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Cap on Expats Working in Bahrain Being Considered

Bahrain : 25 November 2010

The idea of capping the number of expatriates working in Bahrain is being mulled over.

Current data shows that about 50 per cent of the population consists of foreigners and 77 per cent of the labour force is expats.

Dr Majeed Al Alawi, the Minister of Labour in Bahrain, has exposed plans that would instill a limit on work visas issued to expats.  Al Alawi stated that members of the GCC are being pressured by labour groups across the globe to protect the rights of workers.

The conditions in Bahrain are good, but further developments are needed to ensure expats have a healthy workplace environment.

The minister also noted that these developments do not negate the possibility of a visa cap.  A LMRA (Labour Market Regulatory Authority) study is currently underway to determine what types of caps are needed.

These comments were made in Zayed Town, where Al Alawi signed a memorandum with the UAE Minister of Labour Saqr Ghobash.

The workforce in Bahrain sat at 597,402 by the close of the third quarter.  Of that number, the LMRA reported that there were 457,487 foreign workers.  Population stats from 2008 show 1,106,509 Bahrain residents, consisting of 568,790 foreigners compared to 537,719 nationals.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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