Country Profile | Bahrain

An overview for expatriate professionals

Like an oyster, Bahrain has a rough exterior that takes some prising open, but it's worth the effort.

The storied location of the ancient Dilmun empire and home to the epicentre of the Gulf's pearling past, Bahrain has a history to reflect on with pride.

Boasting its own Formula 1 Grand Prix, a growing art and foodie scene heavily cross-pollinated by Manama's huge expat population, and a wealth of activities enjoyed on the azure waters surrounding this collection of islands, Bahrain will appeal to expatriates who seek an unpretentious, yet confident country bearing all the hallmarks of a modern, wealthy Gulf nation.

Basic Facts

Capital City - Manama

Population - 1.64 million

Currency - Bahraini Dinar (BD)

Language - Arabic

Religions - Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduisim


Geography

The Kingdom of Bahrain is an island nation in the Persian Gulf comprising a small archipelago made up of 70 natural islands and an additional 33 artificial islands, centered around Bahrain Island which makes up around 83 percent of the country's landmass.

The country is situated between the Qatari peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre (16 mi) King Fahd Causeway.

It is the third-smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore.


Economy

The economy of Bahrain is heavily dependent upon oil and gas. 

The Bahraini currency is the second-highest-valued currency unit in the world. 

Since the late 20th century, Bahrain has heavily invested in the banking and tourism sectors.The country's capital, Manama is home to many large financial structures. Bahrain's finance industry is very successful.  

Bahrain's banking and financial services sector, particularly Islamic banking, have benefited from the regional boom driven by demand for oil.

 Petroleum production is Bahrain's most exported product, accounting for 60% of export receipts, 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP.

 Aluminium is the second most exported product, followed by finance and construction materials.


Culture

Bahrain’s culture is very similar to that of its Arab neighbors in the Gulf, and is largely based around its Islamic heritage.

It is very cosmopolitan as a result of the expat population that heavily outnumbers the indigenous Bahrainis. In spite of having a strong cultural, religious, and ethnic identity, the local population is very welcoming and tolerant of other people and religions, which is evident from the Catholic and Orthodox churches, Hindu temples, and even a Jewish synagogue on the island.

Bahrain’s Arab culture is displayed with pride through its architecture, mosques, and communal entertainment locations like souks and cafés.

While traditional pastimes like falconry, horse riding, and poetry are still practiced, more modern activities like soccer and international travel have taken over in popularity.

Most locals still wear traditional dress that comprises a thobe, or white robe, for men, and black abayas for women, which are both cool and comfortable.

There is no dress code for visitors as long as their clothing is modest—the rule of thumb is to cover shoulders and knees, except within hotel grounds, where more casual clothing is accepted.


Working in Bahrain

Bahrain has been an expat hot spot for decades. The fact that there is no personal or income tax on the monthly income is one of the many advantages of living and working in Bahrain. Only a 1% deduction occurs from the monthly salary, which goes towards subsidizing the unemployed in the country.


Health Services in Bahrain

Public Hospitals

Salmaniya Medical Complex

The Salmaniya  Medical Complex is a multi-specialty healthcare facility that provides healthcare to all citizens and residents of Bahrain, inaugurated in several phases since 1959 until it was officially operated as a medical complex in 1978, and included numerous specialized departments such as secondary healthcare, in addition to its Accident and Emergency Department running urgent medical care to the sick and injured.


Bahrain Defence Force Royal Medical Services

The Bahrain Defence Force Royal Medical Services – Military Hospital, inaugurated in 1968, is one of the most important integrated medical buildings in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The hospital received a healthcare accreditation from the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) in 2007. It has also succeeded in achieving far-reaching excellence in all of its departments.


King Hamad University Hospital

The King Hamad University Hospital, inaugurated in February 2012, is a qualitative leap forward for health services in the country.

It provides distinctive health services locally and internationally; comprising secondary healthcare, a severe accident center and a transplant center. The hospital also include all educational facilities to serve the Medical University of Bahrain – built at the site adjacent to the King Hamad University Hospital which aims at supporting this university with the provision of educational services and practical experience for medical and nursing students at the university.

The hospital has achieved an evolutionary leap by opening the Nuclear Medicine and Radioisotopes Centre which encompasses the latest technology and medical devices in this field; thus, serving as an essential station in the history of medicine in Bahrain.

For more information, you may watch the documentary film.


Private Hospitals

American Mission Hospital

Ibn Al-Nafees Hospital

Bahrain Specialist Hospital

Royal Bahrain Hospital

Awali Hospital

Al Kindi Specialised Hospital

Noor Specialist Hospital

Al Hilal Hospital

Al Jawhra Centre for Molecular Medicine & Inherited Disorders


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