Expats react over rising living costs, Bahrain drops down six places in latest survey

      Published on Wednesday, 10 July , 2019      125 Views     
Expats react over rising living costs, Bahrain drops down six places in latest survey

  • Bahrain News

Bahrain – High cost of living, that includes increased rent and utility bills, has resulted in Bahrain dropping down six places in the latest expatriate survey.



Bahrain was ranked 11th in the 2019 Expat Explorer survey by HSBC, after being placed fifth last year.

This was also the first time since 2014 that Manama was not placed in the top 10 of the survey.

Among the Gulf countries, the UAE was ranked 9th followed by Bahrain (11) and Saudi Arabia (29).

Oman and Kuwait, which both made the 2017 survey, were not included in the 2018 and the 2019 editions.

Globally, of the 33 countries ranked, Switzerland emerged as the top destination for expats, followed by Singapore, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Germany, the UAE and Vietnam.

The survey covered 18,059 expats from 163 countries who took part in the research in March and April this year and was conducted by YouGov and commissioned by HSBC Expat.

The findings were divided into three categories: living, career opportunity and family life.

Canada topped the list in the first category, while Switzerland scored high on career opportunity and Singapore was adjudged the best place for family life.

However, despite the drop in ranking Bahrain was still way ahead of international markets including the UK, the US, France, Sweden, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Italy.

“You may pay more rent than you would back home and utilities are rarely included in the cost,” said the survey.

“Accommodation is likely to be your biggest expense, followed by groceries, especially if you choose to pay a premium for familiar foods from home at Western-style supermarkets.”

Electricity and water rates have been steadily increasing annually since 2016, with the final increase enforced in March.

The annual increase was part of a series of austerity measures adopted by the government in 2015 to offset the drop in oil prices.

Consumers in Bahrain also pay a five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on utility bills, among other products and services, from January 1 this year.

The survey stated that the average per month expenses of a small household on basic utilities was BD34, while transport costs were reasonable, and cars relatively cheap to buy.

Popular expat areas are Juffair and Adliya in Manama, along with Riffa and Saar, according to the research,

Compared to the UAE, Bahrain received high rankings for cultural, open and welcoming communities, ease of settling in for expats, quality of life and work/life balance.

“People are drawn to Bahrain for its exciting career prospects and laid-back lifestyle,” stated the survey.

“Although an Islamic state, Bahrain is considered to be more liberal than neighbours Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“This tiny kingdom in the Arabian Gulf is a melting pot of cultures, with expats and migrant workers making up more than half the population.”

The survey praised women in Bahrain to have “greater freedom” than those living in other parts of the region.

Furthermore, the survey praises the education and healthcare system in Bahrain that helps expat children and families.

“Most expats opt for private healthcare – so try to get medical insurance included in your relocation package,” states the survey.

“The standard of care at private hospitals is excellent and most doctors are fluent in English.”

Bahrain was ranked 20th by expats for school and childcare quality and overall cost of children.

On the issues of stability, the survey stated that impact of terrorism on Bahrain was low.

“Bahrain hasn’t been affected by terrorism to the same degree as some of its neighbours, but travel alerts have been issued by various Western governments following a few isolated incidents,” stated the survey.

The research interestingly stated that local drivers “can be erratic and the accident rate is high”.

“Challenging at times but rewarding employment,” an expat stated in the survey about Bahrain.

“Good social life and weather.”

 

HIGH cost of living, that includes increased rent and utility bills, has resulted in Bahrain dropping down six places in the latest expatriate survey.

Bahrain was ranked 11th in the 2019 Expat Explorer survey by HSBC, after being placed fifth last year.

This was also the first time since 2014 that Manama was not placed in the top 10 of the survey.

Among the Gulf countries, the UAE was ranked 9th followed by Bahrain (11) and Saudi Arabia (29).

Oman and Kuwait, which both made the 2017 survey, were not included in the 2018 and the 2019 editions.

Globally, of the 33 countries ranked, Switzerland emerged as the top destination for expats, followed by Singapore, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Germany, the UAE and Vietnam.

The survey covered 18,059 expats from 163 countries who took part in the research in March and April this year and was conducted by YouGov and commissioned by HSBC Expat.

The findings were divided into three categories: living, career opportunity and family life.

Canada topped the list in the first category, while Switzerland scored high on career opportunity and Singapore was adjudged the best place for family life.

However, despite the drop in ranking Bahrain was still way ahead of international markets including the UK, the US, France, Sweden, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Italy.

“You may pay more rent than you would back home and utilities are rarely included in the cost,” said the survey.

“Accommodation is likely to be your biggest expense, followed by groceries, especially if you choose to pay a premium for familiar foods from home at Western-style supermarkets.”

Electricity and water rates have been steadily increasing annually since 2016, with the final increase enforced in March.

The annual increase was part of a series of austerity measures adopted by the government in 2015 to offset the drop in oil prices.

Consumers in Bahrain also pay a five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on utility bills, among other products and services, from January 1 this year.

The survey stated that the average per month expenses of a small household on basic utilities was BD34, while transport costs were reasonable, and cars relatively cheap to buy.

Popular expat areas are Juffair and Adliya in Manama, along with Riffa and Saar, according to the research,

Compared to the UAE, Bahrain received high rankings for cultural, open and welcoming communities, ease of settling in for expats, quality of life and work/life balance.

“People are drawn to Bahrain for its exciting career prospects and laid-back lifestyle,” stated the survey.

“Although an Islamic state, Bahrain is considered to be more liberal than neighbours Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“This tiny kingdom in the Arabian Gulf is a melting pot of cultures, with expats and migrant workers making up more than half the population.”

The survey praised women in Bahrain to have “greater freedom” than those living in other parts of the region.

Furthermore, the survey praises the education and healthcare system in Bahrain that helps expat children and families.

“Most expats opt for private healthcare – so try to get medical insurance included in your relocation package,” states the survey.

“The standard of care at private hospitals is excellent and most doctors are fluent in English.”

Bahrain was ranked 20th by expats for school and childcare quality and overall cost of children.

On the issues of stability, the survey stated that impact of terrorism on Bahrain was low.

“Bahrain hasn’t been affected by terrorism to the same degree as some of its neighbours, but travel alerts have been issued by various Western governments following a few isolated incidents,” stated the survey.

The research interestingly stated that local drivers “can be erratic and the accident rate is high”.

“Challenging at times but rewarding employment,” an expat stated in the survey about Bahrain.

“Good social life and weather.”



Another respondent praised “the friendliness and hospitality of the Bahraini people”.

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Category Bahrain News | 2019/07/10 latest update at 7:57 AM
Source : Zawya | Photocredit : Google
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