Bahrain considers expat cap

Bahrain could introduce a cap on the number of expats allowed to live there.

The Gulf State is reliant on overseas workers to fill jobs. According to last census, held in 2010, expats comprised 54 per cent of the country’s total population, and it is believed that the proportion would have increased over the past five years.

However, a new parliamentary report, conducted in response to King Hamad’s keynote speech made at the opening of the second term of the fourth legislative session, has recommended that Bahrain should impose a limit on the number of foreign workers in the country so that it doesn’t exceed 50 per cent of the total population.

A recent survey of almost 22,000 global expats found that the Gulf was increasingly appealing to expats in their 20s and 30s, especially those seeking to improve their financial status.  “The region is home to the second biggest group of expats with annual incomes more than $200,000,”  the survey’s authors stated.

The proposal to limit Bahrain’s expat numbers will be debated over the coming months, but it is believed that any limits would be introduced over a time and will not result in current expats being asked to leave the country to reduce the percentage.