The minister of employment for Bahrain has expressed concern that many Gulf states may be transformed in years to come as the number of expats living and working in the region continues to grow.
Speaking to UAE daily Gulf News on the sidelines of a labour conference in the country’s capital Abu Dhabi, Majeed al-Alawi said that while the region has long been reliant on skilled foreign workers to fuel growth, there may be problems during period of economic contraction.
"Whoever thinks this foreign manpower in the region comes for a project and leaves on its completion is wrong. They come to stay," he said, adding that with more expats buying property in the region and acquiring stakes in domestic companies, there may be a marked shift in the economic and social constitution of Gulf states within a generation.
Expats considering a move to the region may benefit from taking out an expat medical insurance policy to ensure there are no gaps in cover should healthcare services be required.