Bahrain inspires a great deal of loyalty from its expat community. Many expat families have been based in Bahrain for years and have seen their children go all the way up through the local schools, like Sacred Heart School, the Indian School, St. Christopher’s School and the British School of Bahrain.
A surprising number of expats living here don’t even work in Bahrain. They spend an hour making the commute into oil-rich eastern Saudi Arabia across the Causeway, but base their families here.
Some people cite costs of living, pointing out that on the same wages decent housing and schools are unaffordable in Dubai or Doha. School waiting lists also don’t tend to be so long. Family restaurants are reasonably priced and you are spoilt for choice for places to eat.
However, many expats point out how different the culture is in Bahrain to other GCC states. You can enjoy the same malls and entertainments that you would find in Dubai, but there is more of a traditional and relaxed vibe.
Bahrain is by far the most culturally tolerant regional state and a number of polls measuring indices have singled out Bahrain as being culturally the most liberal and tolerant state in the Arab world.
There are fewer limitations and restrictions on what clothing women and men can wear out in the street; all major religions are well-represented and protected by the Constitution; and women have a strong role in all walks of life.
As a nation which sells itself as a tourist destination, you are spoilt for choice for activities for the children: water-parks, historical sites, activity centres, malls, swimming pools, bowling allies, boat rides, diving, clubs and activities catering for young people… the list goes on.
Over and above this, Bahrain has a traditionally friendly and welcoming society. People like living here simply because it feels like home. Even during the traumatic first few months of 2011 when there was an outbreak of civil unrest, the majority of expats families stayed loyal to Bahrain – many even pointed out that they benefitted financially due to the drop in real estate prices!
Some people who have lived here for decades note that Bahrain is the region’s best-kept secret. Everybody knows about Dubai as a popular tourist destination with a booming economy, massive construction projects and an idyllic way of life.
However, because Bahrain is less well-known, it tends to be somewhat quieter than its neighbouring GCC states. So for those who have discovered its beauty and benefits, Bahrain remains best as a family-friendly destination to visit and even to take up residence.
Ten reasons why Bahrain is best: Click these links to find out
#1 – Family friendly
#2 – Religious tolerance
#3 – Personal safety
#4 – Cultural hub
#5 – Open economy
#6 – Tourist paradise
#8 – Dependable ally
#9 – Island nation
#10 – Historic power-centre