Geography and history have played a prominent role in shaping the Kingdom of Bahrain’s position as a major commercial centre. Its location in the heart of the Arabian Gulf gives it strategic access to both the European and Asian markets, providing entrepreneurs with the ideal springboard for meeting a wider customer base.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of islands, the largest being Bahrain Island, just off the western shores of the Arabian Gulf and connected to Saudi Arabia by the King Fahd Causeway. Capitalising on its history as a trading nation and to diversify its economy away from oil, Bahrain has sought to position itself as a regional services hub.
Bahrain gained full independence from the UK in 1971. The House of Khalifa is the royal family of Bahrain. The current head of the family is Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who became the Emir of Bahrain in 1999 and proclaimed himself King of Bahrain in 2002. Bahrain has a bicameral National Assembly (al-Jam’iyyah al-Watani) consisting of the Shura Council (Majlis Al-Shura) and the Council of Representatives (Majlis Al-Nuwab). Bahrain is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council of Arab States (GCC), Arab League and the United Nations.
The government has developed the transportation, communications and financial infrastructure necessary to attract and serve international business. Bahrain has a relatively liberal business environment and the government is keen to attract foreign investment. The primary aim of the government is to continue with industrial diversification with an emphasis on knowledge-based industries where service industries are considered to be the prime target.
The government is particularly eager to further develop tourism, healthcare, private education and financial services. In addition, Bahrain is recognised as a major banking and financial centre in the region, with a particular emphasis on investment and Islamic banking activities. Bahrain is also home to many large structures, including the Bahrain World Trade Center and the Bahrain Financial Harbour.
The investment climate in the Kingdom of Bahrain is positive and relatively stable. Bahrain maintains a business-friendly attitude and liberal approach to attracting foreign investment and business. Government efforts focus on encouraging foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing, logistics, information and communications technology (ICT), financial services, and tourism sectors. Bahrain permits 100% foreign ownership of new industrial entities and the establishment of representative offices or branches of foreign companies without Bahraini sponsors or local partners. Sovereign offers company formation and management in Bahrain across all business areas and corporate structures, together with the administrative support to maximise opportunities and achieve long-term sustainability. We further offer PRO services to ensure that the company is kept in good standing and applicable licences and permits are renewed.
Sovereign’s Private Client services assist families and entrepreneurs around the world to structure their assets to support personal, family, commercial and charitable interests. Sovereign has the depth of technical expertise to identify and create the optimum solution for our clients’ needs, whether that be asset protection, estate or succession planning. Sovereign can assist with work permit and visa processing, Bahrain ID card and driving licence processing. Our PRO team can also assist with any local approvals or documentation involving local government bodies where translations and notarisation may be required. Through our partners in Bahrain, we further offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ relocation service for clients who are moving to Bahrain. This includes orientation, home search, temporary accommodation, schooling search, moving and storage, car rental, pet importation, concierge advisory services and lease renewals, as well as exit services.