TransferWise is up to 8x cheaper. Banks set their own exchange rate to make money off you. TransferWise gives you the real exchange rate, also known as the "mid-market rate". Cut out the bank charges, get started with TransferWise today. Why Move to Bahrain? Many people move to Bahrain to further their career. A country that has a thriving banking and construction industry there are plenty of job opportunities at many levels. Highly skilled workers can command impressive salaries and there are plenty of expats who come to Bahrain to build an early retirement fund.
Others will choose the country for its low cost but high standards of living with families able to afford much larger houses and have more of a disposable income. With an impressive education system both in state funded and international schools, there is plenty to commend a move to this Middle Eastern jewel.
Visitors must be able to demonstrate that they have a return or onward ticket to be able to obtain a visitors visa. Working In order to both live and work in the Kingdom, visitors must apply for both a residency and work visa as well as a CPR Card Identification Card.
Work visas must be obtained from the Labour Market Regulatory Authority. Applicants must complete a work visa application form as well as provide a letter of sponsorship indicating the type of employment, remuneration and full details of the employer. In addition, a copy of the contract, passport sized photograph and a completed health assessment from an approved clinic must also be supplied.
Bahrain is keen to support and promote new business ventures in the Kingdom and the process of obtaining a work visa is straightforward, The Economic Development Board provides useful services to news businesses aimed at helping entrepreneurs to establish the right networks to make their business succeed. They are particularly keen to help and promote investment in the country.
Similar documentation is required as for the work visa and must be submitted to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority. As well as a sponsorship letter from a current resident of the country, applicants must provide proof of ID birth certificates for children and marriage certificates for spouses as well as their passport. Citizenship It is not easy to obtain Bahraini citizenship and, other than citizenship by birth, descent and marriage, foreigners may only apply for citizenship if: They have lived in Bahrain for 20 years 15 years if an Arab citizen ; They have no criminal record and are of good standing; Has knowledge of the Arabic language.
It is also useful if the applicant has property or real estate in Bahrain. Way of Life in Bahrain Lifestyle Bahrain is a nation built on strong religious beliefs and its culture and people are defined by the Islamic faith.
The Bahrainis are tolerant and open-minded to visitors to the country but expect their values and culture to be respected. However, other faiths and religions are treated with equal respect and expats who wish to observe the traditions of their own faith can do so peaceably. Daily life is punctuated by the Islamic faith and you should respect these differences. Muslims pray five times a day, at very specific times.
These prayers are observed irrespective of where and when they occur and it is not unusual for a bus you are travelling on to pull over so that the passengers and driver can observe their daily prayers. Calls to prayer are often broadcast from the mosques using a speaker system which begins before dawn and can be a shock the first time you are woken to the sound. You will become accustomed to this in time and it will become a part of the rich cultural diversity of life that Bahrain offers.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. As the sun sets across Bahrain you will find restaurants full of Bahrainis breaking their fast with the traditional meal of Iftar. Whilst the fasting may not directly affect non-Muslims, the Ramadan period is observed with great sobriety during the daylight hours. It is punishable by law to play loud music, dance, eat, drink and smoke in public. A conservative nation there are other laws which must be observed by visitors to the country.
Sexual relationships outside of marriage are illegal and cohabiting with someone whom you are not married to even in a hotel is illegal.
Being pregnant outside of marriage can also carry serious implications. Generally, public displays of affection are not tolerated although holding hands is okay between married couples. On an enlightened front, same-sex relationships between adults over the age of 21 is legal in Bahrain although the same rules apply when it comes to public displays of affection.
Aggressive behaviour and offensive language or gestures can result in fines or imprisonment. Drunken behaviour, spitting and road rage carry the same punishments. Having said all of this, Bahrain is quite a liberal country and tolerates other cultures and faiths very respectfully. Citizens and visitors enjoy their entertainment and there are plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants in which to spend a good night out.
The key is moderation when it comes to alcohol and not to get drunk enough to cause offense. The evening plays a big role in the Bahrain day and centres around an evening meal with family and friends. Because of the temperature drop, the evenings are a great way to explore the cities and spend leisurely time enjoying the company of friends in the outdoors. Dress An Islamic country, the dress code in Bahrain is conservative and some rules should be observed to avoid causing offense.
All forms of nudity are strictly forbidden including topless sunbathing and care should be taken in public to avoid exposing too much flesh. Clothing should not be transparent, expose the body indecently or carry any slogans etc.
If you fail to comply with these guidelines you may be asked to leave an establishment or you can attract the wrong kind of attention from the law. With the extreme heat in summer, covering up is essential and you will generally move from one air-conditioned area to another car, home, office, shopping mall etc. Formal occasions and event will prompt a smart dress code but otherwise Western casualwear is perfectly acceptable.
Getting Around Walking is not advisable in Bahrain. Not only is the heat often too oppressive to make this sensible but it can be dangerous as a pedestrian.
Outside of the shopping malls and precincts and around the residential areas you can find pavements but they just do not exist beyond these locales. Driving in Bahrain Because the cost of running a car is quite inexpensive, many expats either choose to lease or buy a car if one is not provided for them with their job.
The benefits of having your own car are such that you are free to explore the country at your leisure from the comfort of an air-conditioned car. The road networks are very good and you can reach all outlying towns and villages using well paved and maintained roads. You can drive on a British license in Bahrain for three months but remember to drive on the right hand side of the road.
If you are put off with running your own car abroad then taxis are much cheaper than in the UK and are very reliable. Oftentimes, expats will make a connection with a regular driver who they will use almost exclusively.
The costs of effectively having your own chauffeur are much less than if you were to hire someone full time. Buses are also available but tend not to have good air-conditioning and can be quite busy during peak periods. Weather The climate in Bahrain is arid and has just two season; a long hot and dry summer with a mild winter. The summer months run from April to October with average temperatures of oC and highs of 48oC during June and July being typical.
There is no rain during the peak summer months. November to March can reach average lows of 16oC and rarely exceed oC with a handful of rainy days.
The country is also subject to summer winds, known as the qaws, that blow from the south west up towards Manama in the north. The qaws bring sand clouds from the barren desert and can make the air particularly uncomfortable in addition to the heat and humidity.
On a par with Brunei and Panama, consumer prices are low and purchasing power is high. There are some exceptions to the cost of living that may come as a surprise internet prices are higher, as is the cost of gym membership whilst others will be obvious alcohol is considerably more expensive in Bahrain. Rent Having no choice but to rent in Bahrain expats cannot own property here there are plenty of options available on the property market. Accommodation types vary from grand villas to studio apartments but most are rented unfurnished.
The cost of renting in the capital of Manama is Lifestyle Consumer goods and basic essentials are overall around Shopping for local produce will realise a larger saving whilst imported goods will, of course, be more pricey.