Shipping to Bahrain
Are you looking to move to Bahrain but are unsure on how to go about getting your personal effects shipped there? Many people have moved locally or even across the country but moving internationally is a whole new experience in itself, with added pressures and considerations.
That is where choosing the right international removal company is crucial. With so many to choose from, it is not an easy task. With 145 years’ experience in the international removals business, there is nothing White & Company haven’t seen or moved before.
As founder members of the industry recognised regulators of BAR, FIDI & OMNI you can be assured of the highest industry standards in our door to door service and know that your precious belongings will be treated with care from collection in the UK to delivery at your new home in Bahrain.
Why Move to Bahrain?
Perched in the western shores of the Persian Gulf, Bahrain is a small island nation and the first post-oil economy in the region. An estimated 11,000 Brits are said to have relocated to Bahrain, attracted to the host of enhanced working opportunities in the thriving finance and tourism sectors and the luxurious lifestyle on offer. White & Company are proud to have helped some of them move there.
Although Bahrain is very much rooted in Arab and Islamic beliefs the Island state is seen as accommodating to other religions and cultures. Often referred to as the ‘Middles East Lite’, integration is somewhat softened by the country’s markedly more liberal viewpoint than its neighbours, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This is seen by the modernisation of its labor laws to increase rights such as maternity leave and its relaxed position on alcohol. Although some customs will come as a shock to expats with certain controls placed on broadcast media and information outlets by the government proving arduous at times.
Downtime from work is often spent basking in the glorious sunshine on one of the many splendid beaches, although many expats will take some time to adjust to the intense Middle Eastern heat, which in the summer time reaches highs of 48°C. Opportunities to socialise with the sizeable expat population in the capital of Manama are excellent with a growing art and foodie scene. The country also has its own Formula 1 grand prix track and plenty of luxury shopping outlets and popular past-times involved scuba diving and horse riding.
A recent HSBC Expat Explorer survey ranked Bahrain highly among developed nations for certain factors including disposable income (8th), property (6th) and overall family quality of life (10th). It concluded that while adjusting to the country’s culture and customs may take some getting used to, those expats moving to Bahrain can expect a clean, safe and crime-free environment in which to live and raise a family.
Working in Bahrain
The diversification of the economy beyond petroleum has opened various opportunities to international markets and the language of business is often English, making it an easy place for foreign workers to move to. Bahrain also changed its weekend from Thursdays and Fridays to Fridays and Saturdays in 2006 to better align itself with the rest of the working world.
According to Mercer’s ‘Cost of Living’ survey, Bahrain is among one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live, although the high levels of disposable income thanks to generous wage packets and the potential for better earning power offset this criticism somewhat.
Bahrain offers a huge range of exciting employment opportunities, most notably in its thriving finance and tourist sectors. Although there are also opportunities in the construction and education fields. Bahrain is also home to many multinational companies, most situated in the capital, Manama. As such many expats will have worked for these companies prior to arrival or arranged a position in advance.
You must obtain a visa to live and work in Bahrain and you will require a sponsor, which is normally your employer if you’re moving for work purposes.
Visas and work permits generally consist of passport stamps. This makes it easier for immigration authorities to check that you are legally in the country. There is a fee for visas, however this is normally paid for by your prospective employer.
For more detailed information on work permit applications just visit the following web site:
There is a wide selection of housing for expats to choose from in Bahrain including city high-rises, villas by the sea or even homes enclaved in secure compounds. Two of the most popular neighbourhoods in which to live are Juffair or Tubli.
Buying property is very expensive and the overall cost of housing will depend on your budget, local amenities and facilities, its location and space. Many expats live in private condo units. These come with facilities such as playgrounds, security, and swimming pools.
Recent legislation introduced in Bahrain now allows genuine real estate ownership by foreigners. Legislative Decree No 2 of 2001 states that non-Bahrainis, whether natural or corporate persons, may own land in Bahrain. This law encompasses all non-Bahrainis, GCC national or otherwise. However, there are still some restrictions. The government has introduced designated areas for foreign ownership. You really do need to do your homework before you embark on a purchase.
As a guide for prospective purchasers, the current average cost per square metre in the city centre is 850.00 Bahraini dinar (£1,666.00) and 605.00 Bahraini dinar (£1185.00) on the outskirts.
The following web sites have some very useful information and house hunting tips when you begin your search for property in Bahrain.
Until you have spent some time in the country the best advice is to rent before you buy. Many expats spend a few years here and then return home, which makes this a better option.
Renting a property in Bahrain is a relatively easy procedure, and many expats have accommodation arranged through their employer. If you have to find accommodation independently, you would be wise to enlist the services of a local real estate agent who speaks English as well as Arabic.
To rent a 3-bedroom apartment in the city, you can expect to pay approximately 640.83 Bahraini dinar (£1,256.13) per month. For a similar property on the outskirts of the city this drops to 427.00 Bahraini dinar (£836.90).
Being aware of Bahrain’s customs regulations is imperative if you want a hassle-free import experience. Problems can lead to lengthy delays as well as incurring demurrage fees and port charges.
You are required to provide a variety of documents and you must be present in the country before customs clearance can proceed.
All shipments are 100 percent inspected
Used household goods and personal effects are duty-free but subject to the owner obtaining a Residence Permit for a two-year minimum. If a two-year permit is unobtainable, shipment can be cleared upon payment of a customs deposit
As with all countries, there are very strict import rules in place. There are many prohibited or restricted goods which you will need to be aware of. The usual ones such as weapons, firearms and drugs are not permitted. Other restricted items such as foodstuffs, new items (an invoice as proof of purchase) will need to be provided. Tobacco, alcohol and perfume will all attract duties.
You will need to familiarise yourself with the full customs regulations for Bahrain before you attempt to ship your effects, the following web sites will assist:
Moving to a new country is a huge, life changing experience Currency, laws, health, taxes, bank accounts, driving, and public travel are just a few of the new aspects of life you will need to adjust to.
For some helpful tips and information on settling into life in Bahrain, visit some of the many Expat forums online:
The city has a very good highway network connecting all major destinations. However, once you are off these main highways, signposts are pretty hit and miss, and potholes are very common! Speeding, lane switching without signalling and the use of mobile phones while driving are common so expats should drive sensibly and always wear a seatbelt.
Most expats living in Bahrain choose to have a car as with the heat in summer, it is essential to have air-conditioned transport, even for short trips to the local shops.
Public transport is a bit hit and miss with the primary mode of public transport being buses in the absence of a railway system. Though buses are plentiful and cover just about anywhere one would need to go on the island, they don’t have air conditioning and are often crowded. There are plenty of taxis, which are reliable but a little expensive.
To find out more about highway laws and regulations and driving tips, visit the following web sites:
Although there are public schools an International school is the most popular form of education for an expat student (multinational corporation executives, children of diplomats, NGO staff) in Bahrain.
Education provision in Bahrain is generally of a very high standard. There may be some local population, but the schools are geared for an international student body. Schools usually follow a curriculum model from the US, UK, France, Canada or Australia/New Zealand.
White & Company
Providing International Removals since 1871
We recommend a visit from one of our Surveyors for all International moves, so that we can assess your requirements, and the volume of goods to be moved.
Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Bahrain
What Others Say…
Wayne Middleton and Brian Witherford were professional and extremely helpful. Did a brilliant job. Would recommend Whites to anyone. Thanks very much.
Have used this company regularly for 5 years including my time in the armed forces. They are professional and efficient. Will use them again on our next move.
The move went very smoothly and they were very polite.
A very smooth move by White and Co. The team worked very hard and were polite, professional and helpful.