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Are you wondering where to stay? Which area of Bahrain is best for you to live in?
Moving to Bahrain from any country is a huge move. You might have an overseas job posting that requires you to move here, or perhaps you want to attend university. It might be that your partner’s work means you too have to move, or perhaps you’re going to join family who already live here.
Bahrain is a small lovely country
Luckily, choosing a suitable area in which to live can be done, to a very large extent, before you leave. The first thing to understand about Bahrain is how the different areas are described. The main towns are Manam, Riffa, Sanad and Isa Town with different areas, each with their own infrastructure and highly individual feel and identity.
Bahraini are beautiful people, and not just in terms of looks. They possess an inner beauty that explodes with a passion that is evident in everything they do. Whether it’s a friendly “Salam Aleikum!”.
The people of Bahrain can inspire daily with their acts of charity, kindness, and extreme hospitality!
The majority of the housing is found in the north of the island. The main areas that expats live in include:
♦Sar, Budaiya and Hamala in the north west of the island, close to the Causeway to Saudi Arabia,
♦Seef area and Reef Island in the central northern area, very close to Manama, the shopping malls and the Financial Harbor,
♦Adliya and Juffair in the north east of the main Bahrain island, close to the US Naval base,
♦Riffa and Riffa Views in the centre of the island,
♦Hidd and Amwaj Islands on the island of Muharraq, close to the airport.
This is not an exclusive list of areas, but would be a good starting point for looking at properties.
Properties can be unfurnished, semi-furnished or fully furnished, depending upon your needs. Most Landlords prefer to have 12 month contracts, but some will accept shorter term agreements. These is usually a ‘get out’ clause in most contracts which allows you to terminate a lease early IF you can show that you are leaving Bahrain i.e. relocating. Check for this when signing. Some rents are ‘inclusive’ i.e. of electricity, wifi, tv etc, whereas some are ‘exclusive’. Be sure to understand fully what bills you may have on top of rent before signing a lease agreement.
The types of properties available range from studio apartments, to villas, and properties within ‘compounds’. A compound is a common living arrangement in the Middle East - a gated and security controlled property, with multiple houses (typically a dozen to 30), often centred around a communal area including a shared pool, children’s playground, tennis courts, gym, and sometimes a ‘party room’.
Good sources of information on properties available include: the Gulf Daily News (GDN); websites such as expatriots.com; or check out local agencies.
Where is the best place to live in Bahrain?
This is probably the most commonly asked question in the forum. There are many different areas to live in Bahrain and each one of them suits to a different lifestyle. It is best to think whether you would like to be close to your office, the causeway to Saudi or close to all pubs and bars, or something else, and then make your house-hunting based on that. Below are some of the most popular places chosen by expats and their reasons of choosing these places?
Located in the north-east of Bahrain, in Muharraq area, very close to the Airport. Amwaj Islands consists of a number of man-made islands. If you want to be close to the beach and enjoy living as part of a mostly western expat community, then Amwaj Islands are for you. Amwaj is also great if you have dogs as they can play on the beach (clean up their mess) and the properties have gardens.In addition to residential areas, Amwaj Islands include number of bars and an up-market grocery store (Waitrose). The rents here are above average.
If you are planning to live in Bahrain and work in Saudi Arabia (as most expats do), this place is not for you as it is right at the opposite end of Bahrain (Saudi Arabia is connected to the north-west border of Bahrain by a bridge).
Amwaj is a true community with facilities that include a private school, a hospital, a fuel station, a fitness center and a lagoon side dinning and cafe district.
♦ A two bedroom apartment on one of the Islands will cost around 700BHD.
Juffair / Adliya:
These 2 places are located in the east of Bahrain and again, mostly occupied by expats.
Juffair has more people from the United States while Adliya has more people from the United Kingdom and this has an impact on the culture of both areas. Juffair has the largest United States navy-base in the region.
Both Juffair and Adliya has huge number of cafes, bars and restaurants. If you have an active lifestyle and you enjoy going out late in the evening, visiting bars and clubs and enjoy eating out, then these places are for you. The rents in Juffair and Adliya are relatively cheap compared to Amwaj Islands and Seef.
♦ Juffair: The prices of apartments vary greatly and a three bedroom apartment can cost anywhere between 500 and 1000BHD per month.
♦ Adliya: A two bedroom apartment in Adliya will cost approximately 500BHD per month.
There are three malls located in Saar, one is the Najeebi Centre Mall, The Al Nakheel, and the other is the newly opened Saar Mall (the bigger of the two). These malls accommodate some recognizable brands such as McDonald's, Starbucks, Costa, Esquire(Organic Coffee), and EZ Takeout. Saar Mall even contains Géant Easy which is an express version of the supermarket giant.
Seef / Reef Island
Seef and nearby Reef Island are one of the latest developments in Bahrain.
Mostly consists of tower blocks and skyscrapers, these areas are targeting the high-earners of Bahrain. Some of the known buildings in Seef are Era Tower (the tallest building in Bahrain, residential building made of 50 floors), Abraj Lulu (3 residential towers facing each other), Ritz Carlton hotel and its compound, and the 2 biggest shopping malls (Bahrain City Centre mall and Seef Mall) in Bahrain.
Seef used to house the iconic Pearl Roundabout where the centre of uprising and protests happened in 2011. Abraj Lulu towers were once the most expensive buildings in Bahrain but the impact of the protests (which happened right next to these towers, on Pearl Roundabout) can be seen in the rental prices on Abraj Lulu towers.
♦ Still, Seef has one of the most expensive rental market in Bahrain, a typical one bedroom flat will cost you somewhere between 450 - 550 and a 2 bedroom flat between 600 - 800 BD, depending on the building you choose to live.
Saar is close to the Saudi Causeway and is a lovely area to live. The community is very mixed, made up of English, American, Indian and Pakistani. Originally a farm land, Saar is greener than urban residential areas in Bahrain with less traffic movement in its neighborhoods.
Attractions: There are three malls located in Saar, one is the Najeebi Centre Mall, The Al Nakheel, and the other is the newly opened Saar Mall (the bigger of the two). These malls accommodate some recognizable brands such as McDonald's, Starbucks, Costa, Esquire(Organic Coffee), and EZ Takeout. Saar Mall even contains Géant Easy which is an express version of the supermarket giant.;
♦ The properties are also varied ranging from huge private villa’s to small one bedroom flats. The rent in Saar is very reasonable. A four bedroom villa in Saar costs anywhere between 1000 and 2000BHD per month.
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