A commercial crossroads for 4,000 years

The word Bahrain means ‘two seas’ in Arabic, indicating how the country’s geographic position has been important throughout its long history as a trading centre linking east and west. A major stopping point for merchants and home to the rich pearl diving industry, Bahrain made a name for itself as the Gulf’s pre-eminent trade hub.

3,000 B.C.

As the land of the ancient Dilmun civilisation, Bahrain has long been a trading centre linking east and west.

Mid-19th Century

The Gulf’s pre-eminent commercial crossroads, Bahrain emerged as a modern state and became home to merchants from the GCC and beyond.


Bahrain was the first Gulf state to discover oil and in the past 40 years has led the regional transition into modern economies.


The first GCC nation to move away from its dependence on oil, Bahrain became the region’s most diversified economy and leading financial centre.


Bahrain became a constitutional monarchy with a democratically elected parliament, marking a period of on-going reform.


Bahrain was named Capital of Arab Culture in 2012, Capital of Arab Tourism in 2013 and Capital of Asian Tourism in 2014.

The Gulf’s most liberal economy

Free markets provide economic environments that empower businesses to prosper. Named the freest economy in the region by the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom, Bahrain is also ranked ahead of France and Germany, as well as fast-emerging Asian economies like South Korea, India and China.

Ranked 44 globally

  • 99.9%

    Fiscal freedom

  • 82.8%

    Trade freedom

  • 80%

    Financial freedom

Competitiveness Observatory analysis; Index of Economic Freedom 2016

Competitiveness Observatory analysis; Index of Economic Freedom 2017

Business Friendly Bahrain

Invest in Bahrain and you’ll see significant financial benefits that ease business operations, increase competitiveness and bolster the bottom line.

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A thriving region, a talented workforce

Bahrain lies at the heart of the GCC, with six economies and 36 million consumers who are expected to have a combined USD 2-trillion GDP by 2020. Combined with our young, highly skilled, educated, bilingual workforce which grows in number by around 3% a year, entering the market through Bahrain is a compelling proposition.

Primed to leverage our position

Within touching distance of the wider MENA region, with 400 million consumers, a combined USD 3-trillion GDP and 3.8% growth.

A workforce to propel your business

For employers, government backed labour funds offer salary subsidies, training and financing grants, making Bahrain compelling for local employment.

Love the life here

HSBC 2017 Expat Satisfaction Survey ranks Bahrain 9th globally for expat satisfaction. Bahrain is the only country in the MENA region to be featured in the top 10 best places to live, work, and raise a family.

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