Articles - January 2020
The Kingdom of Bahrain has been an expat destination for centuries. It is considered a true melting pot of expats outnumbering the locals! Living in Bahrain puts you at the center of the Persian Gulf, the region’s financial hub and cultural heart. In this article, we brought you all you need to know about getting a Bahrain visa, be it a tourist visa, a work visa or a family visa (residence permit). Additionally, you will find more about the nature of life in this small Arab country and what makes it "Top Middle East Destination for Expats". Visiting and Tourist Visas Citizens of the USA, most EU countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland can get a visit visa on arrival for BD5. This is normally for two weeks, but the US and EU nationals can get three-month visas for the same fee. Visit visas can be renewed once from within Bahrain, but any further renewals require exit and re-entry. Citizens from all other countries require visas prior to arrival in Bahrain. All GCC nationals (Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia) do not need a visa to enter the Kingdom of Bahrain. However, visitors who have been residents in the GCC for a minimum of three months, and who possess a return visa for the country of GCC residency valid for at least 3 months can enter and this varies between different nationalities. Regulations should be checked before travelling. Tourist visas don’t allow visitors to engage in any employment, and there are two types of tourist visas: Two Weeks Tourist Visas Tourist visas are issued for stays of two weeks to citizens of the European Union (EU), Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and the USA. Applicants must possess valid, up-to-date passports and a return or onward ticket. A visa fee of BD5 is applied and can be obtained at entry at the Bahrain International Airport. 72 hour/7 day Visas This visa is obtained on arrival at the Bahrain International Airport or at the King Fahad Causeway. In addition to a passport, the passenger must have a confirmed return/onward journey ticket for the visa application to be processed. Living and working in Bahrain If you wish to live and legally work in Bahrain you will need to apply for the following visas and permits: 1- Work Visa To live in Bahrain, all expatriates must be sponsored. The majority of expatriates coming to Bahrain are sponsored by their employer for the purpose of work and residence. Most people are recruited from overseas and your employer will arrange for your entry visa before you arrive. You must also have a work permit to work in Bahrain. People wishing to visit or work in Bahrain would now be able to know if they are eligible for a visa, apply and even view its status electronically without the need of being present in person. The Bahraini government is trying through these services to help people get their visa applications processed in the fastest time possible without any delays as requirements are clearly stated for the e-visa to be issued. You can determine if you are eligible for any visa and what's required online: Online Visa eligibility - http://www.mofa.gov.bh/Default.aspx?tabid=147&language=en-US In case the information is invalid or unacceptable, procedures can be done manually following the below-mentioned steps. Employers are advised to arrange and process necessary documents to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority prior to the arrival of their employees and dependents. Be noted that: Work visas are issued based on the Non-Objection Certificate (N.O.C) issued by the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports, and Residence in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Working Visas cannot be issued without taking prior approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Requirements: Visa application form Employee’s passport Passport size photograph Sponsorship Letter: a letter of employment indicating employer’s name/organization, commercial registration number, employee’s capacity, salary, contract duration, employee’s name, birth date, and nationality Copy of the contract Health record from an authorized clinic BD100 fee 2- Residency Permit (Family Visa) This permit is submitted to Labour Market Regulatory Authority and issued by General Department for Nationality & Passport Residence. It requires the following: Application form Employee & family’s passport copies Employee’s sponsorship letter Employee’s contract Family health record from an authorized clinic BD22 fee per applicant 3- CPR Card (Identification Card) Submitted to and issued by Central Informatics Organization, you are required to get: Employee (or spouse) passport Sponsorship letter stating names of dependents Marriage certificate (for spouse) and birth certificate (for children) BD1 fee per applicant Why Bahrain is the coolest country in the Arab Gulf region to live in? The Kingdom of Bahrain has a super attractive cultural diversity as 45% of Bahrain’s population is expats coming from different countries around the world. This enriches Bahrain’s cultural life and turns it into a large platform displaying the world’s different lifestyles. You can find multiple restaurants boasting different cuisines from America, Asia, Europe, and Arabian food of course, culture centers, art galleries, and a unique state of harmony binding all these cultures together. Bahrain is popular for being more liberal than the surrounding Middle Eastern countries, but it still has moral rules that govern almost every aspect of life. Most of the locals speak English and are generally welcoming to foreigners. Also, there are presently over 25 faiths and respective churches in operation and about 60% of their population is expats, so the cultural diversity is immense. A number of multinational companies have set up headquarters in Bahrain’s capital city of Manama. Some of the other fields in which Bahrain is actively involved include trading, construction, ship repairs, and tourism. The island state is known to have the most liberal economy among all the Middle Eastern countries. Bahrain’s healthcare system has considerably improved during recent years. Expats will discover comprehensive healthcare infrastructure with options for public and private healthcare. There are a number of state-funded hospitals, private medical facilities, clinics and maternity hospitals. Compared to other countries in the region, Bahrain spends the most on health and is also one of the healthiest Gulf countries. Last but not least, Most people living and working in Bahrain maintain that they earn a larger disposable income and have a higher standard of living than they did in their home countries. So if you got the opportunity to make it and work in Bahrain don't think twice and be certain that the country's quality of life is a real worth! Also Read: Holidays in Bahrain: Things to do on your next holiday
Planning a vacation in Turkey? Discover and book the best luxury five-star hotels in Turkey, retreat boutiques, holiday villas, and in-house special experiences. Along the border between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Turkey has long been an interesting destination for travellers. It's steeped in history - there are a lot of antiquities and antiquities - but you can explore our collection and you will also discover some completely modern boutique hotels in Istanbul and luxury holiday areas in Bodrum and beyond. Hotels in Istanbul and throughout Turkey cover a full range of residences, from luxurious palace hotels to charming historic inns to simple, clean and cheap lodgings, to renting villas and apartments. Turkey has hundreds of special places to stay that don't easily fit into star categories: Ottoman Palace hostels, historic homes, boutique hotels, Cappadocian cave residences, etc. These often have many personalities, at least some modern amenities and sometimes all amenities. Here is a list of the best hotels in Turkey that you can stay in. Hotel Villa Turka One of the best hotels in Turkey is Villa Turka. This is a really elegant hotel with comfortable rooms, great home cooking, and great views. The multinational crew attracts discerning travellers who want a unique stay in one of the most picturesque locations on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. It is located in Alanya with very scenic views. Scrolling down the steep hill from the giant 'rock' that is the hallmark of this lively resort, you look left and down to a stunning medieval tower of red stone, beyond which the port is located, setting a framework for the high Taurus Mountains. A small beach is just a 5-minute walk from the hotel, and promenades in the fortified castle area everywhere, yet the bustling city center is just a 10-minute walk away. Vernacular architecture at its best, this elegant 19th-century Ottoman palace was magnificently restored to its former glory. Due to the slope of the hill on which it was built, Villa Turka is pendent balconies and verandas supported by 18-foot rice planks. Set in its lush grounds, this is what a true boutique hotel revolves around. This is really a family-run concern, as Ayşe, Lütfullah and their offspring Cem and Muge play a warm, welcoming and discreet role in catering to guests' needs. The 11 rooms consist of a variety of sizes, and this is reflected in the price, with one suite, several superior rooms, and some standard rooms. However, everything is equally comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, with the authentic Ottoman Turkish style accompanying the necessary modern means such as air conditioning and flat-screen TVs. One bar, all rooms enjoy panoramic views of the sea and castle. Ayşe's home cooking is great and the breakfast menu changes depending on the seasonal availability of some products, for example. Wild mushrooms. Fresh yogurt comes from a neighbor's cow, and a large portion of fresh fruit comes from the hotel's trees and bakes bread and pastries on site. Evening meals are served on request and always fresh fish (which is not farmed at all) - noon meals such as fresh carob cakes are fun. Courtyard Hotel Kalkan Kalkan hosts this boutique hotel located in a former Greek fishing village, as it is historically elegant, and serves great breakfasts on the balcony with sweeping views, not to mention the rooftop barbecues. The courtyard is located at the end of a narrow and quiet street that extends at right angles to the port and on the waterfront, just a few minutes' walk away, and is ideally located to make the most of the attractive cafes and restaurants in Kalkan. Three startling century cottages have been renovated to make it one of the most adorable hotels in Turkey and the leading boutique hotel in Kalkan. There are only six rooms, each individually designed, which ranges around a quiet and elegant courtyard, with characteristic mosaic flooring of gravel, potted plants, the spread of bougainvillea and lounging benches. The friendly and hot British-Turkish Marion and Hillel team have a master's role in measuring the requirements of their guests. If you want to join an improvised rooftop barbecue party, you will feel very welcome; if you prefer to keep yourself for the duration of your stay, the same amount will be taken care of. The sweet-smelling wood floors, ceilings, windows, and blinds are designed by the first-class craftsman and are completely complemented by light-coloured neutral walls, soft white linens and stone fireplaces, while the bathrooms are modern, stylish. It will be difficult for you to find more elegant and harmonious rooms than anywhere in Turkey. With this great selection of local dining establishments (side grills), there are no meals offered other than a wonderful breakfast, which is generally eaten on an attractive terrace with sweeping views of the city, the bay, and the small islands. There is a great offer to enjoy the view, including fresh cheese, olives, pastries, jam, honey, yogurt and more, as well as fresh coffee and juices. Sumahan on the Water Formerly an Ottoman-era distillery, it was converted into an award-winning hotel by its distinguished American Turkish owners. Since the hotel is located on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, guests arrive from Europe at the launch of the hotel itself. There can be a few fine ways to start a visit to Istanbul. The launch of the hotel will take you to the European side of the Bosphorus in Kabatch - a wonderful scenic journey in itself - from where it is easy to catch the tram to the old city, which is a ferry to the Princes' Islands, or take a funicular train to the Buzz Beyoglu. It is hard to imagine a better combination of a great waterfront location, a magnificent historic building, and a sympathetic contemporary restoration. Inside there are plenty of exposed bricks, stoneworks, steel beams and split levels, while from the outside, the simple functional façade draws attention from its symmetrical arched windows and a green dining table. Sumahan also seems the perfect place to experience the traditional Turkish spirit, rakı (the best with mezze and fish meal), and for decades the soul produced in raki production, drawn from fig syrup, was produced here. The ancestors of the co-owners of Nedret were actually the owners of the distillery, so it seems very appropriate that she and her American husband, Mark, would still preside over this large old historic building. It is very easy for both to be engineers by profession. There is an intimacy here that is hard to imagine in a city of more than 15 million people, and it seems that it is always a member of the staff on hand to cater to the needs of the guests. The fitness centre has the latest machines, and at the other end of the spectrum of activity, there is a well-equipped library of over 800 books linked to Turkey - ideal for discovering more about art, literature, history and Istanbul's vibrant sites - and a relaxing wellness centre offering a variety of massages. One of the best things about Sumahan is that all rooms have a great view of the Bosphorus, and you can either lie on the bed or sit on a comfortable chair, watching the sun play on the water outside. Light flows into carefully designed rooms through floor-to-ceiling windows, illuminating contemporary interiors elegantly, but never volatile. Think of natural wood floors, neutral walls, simple lively curtains, elegant upholstery, upholstered tastefully, small vases of flowers, modern Italian light fixtures and flames caused by the real fires of most rooms. Breakfast, which is eaten in a comfortable room in the basement, is a wonderful Turkish and international restaurant, with everything from homemade jams to fresh goat's cheese, crunchy mushrooms to fresh coffee. The on-site Waterfront Restaurant is good for international dishes, including pasta, grilled meat, and fish, although Turkish dishes are available - try the delicious kuzu sırtı külbastı (lamb meat served with smoked eggplant purée, peppers, onions and pomegranate filled with molasses). Home-made delicious wines are also available. All these features make Sumahan one of the most luxurious hotels in Turkey that you can visit or stay in. Pera Palace Hotel Another great hotel and one of the best hotels in Turkey is the Pera Palace Hotel. Located in Istanbul, it does not come full of history or air. As the hotel was built by Belgian businessman George Nagelmakers to accommodate passengers arriving on the Orient Express train from Paris. Guests here bring everyone from Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie to Atatürk and Greta Garbo. Hotel Villa Mahal One of the best boutique hotels in Turkey, especially in this beautiful corner of Kalkan in southwestern Turkey. This small, friendly, extremely elegant and stylish run hotel is the perfect place for a relaxing romantic break or as a base for exploring the magnificent ancient sites, the indented coastal coastline and the backyard area of Lycia. Discover more about Turkey: Turkish Shopping: Best malls in Istanbul Cappadocia: An adventure in the heart of nature Turkish food: The best restaurants in Istanbul
Are you planning to travel to the Maldives? In the beginning, you should know the best time to visit Maldives and the most important tourist attractions that attract tourists, whether for individuals who spend a honeymoon or for family and friends. About the Maldives The breathtaking nature and the unspeakable views you find in the Maldives, which is dreamed of by tourism and travel lovers, it is one of the most attractive tourist areas in the world and where tourists from all over the world come, as it is a destination for spending honeymoon or enjoying a wonderful time with family or friends. The Maldives is located in the north-central Indian Ocean and consists of a group of islands, extending for more than 820 km from north to south and 130 km from east to west. Maldives is an independent country and its capital is Mali. With an area of about 298 square kilometers, and its population reaches approximately 392,473 people. The language spoken by the majority of the population is the Dhivehi language that contains many of the Arabic vocabularies, it is an Islamic country where all of the inhabitants are Muslims, but economically, Maldives is a middle-income country that has been run by the fisheries and tourism sectors recently. If you are looking for the best time to visit Maldives, you will get to know it through this article, knowing the most important tourist places in it. Tourism in Maldives Maldives is one of the best tourist destinations where the country seeks to build many resorts, the Maldives is characterized by the beauty of its charming landscapes, there are more than 90 luxury resorts and meet the needs of tourists with many recreational activities such as surfing and exploring marine life under the depths of "diving" or swimming in its clear waters. It is also a haven for those looking for recreation and tranquility as it is not crowded with people. If you want to relax away from your daily routine, why not go to the Maldives for your next vacation? Top attractions This is a glimpse of the most important places to visit when you arrive in the Maldives: - Malé Island This island is the capital of the Maldives, as it is the largest and busiest island. It reflects the unique and attractive character through brightly colored buildings and maze-like streets with many markets and mosques such as the old Friday Mosque and characterized by green spaces. It also includes many artifacts and historical sites where visitors to the island enjoy visiting the National Museum, as well as many restaurants, shops and commercial markets. If you're heading to this island, then you will surely find something that interests you with the stunning views. - Grand Mosque of Friday As we mentioned above, Islam is the first religion in the Maldives, and the Grand Mosque of Friday is one of the largest mosques in Maldives, as tourists visit it because of its unique design and considered it one of the most historical monuments in the islands. When you get close to the mosque, you will find its golden dome and minaret painted in gold, and when you enter it, you will find Islamic sculptures and decorations. It also includes an Islamic center that offers religious sites and holds public meetings and is characterized by its large area that accommodates more than 5000 worshipers. - National Museum When you decide to visit the Maldives, you should go to the National Museum, which is a sign of tourism in the Maldives, where was opened in 1952, which was established with the aim of preserving the history of the Maldives and bringing the national feelings of the people. The building of the old palace in the garden of Sultan's House was converted into a museum and became the National Museum of the State. The museum includes a group of historical exhibits that depict the country's heritage, in addition to many sultans' holdings, such as the ornaments and costumes of kings and queens, their wives. The museum also contains many stones that have existed since pre-Islamic, paper, cloth, manuscripts, weapons and shields, and pictures of important figures. - Addu Atoll This island is located in the south of the country, and many travelers flock to it because of its international fame, as it includes a group of the finest tourist resorts in the Maldives and is characterized by the pure waters that reefs spread in its charming colors. - Paradise Island If you are a fan of sports and leisure activities, this resort is the best to visit because it offers many recreational activities such as diving, surfing, water skiing, canoeing, basketball and volleyball, and it also provides tourists with the opportunity to enjoy the island's magnificent beaches. It is the third largest resort in the Maldives. - Hulhumale Island It is an artificial island south of Malé Island and is considered one of the best artificial islands in Maldives. The island is filled with hotels and beachfront resorts. Accommodation When you think of Maldives, you will find many affordable options on various local islands. The prices of accommodation in the hotel vary according to the hotel ratings in terms of quality of service and accommodation. For example, 3-star hotels, the cost of one-night accommodations starts from 150 to 200 dollars, while 4-star hotels start at $ 250 to $ 700 per night, while the price One night in hotels 5 stars to $ 2000. Weather in Maldives The average temperature in the Maldives is almost stable all year round, around 29/32 ° C. The humidity is stable throughout the year, at around 80%. There are two distinct seasons: the dry season (northeastern is monsoon) and the humidity season (the south-westerly monsoon). Best time to visit Maldives Maldives is a charming tourist destination, famous for its beautiful beaches, clear sky and pleasant tourist places. Therefore, many tourists want to visit the Maldives, but each person has his own climate in which he/she prefers to travel. We show you the best time to visit Maldives. From December to April If you love sunny weather then the Maldives is an ideal vacation destination. From December to April, you can choose the islands in the far south, which is characterized by a sunny atmosphere. During this period, rainfall is rare and the temperature is warm. Also, prices in this period are high due to the arrival of many people looking for sunlight with less humidity. Many consider that the period between February and April is the best time to visit Maldives, as the resorts are crowded with tourists who come from all over the world. From May to November Traveling at this time of the year is fairly reasonable, so it is the best time to visit Maldives due to the presence of fewer people in resorts, which means enjoying surfing and diving to see life on the coral reef. Tips before traveling to Maldives - Expenses It is known that the Maldives is not a producing country and therefore all beverages and food are imported from abroad, which increases the prices when buying and when reserving hotels and resorts. Also, you should always be sure to have cash with you because there are no ATMs in the Maldives except the capital, so if you need to get some cash, you will have to go to Malé, which is expensive. - Check how you can get to the airport Some hotels are close to the capital and can be easily reached, while others are only accessible by air taxi, seaplanes that operate only until 3 pm, and then as your plane arrived after 3:00, you will need to spend a night in Male and get the first air taxi the next day. You have to choose an easily accessible island in order to avoid fatigue and spend more money. - Don't travel to the capital If you intend to stay in Malé the Capital of the Maldives, expect an increase in prices, because it includes many hotels and high-priced beaches compared to other islands, and therefore you can stay in those other islands in a way that suits your budget. - Electronic communication The Maldives is ideal for those who want to give up their daily routine and live the experience of a journey without an electronic connection, but if you have to get online you should ask in advance about internet connection services at your place of residence where some resorts offer this service for free.
New year, new beginnings, new plans, and new roads to hit; Are you wondering about where to head next? Don't think too much. In this article, we bring you the best travel destinations 2020 with a sneak peek at the most exciting and interesting events from all over the world. We bet you're definitely going to want to put these spots on your travel wish list so Enjoy reading! Egypt From its great history, ancient treasures and interesting culture to its flowing Nile, warm sun, vast deserts, and cool beaches, Egypt has too much to offer than anyone can expect. It's not an exaggeration at all to define the "perfect vacation" with only one word: Egypt. Why? Simply, Because Egypt has it all. Egypt features a diversity of worship serene places, mind-blowing Nile cruise tours, thrilling desert adventures, therapeutic tourism spots, magical beaches and of course a wide range of delicious food. Most importantly in 2020, the Grand Egyptian Museum which is the largest archaeological museum in the world will open to the public and the exhibits will include thousands of ancient Egyptian artifacts that have never been seen before! Croatia With its breathtaking coastal vistas, hidden islands and incredible food, Croatia represents the perfect balance between relaxation, culture, and activity. The young European country was named the top “Emerging Destination” for the new decade, honoring the stir caused by the "Game of Thrones" effect, dramatic landscapes, and proximity to other European destinations. In 2020, when Croatia’s third city will be honored as a European Capital of Culture, plenty is planned within the port town to mark the occasion. More than 1,000 official musical performances will be held, as well as literary events, art exhibitions, and parties. But the most remarkable event is the reopening of the ship Galeb (Seagull), which is being refurbished and transformed into a museum in the global spotlight. United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates is the destination where luxury meets the future. Dubai the capital is home to not only the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, but also the largest artificial islands in the world, the Palm Islands. 2020 will be a particularly special time to visit the UAE since the Expo 2020, the first World Expo held in the Middle East, will be happening from October 20, 2020, and April 10, 2021. The theme of the event is "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" and over 130 countries will be participating in the pavilions and events. The United Arab Emirates is one of the best, must-consider travel destinations in 2020. Costa Rica Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and a popular destination among lovers of nature and wildlife. With its abundance of wildlife, lush rainforests, and pristine beaches, Costa Rica offers marvelous adventure, culture and even some useful insight into living a happy life. People of Costa Rica extremely value happiness, down to their "Pura Vida" philosophy, which means ‘the simple life’ and encapsulates Costa Ricans’ ability to appreciate the little things. 2020 brings new cultural and adventure activities. For example; chocolate lovers will get a kick out of a new route through the province of Talamanca that guides visitors through 17 factories, demonstrating the importance of cacao in Costa Rica. And for thrill-seekers, a cycling route is opening around the Arenal Volcano in the Central Pacific region. Greece The Greek islands have always been a popular choice for both international and local travellers. Besides its outstanding Greek museums and archaeological sites, Greece is known for its delectable cuisine and traditional dishes which have stood the test of time offering the perfect balance of healthy, fresh and flavorful. For 2020, the Santorini Council has made plans for new roads and parking areas to make the town more accessible. Furthermore, several new hotels are opening. Coming to Seajets, it has added 17 ships to its fleet for 2020 and is the largest high-speed fleet of the Aegean. Greece is absolutely one of the best travel destinations you shouldn't miss in 2020! Sri Lanka With an abundance of natural wonders, overflowing UNESCO World Heritage sites, exquisite cuisine, world-class hotels, enchanting wildlife, and a rich cultural legacy, there is no wonder why Sri Lanka has shot to the top of the list of many travellers dream destinations. For 2020, The government announced a decrease in handling charges for airlines and a cut in aviation fuel prices, which means cheaper airfare in and out of the country. It will be a perfect time to discover the beautiful country, making your way through tea plantations, rainforests, temples, national parks, and the southern coast. Brazil South America’s largest country and the world’s most biologically diverse, Brazil is one of the most diverse and fascinating countries in the world offering everything from 2,000+ tropical beaches to amazing Amazonian adventures. UNESCO selected Rio de Janeiro as the first World Capital of Architecture for 2020. Rio will be celebrating with special events all year. And that’s in addition to hosting the world’s largest party, Carnival, one of the major cultural events which annually drawing thousands of revelers to different cities. The whole country transforms itself in the carnival season, with endless possibilities of fun from North to South, including numerous street carnival blocks and groups in all cities. Additionally, the Formula One motor race "Brazilian Grand Prix" will be held in November. Poland As a country that has been through a re-birth process, Poland is, today, the success story of Eastern Europe. The country has embraced its re-birth process, which is especially evident in its contemporary and restoration architecture, as well as in its love of culture, entertainment, and hospitality. The year 2020 commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Poland remembers the tragedy of war, with a death count of almost 6 million citizens—about one-fifth of the pre-war population. Today, the country welcomes guests to dually understand the atrocities that occurred within its borders and witness its process to heal. Japan From its ultra-high-tech cities and world-beating food to its grand temples and bamboo forests, there really is no other country like Japan. 2020 marks the year the Summer Olympics head to Japan for the second time. Swap the fever-pitch festivities in the capital for an enjoyable experience in the birthplace of the country’s most famous martial arts export, karate, which has just been added to the Games roster. The Olympic torch relay passes through Okinawa prefecture, from Naha to Nago, on May 2 and 3, bringing with it a host of celebratory activities. Argentina Argentina is famous for many things: great wine; spectacular landscapes; the tango; FOOTBALL… yet Argentina will have another claim to fame in 2020: It will be one of the best places on the planet to witness a rare total solar eclipse. This year on December 14 in the afternoon, at the small town of Fortin Nogueyra, visitors will be able to experience one minute and 57 seconds of totality. Obviously, Argentina is one of the best travel destinations in 2020, so make sure of marking it on your calendar. Also Read: 7 cheapest travel destinations in the world for low-budget travelers
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