According to the recently published InterNations Expat Insider 2021 survey, which samples key indices related to things like quality of life and cost of living, Bahrain ranks ahead of its neighbours in more areas than one.
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To learn why expats love Bahrain, Arabian Business spoke with individuals from around the world who have decided to live, work and launch businesses in Bahrain.
Chlo Suiche, artist (French): “I didn’t expect to find such a creative scene in Bahrain when I first moved here with my husband three years ago. But I was pleasantly surprised to find an abundance of writers, poets, artists, painters and Arabic calligraphers and sculptors. Who would have known that in fact Bahrain housed some of the most incredible range of talents? Even in the music world, I met people who have a diverse sense of individual taste ranging from loving folk music, instrumental, rock and even opera!”
Most expats in Bahrain also feel financially secure while almost 70 percent of respondents said they are satisfied with their job in general. The majority of expats in Bahrain work in healthcare, energy & utilities, education and hospitality. Rapid population growth in the country is driving demand for both healthcare and education services and workers.
Jean Claude, architect (Lebanese): “I’ve been in Bahrain for over 15 years. I met my wife here and I plan to have my children here. The education system is very strong. As an expat I am living the lifestyle that I would want to live in my home country without worrying about being financially sustainable and while having a sound structural system to support it. In my line of work I can also rely on the intelligence of the workforce and quick turnaround of projects, which is also a huge benefit to achieving my career objectives.”
Other expats have found that they are able to support families more easily in Bahrain thanks to an inclusive and friendly society. While just over 80 percent are happy with medical care quality, compared with 71 percent globally. Meanwhile, 84 percent are happy with the country’s political stability compared to 64 percent globally.
Amy Morgan, business owner (UK): “On a social level, Bahrain is a great place. Lifestyle-wise, it’s just a loving place and the social life here is just so natural and easy. In fact, 50 percent of my friends are Bahraini. People are so very welcoming, kind, friendly, hospitable and generous. As a culture it’s respectful and people just want to be helpful. Bahrain is such a family-friendly place.
Tassos Fragkopoulos, marketing professional (Greek): “I love how inclusive the local society of Bahrain is to foreign cultures. It’s certainly one of the safest places in the world to raise your kids and that’s why my wife and I chose to raise our family here and have not looked back since. I also love the availability and convenience of things throughout the kingdom as well as the quality of the food and the warmth of the people.”
Despite the pandemic, Bahrain remains a very easy place for expats to settle in, according to the survey. The country was ranked fifth globally for ease of settling in and most expats (87 percent) find it easy to live in Bahrain without speaking the local language, compared with 54 percent globally.
Jacob Mathew, executive (Indian): “During this pandemic, as a resident, I was treated like a citizen. While my own country struggled to get things under control we were all provided vaccinations and the opportunity to choose which vaccination we received. It is also culturally dynamic and very open, giving freedom to residents in their lifestyle and ability to practice their faiths. This freedom provides a sense of belonging.”
For some expats, Bahrain has universal appeal regardless of background.
Fatima Magdi, yoga instructor (Egyptian): “Bahrain is my space. A place where I found myself. From the desert to the sea, I wholeheartedly love this Island. I travelled to India, Bali, Los Angeles, and other places, but I feel more spiritually aligned in Bahrain than I do anywhere else. It’s where I learnt to love myself.”
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