The new amendment amends the Article 1 of Bahrain Decree-Law No. 2/2001 related to the ownership of land by non-Bahrainis. The main objective is to limit the inflation in the real estate prices in exclusive areas by non-Bahraini ownership. Bahraini Parliamentarians have also approved this amendment which would now not allow expatriate property investors to own property in those areas which are not tourism or investment zones.
Formerly the expatriates or foreigners were permitted to purchase property anywhere of their choice in the Kingdom of Bahrain. But it was observed there were concerns among Bahrainis that they were being pushed out of the market. In 2003, the Government of Kingdom of Bahrain restricted right to purchase property by foreigners to certain locations viz. Hoora, Al Fateh District in Juffair, Reef Island, Abu Ghazal in Manama, the Diplomatic Area, and Seef. Besides those areas, expats could also purchase the properties at areas which are designated investment areas e.g. Amwaj Islands.
The amendments were proposed to be tabled back in October 2017 by the old Parliament who were concerned that foreigners with higher spending power were inflating property prices.
But the government also stated the fact the expatriate ownership of property did not exceed 7% of the market and that too mainly in apartments not in bungalows.
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