Expats should be aware that it will likely take some time to get used to transport and driving in Bahrain. That said, 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, most expats find that driving is the easiest and most convenient way to get around in Bahrain. Plans have been put in place to construct a metro system for the island, which will be built in phases and is set to be complete by 2023. 

Public transport in Bahrain


The primary mode of public transport in Bahrain is buses. Though buses are plentiful and cover just about anywhere one would need to go on the island, many don't have air conditioning and they are often crowded. Some of the island's bus shelters are air conditioned, however.

The bus system is complex to navigate and route maps aren't easy to understand, but there is a Bahrain Bus app that is available to download from the App Store or Play Store, which makes navigating the bus system a lot easier. Otherwise, expats can speak to a member of staff at the bus station for assistance.

Fares can be paid using a GO Card. They can be topped up using machines on buses or at stations, and are the cheapest and easiest method of payment for the buses.

Taxis in Bahrain

Taxis are reliable and plentiful in Bahrain's main city centres. Fares are expensive, and taxi drivers may try to further overcharge expats if they think they can get away with it. Expats should therefore make sure that taxi drivers have their meters on at all times.

Uber is also available in Bahrain, which can be cheaper than regular taxis, and expats will have the added benefit of knowing the fare beforehand. 

Driving in Bahrain

Most expats living in Bahrain have a car. In the heat of the summer, air-conditioned transport is essential even to drive 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, and roads are generally well maintained.

That said, 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. Bahrain's small size should make commuting by bicycle easy, but it can get unbearably hot and the roads are filled with unpredictable and dangerous driving, making this a far from ideal form of commute.

Expat Health Insurance

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Cigna Global Health Insurance - 10% off any plans bought in November and December 2023

With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Cigna is currently offering a 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on their Silver package.

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