Cost of Living

How much does living in Bahrain cost?

Cost of Living

The average overall cost of living in Bahrain is cheaper than in most Middle Eastern countries, such as the UAE and Kuwait. In general, the country is very affordable for expats.

Taxation

Bahrain's taxation system has a significant impact on the cost of living. There is no tax on personal income and the social security contributions of foreign workers total just 1% of their monthly salary. The most expensive tax for expats is related to property: all expats living in rented property must pay a 10% municipal tax (check if it is included in your monthly rent).

On the 1st January 2019, the government introduced valued-added tax (VAT) at 5% on certain goods (clothing, phones, water, electricity etc.). The health sector, education and transportation are exempt.

Average cost of living

The following prices are to provide a rough estimate of the cost of living in Bahrain (2019). Naturally, costs will vary depending on your lifestyle and location in Bahrain. When you’re negotiating a work contract, ask your prospective employer to produce a detailed list with cost of living figures. This will be useful in helping you to decide whether the proposed job is financially attractive or not.

Accommodation

Accommodation will likely be the biggest expense for expats.

Utilities

Utilities, such as water, electricity and gas, are cheaper than in most Western countries. Prices are subsidised to some extent by a region’s government.

Food

If you choose to shop in western-style supermarkets that have imported products, the price of food can quickly add up, but national and local supermarkets are cheaper. Where alcohol is allowed, it is generally more expensive than in Western countries.

Transport

Your transport costs will be subject to the type of transport you use i.e. public transport or your own car. A lot of expats choose to buy their own car.

Education

A lot of expats opt to send their children to international schools, but these can be expensive. Some employers are willing to cover the costs for you. It’s a good idea to check this when you are negotiating your work contract.

Entertainment

Personal care

The cost of personal care (e.g. toiletries) is similar to the cost in Western countries, but clothing is usually slightly more expensive, especially if you choose to buy designer brands.

Further reading

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Other comments

  • Sajid, 12 September 2008 Reply

    Is 500 BD salary enough to live with wife and baby in Bahrain?

    I have been offered salary 500BD and accommodation included. Is it possible to live in bahrain with this salary. Medical coverage is included.

    • vishnu 07 Apr 2009, 09:22

      living cost in bahrain

      yes u can , if u hire a studio flat, not maintaing car over there, , try to get residece closer to work area.

    • thomas 14 Jul 2011, 02:53

      pls answer this.

      is it good to have 110bd per month if u r a hotel staff with free, accomodation, food, and transportation?

  • Sani, 11 November 2010 Reply

    Cost of Living

    the stated cost is totally wrong.. 2820 BD...oh God...
    the average salary of a an accountant is 250-300 and at manager level its about 800++.
    so its mean no one can live there even in 1000 BD..
    Here I just want to say:
    If u live an avg life there then the monthly COL for one person with shared accommodation+diet+net+cell phone+transport etc is only 150.
    Cost of Shared Room Space (2 Persons) per Month =80 to 120 BHD
    Min. Cost of Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner Per Day (per Person) = 2 BHD to 3.500 BHD ( if 2 star or 3 star going upto 18BHD)
    Min. Cost of the SAME if cooked at home per Person =1BHD only+
    Cost of Electricity (Shared Room/2 Persons) Per Month = 7 BD Per head
    Cost of Mobile Scratch Cards (for Single Person) = 5 to 10 BHD
    Cost of Internet Cable facility at place of living Per Month = 8BHD one month 5GB
    Cost of Gas Cylinder for Cooking (Shared Bed Space) = 2BHD +.100Fils delivery
    Cost of Gas Cylinder for Cooking (For Family of 8) = 2.1BHD
    Cost of Traveling by Shared Transport (Vans) Per Month =20BHD
    Cost of Traveling by Private Shared Cars Per Month =30BHD
    Cost of Traveling by TAXI per Month =30BHD to 50BHD