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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.


Bahrain makes strides towards becoming a digital economy and the region’s FinTech hub. Recent efforts include the launch of the region’s first Regulatory Sandbox.

International awards and recognition


Rated 2nd globally across all cities, in terms of most intense international flows of trade, capital, people and information compared to their internal activity.

(DHL Global Connectedness Index, 2016)

Best Country
To Invest In

Rated 1st, based on capital investments and country rankings in “Doing business”, “Global competitiveness” and “Human development” reports.

(Conway 2017, Competitiveness Advocacy)

Innovation Driven

The furthest stage of economic development, where companies compete by delivering new products, using the most sophisticated processes.

(WEF Global Competitiveness, 2015-16)

An established track record of diversification

Bahrain has one of the most diversified economies in the region, the result of a commitment to a sustainable future. With strong performance indicators across our industries, and a powerful regulatory framework, there’s an opportunity for every investor.

Bahrain makes business sense

Truly business friendly

Bahrain’s low commercial costs are among the most favourable in the Gulf, while operating costs are up to 40% less than in neighbouring hubs.

Why Bahrain is the better choice

A future to look forward to

Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030 has created sustained controlled growth, and its National Development Strategy is steering the country towards achieving the goals of the vision.

More on the National Development Strategy

Business Friendly Bahrain

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

Read about our competitive offering

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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