Help Guide for Expats Living in Bahrain

Moving to Bahrain as an expat can be a rewarding experience, but navigating the local system can sometimes be challenging. This guide provides essential information on key government departments, their functions, and contact details.

Note: Contacts can be updated by the Government, in case the contact is not reachable, you may visit the website and find the contact number.

1. Bahrain Immigration and Visa Services
Function: Manages visa applications, renewals, and immigration matters.
Phone: +973 1739 9999
Website: (

2. Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA)
Function: Oversees work permits, labor market regulations, and rights of foreign workers.
Phone: +973 1750 6055
Website: (

3. Ministry of Health
Function: Provides healthcare services, medical licensing, and public health regulations.
Phone: +973 1728 8888
Website: (

4. Ministry of Education
Function: Manages education policies, schools, and higher education institutions.
Phone: +973 1727 5555
Website: (

5. Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism
Function: Regulates business activities, trade licenses, and tourism sector.
Phone: +973 1757 4777
Website: (

6. Central Informatics Organisation (CIO)
Function: Provides identity cards (CPR), addresses data, and population statistics.
Phone: +973 1737 0000
Website: (

7. Electricity and Water Authority (EWA)
Function: Manages electricity and water supply, billing, and services.
Phone: +973 1751 1551
Website: (

8. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Function: Handles diplomatic relations, consular services, and foreign policy.
Phone: +973 1722 7555
Website: (

9. General Directorate of Traffic
Function: Manages driver's licenses, vehicle registrations, and traffic regulations.
Phone: +973 1787 2222
Website: (

10. Bahrain Post
Function: Provides postal services, mail delivery, and postal regulations.
Phone: +973 1737 1111
Website: (

General Tips for Expats

Stay Informed: Regularly check for updates from local news and government websites to stay informed about any changes in regulations.

Health Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive health insurance that covers medical expenses in Bahrain.

Cultural Etiquette: Respect local customs and traditions, especially regarding dress code and public behavior.

This guide should help you navigate life in Bahrain more smoothly. For specific inquiries, always refer to the official websites or contact the relevant departments directly.

Common mistakes an expat does

Ignoring Local Laws and Customs 

Mistake: Failing to respect local customs, traditions, and laws.

Consequence: Can lead to legal trouble, fines, or social friction.

Tip: Learn about Bahrain’s cultural norms and legal expectations. Dress modestly, especially in public places, and understand the importance of Islamic practices.


Not Registering with the Local Authorities 

Mistake: Neglecting to register with the Central Informatics Organisation (CIO) for a CPR card or failing to update personal details.

Consequence: Can result in fines and difficulties in accessing services.

Tip: Ensure you obtain and regularly update your Central Population Register (CPR) card.


Overlooking Healthcare and Insurance Requirements 

Mistake: Not securing comprehensive health insurance or understanding the local healthcare system.

Consequence: Facing high medical costs or inadequate care in emergencies.

Tip: Invest in a good health insurance plan that covers you in Bahrain and familiarize yourself with local healthcare facilities and procedures.


Failing to Manage Finances and Legal Documentation

Mistake: Not keeping financial records, ignoring tax obligations, or mismanaging legal documentation like visas and work permits.

Consequence: Can lead to financial penalties, legal issues, or difficulties in renewing visas and permits.

Tip: Maintain organized records of all financial transactions, comply with tax regulations, and ensure all visas and permits are up-to-date.


Not Learning Basic Arabic Phrases 

Mistake: Relying solely on English for all communication.

Consequence: Difficulty in daily interactions and less integration into the community.

Tip: Learn basic Arabic phrases to enhance your communication and show respect for the local culture. This can help in daily activities like shopping, asking for directions, and socializing.