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Tips on buying a home in Bahrain

Can I purchase real estate in Bahrain as an expat?

February 13,2023 

You’ll find that the procedures for purchasing property in Bahrain don’t differ significantly from those in other parts of the world. As a buyer, you are protected once permission to purchase has been granted and title deeds have been transferred into your name because Bahrain has complex and developed legal property ownership rights.

A 2% charge of the entire purchase price is required to transfer the title deeds from the owner’s name into your name (applicable for both new and resale properties). The charge will only be 1.7% if paid within 60 days of the registration date, according to a special discount rate. We urge foreign investors to get independent legal counsel throughout the entire purchasing process.

Can I purchase real estate in Bahrain as an expat?

Property can be bought in Bahrain’s authorized freehold neighborhoods.

In accordance with Bahrain’s Legislative Degree 2 for the year 2001 and Ministerial Edict No. 67 of 2006, His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa permitted foreigners, foreign residents, and nationals of the GCC to own freehold properties. This only allows foreign nationals to own freehold residential properties.

How can I purchase?

In certain locations of Bahrain, you are permitted to purchase a freehold property. In general, expats can buy residences constructed on reclaimed ground in places like Juffair, Seef, Amwaj Islands, Reef Island, Durrat Marina, and Durrat Al Bahrain, among others. Other residential freehold unit developments in Bahrain include the all-villa Riffa Views development, the Al Areen residential development, and a few others.

According to Decree No. 2 of 2001, non-Bahrainis (including persons and corporations) are permitted to own built properties and land in the Kingdom of Bahrain in accordance with the conditions set forth from time to time and in any manner permitted by preceding legislation. The Kingdom restricts the regions of land that are allowed for foreign ownership and bases this decision on the proposed buyer’s intended purpose for the property.

What about self-funding?

Expat investors, property owners, and retirees can all apply for a Self Sponsorship Residence Permit. You are eligible to a self-sponsorship residency permit as a freehold property owner for life, which is renewed every two to five years (depending on case by case basis).

You may obtain a residence permit (see legal reference below). With this residence permit, you are able to sponsor a residence permit for your spouse and any minor children as long as neither of them works for pay. With a residence permit, you and your spouse enjoy the freedom to enter and exit the country without needing to get a return visa.

Expatriates (non-Bahrainis) who own freehold property are eligible to receive residence permits through personal sponsorship, according to Ministerial Order No. 74 for 2007. The Order went into effect on January 18, 2008, after being published in the Official Gazette on January 17, 2008.

According to Article (2) (a) of the Order, an expatriate who owns a residential property in the Kingdom of Bahrain with a total value of at least BHD 50,000 may be granted an entry and residency permit under personal sponsorship. There is no issue with mortgaging the home in favor of a bank or other financial institution that has a license to operate in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Any apartment or home that is suitable for habitation must be considered a dwelling for the purposes of this Order.

Depending on the circumstances, the following documents may be needed:

  • Service request form for retired expatriates.
  • a sharp duplicate of the passport.
  • a precise replica of the ID.
  • Certificate of good behavior and behaviour.
  • a replica of the lease contract.
  • granted by the employer, whether within the kingdom or just in the GCC nations. A minimum of 15 years should be worked within that time as well.
  • a current health insurance certificate
  • The applicant must be able to support himself and any dependents through a source of income.
  • a copy of the applicant’s ID or a power of attorney.

Owner of a property in Bahrain who is an expat: Service request form.

  • an accurate passport copy.
  • a legible copy of the ID.
  • Certificate of good behavior.
  • a certified copy of the property certifying the worth of the expat’s property (in his name). No less than 50,000 BD should be spent on the property.
  • a legitimate health insurance certificate issued by the Kingdom of Bahrain

Form for service requests from expatriate investors.

  • an accurate passport copy.
  • a legible copy of the ID.
  • Certificate of good behavior and behaviour.
  • a duplicate of the lease contract.
  • A certified copy of the company’s articles of incorporation, and his ownership stake must be at least 100,000 Bahraini Dinars (100.000 BD).
  • a legitimate health insurance certificate issued by the Kingdom of Bahrain
  • The applicant must have a source of income that provides at least 500 Bahraini Dinars (BD) per month to maintain himself and any dependents.
  • a copy of the applicant’s card or a statement from his legal counsel.

The applicant must not be employed by the government or the business sector of the Kingdom of Bahrain in order for admission and residence permits to be issued under personal sponsorship.

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