Bahrain has attracted expats for decades. The expat population outnumbers the locals. Bahrain is the Persian Gulf’s commercial and cultural center. Although it is a small sovereign state, it is the fourth most densely inhabited in the world with approximately 1.3 million people. Bahrainis make up about 48% of the population, while the rest are foreigners. Professional expats relocating to Bahrain will find great pay. No personal taxes make it an attractive expat location. Most Bahrainis claim to have a higher disposable income and standard of living than in their native nations. Nearly 70% of workers are expats. Bahraini life and work are examined here with the help of the moving company Bahrain.
Bahrain has long attracted expats, but recent economic and political reforms have made it more attractive to foreign enterprises and professionals. Bahrain, a progressive Islamic nation, has allowed women to vote since 2002. Despite this, some believe political liberalisation is far from complete.
The official religion of Bahrain is Islam, but only 70% of the population is Muslim due to a large number of foreigners. The second-largest religious group in Bahrain is Christians, at 14.5 per cent. The official language of Bahrain is Arabic, but English is commonly spoken. In a recent expat study, Bahrain was named among the top five countries for quality of life.
Although Bahrain is liberal, most of its people are conservative. Even if religious tolerance is high in daily life, local and religious practices must be respected. In public, foreigners—especially Western women—should dress modestly as suggested by the relocation companies in Bahrain.
Relations between men and women are likewise regulated. During Ramadan, public expressions of affection are deemed insulting and forbidden. Living together and sexual connections are forbidden outside of marriage, however, married couples can hold hands. Unmarried women who get pregnant may be imprisoned. Homosexuality between consenting adults is legal, although it can lead to social prejudice and penal punishment under public morality laws.
Like other Islamic nations, Bahrainis do not drink alcohol because it is forbidden. Alcohol sales and usage are legal for non-Muslims. Licensed bars, motels, and businesses sell alcohol. Drunkenness in public is still a criminal crime. Bahrain has strong drunk driving laws.
Living in Bahrain
Bahrain has Arab roots but is now a multicultural nation. Though more liberal than its Middle Eastern neighbours, the country has moral rules that control practically every aspect of life. Reading about Arab culture before migrating to Bahrain will help expats. Many inhabitants speak English and welcome outsiders from moving company Bahrain.
Even with traditional clothing, residents dress well. Men often wear dishdashas and gutras, the traditional attire. Women wear gorgeous abayas without covering their heads or faces. Shoulders and knees are covered according to custom. Wearing exposing clothes may cause harassment. Both men and women should dress conservatively in business.
According to relocation companies in Bahrain, foreigners may find Ramadan culture shock. Food and drink are only allowed after nightfall and before morning. Work hours might be changed. Non-Muslim employees can eat in a designated area during fasting at several companies.
Bahraini etiquette must be maintained when living and working there. Avoid alcoholic gifts when visiting a local. Gifts are usually opened after guests leave. Visitors to Bahraini homes may be asked to leave their shoes at the door.
Men in Bahrain shake hands and kiss on the cheeks if they know each other. Women hug and kiss each other but rarely shake hands with men. Expats should remember that men can only shake hands with women who offer. Refusing tea or coffee is impolite. Bahrainis like socialising, but men and women often do it separately.
Muslims in Bahrain cannot drink alcohol, although anyone over 18 can. Alcohol is sold to expats at outlets distant from residential and school areas. The government manages club membership, therefore it may take time. Many expats find it worthwhile since it puts them near like-minded people, including locals.
Bahrain’s healthcare system has improved significantly. Expats will find public and private healthcare choices. Private and state-funded hospitals, clinics, and maternity hospitals exist. Bahrain has the highest health spending in the Gulf and is one of the healthiest.
The healthcare system also has issues. Since the country attracts many people, the government must try to accommodate expats and migrant workers. Free and subsidised healthcare is available to nationals. This also applies to CPR-holding expats. However, foreigners must pay for emergencies. The country’s small population means few wait times.
The International Hospital of Bahrain, Awali Hospital, and Bahrain Specialist Hospital are well-regarded private hospitals. Bahrain has high-quality medical care, however, there are few specialized treatment centers, therefore expats may have to travel outside Bahrain.
Working in Bahrain
Petroleum was discovered in Bahrain in 1932. Early modernization was driven by the oil sector. Local government tried to diversify the economy. Bahrain still relies on petroleum for almost half of its exports and government revenue. Bahrain has become a regional financial capital and a major banking player. Due to economic progress, many multinational corporations have headquarters in Manama, Bahrain’s capital. Bahrain also engages in business, building, ship repairs, and tourism. The island nation has the most free economy in the Middle East. Women work too. Conservative dress is demanded of expats at work. For males and women. Since English is widely spoken in Bahrain, expats should have little trouble speaking with coworkers.
Bahraini work culture differs from Western society in some aspects. Small conversation is common. It helps expats get to know their coworkers personally. Bahraini workplace culture values punctuality. Being late or unprepared might hurt one’s reputation. Bahraini workers work from 7 am to 2 pm. Many people take a break in the afternoon, the warmest time of the day, and return to work later that afternoon and evening. Working hours are decreased during Ramadan.
Tourist visa holders can work in Bahrain. Expats are mostly engaged by employment firms abroad. Individual enterprises can hire expats. A letter of introduction helps expats.
A sponsoring employer must apply for the expat to work lawfully in Bahrain. Reasons must be given why local workers could not provide the expertise. Contractual expats receive an ‘indemnity’ at the contract end. This figure is based on salary without bonuses and varies by contract length. Long-term Bahraini workers can earn a lot. Expat workers are legally entitled to a bonus at the end of the contract called indemnification, which is not insurance. An international business climate awaits expats in Bahrain. Bahrain placed 53rd out of 189 countries in the 2015 Ease of Doing Business Survey. Bahrain did well with property registration, taxes, and development permits.
Business culture in most Arab countries emphasises human interactions. Thus, initial meetings are for relationship-building. Business moves slowly, therefore rushing it is inappropriate. Coffee or kahwa is typically served at business meetings. Bahrainis speak indirectly to preserve face. They also fear disappointing people by refusing. Openly disagreeing is uncommon.
Formal business dress is required regardless of the weather. Women in business dress modestly, covering their arms and legs. Local businesspeople may wear dishdashas. Bahraini corporate culture generally welcomes international investment. Businesspeople abroad are expected to respect local culture and tradition but not to follow it. According to international moving companies in Bahrain living and working in Bahrain has various benefits, including no personal or income tax on monthly income. Only 1% of the monthly wage is deducted to subsidise the unemployed. So check for more updates with the international moving companies in Bahrain.