Friday 18th February 2011

Expats in Bahrain are facing uncertain times as the violence between police and protestors continues in the region.

Monday saw the “day of rage” and the death of a demonstrator in the Bahrain capital of Manama. In response to the death thousands of protestors marched in Manama, leading to further deaths.

Although the protests now appear more peaceful in nature many expats have opted to remain indoors since the violence broke amid fears that events may take a turn for the worse. However, as time passes, many of them are running short of basic supplies. Talking to Qatar newspaper, The Peninsula, one Indian expat said: “We think the situation would be brought under control in two to three days. If that does not happen, we might think of taking a break and go home.”

Speaking to an Indian newspaper on the phone he added: “All the offices are closed and we have been asked not to report to work.”

One of the major challenges facing expats over the past few days has been the lack of English language news and communication from their home embassies. Talking to the Gulf Daily News, a British expat complained: “I feel there is not a lot of communication for expats, I've been on the British Embassy website and it's very vague and what they would say in any crisis."

Despite the violence, many expats remain calm and have full confidence in their safety: "There's a lot of hearsay and there needs to be more communication. I don't feel unsafe and I don't think or I hope that Bahraini people won't do anything drastic, I'm more worried about going on the street and getting caught in hours of traffic," said another British expat.

While many of the expats themselves don’t seem concerned, many analysts have expressed fears that the events may have a detrimental impact on the financial sector, which currently contributes 25% towards the GDP. Expressing his opinions on the matter, Rory Adamson from Manama-based headhunters Azrek Search told efinancial careers: "So far, we've seen little evidence of financial services professionals looking to leave Bahrain, and the protests appear largely peaceful and not entirely disruptive.

"But undoubtedly it will have an impact on attracting people from outside of region."

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