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Bahrain best place to live in the world, says Expat Insider Survey

Tourism

Bahrain is the best place to live in the world for expatriates.

That’s not just me talking, but the result of the 2017 InterNations Expat Insider Survey, which collected data from more than 12,500 expatriates living in 188 countries and put the Kingdom in the top spot.

Bahrain’s world-beating position reflects the high quality of life on offer, particularly its welcoming environment and high levels of career satisfaction.

For investors, this is crucial.

While cost is often the key factor for businesses looking to invest abroad, it’s always part of a much wider list of considerations. Factors relating to human capital, for example, come into most major investment decisions, with research shows that a happy workforce can make employees up to 12% more productive.

The results of the InterNations survey show that settling into daily life in Bahrain is easy. Bahrain is second in the world for expat work-life balance, second for personal happiness, and first for ease of language – you don’t have to master Arabic to be part of the community and establish a circle of friends.

I can attest to this, having had the pleasure of living in the island nation for the last three years, witnessing first-hand the kind hospitality that has made the country my home away from home.

This generosity also helps to drive an important and ever-growing sector in Bahrain: tourism, which has had renewed focus in recent years. The 4,000+ year-old history of Bahrain as commercial crossroads has led to a legacy of diversity and acceptance regardless of race, gender or faith. You’ll find an open, cosmopolitan society; churches, synagogues and mosques all side-by-side; and as an environment for career women, Bahrain ranked fourth in the survey.

A friendly society has helped make Bahrain a business-friendly economy too. Last year was a record for the country in terms of FDI, with 71 new companies establishing themselves in the Kingdom, bringing in investment amounting to BHD 276 million (US $733 million).

With major initiatives constantly announced to increase the appeal for investors, Bahrain has recently been named the Middle East and Africa’s best place to invest per capita for the third year by Conway’s Site Selection magazine.

The ‘Best to Invest’ rankings are determined by the level of capital investments in the country and its performance on key international indices published by organisations such as the World Bank, WEF and UNDP.

A testament to the major initiatives enacted in recent months – from Bahrain FinTech Bay, the largest FinTech hub in MENA, to the $100m Al Waha Fund of Funds set to inject venture capital funding into the booming startup ecosystem.

Bahrain as a business destination is primed to be home to your next venture, and as the statistics show, there’s a chance to carve out your very own slice of paradise too.

Jerad Bachar

Executive Director – Investment Development for Tourism, Real Estate, Education, Healthcare at EDB Bahrain