The Expat Insider survey is conducted each year by InterNations, a network of 2.8 million expats based in Munich. It aims to capture the views of millions of executives, skilled workers, students and retirees who live outside the country where they grew up. There are about 50 million expats worldwide, according to market research by Finaccord, and the number is expected to hit 60 million over the next five years.
The top-ranked country in 2017 is Bahrain, given high marks by its expats as a place to work and raise a family and for making foreigners feel welcome. It vastly outranks Persian Gulf neighbours such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which ranked in the bottom 10 of the 65 countries in the survey.
By sea, you can sail, dolphin watch, fish, scuba dive or kite surf. On land, there are gyms, horse riding stables and sports clubs, including rugby, tennis, soccer, cricket and basketball. Furthermore, our Royal Golf Club, designed by international champion Colin Montgomerie, is a unique attraction.
The costs of living in Bahrain is relatively low, with basic costs such as utilities charges being the most affordable in the MENA region.
Work & Employment
Many expats choose to work in Bahrain because of the easy tax free lifestyle that the Kingdom can afford them. Major companies and organisations usually offer employees, in addition to a tax free salary, a housing allowance, education allowance (for their children) and visas for their families. This allows for employees to save most of their earnings. Furthermore Bahrain has easy access to the rest of the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa because of the international airport.
Dress Code in Bahrain
Bahrain is one of the most tolerant countries in the Middle East when it comes to dress code, however there are some general guidelines that should be observed by both men and women.
In a nutshell, whilst you are out in public, you should have everything from your shoulders to your knees covered. You should also not wear clothing that is too tight or see-through. In general, the Bahrainis are very tolerant of other cultures and love to dress up. Make sure that wherever you go, you look as good as possible and that your clothes are pressed and clean.
New Labour Reforms Will Benefit Women in Bahrain
The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) announced that there will be major reforms to the labour market to be implemented this year and women are the biggest beneficiaries.
Chief Executive of the LMRA Ausamah Al Absi stated that expat women may soon be able to sponsor their husbands. This marks a huge step in making them on par with working men. Another significant change will be that housewives already in Bahrain will be able to start working without having to change their original sponsor. This will allow many women to join the labour force and hence adding new talent and skills that will certainly benefit the country.