Bahrain: Your Career Progression starts here

Are you looking for a career in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC)? If yes, the following post highlights the current job scenario in Bahrain, one of the hot employment destinations in the GCC.

GCC includes 6 countries- Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Bahrain. Bahrain is rapidly emerging as one of the most sought after employment destinations in the Gulf.

Bahrain is one of the most progressive financial centers in the Gulf region. It is a place that has a skilled and highly educated workforce. The lowest taxes and liberal working environment makes it an excellent place to find a promising career.

country overall change
Bahrain 75.1 -0.4
United Arab Emirates 71.4 0.3
Qatar 71.2 -0.1
Jordan 69.2 -1.2
Israel 68.4 1.5
Oman 67.4 -0.7
Kuwait 62.3 -0.8
Saudi Arabia 62.2 1.6
Lebanon 59.4 -0.1
Morocco 58.3 -1.3

Source: Heritage.org Economic Freedom Index 2014

Bahrain Economy- An Overview

As per the latest Index of Economic Freedom, Bahrain remains to be the freest economy in the Middle East. With 75.1 of economic freedom score, it is the thirteenth freest economy in the 2014 Index.

Despite the challenging internal and external political environment in Bahrain, it continues to be the financial hub for economic activities. The country has invested heavily in tourism and banking sectors.

The country boasts off highly developed transport and communication facilities, which makes life easier in the location. The availability of several multinational companies in the region attracts expat job seekers throughout the year.

Taxation Laws

Employees working in Bahrain are not required to pay personal income tax. As a result, individual incomes are absolutely tax-free.

Taxation laws are equally applicable for Bahrain-based and foreign-based companies. While most of the businesses are exempted from corporate tax, petroleum, oil and gas companies engaged in refining, production and exploration are eligible to pay corporate tax. Oil companies are levied to pay 46% corporate income tax,

Other taxes applicable in the country include tax on real estate purchase and stamp tax.

Working in Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain gives emphasis on fully rolling out ministerial orders of Bahrain Labor Law 2012. As of 2014, some additional ministerial orders are anticipated. Bahraini employers follow statutory laws of not to discriminate between non-Bahraini and Bahraini nationals with regard to salary and other favors.

Talking about working hours, working hours may vary between 40-48 hours per week depending on company policy. In general, daily office hours are 8.30/9.00 am to 5.30/6.00 pm, making it a total of 9 hours. There is no change in time during summer or winter. However, during the month of Ramadan, working hours are reduced to only 6 hours. Friday is the rest day for Muslim countries. If your company follows five-day working, the other day-off can be either Thursday or Saturday. All employees are eligible for minimum 21 days paid yearly leave, which increases to 28 days on the completion of five years of service period.

The employment contract must strictly outline terms and conditions agreed by both the parties. Any term that does not comply with Bahrain Labor Law 1967 (for private sector) is deemed null. Moreover, employers are required to register their workers with the Ministry of Labor & Social Affairs. They must also be registered with the GOSI (General Organization for Social Insurance).

Work and Residence permits

The aspiring expat workers in Bahrain must hold a valid work and residence permit. An entity that employs expat employee must be either established in Bahrain, registered with LMRA (Labor Market Regulatory Authority), or include at least 20% of Bahrain workers.

The employee must also obtain work visa. As per the eligibility, anyone of the following visas can be obtained:

Business visa: This is applicable for single entry and valid for seven day, which can be extended to one month, if required. However, business visitors must mention their professional or business detail on the visa requisition application.

Visas on arrival: This type of visa was available in the past to some of the nationalities. However, it has been suspended temporarily and may be available again in the near future. To avoid any confusion, visitors must contact Bahrain embassy before moving to the country. Work visa can be obtained by submitting the required documents such as passport copy, contract or offer letter, educational certificates and pre-employment medical certificates as per LMRA guidelines.

Salary Overview

Salaries are mostly higher or similar to those paid in other western countries. However, due to the absence of tax on personal income, net income of workers in Bahrain is usually greater. This is why Bahrain is one of the most sought after working destinations.

Earlier, salary packages included several components such as Basic salary, Travel allowance, Medical cover, Housing allowance and Children’s Education. Today, employers pay a salary package that covers all the above expenses in one. However, in some cases performance bonuses are separate.

The employee’s contribution for social security of Bahraini workers is 7% to cover death, old age, unemployment and disability. Similarly for expat workers, the contribution is 1% to cover unemployment only.

The employer’s social insurance contribution for Bahraini employees is 12% and covers death, unemployment, old age and disability. On the other hand, it is 3% for expat employees and covers employment injuries.

Apart from salary, expat contracts are offered an indemnity that is paid at the end of contract period as a bonus or ‘thank you’ note for being a part of the country. Indemnity can be a specific amount based on your basic salary or as decided by the company.

Average Salary by Job Category

Job Category Average Salary p.a.
Accountant BHD 4,693
IT Manager BHD 11,753
Software Engineer BHD 9,050
Project Manager (IT) BHD 19,954
Network Engineer BHD 9,787
Mechanical Engineer BHD 11,792
IT Consultant BHD 11,862

Source: Payscale.com

In Bahrain, average salary 2014 for an accountant job is BHD 4,693 p.a. Employees in this job category have less than ten years of experience. An IT Manager can earn an average annual salary package of BHD 11,753, where people have not more than twenty years of experience.

People with less than or equal to 10 years of experience can earn BHD 9,050 average salary in software engineering category. The table shows average salary for other job categories such as Information Technology Project Manager, Network Engineer, IT Consultant and Mechanical Engineer.

Bahrain is a country where expat workers are always welcomed to explore career opportunities.

 

Article written by

Swati Srivastava is a prolific writer, who loves to share her insight on educational and career opportunities.

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