Buying property in Bahrain
In 2003, the Kingdom of Bahrain officially opened property investment to foreigners. This led to a massive increase in the value of real estate.
The Bahrain property market
Like its neighbors who opened its property market to foreign investors, Bahrain fell into the trap of creating too many high-end apartments and villas. After the global economic crisis of 2008, many properties lost value. However, Bahrain’s real estate market is still in its infancy, and market predictions for future valuations are difficult to make.
Many analysts predict that the housing sector will grow in line with Bahrain’s economy. In particular, the demand for mid-grade accommodations is supposed to balance the oversupply for luxury housing. However, property developers have been slow to respond to the demand, so it may take awhile for the market to balance itself out.
Where can foreigners purchase land in Bahrain?
As of the decree of 2003, there are only certain areas where non-Bahrainis may purchase land. The capital city Manama has five areas open to non-nationals: Ahmed Al-Fateh, Bu Ghazal, Hoora, Seef and Northern Manama. The developments Amwaj Islands, Dannat Hawar and Durrat Al-Bahrain are also open to foreign investors. As a foreigner, you may not hold more than 5.000 square metres of Bahrain real estate.
Seef is one of the most popular – and most expensive – areas where foreigners may purchase land. It is a high-end development meant to be a self-sufficient city.
Purchasing land in Bahrain enables you to get a residence permit without a sponsor, but there are still a lot of requirements and bureaucracy to go through. For example, you need to have a CPR (Central Population Register) card and a Bahraini bank account with at least 15.000 BHD in it. Additionally, you must purchase a property that has a value greater than 50.000 BHD (though this is not hard to do).
To streamline the process of obtaining a residence permit, you should request assistance from your real estate agency or developer. Residence permits extend to the purchaser’s immediate family, and they are valid for the length of the ownership.