US Nursing: Bahrain
A nurse will find the country is one of the most cosmopolitan and Westernised countries in the Middle East. While Islam is the main religion, Bahrainis are known for their tolerance. One of the key differences in Bahrain is the restriction of alcohol. Generally, only hotels have licenses to sell alcohol, so you are likely to find that the majority of bars, restaurants and clubs aimed at Westerners will be attached to hotels.
The month of Ramadan is a feature of life in the Middle East, from sunrise to sunset, eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted in public. This is strictly adhered to and even as a non-Muslim it is unacceptable to partake in any of the above.
Drinking may not be a good idea but a nurses who is a shopaholic is very welcome in Bahrain; it’s a retail paradise and nurses will discover breathtaking malls and department stores, selling everything from Blu-ray players to designer clothes, all tax free.
A nurse who is more of an outdoors person, will have no trouble finding locals willing to share their love of fishing, horse riding, golf or water sports. Desert driving is also popular.
There is a thriving expat community with many social clubs. Restaurants serve Arabic, European, American and Asian cuisine and is always of a high quality.
Bahrain’s prosperity is not dependent on its oil reserves, becoming known for its financial institutions as early as the 1970s. It now has a well established base of leading, international companies and financial institutions, attracted by the buoyant economic situation.
Having made major investments in education and social welfare, Bahrain aims to become as self sufficient as possible in terms of its work force. For a candidate to be employed from overseas they must have experience and skills that cannot be found locally. For those candidates with skills in demand, a move to Bahrain could be life changing; remuneration and benefits packages are among the best in the world.
Nurses should be aware that the major incentive to move to Bahrain is its status as a free economic zone. There is no income tax.
Like most Gulf countries, Bahrain is not the cheapest. It’s possible to get a decent meal for under a dinar, and car rental at BD 10-20/day is reasonable.