Choosing where to live in Bahrain all comes down to your specific requirements. Firstly, do you want a villa or are you looking for an apartment? Is it important for you to live close to work, or do you need to be a short drive from your children's school? What's your monthly budget - do you want to splash out or are keeping to a tight budget? Do you want to live within a gated community with lots of other families, or are you looking for a private villa with a big garden and some peace and quiet?
There are many things to consider, especially if you are new to Bahrain - so knowing where you want to live is a good place to start, as it will help refine your property search with Green Gate and give us a better idea of what you are looking for. But rest assured, wherever you finally end up choosing to live, we have a comprehensive portfolio of properties available for you.
If you're looking for a family villa, then the residential area that runs the length of the Budaiya Highway and due south to Hamala is popular among many ex-pats. The area, found at the northwest corner of Bahrain Island, encompasses Budaiya, Barbar and Jannusan to the north, and Saar, Janabiya and Maqabah to the south of the highway. As the Island's most densely populated compound communities, the neighbourhoods around Saar are cram-packed with an eclectic mix of traditional Arabic, contemporary modern and Mediterranean-style villas, nestled into compounds with varying levels of communal facilities such as swimming pools, children's play areas, gyms and tennis courts.
Even further south, just below the Sheikh Isa bin Salman Highway (which leads to the Bahrain-Saudi Arabia Causeway) you'll find the leafy suburbs of Jasra and Hamala. Villas here can be on the expensive side, but their prices are usually justified by the sheer size, exclusivity and grandeur of the properties on view. With one of Bahrain's largest British Curriculum schools, the British School of Bahrain, based in Hamala; the Saudi Arabia Causeway just minutes away; and yet still only a short drive to the commercial areas of Seef and Manama, this neighbourhood is popular with both residents who work locally in Bahrain and those who commute to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia each day.
However, if you prefer the hustle and bustle of city life, then you need look no further than Adliya and its surrounding areas. Located on the south side of Manama, it's well renowned for its art galleries, restaurants and lively cafe culture, to the extent that it has recently developed a bit of a reputation as Bahrain's 'Bohemian' neighbourhood. Being so central, space is at a premium, so if you're looking for a villa, this might not be your best bet as the choice is limited, which can result in rental prices being slightly over-inflated. Alternatively, Mahooz and Umm Al Hassam to the south, or Segaya to the west of Adliya have a good selection of apartments to choose from.
Just east of Adliya, on the other side of the Al Fateh Highway, you'll find Juffair - home to many of the island's hotels, bars and nightclubs, all of which are built on a massive reclamation of land which has extended Bahrain's coastline by two kilometers to the east and made a dramatic impact to Manama's skyline. Popular among those who like to work hard and play harder, and also home to the American Naval Base, the area boasts one of Bahrain's healthiest rental markets for apartments due to the extensive development of the area. However, compound villas here are few and far between, and can also be costly to rent, so Juffair probably isn't the best choice for family living.
If you want to wake up in the morning to unobstructed sea views, then Amwaj Islands or Reef Island are top of the list. Located in the northeast of Muharraq Island, Amwaj is a group of man-made islands that is home to an array of shops, restaurants and hotels, as well as Bahrain's thriving marine community. If you want to moor your boat at the bottom of your garden, overlook the canals of Floating City or meet with friends at the popular kilometre long Lagoons Complex, this is the place for you. And with the new and exciting developments of Dilmunia Island and Diyar Al Muharraq now located either side of Amwaj, this is one of the most up-and-coming areas of Bahrain to be living in.
Situated on Manama's north shore and minutes away from Bahrain Financial Harbour and central Manama, Reef Island is home to over thirty luxurious residences, housing over twelve hundred apartments. As one of Bahrain's premium addresses, Reef Island offers its residents the convenience of easy access to the bustling cosmopolitan city on its doorstep, but is amazingly complimented by the tranquility of a tropical island getaway. You'll have difficulty renting a villa here but with such an abundance of modern, stylish apartments for rent, and the exciting new developments of Bahrain Bay and Manama Seafront close by, it's an obvious favourite of the Bahrain jet-set.
Finally, to the southwest of Reef Island lies the commercial district of Seef. Home to some of Bahrain's largest shopping malls, as well as the head offices of international banks such as HSBC and Citibank, Seef is the perfect place to live for the young executive. With its impressive skyline of glass and steel, plethora of four and five star hotels, boutiques and designer furniture stores, if you enjoy a good dose of retail therapy then Seef is the heart of Bahrain's shopping experience. And as the sun starts to set, if you head west, down to the southern tip of Karbabad beach, there's no better place to be than Bahrain Fort to experience the bringing together of the classically old with the fashionably new Bahrain.