If you’re working in Saudi Arabia, then most likely you wouldn’t wanna miss the privilege of traveling to its neighboring Gulf Countries including Bahrain. Thousands of Saudi locals and expat residents visit Bahrain weekly for a weekend getaway. Bahrain is an island country located in the Persian Gulf. It’s known for being one of the most opened countries in the Middle-East.
You can get almost everything in Bahrain which you might not find in Saudi Arabia like pork, liquor, disco, and nightclubs. There are two ways to visit Bahrain from Saudi Arabia, either through flight or by road. Bahrain is connected to Saudi Arabia through the King Fahad Causeway.
I’ve been to Bahrain oftentimes for visa-run back in my previous company. Bahrain is culturally different from Saudi Arabia, the country is very small, but totally opened. It’s economy relies heavily on tourism and oil. Luckily, if you’re residing in Saudi Arabia and got the Saudi ‘Iqama,’ then visiting Bahrain is very easy. Below are the procedures in traveling to Bahrain through the Causeway:
Ensure you have re-entry visa back to Saudi – You can’t travel to Bahrain and back to Saudi Arabia without the exit/re-entry visa. Saudi Arabia requires both entry and exit visas. If you’re going to Bahrain for a weekend getaway and would return to Saudi afterward. Then you need to have Saudi multiple exit/re-entry visa prior going to Bahrain. A year ago, you can get a Saudi multiple exit/re-entry visa for 500SAR valid for one year.
Now, the price has gone up (2300SAR) due to the falling oil price in the world market. Otherwise, you can get a single re-entry visa for 200SAR valid for 60 days. Now that you have a Saudi exit/re-entry visa, you need a vehicle to cross the King Fahad Causeway. You can either hire a taxi which would cost you around 250/300SAR one way, or you can drive your own vehicle, just prepare 25SAR for the customs fee and 15SAR for the car insurance.
Saudi Immigration – At the Saudi border, present your passport and your exit/re-entry visa, don’t forget your Iqama as well. Saudi Immigration officers sometimes won’t stamp your passport when visiting Bahrain through the causeway. To avoid any untoward incidents, better to ask the officer politely to stamp exit mark on your passport (I have terrible experience because of this which I will tell you soon).
When you’re done with Saudi Immigration, proceed to Bahrain Immigration counter. The officer will require your passport, iqama and a fee of 50SAR. However, some nationalities and professionals (ex. Engineers, medical staff, etc) are not required to pay. Once you’re cleared at the Bahrain Immigration, then you’re free to proceed.
Important reminders – Ensure that your passport is valid at least 6 months, the same with your Saudi Iqama. Bring sufficient fund to sustain your stay in Bahrain, do not overstay. Lastly, enjoy your visit!
Have you been to Bahrain? How’s your visit there? Let me know in the comment box below! If you like this blog, please share this with your friends.
The author is currently based in Saudi Arabia, the holiest land of Islam. He’s a full-time employee of the largest energy company in the world. He’s a graduate of Communication Management, loves to write and travel.