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BBNers - International Experiences Thread - Sharing Global Information & ExperiencesViews: 572
Dec 04, 2006 12:46 pm BBNers - International Experiences Thread - Sharing Global Information & Experiences

Ranjit Gorde
Bahrain -

Bahrain is a tiny island with almost 700,000 population. It is as ethnically diverse and cosmopolitan as it can get. Two third of the population consists of Bahrainis. Large numbers of Europeans, Americans, Africans, and East Asians inhabit this island.

The size of the island and its population can deceive one but do not go by it. This tiny kingdom has shown the way to the rest of the Gulf Cooperative Council countries how to move away from being petrol-dependant economy to one that is more spread out economy. Bahrain's first major venture in this direction was ALBA or Aluminum Bahrain. It is one of the biggest aluminum smelters in the world. Bahrain also has ASRY which is one of the leading shipbuilding and repair yards in the region. There are several other industries on the island.

However, the most thriving industry is the Tourism. In fact, tourism has overtaken all other industries in revenue, including petroleum.

The liberal outlook and freedom invites many neighboring Arabs to spend their weekends in Bahrain. Bahrainis connected to Saudi Arabia by one of world's longest causeways in the world. The drive on this causeway is sheer thrill. In the middle there is a man-made island that has a restaurant on top of a tower overlooking the causeway and one can see both the lands of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain is a banking and financial hub. Several international banks and offshore banking institutes are located here. To reiterate its position in the sector, recently the Bahrain government has undertaken the Bahrain Financial Harbor at the cost of USD 1.3bn. It is a fully integrated home to the entire value chain in the financial services sector.

There are several business opportunities in Bahrain. The market is opening up and the government is encouraging the international investors to invest in Bahrain. It is no more necessary to have a Bahraini partner in establishing a business in Bahrain, as was mandatory before.

The job market is good, too. There is huge manpower available in Bahrain. The government encourages businesses to hire more Bahrainis.

There is ample social life in Bahrain. There are clubs and associations, cinema halls, parks, water sports, and such things. There are many religious places like mosques, churches, and even a Hindu mandir right in the middle of the souq.

Every kind of cuisine is available in Bahrain. There are all kinds of restaurants. The supermarkets are very well stacked and it is easy to find everything one requires to make an authentic ethnic dish.

Communication is easy. Arabic is not absolutely essential. Most business transactions are done in English. The telecommunication in Bahrain is one of the best in the world. The international airport is very efficient and staff very friendly. Most international airlines stop here. Visa is easily available by applying to Bahraini diplomatic mission anywhere in the world. Or, one could easily get a transit visa upon arrival.

The small kingdom is called as the Pearl of the Gulf. I call it home!

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