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An expat's complete guide to Bahrain Print E-mail
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An expat's complete guide to Bahrain
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I’ve since discovered that many people come to Bahrain “empty handed” and buy all their furniture locally at the wide range of furniture shops dotted around the island. Bringing most of our furniture with us meant that once we got the go-ahead to move in, I was able to set up home in a couple of days. There are still vast expanses of white wall to be filled but searching for local art work in the delightful art galleries of Bahrain will hardly be a chore (visit Al Bareh Art Gallery, tel. 1771 7707; Al Riwaq Art Gallery, www.alriwaqgallery.org; La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art, www.lafontaineartcentre.com). Fortunately, I’ve just discovered a great hardware cum DIY store where I can get all the hooks I need (Check out Manazel in Salmabad, tel. 1778 6727).

Then of course there are rugs to look for at the many Adliya carpet merchants. Among those I’ve had recommended to me are Peacock Carpets (tel. 1771 4548), Oasis Carpets (tel. 1771 3197) and Royal Carpets (tel. 1771 3600).

Bringing animals to Bahrain is not difficult. You’ll need an import permit from the Bahrain Veterinary Services and a certificate from a vet to prove your animal is in good health and

has been properly inoculated (refer to www.bahrainembassy.org/pets-application.pdf for full details). Long time Bahrain resident and vet Nonie Coutts runs a very efficient pet grooming, boarding and veterinary (tel. 1724 5515). The alternative is to “adopt” a pet once you’re here as unfortunately there are many abandoned animals needing good homes. (Contact Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, tel 1759 1231, www.bspcabahrain.com, or check out the notice boards outside supermarkets for families who are leaving and looking for homes for their pets).

As I’m gluten and dairy intolerant, and not trusting my husband’s “you can buy everything here” comment, I also slipped in a box of specialist food stuffs with our shipment. I needn’t have bothered as I’ve been able to find virtually everything I need. (Jawad and Al Osra supermarkets have the most extensive selections of health food and there are some smaller specialist shops dotted around the island).

We’re fortunate that the compound we chose provides satellite TV and broadband internet as part of the rental package. We’ve only had to have our phone connected. This can take a while so call Batelco Customer Services as soon as you can, otherwise you’ll be relying on your mobile [See Useful Info: Telecom and Television]. Mobiles seem to be used more often than land lines and most people are not connected to the internet (and if they are they don’t use it to the same extent that people in other countries do). Texting is used extensively rather than voicemail, which few people have (or use).

Our landlord has also dealt with the connection of our water, electricity and gas (which is bottled unless you live in Awali). If yours doesn’t, you need to take your CPR card, several photos and a copy of your rental agreement to the Ministry of Electricity and Water to get the water and electricity connected. Contact Bahrain Gas (tel. 1753 2233) or Nader Gas (www.nadergas.com; tel: 1770 2622) for bottled gas to be delivered.