In InterNations’ 2017 Expat Insider Survey, Bahrain came on top of the expats’ list for the favorite countries to work and live in; this rank heavily implies that there are many benefits enjoyed by Bahrain expatriates that cannot be found in any other place around the world.
This might contradict with the fact that the island kingdom is one of the smallest in the world with very natural resources. Also, let’s not forget the fact that petroleum, the prime natural resource of Bahrain and all of the GCC region, was largely threatened after the global drop in oil prices. Nevertheless, it is clear that Bahrain’s capabilities transcend its limited natural resources
To be more precise, Bahrain managed to solve its problems with what little solutions it had to avoid an economic crisis that would’ve been otherwise inevitable. Such way of thinking, when applied to a nation, has made Bahrain a sought-after destination for expats from all over the world.
Quality of Life
One thing that none of Bahrain expatriates or locals can deny is its high quality of life. In an attempt to define the term ‘quality of life,’ a Forbes article describes it as ‘factors that include everything from physical health, psychological state, level of independence, family, education, wealth, religious beliefs, a sense of optimism, local services and transport, employment, social relationships, housing and the environment.’
Absence of Xenophobia
On the psychological level, a large number of Bahrain expatriates report that the island kingdom has become more like a home to them. As a matter of fact, the expats in Bahrain constitute the majority of its residents as their number is higher than the kingdom’s citizens themselves.
This could be attributed to many factors, but none more than the friendliness of its people. Many countries in the world are beautiful places to live in with jobs that high pay salaries, but are, nevertheless, poisoned with xenophobia. Bahrain, however, is known to have the friendliest locals where expats of all nationalities are welcomed regardless of their color, race or religion.
While in many countries expats form their own isolated communities, away from the unwelcoming locals, in Bahrain, most expats agree that it is easy to make friends with the locals.
Diversity and Integration
On the level of independence, Bahrain is one of the few countries in the world that have little to no political disputes. Even though an uprising had taken place in 2011, it ended almost immediately, leaving no trace of unrest or dispute.
Bahrain also prides itself in having no religious disputes despite being a highly diverse society; Bahrain expatriates and locals equally enjoy the freedom of religion without any threats. It is a country that sees diversity as a positive attribute that enriches the life of its dwellers instead of an unnerving burden or threat.
The Home away from Home
On the family level, Bahrain expatriates enjoy a good life away from home, with the best atmosphere for the upbringing of their children. When it comes to education, some expats reported that they have enrolled their children in public schools for free. After all, if government education is good, this is a good enough scale of how private and international schools are like.
High Salaries, No Taxes
Another thing that attracts expats to Bahrain is the good salaries in a country which offers the everyday requirements at a relatively low price if compared to other GCC countries. Not just that – while Bahrain already has a plan of applying the calue-added tax (VAT) in the near future, the country currently has absolutely no taxes.
If this does anything, it encourages individuals to contribute to the economy, whether directly or indirectly. It also encourages companies to invest in the Bahraini real estate market and the infrastructure in general, in addition to tourism which has also helped the country in a time when oil became hardly reliable.
Having all this in a small country with a small population where everything is nearby is certainly a great advantage in a time when many countries are struggling with overpopulation and housing problems. Therefore, finding a place that has both can seem as close to a utopia as real life would allow. It is no wonder then that the Bahrain expatriates have found in the island kingdom their favorite place to live and work in away from home.