Skip to main content

Exporting guide to



Bahrain is a small but prosperous economy, which has experienced steady growth. It has one of the most liberal business environments in the region.

Trade statistics

£574.0 million total UK exports to Bahrain for the four quarters to the end of Q4 2023

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: April 2024)

78th largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: April 2024)

0.1% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q4 2023

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: April 2024)

Gateway to the Gulf

Bahrain offers businesses a solid platform and the infrastructure to operate regionally. Due to its proximity to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain is particularly well-placed to enable entry into that market. The commercial heart of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province is within an hour’s reach of Bahrain, via the King Fahd Causeway.

Low business costs

Compared with the rest of the region, operational business costs in Bahrain are considerably lower and manufacturing is also less costly.

UK Export Finance cover is available at competitive rates. Companies can get financial and export support through the Bahrain Economic Development Board, Export Bahrain, and Bahrain’s labour fund, Tamkeen.

Top five UK goods exported to Bahrain , in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023

Goods Value (£ million )
Jewellery 111.8
Cars 59.0
Mechanical power generators (intermediate) 15.9
Miscellaneous electrical goods (intermediate) 11.9
General industrial machinery (intermediate) 10.5

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: February 2024
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Bahrain.

Bahrain: at a glance

Economic growth


Actual figure (IMF, 2022)
The UK is 4.1% (IMF, 2022, actual figure)

GDP per capita


Actual figure (IMF, 2022)
The UK is $45,461 (IMF, 2022, projected figure)


Bahraini dinar

Business languages


You may need a translator

Time zone

GMT +3

Want to see more on Bahrain? Sign up for additional market data, content specific to your product or sector and to compare Bahrain side by side with other markets.

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Bahrain have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in Bahrain

Preparing to export


The UK and Bahrain have signed a double taxation agreement, meaning the same income is not taxed twice.

Bahrain has one of the most liberal tax regimes in the Gulf, with some of the lowest corporate and personal tax rates. There are very few indirect taxes and no personal income tax, wealth tax on capital gains, withholding tax (income tax deducted at source).


All labelling and packaging must be in Arabic, or both Arabic and English. Stickers are not accepted as an adequate form of labelling. You can check requirements for specific products with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC).

Import restrictions

To export goods into Bahrain for sale or consumption, British companies need to get a general licence from the Ministry of Interior's Customs Affairs Directorate.

All exports need a certificate of origin to clear customs.

Goods manufactured in Israel cannot be imported into Bahrain.

Trade barriers

Check for any reported barriers to trading with Bahrain.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in Bahrain

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial and rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP abroad. Further support for British businesses can be found through a network of IP attachés, based in key UK export markets.

View guidance on IP in Bahrain on GOV.UK.

Business challenges

UK businesses operating in Bahrain may face challenges around delays in payment and government bureaucracy, especially when getting licences.

You should also be aware that there are quotas in place for employing Bahraini nationals and that government documentation is in Arabic.

Business culture

English is widely spoken. Although it’s common for written correspondence to be in English, Arabic is often preferred within government.

Bahrain is one of the most liberal of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and is tolerant of all faiths. Islam is the national culture and should be respected.

The working week is Sunday to Thursday.

Local partnership

You can export directly to Bahrain, but working with a carefully chosen Bahraini partner or adviser is easier. A local agent will be more familiar with the business environment and will find it easier to:

  • keep in contact with customers
  • seek new business
  • get information on the latest market trends.

Next steps

Contact us

Get ready to do business abroad

Step-by-step lessons to accelerate your exporting ability.

Read more
Contact us

Find the answers to your exporting questions

Get instant help from our online services and how-to articles or contact our Export Support Service to access our wider network of support.

Find answers

Something went wrong. Please try again.

Was this page useful?

Thanks for letting us know

Can you tell us why this page was useful?

Do not share any personal or commercially sensitive information.


Thanks for letting us know

Can you tell us more about your feedback?

Do not share any personal or commercially sensitive information.


Thanks for your feedback