Middle Eastern Real Estate Market - Bahrain

By: Ali Moeen

When Middle Eastern property markets are mentioned, Dubai is always spoken about and the success of its real estate market is well documented. However, one market that is catching up fast is Bahrain. Of all the Middle Eastern real estate markets, the Bahrain real estate market has possible the greatest potential.

Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands. The country was once named by ancients Sumerians, considered an island paradise in which there was no disease, death or suffering, and where gods resided. Although modern Bahrain has not retained such mythical status, many still frolic in its heavenly shoreline, and many still perceive the country as blissful respite from lenient Islamic countries. Bahrain holds a strategic position between East and West, The Kingdom has always been considered a place of unity where east meets west, renowned for its warmth and hospitality. A good balance of traditional values combined with refined modernity, make Bahrain an attractive country to live and work.

Despite its size, Bahrain has a well established real estate market. In recent times changes in Bahraini law, foreign nationals are now allowed freehold ownership of property, have created a huge increase in investor interest in the country. Unlike countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain has worked hard to diversity its economy away from oil by focusing on business areas such as tourism, information technology, telecommunications, education and healthcare. This strategy has attracted a number of multinational firms to establish their headquarters in Bahrain.

About one-third of Bahrain's population is foreign expatriates who seek that ideal blend of stability and prosperity. Perhaps this influence has shaped modern Bahrain, now rapidly modernizing, full of shopping malls and restaurants. Expatriates living in Bahrain generally enjoy an extraordinary standard of living primarily because of substantial tax free income. The types of accommodation expatriates seek has established the style of real estate that is typically available for sale or rent in the Kingdom and financing properties in the Kingdom is fairly easy. Typical financing options available to investors can be found here.

The movement of increasing numbers of expatriate to Bahrain has resulted in a huge boom in the real estate sector. Most of these expatriates are taking advantage of the changes in legislation that allow them to own freehold properties and this is increasing the need for quality accommodation. The surge in demand for accommodation is probably why rental rates have surged over the last few years. However, rental rates are still significantly lower than in Dubai. These factors have made the Bahraini real estate market ripe for investment with realization of capital appreciation fairly easy to achieve due to a market enthusiastic for completed resale property.

Keeping these factors in mind, Bahrain is quite possibly the best real estate market to invest in. For investors looking for better capital appreciation than Dubai has, Bahrain is the market they need to get into.

Author's Note

There are dozens of real estate agents in the Kingdom, but the one I have invested with (IRIS W.L.L.) deals primarily in freehold properties. More information about this firm can be found at http://www/iriswll.com.

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