According to Euromonitor, the population of Bahrain is set to double by 2030, driven mainly by immigration. A study highlights that an influx of foreign workers, particularly from Asia, means that this population is now estimated to have overtaken the native population for the first time.
Despite efforts from the government to tighten entry requirements to the country, in order to implement its policy of ‘Bahrainisation’ and to encourage employment of Bahraini nationals, it is still thought that foreign workers make up two-thirds of the current work force.
We recently looked at the United Arab Emirates, where over 80% of the current population originates from outside the country, and various stakeholders have expressed concern over expats’ dominance of the job market. Bahrain has a much smaller population than the UAE (800,000 compared to almost 7 million) and therefore its demographics are much more exposed to mass people movement.
It will be interesting in the coming years to see how these regions develop in relation to one another, as an indication of what the influential factors are in attracting expat workers to an area.