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For those seeking new opportunities and a change of scenery, the Kingdom of Bahrain emerges as an unexpected gem. With its welcoming stance towards foreign investments, easy access to lucrative Middle Eastern markets, and global connectivity, Bahrain has become a sought-after destination for both businesses and individuals. In fact, according to the 2021 InterNations Expat Survey, Bahrain stands out as the “most desirable place to live and work among expatriates in the MENA region,” and one of the “top expat destinations in the world.”

An island nation located in the heart of the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain enjoys mild winters and hot summers. But the warmth of the climate is rivaled by the warmth of the people; Bahrainis are well known for their openness and friendliness to other cultures. As the survey suggests, Bahrain’s welcoming atmosphere is a significant draw for expatriates.

The cost of living in Bahrain is very affordable when compared to locations such as the United Kingdom or the United States. In fact, the cost of living in Bahrain is 32% less expensive than living in the UK, and 37% less expensive than living in the USA. Lower corporate taxes, the lack of personal income tax, and reduced social-security taxes for expats help ensure increased disposable income for all residents. The afore-mentioned 2021 InterNations Expat Survey also identified Bahrain as the “top country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in terms of cost of living.” This affordability is a significant advantage for both individuals and businesses.

Bahrain boasts a comprehensive, co-educational American-style University, American University of Bahrain, created to provide a modern higher education for Bahraini and international students alike. This world-class education option gives male and female college students the freedom to choose their own career paths, via a holistic approach to education built on collaboration and professional community. Access to quality education ensures a skilled workforce for startups, fostering innovation and growth in the business ecosystem.

Want to know what to do in Bahrain with your free time? You’ll have a lot of options to choose from, from rich historical sites, to modern entertainment options (including water parks like Lost Paradise, a Formula 1 Grand Prix Race Track, buzzing cinema scenes including Cineco and Vox cinemas in various locations, and of course, and a thriving foodie culture). A range of shopping venues, from City Centre and Seef Mall to The Avenues Mall, provide a unique opportunity to bring Bahraini culture home, including beautiful handcrafts and clothing. And, thanks to the pristine waters of the Arabian Gulf, breath-taking beaches, exciting kayaking and pearl-diving opportunities, and other ocean-themed adventures are always available. These diverse leisure activities contribute to a high quality of life for residents and can aid in talent attraction for startups.

When moving to a new country, it’s natural to feel like an outsider. But in Bahrain, the expatriate community is thriving and inclusive. Expats actually account for 51% of the population A number of compounds and gated communities have sprung up in recent years, catering specifically to expatriates and their families. This thriving expat community provides a diverse talent pool for startups and promotes cultural exchange, enriching the entrepreneurial landscape.

There is an undeniable focus in Bahrain on business and economics. But despite this dedication to professionalism, Bahrain remains just as committed to promoting a healthy personal lifestyle for those who live and work in the Kingdom. “The Bahrain work-life balance is unique throughout the world, allowing residents and expats the opportunity to pursue fulfillment in both aspects of their lives.” 

So, whether you’re interested in boosting your career, expanding your culture, or simply in improving your own, personal well-being, Bahrain is the place to make it all happen. Learn more about starting a business in Bahrain, and see for yourself how you can enjoy professional success, without having to compromise your ideal lifestyle.