One of the fastest growing job markets in the world-Bahrain

One of the fastest growing job markets in the world-Bahrain

Named by UNESCO as the fastest growing economy of the Arab world, Bahrain today, stands proud as one of the foremost developing countries in the gulf. It isone of the first countries in the gulf region to discover oil and capitalize on it to produce economic benefits. However, the scenario now is quite different. According to reports by ILO, the past decade has brought about numerous changes in the way the political and economic policies were looked at. With the Bahraini population’s support to bring about democratization in the country, various reforms have also been introduced in the last one decade. Changes in the political and economic system coupled with competition from other countries has led the country’s regime to diversify its economy and work on other sectors as well.

Development of sectors like Tourism, Real estate, Finance and IT has substantiated the growth of employment opportunities in Bahrain. Consequently, with the country’s considerable success in building sectors other than petroleum, Manufacturing and Education sectors have also been benefited.This has increased the demand for skilled workers from various corners of the world. Famously known as the “Middle East lite”, Bahrain is home to an expat community of more than 500,000 individuals.

What does an expat find in Bahrain? 

  • Most of the expats moving to Bahrain find immense career opportunities along with a higher standard of living. The expats report getting higher remuneration and enjoying a higher standard of life than they experienced in their own country.Reports also suggest that an expat living in a middle-eastern country like Bahrain earns more than the average global expat salary of 64,000 USD.
  • Being the financial capital of the middle-east, highly skilled job seekers from all across the globe will find numerous opportunitiesin the banking and finance sector.

Employment trends in the Finance sector

Employment trends in the Finance sector

Moreover, owing to globalization and the economic reforms in Bahrain, various Multinational firms have also found a potential market in the country, thus requiring plentiful skilled workers. The finance sector which registered a compound annual growth rate of 8.14% over the period 2001-12 has been a source of numerous job openings.

If sources are to be believed, the sector had nearly 15,000 employees in 2012 and contributed 2.3% of the total employment in Bahrain, with 37.3% expats in the workforce.

  • The Bahraini construction industry has also seen a steep ascent in the last 2 years. With the global investments rising from 949 million USD in 2012 to 1495 million USD in 2013, the real estate industry stands as a highly viable alternative for the expat community. Moreover, with the sector going through a radical overhaul, firms will be allowed to hire any number of expatriates that they want. However, each firm will have to pay a nominal VISA fee of 3,000 USD per expat employee per year. Therefore, immense opportunities for expats in the Bahraini real estate industry are also expected.
  • The tourism sector also stand as a strong alternative in the Bahraini economy to provide numerous jobs to the expats. The sector has been contributing just over 10% of the country’s GDP. With the government analyzing the tourism sector as one of the key areas in its economy, investments from global investors and private sector participation are being encouraged. The sector also maintains a supply of substantial 16.7% of the expat workforce in Bahrain. All these facts highly indicate the presence of immense job openings in this sector.
  • Tax Benefits:An expatworking in Bahrain will enjoy an income unhindered by tax issues. According to Association of international life offices, the Bahrain tax regime is quite advantageous to expat workers who choose to work and live in Bahrain. With no income tax, no tax on investment income and no wealth & capital gain taxes, Bahrain provides a huge opportunity to stay financially sound, throughout an expat’s tenure. 
  • Benefits and Entitlements:  There are numerousbenefits that an expat enjoys whilst working within the Bahraini borders. With alterations made in the Labour law outlining the obligations and duties of the employer, an expat would find numerous entitlements like 55 days of sick leaves per year, fair compensation in case of unjust termination, leave without pay for up to 6 months for female employees etc. 
  • Passport and VISA: Without directions from the court no employer has the right to withhold an employee’s Passport. In addition to this, transfer from visit VISA to transit work VISA is also easily possible. In case the visit VISA gets expired, it is the employer’s responsibility to get it extended or renewed.
  • Along with all these points, the most essential one indicating availability of all basic amenities in Bahrain sums up the idea of working here on a positive note. Right from the presence of numerous educational centers and institutions to the absence of stringent norms in the society, ensures that an expat finds a well-suited peaceful environment to stay in.

To pen down, the points mentioned above provide a brief insight of the job scenario for an expat in Bahrain. Not to forget, it’s all about finding the right avenue. Good luck!

Anshuman Kukreti Author Bio: Anshuman Kukreti is a professional writer and a keen follower of the job market in gulf. His latest article focusses on the job scenario in Bahrain. Reach him at




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