Voices from Bahrain: How will people live, work and shop in the future?

Bahrain Live-Work-Shop Report

September 5, 2023 10 Minute Read

By Heather Longden

Bahrain - Live-Work-Shop Report Image

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In the first survey of its kind, CBRE polled more than 100 people in Bahrain earlier this year - from Gen Z to Baby Boomers - to determine how they will live, work and shop in the future, and how this will impact the real estate they use.


Key takeaways from the report:



  • The survey reveals that 53% of respondents currently rent their homes in Bahrain. The rental market continues to dominate, with the majority of expatriates, who make up 52% of the population, renting their homes, despite purchasing options available in designated zones.
  • Future homebuying sentiment, however, is robust with 55% of respondents planning to buy their next home. 75% of those who plan to buy their next home are millennials (early and late), while 9% of the respondents who indicated they were looking to purchase were 18 – 24 year olds (Gen Z).



  • Despite a desire for greater flexibility, few companies in Bahrain are supporting the adoption of hybrid working. According to the survey, employees want to be able to work remotely more often.
  • While 80% of respondents currently work full-time at the office, 82% say they prefer to work from home at least some of the time. Commuting times have the greatest impact on employees’ desire to visit the office. Employees with short commute times are more inclined to want to visit the office more frequently. 



  • Most consumers in Bahrain still prefer to buy products in-store, with 91% preferring physical retailing either for all shopping needs or most. While the pandemic has accelerated the growth of e-commerce in the region, the sector remains under-developed in Bahrain, with brick-and-mortar retail continuing to be the dominant sales channel for all key product types.
  • Physical interaction with products is important for consumers, with 79% of in-store shoppers wanting to physically see and try the product before purchasing. A majority of responses, however, indicate shifting consumer expectations – with omnichannel shopping (a combination of both offline and online) becoming the norm, particularly for certain product groups.