An Expats Comprehensive Relocation Guide: Bahrain

An Expats Comprehensive Relocation Guide: Bahrain

A small island country located near the shores of the Persian Gulf, Bahrain is somewhat defined by its relationship with water – ‘Two Seas’ in Arabic, Bahrain is surrounded by water, much of which is shallow and being constantly reclaimed by the inhabitants.

Key Industries

Bahrain was the first country in the Gulf to discover oil, however it does not solely rely on its oil and has shifted its focus to finance, becoming one of the financial centres of the Middle East.

Construction in this country has been on the rise in recent years with some of the world’s most beautiful buildings being built here, namely the Bahrain World Trade Center.

Income Tax

Just like everywhere else in the Gulf, the tax situation is very simple in Bahrain…. there is none! With no personal income tax, it means you get to keep more of what you earn making your pay packet feel larger than it is.

Visa Information

According to the ministry of foreign affairs visa’s are dependent on whats called a Non-Objection Certificate (N.O.C.) which is issued by the General Directorate of nationality, passports, and residence in Bahrain.

They first must be accepted by the Ministry which you can apply for online here.

Although you can find most details in the form, things you must have to fill out the form is a sponsor, duration of residence, passport details and what type of visa you are applying for. If you have secured employment beforehand, your employer should fill this out.

Cost of Living

Bahrain averages around middle of the pack in terms of expensive places to live in the Gulf. For example, a meal for two in the city would cost around $40 USD at a mid range restaurant.

In terms of living, a one bedroom apartment inside of the city center would set you back around US $925  and a three bedroom apartment would cost US $1,750. Those prices drop outside of the city center with apartments averaging US $716 and US $1375 for one bedroom and three bedroom apartments respectively.


The majority of international workers of an executive or senior level are given a call, housing and oftentimes education allowance for them and their families.

There are a number of housing options available including apartments and villas, eithBahrainer on their own or within a compound, however, most places have some form of security.

Rent on accommodation has gone up in recent years do to many people working in Saudi Arabia now base their families in Bahrain.

Healthcare services in Bahrain are of a good quality with both state run and private healthcare facilities.

Education is also very good, however private education is a necessity, so when seeking employment opportunities see if an education allowance can be agreed.

Career Considerations

The expatriate community makes up for around 40% of the workforce in Bahrain and whilst the government is working hard to increase the numbers of local residents being hired there is still, and likely always will be a high demand for international professionals.

As mentioned above, construction is a large sector in Bahrain and requires many international workers. The same is true for specialist roles in large industrial companies.

Find out more about the career opportunities in Bahrain by reading the job market update, 2015.