Cost of living 2019 in Bahrain

Hello everyone,

As we usually do each year, we invite you to share your experiences and tell us more about the average prices of products and services in your town/city/area, so that we have updated information regarding cost of living and inflation in Bahrain.

Thanks to your contribution, future expats in Bahrain will be more informed and will be able to refine their budget and better prepare for their big move.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Bahrain? How about buying an apartment or a house in Bahrain?

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

What is your monthly budget for groceries?

How much does it cost to see a doctor or health specialist in Bahrain?

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?

How much does childcare cost on average per month?

What is your child's schooling budget per month?

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?

How much does a gym membership cost in Bahrain?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?
Don't use public transportation regularly but a taxi via Careem from Manama to Riffa (Where i live) costs me between 5.5 BD to 7.5 BD depending on time and route taken.

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?
Haven't identified item wise cost but covered in budget below.

What is your monthly budget for groceries?
Around 300-400 BD for a family of four and one maid

How much does it cost to see a doctor or health specialist in Bahrain?
Covered by health insurance.  Average cost depending on specialist is between 25 to 40 BD per visit.

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?
Employer provided.

How much does childcare cost on average per month?
Around 100-200 BD for clothes, entertainment and other items.

What is your child's schooling budget per month?
One school going child.  Grade 3.  Annual fee is approximately 8000 BD so monthly around 667 BD.

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?
Full tank around 10 to 15 BD.

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?
Four bedroom villa.  Summer months between 250 to 400 BD including municipality tax.  Winter months around 100-150 BD.

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?
Batelco fibre optic.  50-55 BD per month

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?
Skip lunch :)

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?
Don't drink coffee outside.

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
Around 3.5 to 4 BD.

How much does a gym membership cost in Bahrain?
Have membership to Royal Golf club; not just the gym - membership includes all facilities.  Around 500 BD a year.

HI. Cost of Living is a relative term. It varies from person to person, family to family. Nonetheless, I will try to give an account of average costs n expenditures here at Bahrain.
How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Bahrain?  Right now, i.e at the start of 2019, a 2 BHK (unfurnished) apartment in Riffa can cost between 200-300 Bahraini Dinar (BD) whereas the same can cost 300-500 BD in Juffair. However, after the implementation VAT, many expats are planning to send their families back home. If that happens, the rents will fall considerably down in the coming months.

How about buying an apartment or a house in Bahrain? A 2 BHK apartment in free hold area can cost you between 60k-100k BD. It is however a risky affair for expats keeping in view the uncertainty of jobs, visa and financial situation.

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)? There is not much of Public transport (as compared to UAE). Taxi service is also very limited. Resultantly, everyone has to have a car. Low income individuals team up to buy a car to move around. A low budget car can cost around 300-500 BD whereas a 5 years old Accord or Corolla can cost around 4k-5k BD. A 10 year old Prado is around 5k BD.

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta? complete Grocery for a family of 4 can cost around 350-450 BD.

What is your monthly budget for groceries? 400

How much does it cost to see a doctor or health specialist in Bahrain? My medical is covered under agreement with my company however I had to go to dentist in Aster Clinic 6 months back to Make a removable artificial tooth. it cost me 60 BD and the service was good.

How much do you pay for health insurance per month? Not applicable.

How much does childcare cost on average per month? Not much of this thing in Bahrain. If you want to have a phillipino nanny for your children 8 hours a day. It may cost you 150-300 BD.

What is your child's schooling budget per month? 100 BD in schools like Al-Noor.

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank? 10-11 BD for a 70 litres tank.

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month? 100 BD for a 2BHK

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription? 10 BD pm for Internet device for 40GB and 6 BD for package of VIVA or Zain in your mobile phone.

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays? 5-8 BD per head

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee? 2-3 BD in a medium-to-good cafe' however, there are roadside shops giving a cup of coffee in 200-500 fills (there are 1000 fills in a BD)

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket? 2-4 BD depending upon the venue.

How much does a gym membership cost in Bahrain? Company provided. Memberships of multi-facility clubs are available around 200-600 BD per year.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

The cost of living in Bahrain this days is abnormal. We all know The country situation how the economy is down. The way government are increasing everything almost every 6 month and they don't even care of employees salary increasement. So I advise everyone coming to this country to be extral ordinary prepared. Thanks!

Actually, to be fair, the cost of living is not abnormal but is actually now becoming normal compared to global norms.   

I have lived in many countries and the GCC was always much ahead of the curve in terms of savings potential due to lack of taxes and such.   This was primarily due to the massive amounts of subsidies by the governments on the back of oil revenues on every thing.  But as all good things go, it wasn't going to last forever as oil prices fell. 

But still, Bahrain does still afford a lot of savings opportunities vs. other countries for expats. Try living in Hong Kong, Singapore or even Dubai etc to understand what I mean.  The reason the increases hurt is because they are now being done quickly after years of holding the status quo.   Eventually, the situation will normalize and people will get used to the new reality.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Bahrain? How about buying an apartment or a house in Bahrain? - Depends on ones budget. Bed space sharing costs around BD 30 - 50, 1BHK (Unfurnished) - BD 120 - BD 150, 2BHK - BD 200 - BD 250.
2 BHK (Fully Furnished) - BD 275 - BD 400. Please note that all these above prices is exclusive Electricity and Water bills.


How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?
Careem Taxi would cost BD 2.5 to BD 8 depending on time and distance. BTC buses charge 300 Fils per ride however prepaid cards will cost cheaper.

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?
Basmati rice - 800 Fils to BD 1.2 per Kg
Bread - 300 Fils - 500 Fils
Pasta - 500Fils - 800 Fils per 500gms

What is your monthly budget for groceries?
BD 180 per month for a family of 2 adults and a child. Includes bottled drinking water.

How much does it cost to see a doctor or health specialist in Bahrain?
BD 5 for a GP and BD 15 - BD 20 for specialist. Medicines will be extra. However most expats have medical insurance which is cashless with 10% - 20% co-payment.

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?
It's covered by employer.

How much does childcare cost on average per month?
BD 20 - BD 40 per month

What is your child's schooling budget per month?
BD 30 to BD 100.

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?
BD 5.500 for 35 LTR

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?
Electricity bills are on the rise since last 3 years. In winter's bills will be around BD 40 - BD 50 but in peak summer the bills would be as high as BD 80 - BD 120. This is for a small 2 BHK not using a hot plate for cooking.

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?
BD 6 for phone and mobile internet.

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?
BD 1 - BD 2.5

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?
BD 1.5 - BD 2.5

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
BD 3

How much does a gym membership cost in Bahrain?
BD 10 to BD 30 per month

This is going to be a long post.  To answer the question you need to put things in perspective.  Renting a two bedroom apartment is going to cost less than a villa.  I do hope everyone else would also qualify there answer with a brief description and to keep all cost reference in BD.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Bahrain? How about buying an apartment or a house in Bahrain?  I have rented two, one was a three bedroom flat, for 700 BD per month, all utilities include, no limit.  The second was a five bedroom villa with a simi private pool (shared with three other units) and a maid’s room for 855 BD per month.  The lease included 50 BD a month for utilities.  At the end of 8 months I had an utility bill of 450 BD.

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)? The only public transportation would be Uber and a Taxi, the only taxi I took was from or to the airport, cost varies but about 20 BD

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta? I was a single guy and shopped mostly for breakfast and dinner.  I was on a diet and only purchased, eggs, salads, bread, cheese, chicken breasts cooked, fruits, tuna and a few other items, I was spend 40 to 80 BD ever 3 or 4 days.  That would total 350 BD a month, rough average cost.

What is your monthly budget for groceries? No budget it was what I want to eat for my diet.

How much does it cost to see a doctor or health specialist in Bahrain?  Without insurance the average doctor visit was 40 BD each visit

How much do you pay for health insurance per month? I had insurance from the USA which I paid 25% of the cost.  In BD my cost per month was 253 BD a month

How much does childcare cost on average per month? Did not have any children

What is your child's schooling budget per month? None

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank? It use to cost 2.8 BD in Saudi but not it is 5.3 BD in Saudi, when I had to fill up in Bahrain it cost 8.0 BD.  I was driving a Nissan Sunny 41 l tank
The cost of gas per l in Saudi is 0.167 BD in Bahrain 0.20 BD

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month? See comment under housing, Eight months was 50 BD a month subtotal included in the rent 400 BD and 450 BD actual usage above=total 840 BD for 8 months, average 105 BD electric and water.

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription? Internet was 18 BD per month, phones were pay in advance average 6 BD top up and did that 4 times a month.  I do not know why it costs so much.  I had 6 gig of data and 300 min.  I never use my minutes and always ran out of data time.

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays? None

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee? 2 BD to 2.5 BD for a medium cappuccino, espresso was not as costly.

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket? Did not go

How much does a gym membership cost in Bahrain? Did not go
Cost to drive the Bahrain causeway, 1 BD a day for insurance and 2.5 BD each end, total 6 BD one trip.
Douglas

Thank you for the updates.

i think they wanted to know the average cost not the life of a CEO

Is 5k / month enough for a family with 3 kids? Pls any info is welcome thx

Hello all...

I am born and bought up in Bahrain. My answer will be a mix of a local and expat perspective…

Having lived my entire life in this country and having visited (not resided) almost all corners of the world from the Middle East, to Asia, to Europe and Americas I can easily say that Bahrain is just like any other country having different strata of society for whom cost of living differs based on their ability to earn and spend!

But if I was to generalize (I'm no economist) I'll say that cost of living in Bahrain is pretty reasonable and affordable compared to some of the countries which appear on a very high living cost index – refer Japan, Singapore, even UAE now

So beginning with some of the questions: keeping a family of a couple with 2 kids

1.    Renting or Owning: I don’t know of many expats owning their properties here, it’s not a common practice here but renting I know people here renting shared places at BD 100 and I know people renting 1000+ villas. The good point here is options are unlimited here as regards the availably of properties to match up your living standards or affordability. In my opinion allocating BD. 400-600 towards accommodation here is a reasonable ballpark. I can also say that now with the option of buying freehold properties many expats are exploring this option as well. Perhaps this will be a good thread to start…..

2.    Public Transportation: Pretty cheap here as well, if considering the Bus system. Taxis and private drivers: also reasonable at BD 100-150 monthly depending on your location and routes. However, most expats as well as locals opt for car loans and prefer to commute on their own cars for convenience as once again – it is readily available. In my opinion its pretty normal for people to have car loans of monthly starting at 100-300 depending once again on your class type. Keep in mind the insurance costs of the car on an annual basis plus the inevitable repair and maintenance if you opt for a 2nd hand car or even a brand new car

3.    Car Cleaning: This is BD 10-15 monthly expense very common in the gulf as most have their own cars.

4.    Grocery: I would allocated anywhere from BD150-BD300 for this essential element in the cost of living.

5.    Health care: Once again, good options are available as regards the levels, you have almost free government healthcare in health centers and salmaniya (this is drastically changing now), to a Shifa Al Jazeera (reasonable no-frill health care) to a Bahrain Specialist (pretty good high end health care) to a Awali Hosptial (premium heatlh care). Most expats come with insurance packages and this brings their health costs close to zero but those who don’t should allocate approximately BD200-500 in reasonable healthcare annually.

6.    Child Care: This, once again so varied. A reasonable ballpark would be BD 100-200 monthly if you are looking at child care centers which is poor in this region. I would still allocate BD 30-50 if by child care you mean clothing and entertainment activities for kids

7.    Schooling: Allocate approx. BD 100 per child at the lower end and even BD 500 at the higher end. In my opinion, options are limited here. You have the lower end (country specific school ie Indian school, Pakistani school, Al Noor international – low education quality in my opinion) and the higher end (British School, RVS, Ibn Khuldoon- higher education quality). The middle spectrum of reasonable yet quality education is limited in my opinion here in Bahrain.

8.    Fuel Tank: Budget anywhere from BD 8-12 towards this

9.    Utilities: A reasonable budget here based on the various households I have observed would be BD 50-100

10.    Telecom: BD 20-30 is a good start

11.    Lunch: Budget BD 20-30 here or get your packed lunch!

12.    Coffee: Try and make your own since a Tim Hortons cost you triple the price of what it would cost you in let’s say Canada or UK! When I visited Canada, I couldn’t stop having coffee there as I felt I was having ‘Karak’ in Bahrain!   :P

13.    Cinema Ticket: Can’t skip this one, so try and get some good deals like the new e-Wallet options, several promo options of buy one get one free are available always. Set aside BD 3-4 for this though

14.    Gym: You can get entry into a local gym for as less as BD 30 vs a premium Health club membership at BD 300-400. There are plenty of community sports centers but I always see expats shy away from these due to language barriers. Anyone heard about the Sheikh Khalifa Sports center in Isa Town – worth exploring if you are in the vicinity.

15.    Live in Housemaid: This is a must have expense for locals but over time I have seen expats indulge in this rather crippling luxury. Allocate BD. 80-120 for this.
16.    Dining: Be sure to reserve something for dining in this part of the world (unlike the west the major recreation in the Gulf is good dining as its cheap!). Allocate BD. 40-50 here monthly! Unless you prefer home packed lunches… Hint hint:  consider some saving apps!

17.    Random expenses: Budget about BD 200-300 annually for those expenses which crop up unbudgeted, unforeseen, unwanted  - refer a relatives wedding, traffic fines, family get together, relationship goals, parties, kids eyeing the latest  gadget in the market, socializing, emergency!?

18.    Savings: Always allocate a minimum of 10-20% of your income towards savings  - I think we all do to some extent…

19.    Charity: Don’t forget the minimum 2% (for Muslims) but hey we all know charity doesn’t have an end line and 2% is a great start!  :gloria

20.    Expat relative Tax: Finally allocate BD 20 month for being a expat relative where you are expected to distribute goodies to your relatives coming from Gulf! (Don’t take this too serious!) :lol:

All in all, I would say someone with a household income of BD 200-1500 would be considered a low household income, 1500-4000 would be considered a mid-level household income and 4000+ would be considered a high level household income but those in the range of 100-1000 bracket are plenty here and doing well!

Hope this helps!

TT
~I have no special talents. I am passionately curious~ Albert Einstein

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