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Safety in Bahrain has been negatively affected by a politically turbulent period since early 2011, with periodic violent protests and demonstrations. The unrest has largely occurred outside of the capital, but protest activity in Manama is occasionally reported. These are dangers that expats should be able to navigate fairly easily as long as they avoid such gatherings.
In terms of crime, Bahrain is relatively safe, but expats should be careful on the road as local drivers can be erratic and unpredicatable.
Protests in Bahrain
Expats are advised to avoid crowded places when protests and demonstrations are taking place. From time to time, when political violence flares up the Bahraini government may enforce a curfew and it is recommended that expats respect these regulations for their own safety.
Crime in Bahrain
The crime rate in Bahrain is low and unlikely to impact expats. Crimes are generally petty in nature and include opportunistic theft, burglary and pickpocketing.
Common-sense precautions, such as avoiding travel at night in lower-income areas and securing valuables, will lower the risk of being targeted.
Terrorism in Bahrain
Bahrain has not been affected by terrorism to the same degree as some of its neighbours in recent years. Nonetheless, the country is occasionally affected by low-level and relatively unsophisticated incendiary attacks. These typically occur during demonstrations or periods of civil unrest and are used against the police services.
Road safety in Bahrain
The standard of driving in Bahrain is poor and the country experiences a high number of road traffic accidents. Aggressive driving, speeding and general disregard for traffic laws are the primary causes.
Expats are advised not to drive, but rather hire a local driver who is more familiar with Bahraini road behaviour. Expats who do opt to drive should do so defensively and with caution, particularly on major highways and at high-risk times.
►To learn about the standard of medical treatment in the archipelago, read Healthcare in Bahrain
"The local authorities are quick to restore order." Read more about John's life in Bahrain.
"Very safe – except the driving. Drive defensively, always wear a seatbelt and don’t drive if it has recently rained." Learn more about Susie's experiences in Bahrain.
Are you an expat living in Bahrain?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Bahrain. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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