the ultimate expat guide to life in bahrain

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Transportation to the Near East can be a wrecking nerve. How is the country strictly Muslim? You're panicking your bookshelves and DVD collections before you even start packing the removal company's list of prohibited items (no pork, no porn, no alcohol, no anti-Islamic literature, nothing related to Israel, and so on). So here is the ultimate expat guide to life in Bahrain.

However, Bahrain is one of the more liberal Gulf States despite the fact that ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia is their close neighbor. Women can go and work; women who are expats have to wear abayas, but modest dresses are advisable, pork and alcohol can be easily bought, and many restaurants are licensed.

Although a mosque is present at all angles, local residents are not obliged to pray (although many do), and other religions are practiced openly. The Anglican and Catholic Churches are well established, and there is even a synagogue.

The tourist bubble might call it the 'Arab Gulf Perle,' but Bahrain is not a beautiful place physically. There's no spectacular desert landscape (most of the desert is filled with pipelines of oil and gas) and no long, uncluttered, sandy beaches.

The Bahrain of old, when the north of the island was covered by palms and fishermen, and pearl divers walked out from their houses to the sea, has long gone, while the remnants of its past are there - the forts, the palaces, the suq. The shiny Manama skyscraper, large roads, shopping centers, hotels, and office buildings are at its disposal. The outskirts of Manama can be extremely shabby and rundown, especially in local villages.


Language Spoken in Bahrain

With fewer state funds than in other Gulf nations, local people have to work, and thus Bahraini is often employed by offices, taxi drivers, and shop assistants. There are very local areas, but there are many richer Bahraini who are educated and live alongside expats and send their children to international schools.

Bahraini people are easy to meet, and generally, they are friendly and incredibly proud of their country and culture. There are many expats who have good friends from Bahrain. Almost everyone speaks English so unless you are really interested you won't have to learn Arabic.

Geography of Bahrain

Bahrain is an archipelago of more than 30 uninhabited islands. Bahrain Island, Muharraq, and Sitra bridges and causeways connect the three main islands, so in about half an hour, it takes no time to get oriented across the largest islet in Bahrain.

You can get insular fever at the bottom. Most of the expatriates living in Manama Island and Saar, Buda, and Hamala on Bahrain Island, in the west. More has moved to the island of Muharraq, and the new developments in the seashore and the golf course in Riffa have arisen.


Housing and Accommodation

A wide range of apartments, self-catering villas as well as gated compounds is offered. Many expats work as immobilizers, so finding a native English speaker is easy. The main English newspaper, the Gulf Daily News, also has a good property section, and the Bahrain Property World has listings of available properties (though not exhaustive at all).

Simply driving around for 'let signs' can also benefit from a specific compound and, if you are interested, please join the gatekeeper and ask him if something happens.

If a house is found, please agree on what work needs to be done (including air conditioning) in advance with the landlord as certain landlords become unaffected once you have paid for the rental. Painted and cleaned are the norm, but many residents manage the negotiation of new appliances, bathrooms, cooking facilities, and curtains.


Most old-fashioned cookers run on gas. There's no power supply in Bahrain, so you need to order cylinders from one of Bahrain Gas's gas suppliers. The first cylinders must be purchased, and then only refills pay. Keep an exchange.

The quality of the water in Bahrain is improving but not great so that everyone drinks water in the bottle. Again, you must register with a water supplier to receive water from the door, and you will have to purchase a water cooler.

Process of Setting Up a Household in Bahrain

A working visa is required for all employees. All residents (including children) need a visa and identification card (known as CPRs). You also need a Bahraini driving license if you are going to drive. It can be both time consuming and frustrating to try to organise this on your own. Most big business people have a well-connected "fixer," who will irritate you from place to place and jump endless queues and ensure that you are as smooth as possible in the bureaucracy.

Banking arrangements are relatively easy to implement, and most expats have HSBC or Citibank accounts. Every one of these online banking is available.


Phone and Internet Services in Bahrain 

Staying with your home is usually easy, with good Internet connections (although slow on the weekend) and a selection of providers and packages for mobile phones, though you will require your CPR card to sign up first. Fest net and mobile services are provided by the national telephone company, Batelco. They are usually quite efficient.

Healthcare Services in Bahrain

The health and dental care that you don't have health insurance are excellent but expensive. Several large privately operated hospitals and a large number of dental clinics are available, so you don't have to go home in the general practice of care. Salmaniya is the central public hospital for those without insurance.

Medical care is good, but long queues and waiting lists often exist. Note also that men in some areas of the hospital, for example, the maternity wards, are not allowed. Experts can also be found at various Indian health centers offering alternative treatments and massage as chiropractors, naturopaths, physios, and reflexologists.

What to Do When You Need Help in Bahrain

Most Bahraini expats are offered some kind of domestic support, from a full-time workout in a maid until a cleaner comes in a few times a week. Gardeners often come and wash the car for you. Gardeners are often present. The best way to get help at home is through words of mouth but, the day you move in or see an ad in the local supermarket, you may well find a number of possibilities—the best way to find help. Make sure, if possible, that you get references.

You might have to sponsor a full-time maid (take a visa), but some work on 'free' visas where they have a Bahraini patron who can work elsewhere. Some people find a maid with agencies.

You will be sent a list of potential candidates and sponsored by the agency to come from your country (usually India, Sri Lanka, or the Philippines). This carries the risk of you not meeting her first of all, of course. Six days work each week, the majority of full-time maidens in family expat families work (with Fridays off), and many cook, sweetheart, and housework. Bahraini families tend to have very long, often without a day off work for their maids.

Although the idea of household support (full or partial) may be something new for you, the absence of nurseries in Bahrain and the weather are two things to keep in mind. In the summer, Bahrain is very dusty and keeps your house clean every day as well as being hot and moist (thinking of standing in a steam room with a hot hair dryer blowing in your face).

The shameless winds in spring and summer bring storms, and the whole house will soon be covered by dust thick enough to inscribe your name even if the windows have been closed. The upside is a ray of magnificent sunshine and winters with mild days.

Learn the Term Inshallah

Expats experience initial frustrations, as with any new country. The first Arabic word that the newcomer usually learns is 'Inshallah' (and comes to dread hearing). Literally, 'Let's hope' is used to excuse the delay, failure to get here, or failure to perform anything and anything. 

Driving and Traffic Rules in Bahrain

They're behind a car wheel unless they are. The journey is terrible and sometimes dangerous. It is the custom and the rare seatbelt used by local people that illegal maneuvers and accidents occur. It is not unusual for children to lie in dashboards or stuck out of sunshine roofs with their heads while their children roll 120 km/h on the highway.

On the plus side, gasoline is unbelievably cheap and heavily subsidized, so it won't cost much to fill up for security reasons. There are also many second-hand car dealerships in the majority of large car companies here. Many decide to hire a vehicle instead of buying it, especially if they have a relatively short deal and are also represented by all the major companies. Make sure that air conditioning works well, like with houses.


Friends and Clubs in Bahrain

The western community of Bahrain is small but also geographically small, and soon you will meet people you know throughout the region. Bahrain is also small. Expat clubs are an excellent place to meet people, and most of them are members of at least one, the most popular being the British, Dilmun, Yacht, and Rugby clubs. There are beach clubs at some of the large hotels, like Ritz. The American Women's Association runs all kinds of events and is very active.

Book clubs, language schools, and classes, from pilates to pottery, are also famous for tennis, golf, and horse riding. FAB has club and company listings. In Bahrain, mums might also want to see lots of information about children. There are also many volunteer opportunities with organizations established to support both the poorer Bahraini and a huge expat community from the subcontinent, which are involved in buildings or local businesses.

So this all in The Ultimate Expat Guide to Life in Bahrain. So now that you are all about life in Bahrain and want to shift to the nation, you would require a Bahrain Resident Visa, which you can avail from Tourist Visa Online, which provides the Visa with the best services and easy to follow application process. So get in touch with the team of Tourist Visa Online and get your Bahrain Visa.

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