Accommodation in Manama

Accommodation in Manama
Updated 2020-02-24 10:55

Accommodation in Bahrain can range from cheap apartments to incredibly expensive villas. Most expats will aim for somewhere in-between, all of which can be found in the Kingdom's capital, Manama.

If you are relocating to Bahrain, it is likely you will work in or near Manama. In many cases, your employer will arrange accommodation for you and your family before you arrive. However, if you are organising your own, here is an introduction to accommodation in and around the city.

House hunting in Manama

Bahrain generally offers modern and large accommodation, ranging from stylish high-rise apartment buildings, stand-alone houses, and compounds. Accommodation is often newly constructed and finished to a high standard. Neighbourhoods are often planned as communities, with dining, entertainment and shopping options all contained within the area. Many housing communities are gated and offer security.

When deciding on a housing type and location, consider the amount of space required and the needs of your family, and keep in mind the proximity to schools and the workplace. Traffic can be heavy at times, so families may prefer to be out of the major conurbation with more access to open space, and to avoid rush hour commutes when travelling to school and work.

For those of you who do not have accommodation arranged by your employer, renting a property is a straightforward process. Both short-term and long-term leases are available, but twelve-month leases are the most common. Make sure you can commit to the full duration of the lease, as you may find it hard to be released from the contract. A diplomatic clause is often contained in the lease which allows it to be broken in the event you lose your employment or have to leave the island permanently for some other reason. Check your lease carefully before signing.

Rental prices may or may not include utilities, so always check this in advance. Security deposits are often asked for and are usually one month's rent, although larger deposits may be required for some of the more expensive properties.

Popular expat neighbourhoods in Manama

Manama is Bahrain's capital, largest city, and predominantly a business area. However, the city has grown in recent years, and many suburban areas can now be found in the outskirts of the city. Manama is popular with those who wish to be near to the workplace, or close to the city's dining and nightlife options.

Reef Island

Reef Island is a recently constructed artificial island and is home to a number of villas and hi-rise apartment blocks. Access to the island is via a bridge, and the area is security controlled. Several cafes and restaurants are in the complex, and it boasts a small but elegant beach.


Although not strictly within the confines of Manama, Seef is a popular area in which to live. As with many districts, development is ongoing, offering modern and luxury accommodation. Some of the biggest shopping malls in the country, Seef Mall and Bahrain City Centre Mall can be found here. It is also one of the most expensive areas to rent.


Juffair offers convenience, as it is very close to the centre of Manama. It has a wide range of shops, dining, and accommodation options. Its close proximity to the US and UK naval bases makes it popular with expats. Several western fast food outlets and restaurant chains can be found here as well as nightlife. Juffair is built on reclaimed land, and the single access road once led to severe congestion at peak times. The opening of a second road alleviated this considerably.


For those of you who like to eat out on a regular basis, Adliya could be the place for you. Long considered the food capital of the island, villas, apartments and compounds can be found within easy walking distance of some of the best restaurants in Bahrain.

Umm Al Hassam and Mahooz

Umm Al Hassam and Mahooz both contain a mixture of reasonably priced villas, compounds and apartment blocks. These areas are perhaps not as glamorous as some of the others but have good access to a major road, the Shaikh Isa bin Salman Highway. Umm Al Hassam is also home to the British Club, one of the main expat clubs in Bahrain.

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