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Expatriates on Buying Property in Bahrain

Before we step into the requirements for an expatriate to buy property in Bahrain, let’s define the term expatriate for clarity.

An expatriate is a person who lives outside his/her native country. It is defined as an individual who is living and /or working in a country other than the country for his/her citizenship. 

Navigating the Bahrain Real Estate Landscape

Bahrain attracts several foreigners who have comfortably made Bahrain their home. The booming economy, favorable infrastructure and vibrant atmosphere are what attract foreigners to the Kingdom of Bahrain. 

Foreigners often express the desire to own property in Bahrain. Therefore, let’s understand the requirements for expatriates to buy property in Bahrain. 

Expatriates can own property in Bahrain, but it’s not without restrictions. There are certain regulations and limitations when it comes to foreigners investing in Bahrain real estate property. 

Here are the guidelines for expatriates to buy property in Bahrain

Freehold Properties

Foreigners or expatriates can buy real estate in Bahrain only if is designated as freehold property. “Freehold” as the name suggests refers to that property which is ‘free from any hold’. The owner of the property must have complete rights to the property, in perpetuity and without any restrictions. 

Designated areas

Expatriates can buy flats for sale only in specific areas in Bahrain. This is the main difference when it comes to local nationals and foreigners purchasing property in Bahrain. Local nationals can buy real estate anywhere in Bahrain. However, foreign nationals can buy property only in specific or demarcated areas in Bahrain. 

Required approvals 

While purchasing real estate in Bahrain foreigners must get special approvals and permissions from different Government departments. The Government of Bahrain permits flats for expatriates after they obtain approvals from various agencies like the Ministry of Housing.

It is advisable to consult a good real estate agent before investing in real estate or property in Bahrain. Iris Property, considered one of the best property management companies in the country offers expert advice and guidance to foreigners looking to buy real estate in Bahrain.  

Residential permit for foreign nationals or expatriates

The Government of Bahrain has taken several steps to boost foreign investment in the country. One of the systems in place in Bahrain is that foreign nationals can apply for residential permits if they invest in property in Bahrain. The Government stipulates an investment of a minimum amount to be qualified under this rule.

However, the residency permit granted is usually not a permanent one and may require renewal at regular intervals. Also, proof of continued ownership of the property will have to be furnished with the relevant authorities from time to time. 

Purchasing flats for expatriates in Bahrain may involve more paperwork than local nationals. The process may be a bit more complex than normal procedures, but with a good real estate agent in Bahrain, it is possible to experience a smooth process. 


Bahrain has always been a welcoming country. Foreign nationals can purchase property in Bahrain without much hindrance. However, appointing the right property management company in the country can ensure an obstacle-free process. Iris Property Management is a real estate and property management company in Bahrain. The company is known for its years of experience in the field of real estate property, management and development. 


July 2024