Our position at the heart of the Gulf makes access to every market in the Middle East quick and efficient – by road, air and sea. By car, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf’s largest economy, is less than an hour’s drive away and Riyadh, its business hub, is a four hour drive. By plane, the United Arab Emirates is an hour flight and Qatar just 25 minutes; further, Bahrain is the home of Gulf Air, which has the largest regional network in the Gulf. In addition, following the opening of the Khalifa Bin Salman Port in April 2009, Bahrain is becoming a major regional trans-shipment centre.

Transportation of goods from Bahrain to other regional cities:

​City ​By Sea ​By road
​Dammam Jeddah Riyadh ​7 days 2-3 days​
​Kuwait City ​7 days 2 days​
​Doha ​2 days ​1 day
​Jebel Ali ​2 days ​3 days

Legal Framework

 We are committed to maintaining the region’s most liberal business environment, with zero taxation for private companies, few indirect taxes for private enterprises and individuals, and free repatriation of capital.

We are also the only country in the region offering 100% foreign ownership of business assets and real estate in most sectors. The Kingdom has also introduced supportive new visa policies. These are an important development that places Bahrain among the countries with the most flexible visa policies in the region, and which will provide easier and quicker access for businesses with operations in Bahrain as well as helping to attract more tourists to the Kingdom.

Unlike any other Gulf country, Bahrain has a fully liberalised telecommunications sector. As a result, Bahrain is ranked the 12th most open economy worldwide by the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal’s 2013 Index of Economic Freedom.

Track Record

 Bahrain has a track record as a modern international business economy stretching back several decades. Our financial services sector has been thriving for 40 years and was recently judged the Gulf’s most sophisticated financial market (Source: 1).

(1) World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012 (Bahrain ranked 14 from 142 countries).

Low Costs

 Our low costs are another important advantage. Basic costs such as rents for offices and industrial land are lower than elsewhere in the region. The combination of subsidies and privatisation in the utilities sectors, mean that electricity, gas and water costs are highly competitive. And with low living costs, wages are also highly competitive.

Starting a Business:

No​ ​Procedure ​Time to Complete ​Associated Costs
​1 Obtain Lease agreement to prove location​ ​1 Day ​No Charge
​2 ​Draft Memorandum of Association and obtain preliminary approval from the Ministry of Commerce at the Bahrain Investment Centre’s One-stop shop ​1 Day ​No Charge
3​ ​Obtain Approval from the Municipality ​3 Days ​No Charge
​4 ​Notarize Memorandum of Association ​1 Day ​BHD 27
​5 ​Open an account at the bank and obtain proof of deposit capital ​1 Day ​No Charge
​6 ​Obtain Certificate of Registration from Ministry of Commerce ​1 Day ​BHD 30
​7 ​Register the company and employees with the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI)

Educated and Skilled local workforce

 Our workforce is the most educated and skilled in the Gulf. This means you can minimise spending on expatriate packages and build a long-term, sustainable local workforce. For example, Bahrainis comprise two thirds (66%) of the financial services workforce, according to the Central Bank of Bahrain (2010).

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