Cost of Living in Bahrain

The cost of living in Bahrain is consistently on the increase due to inflation, as well as the presence of a growing Western expat population prepared to pay more for goods and services.

That said, compared to other regional commercial centres, such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Bahrain is still a reasonable destination when it comes to balancing the budget and putting away a little something extra in the bank account.

The 2018 Mercer Cost of Living Survey ranked Manama, the country's capital and largest city, 77th out of 209 cities. However, as in all locations, cost of living can vary tremendously depending on the lifestyle one chooses to lead.

In the past, accommodation and car allowances were common add-ons to expat salaries in Bahrain. However, in recent years, this tactic has fallen out of favour, so it's vital to make sure one’s base payment plan adequately covers these expenses, and then some.

Cost of accommodation in Bahrain

Accommodation will be the largest expat expense, and costs have risen in recent years; many landlords actively ignore the cap placed on annual increases. Still, there are plenty of different housing options that satisfy nearly every budget.

Property inside expat compounds is by far the most expensive. In contrast, opting for an apartment in town will cost less.

Cost of transport in Bahrain

Despite the island's compact size, public transport options are limited, with the result that most expats will need to budget for a private vehicle. Again, prices vary tremendously based on a number of factors. A pre-owned older make and model will decrease in price accordingly.

Cost of schools in Bahrain

Expat families moving to Bahrain usually send their children to one of the island's private or international schools. This can be a large unforeseen expense, especially for expats coming from countries where school expenses are covered or subsidised by the government. Tuition fees can vary depending on the school age of children and the school selected.

Expats sending their children to an international school may need to budget annually for school fees. Additional expenses may include extra-curricular activities, school uniforms, textbooks and other basic school supplies.

Cost of food in Bahrain

Food costs in Bahrain are generally reasonable, especially if one foregoes the temptation of dining out and opts to eat at home more frequently. That being said, household labels from abroad will be highly priced, whereas fresh produce and local products are extremely affordable.

Cost of living in Bahrain chart

Prices may vary depending on location and service provider. The table below is based on average prices for Manama in September 2018.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

700 BHD

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

450 BHD 

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

350 BHD

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

250 BHD 


Milk (1 litre)

0.60 BHD

Dozen eggs

0.90 BHD

Chicken breasts (1kg)

2.30 BHD

Rice (1kg)

0.85 BHD

Loaf of white bread

0.40 BHD

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

1.80 BHD

Eating out

Big Mac meal

2.40 BHD

Coca Cola (330ml)

0.20 BHD


1.80 BHD

Bottle of beer

3.50 BHD

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

15 BHD


Mobile call rate (per minute, mobile to mobile)

0.05 BHD

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable average per month)

14 BHD

Hourly rate for a domestic cleaner

 2.80 BHD

Utilities (average per month for standard household)

40 BHD


Taxi rate per km

0.20 BHD

One-way ticket on public transport

0.30 BHD

Petrol (per litre)

0.20 BHD

Bahrain Relocation Our Expat Expert

Bahrain Relocation is a relocation and expat services provider based in Bahrain. Website:

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