A survey by HSBC bank has found Bahrain to be the highest-scoring country in the world for indicators of where expats prefer to live.
A strong majority of expats (66%) affirmed their satisfaction about living in Bahrain for a range of reasons, including the friendliness of local people, the openness and tolerance of society and the business-friendly environment.
In fact, Bahrain has consistently scored high in such surveys over the years. Previous HSBC surveys have ranked Bahrain as the highest state in the Gulf region for expat preferences, ahead of the UAE and Qatar. In 2015 Bahrain was fourth highest in the world, scoring similarly to states like Singapore and New Zealand. The survey concluded that “Bahrain is an easy and stable choice for expats, offering a smooth transition and a warm welcome… an expat oasis in the Gulf”.
From a very practical point of view, around 70% of expats said that they were able to achieve a much better work/life balance in Bahrain. Living in Bahrain afforded them more disposable income and allowed them to save more money than they could in their home country; with 65% saying that their children enjoyed a significantly higher quality of life in Bahrain, acknowledging that Bahrain was good for the “health and wellbeing” of their families.
Bahrain is by far the most tolerant state in the region, with the constitution protecting the rights and freedoms of all religious faiths and a central role for women and families in Bahrain’s societies. Bahrain also has a thriving cultural life, a rich history and beautiful places to visit – making it a favoured location for regional and global tourism.
Another important reason for Bahrain’s popularity with expat residents is its strong and transparent business environment. Bahrain almost always ranks as one of the top 20 countries in the world for economic openness and its progressive approach to financial regulation, with Bahrain usually scoring the highest in the Arab world and ahead of better-known hubs like Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi.
Other similar surveys have ranked Bahrain as one of the highest scorers for personal safety. People feel safe in Bahrain and experience uniquely low rates of crime. The EList puts Bahrain as having the fourth lowest crime rate in the world after Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore, noting that violent crime is almost unheard of. Meanwhile, the Numbeo database found crime rates in Bahrain to be exceptionally low.
Non-Bahraini expats broadly describe themselves as feeling safe and relaxed living in Bahrain. Many even report that they are not worried about leaving their cars and homes unlocked; such is the low risk of crime.
Even in the current challenging regional economic circumstances, it is vital that Bahrain’s leadership does not lose sight of the factors that make Bahrain the destination of choice for tourists, highly-skilled workers and families.
Bahrain must remain as an oasis of tolerance, a business hub and a place of safety that offers a high quality of life and affords all visitors a warm welcome.
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