5 Key Things to Do When Landing an OFW Job in Bahrain
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Securing an OFW job in Bahrain is exhilarating!&nbsp;Known for being an incredibly prosperous and culturally diverse monarchy, the Kingdom of Bahrain is one of the six nations constituting the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bahrain occupies the clear and tranquil western waters of the Persian Gulf. It is an increasingly popular job destination for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) because it grants an open economy; it provides&nbsp;low-taxation policies</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">&nbsp;to skilled and semi-skilled foreign workers in various job industries. So it’s no wonder that OFWs flock to this country because of hefty wages and incentives.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When landing a job in Bahrain, here are key things you initially need to do:</span></p> <h2><b>Get your permits validated, pronto</b></h2> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="150" height="150" src="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2021/03/visa-permit-e1476275738705-150x150-1.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-9397"/></figure> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As soon as you step down at the Bahrain International Airport, head to a Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) terminal. LMRA uses an eGovernment portal that helps speed up permit procedures for Filipino workers. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Y</span>our employer has arranged your work permit before your arrival. Now all you need to do is submit key documents that include your Visa and Passport, as well as copies of your Health Exam results, fingerprints, ID photos, and signature. LMRA is in direct link to specific governing entities and will coordinate with them to issue your own ID and Residence Permit.</p> <p>Aside from the Health Exam conducted before your departure, you will be given another appointment for a government-controlled medical checkup. An AIDS/HIV testing is mandatory!</p> <h2><b>Immerse in its diverse cultural environment</b></h2> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-large"><a href="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/Bahrain.jpg"><img loading="lazy" width="1024" height="747" src="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/Bahrain-1024x747-1.jpg" alt="5 Key Things to Do When Landing an OFW Job in Bahrain" class="wp-image-9398" srcset="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/Bahrain-1024x747-1.jpg 1024w, https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/Bahrain-1024x747-1-300x219.jpg 300w, https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/Bahrain-1024x747-1-768x560.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></a><figcaption>Bahrain is a bustling center for leisure, nightlife, and entertainment events.<br>Credit: Ulysses Peralta</figcaption></figure></div> <p>Although Bahrain is culturally conservative, its local citizens show exceptional tolerance of other religions and cultures.</p> <p>However, please take note about Bahrain&#8217;s rules and prohibitions as follows:</p> <ul><li>Smoking and drinking alcohol in public are illegal.</li><li>Do not wear revealing clothing. Dress smartly, not provocatively.</li><li>Public Displays of Affection (PDAs) are prohibited. Please respect each individual&#8217;s personal space.</li><li>During Ramadan, do not consume any food or drink (not even water!) in public between sunrise and sunset.</li></ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you need to wind down, Bahrain’s cities allow you to enjoy a range of theme parks, malls, cinemas, temples, historical sites (recommended: visit </span><a href="http://www.bahrain.com/en/vp/things-to-do/top-ten-sights/Pages/Tree-of-Life.aspx#.V_w-H4997IU" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tree of Life</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">!), museums, and pubs. Don’t forget to grab some delicious Bahraini food: try the heavily-seasoned rice Biryani or a hearty Margoog veggie stew to cap off a demanding work day.</span></p> <h3><b>Understand your working conditions</b></h3> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-large"><a href="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/working-conditions.jpg"><img loading="lazy" width="1024" height="682" src="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/working-conditions-1024x682-1.jpg" alt="5 Key Things to Do When Landing an OFW Job in Bahrain" class="wp-image-9399" srcset="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/working-conditions-1024x682-1.jpg 1024w, https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/working-conditions-1024x682-1-300x200.jpg 300w, https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/working-conditions-1024x682-1-768x512.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></a><figcaption>Understanding your work conditions is a must for every OFW.</figcaption></figure></div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bahrain’s working conditions maintain excellent infrastructure. According to the <a href="http://www.survivalbooks.net/books-guides-world/view/61#.V_xV44997IV" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Living and Working in the Gulf States &amp; Saudi Arabia</a>, even contract workers have &#8220;indemnity&#8221; after finishing their contract. An indemnity pays the basic salary, excluding bonuses. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The country’s regular workweek covers 40-48 hours, depending on company policy. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Office hours typically start at 8:30 &#8211; 9:00 am and ends around 5:30 &#8211; 6:00 pm.&nbsp;Government offices and other businesses run shorter opening hours, from 7:30 &#8211; 2:00 pm.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The eight-hour work day cuts back to six hours during the holy month of Ramadan. While this may apply to Muslims only, other companies include all of their staff. The official Bahrain weekend falls on Friday to Saturday. Friday is rest day for Muslims.</span></p> <h4><b>Know where to get medical treatment</b></h4> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-large"><a href="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/hospital.png"><img loading="lazy" width="300" height="225" src="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/hospital-300x225-1.jpg" alt="5 Key Things to Do When Landing an OFW Job in Bahrain" class="wp-image-9400"/></a><figcaption>Bahrain features a long list of hospitals and medical facilities ready to serve your health needs.</figcaption></figure></div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Medical support and treatment goes beyond the initial physical exams for OFWs. Knowing where to go and get medical help is key to living a good life abroad. Getting sick is not an option for an overseas worker; whenever you unwell, check with the nearest doctor and healthcare facility. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><a href="http://www.bahrain.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Bahrain&#8217;s official website</a>&nbsp;lists&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bahrain.com/en/ml/directory/pages/hospitals-clinics.aspx#.V_xBlI997IU" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities</a>, where you can seek medical assistance and hospital care.</span></p> <p><strong>Tips:</strong></p> <ul><li><span style="font-weight: 400;">The National Emergency hotline number you can call for emergencies is <strong>999</strong>. </span></li><li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ambulance services are equipped with highly trained staff and advanced equipment, ready to assist patients in need. </span></li><li><span style="font-weight: 400;">24-hour open pharmacies are easily accessible around Bahrain&#8217;s cities and small towns.</span></li><li>Medicines are quite expensive so do not throw away your receipt. Your insurance coverage will reimburse it!</li></ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Although OFWs can have access to the public healthcare system in Bahrain, the majority go for private healthcare instead. Both Expat and Local Workers have private health insurance included in their employment package. Private facilities are more convenient and flexible in terms of room availability and visiting hours. Most of these facilities have General Practitioners (GP) to attend to specific health needs.&nbsp;</span></p> <h5><b>Learn about living costs</b></h5> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-large"><a href="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/Bahrain-currency.jpg"><img loading="lazy" width="1024" height="683" src="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/Bahrain-currency-1024x683-1.jpg" alt="5 Key Things to Do When Landing an OFW Job in Bahrain" class="wp-image-9401" srcset="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/Bahrain-currency-1024x683-1.jpg 1024w, https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/Bahrain-currency-1024x683-1-300x200.jpg 300w, https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/10/Bahrain-currency-1024x683-1-768x512.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></a><figcaption>Bahrain currency.<br>Credit: abcdz2000</figcaption></figure></div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The standard of living in Bahrain is considerably high. OFWs can get decent and affordable </span><a href="http://www.bahrainpropertyrentals.com/home" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span style="font-weight: 400;">property rentals </span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">&nbsp;and some companies offer free accommodation villas. Note: rented properties in Bahrain come with utilities and taxes. For transport, there are <a href="https://www.sixt.com/car-rental/bahrain" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">budget car rentals</a>&nbsp;available.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If your company provides you a car, you have to spend at least 50 Bahraini Dinar (BHD) per month on fuel. It will cost much LESS if you take public transport. There is a public bus system that directly links most of the cities and towns. A single bus fare can cost you 250 Fils (or 0.25 BHD). Taxi charges depend on your travel time and work destination.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In Bahrain, there is no personal income, corporate, value added or withholding tax. However, you will need to pay up 1% of your income for Social Security insurance <strong>or</strong> pay 10% municipal tax on your monthly rent.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to a Bahrain Tax Guide 2013, Bahrain “has entered into avoidance of double taxation treaties with several countries,&#8221; including the Philippines (</span><a href="http://www.pkf.com/media/1954293/bahrain%20pkf%20tax%20guide%202013.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span style="font-weight: 400;">PKF International Limited, 2013</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">). Your earnings will not be taxed twice! You will also need to determine how much you need to spend on your food, leisure, remittances and savings.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Having the proper knowledge of Bahrain’s foreign worker policies and conditions, culture, medical support and living costs will make your transition to the Kingdom a smoother process.</span></p> <p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">How was your experience as an OFW job in Bahrain like? 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