Bahrain Expatriates

Information and advice on Bahrain Expatriates

Benefits of Being an Expatriate in Bahrain

When you hear the term expatriate you may feel that it’s somewhat negative, after all it involves leaving your home country and living in another land. In fact expatriates can potentially have a wonderful life that gives them the best of both worlds. They are citizens of their home country but they have the joyous adventure of living, working and studying in another country. The experience of learning a different culture and seeing the world can never be erased or forgotten.


Many people live the expatriate life in a variety of places, Bahrain expatriates seem to find that the location, people and culture is ideal for those with wandering spirits. The small island offers everything from city living to small villages, surf and sand as well as wonderful shopping. Whether the goal is to work, study or simply experience a different culture and lifestyle, Bahrain is an expats dream.


Bahrain expatriates do not look at living in a different country as a negative situation; they bask in the sultry weather, enjoy the beautiful scenery and take advantage of learning all they can about the area they now call home. They embrace the culture and get to know the natives all while creating memories and experiences that will last a lifetime. When Bahrain expatriates go back to their home countries they have experienced a different kind of lifestyle, they have learned about another culture and they have made friends from an entirely different place.


Whether you plan to expat for a short time or for several years, it is important to make the most of wherever you land and take the experiences and learning back home with you to apply to your life. There is nothing like living in a different country to make you both long for home and long to explore other places. Appreciate the country you are from but let the love of other places seep into your soul as you experience the expatriate lifestyle.


Business Customs as Bahrain Expatriates

If you are Bahrain expatriates, you may be in Bahrain in order to conduct business. This area of the world is enjoying economic growth that much of the world is not seeing, so it is a great place to look to for business growth. However, you do need to understand how business works in this country and how personal relationships and business often intertwine. In fact, for the most part personal relationships are valued above and beyond the business ones. You just need to make sure you observe some of the customs that business relationships follow in order to avoid social blunders that could make you lose a potentially lucrative account.

Family always comes first in Bahrain. Bahrain expatriates may be used to cultures where time with the family instead of time with the business is frowned upon. In Bahrain things are very different. Family and religion come before anything else does, a fact that sets the tone for every other experience you will have in Bahrain. Take note of this and show respect for it if you want to realize success in any way.

Before you are embraced in full by the business community you will have to cultivate personal relationships. Eye contact and honesty are held in the utmost esteem, while confrontation is avoided. This means you need to pay attention to customs and possibly even admit your ignorance of them from time to time while still trying to embrace them.

When you do attend business meetings, be aware that the topic at hand is far more important than the time it takes to discuss the topic. In fact, there may be quite a bit of personal exchange before the matter at hand is even brought up. A bit of patience and social skills can go a long way towards doing business in a successful manner as Bahrain expatriates.

Attending Dinner as Bahrain Expatriates

Bahrain expatriates, like any other expatriate, must adhere to the customs of the people around them if they expect to see any success in Bahrain. Given the blooming economy coupled with the wondrous environment, this is definitely a place where you want to take the time to make sure you see success so that you can enjoy your stay there to its fullest. Since family comes before business in this society, personal relationships are a key part of establishing business connections. Unlike other countries where time is crucial in business meetings and the reason for invitations to dinner are to discuss business, Bahrain natives prefer to do business outside of the home and focus on the issue at hand rather than the time that is being spent. Hence an invitation to dinner may not mean business will be discussed at all, but is still a crucial point in the business world.

When you are invited to a home as Bahrain expatriates, pay attention to the host. It is the host that sets the tone for the evening. Respect the hostess, but defer to the host in all matters, even the presentation of gifts.

When you enter the home, remove your shoes if the host is not wearing shoes or if he removes his. Present him with a gift using both hands. The gift should be something from your own native land and should not include alcoholic beverages. Do not expect the gift to be opened in front of you and if you receive a gift in return do not open yours unless he opens his.

Be prepared to enjoy the experience of dining without a rush. If you are seated on the floor, do not allow your feet or legs to touch the floor mat. Be sure to make eye contact during conversations.

Enjoy the Expatriate Lifestyle in Bahrain

While the word expatriate may sound like something negative, in fact it is simply someone who lives in a country that is not the country that they are citizens of. Many people enjoy the expatriate lifestyle in Bahrain learning a new language, new customs and enjoying a lifestyle that they have never experienced.

The first thing that most expats notice when arriving in Bahrain is the sultry heat, with more than 95% humidity it’s somewhat breathtaking until you adjust. The sights of Bahrain are amazing and you’ll find everything from Bahrainis in their fishing boats in the gulf, horses exercising in the sea and golden sunlight shining on the large Bahrain Financial Centre.

With a lot of sand, large homes and the ability to purchase nearly anything your heart desires the island of Bahrain is an ideal place to explore being an expatriate. Bahrain expatriates may arrive looking for adventure and a change in their lives, but they stay because of the wonderful atmosphere, friendly people and day to day differences in diet, routine and learning to relax.

For three months of the year it’s way too hot to get out and walk about. Driving and spending time on the beaches is a great way to check out the island during the hot months. Because of the wide variety of furniture shops around the island, most Bahrain expatriates come to the island with just their personal belongings and take advantage of the wonderful prices to purchase Bahraini furniture and gorgeous rugs.

There is satellite TV, broadband internet, telephone services and cell service available so while you are hanging out on the island you arenot out of touch unless you want to be. Domestic help is common in Bahrain so you can affordably live the life of luxury that you may not have been able to enjoy before.

Whether Bahrain expatriates due to work, study or just for fun, you can’t beat the island lifestyle for a new outlook on life.


Mind Your Cultural Manners

No matter why you go to another country, you need to learn the customs first. Even when you move to a new town you face a certain amount of distrust, especially in a small town. There are always certain customs that need to be acknowledged in a new place of residence. Even if you are only there temporarily, you do not want to make enemies simply because you did not take the time to do your research and find out what the customs of the area were. Bahrain expatriates should find the information below helpful during their visit.

In all cases, there is a certain expectation that you will not know all of the customs. When you are at a social event or business gathering, pay special attention to your host and follow his lead. For example, if he takes his shoes off, you take yours off. Although women are often well educated and employed, it is still the host rather than the hostess to whom all things are referenced.

Family comes first, even before business. This is also an indication of how the customs go in general, meaning that personal relationships will result in more business opportunities, something Bahrain expatriates should keep in mind.

Islam is the main religion and while you do not have to succumb to it, you should respect it, especially during the month of Ramadan when they are fasting from dusk until dawn. For Bahrain expatriates this means that you should not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in public during the daylight hours. Respect the fact that this religion allows for prayers 5 times a day.

When you visit someone’s home, keep your feet off the food mat and eat with your right hand. Bring a small gift from your homeland and offer it with 2 hands to the host. Do not bring alcohol.


Bahrain Expatriates Find the Country a Good Place to Live and Work In

Fifty percent of the population in Bahrain is made up of expatriates made up of people from countries all over the world. They make up a major part of the workforce in this Arabian Islamic country. While the state itself is fairly liberal, locals are conservative. This requires the expatriates who live and work there, to be sensible about the local customs and religious practices. This requires Bahrain expatriates to be very careful of their behavior while in public and also maintain a fair degree of modesty in dressing.

Bahrain is an island that is separated from Saudi Arabia by just a few kilometres. A causeway now connects the two countries, while all other islands in Bahrain are connected by bridges that are part of the very good road network. Boat travel is a must for some of the smaller islands, though the population of expatriates in these smaller islands is minimal. Bahrain international airport has flights coming into it from all over the world and this makes it very convenient for expatriates when they want to go back to their own countries.

Bahrain is one of the few countries in the Gulf which give foreign workers the same rights that the citizens of that country have. So Bahrain expatriates can easily move between jobs. Bahrain is famous as a financial center and about a third of its gross domestic product comes from this sector. It is considered a country that is very easy to do business in. A number of expatriates also work in the oil industry that gives the country most of its revenues.

The weather in Bahrain is typical of any Mid East country and expatriates from Western countries may find it difficult to adjust to it, initially. However, most offices and homes are weather controlled and this does help Bahrain expatriates to live and work comfortably.

Living in Bahrain as an Expatriate

Bahrain is a small Persian Gulf country that is bordered by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. It has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and because of this many people are looking to get into the country to take advantage of these opportunities. Many of the bahrain expatriates seek permission to enter and work in the country because it offers great career opportunities and the country has one of the most luxurious lifestyles in the whole of the Middle East. There are many incentives and people are paid hefty salaries by employers looking for people who have the right skills, experience, training and qualifications.
The bahrain expatriates also get to enjoy the benefits of being in one of the freest economies in the world and a financial center that is also popular for its marvelous architecture, oil and jewels. The city also has excellent infrastructural facilities for communication and transport, education and health in addition to having a wonderful climate. Since the city is multi-cultural, expatriates from all over the world can feel comfortable living there are the people are friendly and welcoming. The city thus promises a rewarding experience to all no matter their nationality, religion or ideology.
Many of the bahrain expatriates will tell you that is always a good idea to get some facts about the country before moving or accepting a job offer there. When you are planning to apply for a job in the city, get to know its geography, demography and composition. This will help you get acclimated much faster when you get there than if you went there knowing nothing about it. Even though Islam is the official religion, the influx of migrants has made the city very culturally flexible with recreational facilities made to suit all. This makes the city all round when it comes to suiting even foreigners.

Business Card Etiquette Tips for Bahrain Expatriates

A business card is considered an extension of the person, similar to an offered hand. Quickly shoving the business card into a pocket can be considered a sign of disrespect or benign neglect. Business cards should be exchanged at the end of the business meeting. If you are offered a business card, you should reciprocate with one of your own. If you are traveling to other countries, it is
a sign of respect to have your business card list your contact information in the native language and script as well as your own. If you are in doubt as to the appropriate appearance of your business card, print it in black ink on white card stock. Engraved business cards add a touch of class and show a greater investment in the business card. Design a business card so that your name is prominent. Ensure that all necessary contact information is included, but that the business card is not crowded or so cluttered with
text that it is hard to read. Carry more than enough business cards. If the situation requires handing them out to everyone present, running out of business cards becomes an insult.
If you are introduced to a high ranking business person like a CEO or CFO, you can offer your business card. You should give your business card to the high level executive if asked, but it is not appropriate to demand one in return.

Middle East Business Card Etiquette
Bahrain expatriates need to understand the influence of Islam pervades Middle Eastern business, even in relatively liberal Bahrain. Women in business often cannot speak alone with a male business colleague who is not related to them. They may refuse to accept a business card if there is a risk of physical contact or leave the task to a man who is present. Wives of business owners are rarely introduced in the rare occasions they are present. Bahrain expatriates should always offer their business card with the right hand, not the left. Female Bahrain expatriates should not take offense if Muslim men refuse to take a business card held out in the hand and may want to consider placing it on the table for the man to pick up.

European Business Card Etiquette

European nations generally do not use the formal rituals for exchanging business cards as Asian nations, though some countries like Italy consider the exchange of business cards a part of proper introductions. However, Europeans place high regard on advanced degrees. If you have an advanced degree, such as an MBA or doctorate, list it on your business card. In some European countries, individuals have both social cards and business cards. Social cards have the person’s name, address and phone number while business cards
include additional contact information, employer and business title. If dealing with other Europeans in Bahrain, it is acceptable to follow European business etiquette. If there are Bahrainis or other Middle Easterners in the room, follow local etiquette to avoid offending someone.

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