All expats face ban from driving in Bahrain

Senior MP and business groups slam plans for new law

A senior Bahraini MP has joined a chorus of opposition to proposed new laws that would ban expats from driving in the Gulf state, saying it is unconstitutional, it was reported.

Local media reports suggest the draft traffic law would involve a blanket ban on driving for all non-Bahraini citizens, with no mention of whether any exemptions could apply.

The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has already announced that it will try to block the law after describing it as a retrograde move for the country’s tourism industry that will stifle business confidence.

“Article 20 which bans expat driving, strips immigrants of one of the basic human rights - that's the right of movement,” the BCCI said in a statement.

Minister of State for Information Affairs and government's official spokeswoman Sameera Rajab said the draft legislation “is constitutionally questionable”, Gulf Daily News reported.

“We have always been moving forward, not backwards,” she said.

She confirmed the government was following closely the development of the contentious law.

The chamber said Bahrain needed to maintain a business-friendly environment.

“Such controversial decisions will only harm Bahrain’s reputation, hurt its investment assets in the long run and destabilise the business community,” it said.

No date has been given on when Parliament will debate the proposed law. Bahrain’s proposed new traffic laws described as anti-business.

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Posted by: Dinara Juju

Such a Stupid Idea!!! Who could have come up with that. Lets focus on something more important than restricting expats from driving. Like Healthcare, Social Developments, Cultural and Economic!!! Come on People!!!

Posted by: Ali

There are forces busy in Bahrain trying to hurt by taking the country back to a draconian stone age which is quite alarming. I love the country and find it the best place to live in amongst the entire GCC. But from time to time hearing about strange ideas and proposals from some law makers is alarming and will definitely hurt Bahrain more than it already is. If Bahrain should be turned into another province of KSA with all these anti-human rights laws then all expats loyal to Bahrain still supporting Bahrain in these difficult times should start thinking of their investments and future. Someone from the higher up needs to interfere, let sense prevail and put an end to such vibes being sent out from time to time. God Bless and Help Bahrain.

Posted by: Ali

If you have lived in Baharain John you would know that the traffic problem in Bahrain in mainly due to the Baharaini drivers and not as much the expats. Not to mention having my car knocked in parkings several times and even once in front of me a lady knocked my car while opening her car door carelessly in front of me and thought it was normal. All this happening does not add up to me and definitely is being done for reasons not to benefit Baharain which is a shame.

Posted by: Ex - expat

Let us not forget that over 60% of Bahraini locals esp the higher strata employ expat drivers to drive their cars and their families around. Will these drivers be exempt from the new law or will we be seeing Bahrainis themselves at the wheel ?

Posted by: cholvaz

Perhaps the bahrainis might need to explain what they are thinking. What's with the abrupt strictness?

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