Moving to Bahrain
Expats moving to Bahrain will experience low-slung sea shores, a busy and engaging city life and a blend of modernity with traditional Muslim culture found on this archipelago.
Often referred to as "Middle East lite", Bahrain can be considered a starter course set out to introduce foreigners to the characteristics so commonplace in many Persian Gulf nations. The country is considerably more liberal than its neighbours, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but is still rooted in an Arab belief system.
There is a sizeable expat community of more than 500,000 individuals, many of whom are more than willing to provide support to newcomers. However, expats relocating to this Gulf state will still have to contend with elements of culture shock and make some adjustments to their lifestyle.
Most expats moving to Bahrain do so for improved career opportunities. The earning potential for expats is high in Bahrain and many report enjoying a higher standard of living than they had experienced in their home country.
As the financial centre of the Middle East, highly skilled foreigners will find plenty of positions available in the banking and construction sectors. Furthermore, as Bahrain had made intense efforts to diversify its economy beyond the petroleum industry, jobs in many multinational firms exist as well.
Moving to Bahrain also means bigger houses for many. A huge variety of accommodation designed to suit all budgets and tastes eagerly await new tenants. Expats can choose between towering high-rises, stand-alone villas or even homes enclaved in a secure compound.
While expats with children are unlikely to enrol their little ones in any of Bahrain's public schools, plenty of excellent private and international options exist. Spots disappear quickly, though, so it's important to make registration a priority upon relocation.
As far as Middle Eastern destinations are concerned, Bahrain is increasingly becoming an expat favourite and is a fantastic alternative location for those based in neighbouring countries looking to situate their families in a more liberal environment.