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Al Tamimi & Company: Bahrainisation Calculator

What is Bahrainisation?

The “Bahrainisation” policy is a strategic nationalisation programme to regulate the labour market and help Bahraini nationals to succeed in the public and private sector.

Since the oil boom in the 1970s, economic development within Gulf Cooperation Council countries has been a high priority. The Yale Review of International Studies cites the lack of proper expertise and education by Gulf nationals as a reason why GCC countries had to resort to skilled expatriate workers to facilitate growth and development. Bahrain was a notable exception to this economic development strategy. Rather than focus on a foreign skilled labour force, the government invested heavily in education and instituted Bahrainisation.

The policies of Bahrainisation focused on several elements, including the following:-

  • Limiting supply and labour market dependency of foreign workers
  • Creating job opportunities for Bahraini nationals
  • Ensuring job protection for Bahraini nationals
  • Decreasing unemployment rate of Bahraini nationals

To further shift the labour market towards nationalization policies, Bahrain established the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) as the regulatory agency in charge of addressing immigration issues, governing the entry, exit and residence of expatriates, and increasing the participation rate of Bahraini nationals in the workforce.

Historically, the Bahrainisation policy is a human resource management strategy that is similar to other nationalisation policies throughout the GCC however it can arguably said that the approach taken by the Bahrain government is more one of encouraging Bahrainisation with suitable incentives, rather than by imposition of sanctions Further, whilst previous iterations of the Bahrainisation policy took a more educational and training approach, the Bahrain government has since restructured. Now, its nationalisation policy consists of an education and training approach alongside market-based considerations.

Bahrainisation Calculator

This Bahrainisation calculator has been created (utilising the Bahrainisation tables published by the LMRA) to allows employers to easily determine the minimum requirements they must meet to fulfil the Bahrainisation quota system.

To use:

1) Insert Activity Description:[1]

2) Insert total number of employees currently employed or intended to be employed in Bahrain:[2]

Calculate >



Desired Number of Employees Required Bahrainisation Rate (%) Required number of Bahraini employees Maximum number of work visas available for non Bahraini / non-GCC employees[3]
Activity Code
Activity Description
Desired Number of Employees
Required Bahrainisation Rate (%)
Required number of Bahraini employees
Maximum number of work visas available for non Bahraini / non-GCC employees[3]

The Bahraini labour force

Through its Bahrainisation policy, Bahrain maintains one of the most equitable population rates between nationals and non-nationals among GCC countries. Sustained, targeted investments and labour-related programmes have contributed to an increase of Bahraini employment. The Bahraini participation rate in the private sector is also the second highest in the GCC, falling just behind Saudi Arabia.

As of 2018, Bahrain’s labour force participation rate saw an upturn, increasing to 72.8 percent, an all-time high for the Kingdom. While the majority share of total employment favours expatriate workers, standing at 79 percent, Bahraini employment increased in 2018 by an annual growth rate of 1 percent.

Whilst most of the Bahraini labour force population is enrolled in the public sector, there continues to be strong growth appearing throughout the private sector. Median monthly wages also saw improvements for Bahrainis. Across both private and public sectors, median monthly wages showed an annual increase of 1.9 percent.

Bahrainisation Quotas

The LRMA periodically publishes a table of Bahrainisation target rates, outlining the minimum and the maximum number of foreign workers eligible to work and the number of Bahraini nationals which must be employed, based on the total proposed workforce of the entity as well as its licensed commercial activities.

Where an entity does not meet the required Bahrainisation rates, then there will be implication for that entity, including being charged higher administrative charges with respect to the visas for its existing (and additional) expatriate employees.