Bahrain Permits Family Office Business Licences


Bahrain’s Central Bank has issued new regulations that expand the scope of family offices in the country. A new category of investment licenses has been introduced, to provide regulated investment and wealth management services to family offices coming under the Central Bank of Bahrain’s supervision.

These were developed to suit the business models of family offices that provide services to multiple wealthy families, while maintaining the ‘regulatory requirements related to governance and internal controls’.

Such schemes have proved popular in attracting expatriates in particular to positions in Singapore and Hong Kong where employees need to be both present in the local environment yet active with their origin HQ, an issue that is especially pertinent when trading stocks and currencies based on news from Asia impacting markets in Europe and the United States. The time difference between Bahrain and New York is 7 hours.

Through the new category of licenses, these ‘family office’ firms will be able to provide wealth management advice, investment management, custody services, trust services, fund management and insurance advice.

The aim is enhance ‘Bahrain’s value-proposition as an ideal investment destination by supporting the integration of prominent family offices into the Kingdom’, said Dalal Buhejji, Executive Director for Business Development – Financial Services at the Bahrain Economic Development Board

“Being the most established sector, and the biggest contributor to GDP, Bahrain’s financial services sector is a testament to the Kingdom’s agile, collaborative regulatory framework, offering a world-class innovation ecosystem right in the heart of the Gulf, backed by Bahrain’s talented, highly skilled pool of workforce.”

Dezan Shira & Associates maintain an office in Dubai and can assist foreign investors into the Middle East markets. We provide regional analysis and comparative data as well as legal, tax advisory and related business services. Please email Maria Kotova at

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