Formerly known as Brunei Town, Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital city of Brunei–the country officially named the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace. Also called Brunei Darussalam, Brunei was the fifth-richest country in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita according to WorldsRichestCountries.com as of October 2016.
One iconic landmark associated with Bandar Seri Begawan is the world’s largest residential palace. The Istana Nurul Iman palace has 1,788 rooms, 257 bathrooms, a banquet hall that can accommodate 5,000 people, a garage for 110 cars and an air-conditioned stable for 200 polo ponies. Brunei’s showcase palace is not only the official home of Brunei’s 29th Sultan, but also serves as the seat of the national government. The esteemed building was completed in 1984 at a total cost of $1.4 billion.
Geographically, Brunei is a sovereign state located on the island of Borneo’s north coast in Southeast Asia. Brunei is surrounded by Malaysia while its coastline overlooks the South China Sea. Located in the Brunei-Muara District, Muara Port is the country’s biggest port.
Brunei’s export sales totaled US$4.7 billion in 2016. International Trade Centre statistics show that the country’s highest-value exported products are liquefied natural gas, crude petroleum oil and methyl alcohol.
Capital Facts for Bandar Seri Begawan: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, Royal Regalia Museum and the Kg Kianggeh Open Air Market
Below, you will find a sampling of the most famous people born in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei:
- Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan, billionaire & world’s richest monarch (born Jul. 15, 1946)
- Wu Chun, singer & actor (born Oct. 10, 1979)
- Maziah Mahusin, Olympic hurdler (born Mar. 18, 1993)
- Jefri Bolkiah, Prince of Brunei (born Nov. 6, 1954)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a resident of Bandar Seri Begawan: Seri Begawanese
Population: 279,924 (Brunei-Muara District)
Density: 1,270 people per square mile (490 per square kilometer)
Population: 436,620 (Brunei)
Density: 215 people per square mile (83 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$33.73 billion in 2016 (for Brunei, per CIA World Factbook)
GDP per person: $79,711 (as of October 2016 per WorldsRichestCountries.com)
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Bandar Seri Begawan were unavailable.
Official currency used in Bandar Seri Begawan: Brunei dollar
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on January 17, 2017
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, East & Southeast Asia: Brunei. Accessed on July 24, 2017
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on July 24, 2017
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on July 24, 2017
Guinness World Records, Largest residential palace. Accessed on July 24, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 24, 2017
Official Government Website, Bandar Seri Begawan Municipal Department, Ministry of Home Affairs. Accessed on July 24, 2017
The World Factbook, East & Southeast Asia: Brunei, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on July 24, 2017
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas – Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on July 24, 2017
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on July 24, 2017
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Bandar Seri Begawan. Accessed on July 24, 2017
Wikipedia, Brunei-Muara District. Accessed on July 24, 2017
Wikipedia, Brunei. Accessed on July 24, 2017
World Population Review, Population of Cities in Brunei (2016). Accessed on July 24, 2017
Strictly speaking, Bandar Seri Begawan’s municipal city limits encompassed an estimated 64,409 residents in 2016 per the World Population Review. Bandar Seri Begawan is also the state capital for the Brunei-Muara District which is why most analysts focus on district metrics for the capital city’s land area and population statistics. Brunei-Muara District’s latest available population count was 279,924 people in 2011 with a land area equal to 220 square miles (571 square kilometers).
At the country level, Brunei’s land area covers 2,033 square miles (5,265 square kilometers). The national population count was 436,620 inhabitants as of July 2016.
Population density is higher within the Brunei-Muara District with an average 1,270 Bruneians per square mile (490 per square kilometer).
The overall country density metrics drop to an average 215 people per square mile (83 per square kilometer) for Brunei overall.
For Brunei overall, population density drops to an average 220 inhabitants per square mile (80 per square kilometer).
Brunei broke from British protection on February 23, 1984. Bruneians celebrate National Day as a public holiday each February 23.