Bahrain is the best country for expats settling in and for career satisfaction, according to one of the biggest global surveys of expat life.
The Gulf nation has leapt from 19th in to top place for making expats welcome in the 2017 Expat Insider survey from InterNations and has seen education and childcare improve substantially.
Bahrain excels in making expats feel at home and also comes first for being able to get by without learning the local language. ‘Bahrainis are very friendly and welcoming. Everyone speaks English, said one respondent.
Some 25% of expats in Bahrain said they started feeling at home almost straight away and the survey report suggests that this is particularly impressive given that 33% of expats in the county who took part in the research has never lived abroad before.
Expats in Bahrain are also happy with their careers. It came third globally in the working abroad index, second in the jobs and career index and in the work life/balance sub category.
However, expats are less confident about the state of the economy with Bahrain ranking at 25 and at 18 in the job security subcategory.
Bahrain ranked 28 in the cost of living index, unchanged from last year, and rose 13 places in the personal finance index to 13th. In terms of their financial situation some 68% of expats said they are generally satisfied and 41% said they earn a lot more than they would be able to at home.
Expats also rated the country highly in terms of families and it ranked 10th for this category, up from 34th place last year. It came first for family life in general and fourth for a friendly attitude towards families with children.
Compared to the 2016 survey there was a significant in the quality of education, with Bahrain rising from 22nd to sixth place, and for the availability of childcare and education, from 32nd place to 11th.
An American expat described Bahrain as ‘a beautiful melting pot of many different cultures’. Another expat from the Philippines said it was their ‘home away from home’.
Some 32% of expats said they intend to stay in Bahrain for more than five years and 11% indicated they wanted to stay forever.