Voted as the number one destination for expats for several years in a row, the cosmopolitan Kingdom welcomes a large number of expats every year. Work in Bahrain has become very popular among people looking for jobs abroad.
Even though Bahrain is still an important participant in the petroleum industry, the government was one of the first in the region to make efforts towards diversifying the economy. The kingdom currently boasts a thriving banking industry and is a popular tourist destination. That is why many multinational companies choose to set quarters in Bahrain, creating numerous job opportunities in a flourishing work environment.
In addition to that, The Kingdom of Bahrain is a wonderful place to live, many people who move there stay there. A significant number of those people even choose to invest in the real estate market in Bahrain and buy a property in one of its freehold zones.
But how is work-life in Bahrain? Is finding a job in Bahrain easy? Is turnover high? Are people as happy with their jobs as they are with their social lives? How can you get a work visa in Bahrain?
We will try to answer your questions here, here is what you need to know about work in Bahrain.
How to find work in Bahrain
If you do not live in Bahrain then your only choice for finding work in Bahrain is searching online, many people nowadays prefer this way, even if they were looking for a job in the country they live in, as it is a much easier way to find a good job.
Many websites, such as Linkedin and Bayt, can help you build your resume and apply to numerous companies in Bahrain. Just make sure to have an up to date C.V and a good cover letter that includes your skills and abilities.
And remember that almost all companies in Bahrain will ask for a certified copy of all your degrees, so make sure you have those ready before you apply.
What is the Bahraini currency?
The currency in Bahrain is the Bahraini Dinar, BHD or BD. Each Bahraini Dinar comprises 1000 Fils. The Bahraini Dinar is a highly valued currency, 1 BD is approximately 2.6 U.S. dollars.
The Bahraini dinar banknotes come in various denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 dinar. While the Fils come in coins valued at 5, 10, 20, 25, 50 and 100 fills, but you cannot really buy anything for less than 100 Fils.
For reference, a fast food combo often costs between 2 and 3 BHD, and soda cans cost around 200 Fils per can.
What package should I negotiate for?
This is highly subjective, it differs from one person to another and from one industry to another. However, most packages in Bahrain include health care and annual tickets to your home country, several packages even include housing and sometimes schooling.
Salaries in Bahrain are often considerably higher than other countries, but like all other countries, they are relative and depend on many factors like the field of work and the experience a person has and their related degrees.
Keep in mind though that there is a minimum salary required to apply for dependent visas for spouses and children, this minimum salary is currently 400 BHD.
How to get a work visa in Bahrain
To get a work visa in Bahrain you must first get a Bahrain employer to act as your sponsor. It is the job of your new employer to get you a work visa before you will be allowed to work in the Kingdom.
You cannot apply for a work visa in Bahrain without your employer, but this information may help you be ready when that happens.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your travel date, so if this is not the case you may want to renew it now to be ready.
You will also be asked for a health check-up prior to your arrival to Bahrain, this is very important for both your work visa and your health care.
The only exception to the above rule is if you own your own business in Bahrain. If you are a business owner or if you share a business with Bahraini partners you are entitled to a residency permit and a work permit. However, you can only get the work permit if you can prove that you work in the business yourself not just own it.
What is a CPR card?
Issuing a CPR (Central Population Registration) Card should be your first priority as soon as you arrive at the kingdom. CPR is an identity Card that every Bahraini citizen and resident must have at all times.
Without this important id, you cannot apply for any services in Bahrain or open a bank account, or even subscribe to broadband. You cannot use your passport as id inside the Kingdom of Bahrain if you are a resident.
Weekends, the best part of work!
Depending on where you are coming from you will either find the Bahraini schedule familiar or not. The weekend in Bahrain is Friday and Saturday, and the workweek starts on Sunday. If you are used to a Monday to Friday schedule you may take a couple of weeks to adjust.
You will be happy to know though, that like all Muslim countries, work hours are shorter in the holy month of Ramadan.
Is work in Bahrain worth moving across the world?
This is highly relevant as priorities differ from one person to another, however, almost all expats working in Bahrain stated that they earn a larger disposable income than they did in their home countries.
Many of these also added that they are able to maintain a higher standard of living and obtain a better education for their children.
This means that moving to the pearl of the Gulf is totally worth it, provided that you can find a good job of course.