per land area is 18.68. It is at least twice more than any other country. (Source)
  30. Hydrocarbons are the main exports and imports of Brunei. Its biggest exports are refined petroleum, petroleum gas, and crude petroleum. The biggest imports of this Southeast Asian country are crude petroleum and refined petroleum. (Source)


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