Your guide to being an expatriate in Bahrain

Caffeinate Your Bahrain Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Bahrain, officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, is an archipelago nation in the Persian Gulf comprising 50 natural and cultivated islands. The capital city, Manama, is the country's administrative, cultural, and financial hub. The country is home to a diverse population, with Arabs representing the majority, while Balochs, Persians, and Pakistanis constitute significant sections. Bahrain is a fully constitutional monarchy, with the King as the head of state and monarchs concurrently serving as the head of government. The country prides itself on a stable and economically advanced status.


Expat destinations in Bahrain

Demographics of Bahrain:

Ethnic groups

Arabs: 76%

Asian: 17%

Other: 1%

African: 5%

European: 1%


Urdu: 2%

Dutch: 1%

Arabic: 95%

English: 4%

Punjabi: 1%

Tagalog: 2%

Malayalam: 1%

Religion Overview

Bahrain's religion is predominantly Sunni Islam, forming approximately 76% of the population. The country's constitution recognizes Islamic law as a primary source of legislation. However, there is a substantial minority of Shia Muslims, representing approximately 23% of the population. The remaining 1% practices Hinduism, Christianity, or other religions.

Major Religions


Bahrain experiences a tropical arid climate characterized by moderate winters and very hot and humid summers. The country's geography, with its low-lying islands and few natural water sources, makes it susceptible to water scarcity and desertification.

Economy Overview

Bahrain is a mature and economically advanced country. The economy's strong service sector accounting for approximately 72% of the GDP, with the finance sector representing over 28%. The non-oil-based economy diversified substantially over the past decade, with infrastructure projects that quell dependency on oil and gas resources. Key industries include finance, manufacturing, and construction.

Key Industries

  • Finance and banking
  • Manufacturing industries (including food, plastics, and textiles)
  • Construction and real estate
  • Trade and commerce
  • Information technology
  • Tourism
  • Oil and gas exports

Major Companies

  • Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB)
  • Al Baraka Banking Group
  • Ahli United Bank
  • Dalma Capital Ltd
  • National Bank of Bahrain
  • Bahrain National Gas Expansion Company (Banagas)
  • Alba
  • Gulf Air
  • Telecommunications Company of Bahrain ( Batelco Bahrain)
  • National Oil and Gas Authority ( NOGA)

Culture and Language Overview

Bahrain's culture can be traced back to its ancient history dating to the Dilmun (an ancient Sumerian Civilisation in Mesopotamia) and subsequently became incorporated into Persia, Rome, Arab, and Portuguese empires that followed. Today, Bahrain's culture is rooted in its Islamic faith, but it also recognizes Christmas and Easter as national feasts. The arts play a significant cultural role, particularly in traditional musical instruments, dance, poems, and literature.

Cultural Highlights

  • Bahrain International Airshow
  • Bahrain Grand Prix
  • National Day (December 16)
  • Tree of Life Festival, Muharraq
  • Bahrain F1 Weekend
  • Bahrain Summer Festival
  • Bahrain International Book Fair

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Bahrain's geography comprises 50 islands, with its largest island, Bahrain Island, accounting for 84% of the landmass. The country is bordered by the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. The King Fahd Causeway connects Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, making it easily accessible, especially for overland travel.

Notable Landmarks

  • Bab Al Bahrain
  • Tree of Life (Hawtar)

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Bahrain National Day (December 16)
  • Prophet's Birthday (Date Varies)
  • Ashura (Date Varies)
  • Christmas (December 25)
  • Eid Al Fitr (Date Varies)
  • Eid Al Adha (Date Varies)

Political Stability

Bahrain's political system is a constitutional monarchy in which the King exercises the executive authority as the head of both the state and the government. The parliament, called the National Assembly, is a 40-member body that debates proposed legislation but lacks executive authority. The country's legal system runs on a civil law foundation influenced by several legal traditions, including Islamic law, common law, and the Napoleonic Code.

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