Transport and Driving in Bahrain
Expats should be aware that it will likely take some time to get used to transport and driving in Bahrain. However, the island's diminutive size means that this adjustment is somewhat less dramatic than in larger countries.
As public transport options are limited to bus services only, most expats will find that driving is the easiest and most convenient way to get around in Bahrain.
Public transport in Bahrain
Bahrain has a basic public transport system, but the services tend to be more popular with expats from Asia and India, less so with Westerners.
The primary mode of public transport is buses. Though buses are plentiful and cover just about anywhere one would need to go on the island, they don't have air conditioning and are often crowded. The bus system is complex to navigate and route maps are not easy to understand, so if wanting to take a bus, it is best to speak to a member of staff at the bus station.
There is currently no railway system in Bahrain. A light-rail system and a subway system have both been proposed as possible future projects.
Taxis in Bahrain
Taxis are reliable and plentiful in Bahrain's main city centres. Bahrain taxi fares are more expensive than taxi fares in the UAE and some expats find prices to be exorbitant. If using a taxi, expats should make sure that taxi drivers have their meters on at all times.
Driving in Bahrain
Most expats living in Bahrain have a car. In the heat of the summer, air-conditioned transport is essential even to pop to the local shop.
Driving in Bahrain is on the right-hand side of the road and traffic is commonly regulated by roundabouts. Road signs are usually in both Arabic and English.
Driving standards in Bahrain are poor and local driving behaviour can be erratic. Speeding, lane switching without signalling and the use of mobile phones while driving are common so expats should drive defensively and always wear a seatbelt.
Cycling in Bahrain
Although there is a lack of cycling infrastructure in Bahrain, the island is home to a handful of cycling groups, including an expat cycling group. Bahrain's small size should make commuting by bicycle easy, but as the roads are filled with unpredictable and dangerous driving, this is not ideal.
Walking in Bahrain
According to the World Health Organisation, the majority of fatalities on Bahrain's roads is pedestrians. Bahrain's hot climate also makes walking for prolonged periods of time dangerous due to risk of heat exhaustion and dehydration.