With more and more Brits looking to work overseas, one option that’s becoming increasingly more attractive is working in the Gulf States where salaries can be higher and taxes are certainly lower. One option is working in Bahrain.
With a liberal, cosmopolitan lifestyle, Bahrain offers the incentives of Gulf living, tax free salaries, fantastic climate, good education and healthcare, with a way of life available that’s a lot more relaxed than in most other Gulf States. One indicator of this is the fact that women make up around 25% of the national workforce.
Located in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain consists of an Archipelago of 36 islands between Saudi Arabia and the Qatar peninsular. Four causeways link the 4 main islands which cover 95% of the total land area. Bahrain is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and of the total population of around 750,000 inhabitants, expats working in Bahrain make up around 280,000, this equates to around 44% of the workforce meaning that if you do decide to go for a job in Bahrain, you won’t be alone!
As with most other Gulf States, entry into Bahrain is strictly controlled and expats wishing to work in Bahrain will need to have a work visa and residency permit submitted to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority by their employers, as well as a CPR or identification card. All applications for the above documentation need to be submitted with a sponsorship letter from the applicant’s employers. Because of this, it’s inadvisable to travel to Bahrain on the off chance of picking up work.
So, where do you go about finding employment in Bahrain and what jobs are on offer for expats?
The majority of expats looking for work in Bahrain are recruited via recruitment agencies located outside of the kingdom. Most professional job positions are filled via recruitment agencies working in western cities, particularly London and New York. There are a number of Middle East based companies also offering expats work in Bahrain, such as Gulf Talent which lists a range of jobs from banking receptionists to credit analysts to electrical engineers for example. Nurses are in current demand in the Kingdom as well, and Healthcare Seeker lists a number of positions for nurses in Bahrain.
Teaching English as a foreign language in Bahrain is also an option for entering the country as an expat worker. There are a number of English language schools within the kingdom and occasionally the British Council recruits English Language teachers too. For most positions a recognized qualification such as an RSA diploma or PGCE in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and 2 years teaching experience are required. Demand for teachers is high with most teaching locations being in Manama and Riffa.
An additional benefit to bear in mind when checking out the practicalities o working in Bahrain is your “indemnity” or end of service benefit. The “indemnity” is a bonus paid at the end of a contract, based on basic salary, as long as you see out the terms of your contract. It’s a legal requirement that expats working in Bahrain receive an indemnity at the end of their contract. The indemnity payment usually equates to 15 days basic salary per year worked for the first 3 years and after this period a month’s salary for each subsequent year. Not an amount to be sniffed at, and certainly another big enticement to work in Bahrain.