Basic Guide to Laws and Regulations in Bahrain

Just recently, a global survey hailed Bahrain as the most popular destination for expats. Many people come here to make a living, raise a family, and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

Indeed, working in Bahrain has proven to be wise choice for many overseas workers. Compared to other Muslim countries in the region, the country has a relaxed and friendly culture. Of course, this would not be possible without having some rules and regulations in place. This article presents some of the general laws in the Kingdom.

Living in Bahrain involves following certain laws and regulations.
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Laws and Regulations in Bahrain: A Basic Guide

If you are planning to work in Bahrain, or if you have just arrived here, there are basic rules and regulations that you should know. Generally, these rules adhere to Sharia, the Islamic system of law which is practiced in the Kingdom.

Dress Code and Behavior

  • To avoid offending local beliefs, always dress modestly and behave respectfully.
  • Women should avoid wearing tight and revealing clothes, such as strapless tops and short skirts.
  • When visiting a mosque, women should cover their heads with a scarf.
  • Making obscene gestures and uttering verbal insults could lead to heavy fines.
Dressing modestly is a must, especially when visiting a mosque.

Sex and Relationships

  • Sexual relationships and “living in” between unmarried couples is not allowed.
  • Homosexuality is considered an offense under the law; it could lead to imprisonment and deportation.
  • Avoid intimate physical contact (e.g. hugging, kissing) in public as this could attract unnecessary attention.
Avoid intimate physical contact in public, as this could attract unnecessary attention.

Alcohol and Illegal Drugs

  • Non-Muslims may purchase alcohol in licensed stores.
  • Getting drunk in public may lead to detentions and fines.
  • Drinking and driving is prohibited; this could lead to detentions and fines.
  • Possession, use, and trafficking of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited. These could lead to heavy fines, imprisonment, and even the death penalty.
Drinking and driving could lead to detentions and fines.

Criminal Offenses

  • The following crimes are considered as serious offenses: apostasy (renouncing one’s faith or religion), murder, adultery, homosexuality, theft, and sex outside of marriage.
  • Other offenses include alcohol abuse, drug abuse, usury (lending money at unreasonably high rates), incurring debts, and using pornography.
  • Getting into debt or other legal disputes may prevent you from leaving the country until they are resolved.
Possession, use, and trafficking of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited.

Some of these laws may seem strict, especially if they are not the same as the ones practiced in your home country. Still, to have a peaceful and trouble-free stay, it is important to know and follow these rules. In addition, check out this guide to traffic laws in Bahrain, particularly if you are planning to drive or use a vehicle in the country.

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