Bahrain: Proposed new bill seeks to disadvantage Expat investors

In a proposal aimed to apply different rules and advantages to different investors based on their nationalities, a new parliamentary proposal states that non-Bahrainis owning land in Bahrain must build on it within five years after purchase.

The proposal has received initial approval and the Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security Committee in the House of Representatives recently passed it.

the ruling will apply to foreign investors, including GCC nationals, but does not apply to Bahrainis.

In a letter addressed to the committee, Survey and Land Registration Bureau warned that passing the proposed bill will reduce large commercial and tourism projects and lead to hindering the investment, especially from Gulf investors.

The bureau rejected that investors from GCC states be treated equally as foreign investors and that the bill only apply to investors who are neither Bahraini nor of other GCC nationalities.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry pointed out that such a bill that would negatively effect other GCC nationals would contradict existing GCC economic agreements which stipulate that all GCC citizens should be treated equally.

The bill will be discussed and voted on by the 40-member council on Tuesday.

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