- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Bahrain (PDF)
Expats moving to Bahrain are bound to have many queries and concerns about their soon-to-be home. Below we provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about moving to Bahrain.
Is there an expat community in Bahrain?
Absolutely. Bahrain is one of the most popular expat destinations in the Middle East, with a significant portion of the population being expats. These expats are attracted by job opportunities, lucrative employment packages and little to no personal tax. New arrivals in Bahrain should settle quite easily into the expat community.
Do I need a car in Bahrain?
Expats will almost certainly need a car in Bahrain. Public transportation is limited to buses and isn't very reliable, and private taxis can make getting from point A to point B expensive. Even if you live in the city centre, summer temperatures skyrocket and intense humidity can make for damp clothes and discomfort.
Expats can either lease or buy a car in Bahrain. Petrol is inexpensive and the vehicles are generally reasonably priced. In many cases, expats are able to afford cars that they would never dream of driving in their home country. That said, driving behaviour in Bahrain is erratic and expats should always buckle up and drive defensively.
Do woman in Bahrain need to cover up?
Though Bahrain is a Muslim nation, modernity and liberalism have been much more integrated into society than in neighbouring countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Expat women dress in Western clothes in public spaces and, generally speaking, what is appropriate in Western countries is most likely appropriate in Bahrain. That said, it's generally best not to wear anything too skintight or revealing in order to avoid attracting attention.
Will I have to partake in Ramadan?
Expats experiencing Ramadan for the first time can suffer from some culture shock. They don't have to partake, but eating or drinking in public is not allowed during Ramadan. It's also considered disrespectful to eat or drink in front of Muslim colleagues or friends who are fasting. Many workplaces, particularly multinational companies that employ lots of expats, will have a dedicated room for non-Muslim expats to eat and drink during Ramadan.
Expats should also be aware that businesses, restaurants and grocery stores may adjust their opening hours to better fit the daily meal times during Ramadan, staying shut during daylight hours.