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Labour Day

Labour Day 2018 and 2019

Labour Day in Bahrain is similar to the celebrations held in other countries on this day. It is a commemoration of the achievements of the workers in the country and occurs on May 1st in Bahrain. May 1st is also referred to as International Workers’ Day and considered a public holiday.

20181 MayTueLabour Day
20191 MayWedLabour Day

The Prime Minister of Bahrain, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, initially issued the proclamation that this is a non-working, public holiday in 2015. At this point, it was also stated that all government ministries, establishments, and state bodies would stay closed for the entire day. Before 2015, the day was considered a regular work day in the country.


Bahrain is a kingdom that is located on a small island near the Persian Gulf. The population is approximately 1.2 million, with more than half of those people being non-nationals.

In recent years, the Islamic banking sector in the country has grown quite a bit thanks to the demand for the country’s main export – oil. Problems of poverty and unemployment plagued the region until it was recognised as a tourist destination, which helped to revive the economy and put many of the people who were out of work, back to work.
In this country, employees have to enter into a trade union bargaining agreement or employment contract to work. The labour laws are still unclear regarding paid holiday entitlement, which means even on Labour Day it is at the discretion of their employer if the person receives pay for being off of work.

In the past, however, working conditions for those who could even find a job were much worse, which is why the Labour Day observation is such a big deal in this country. Now many people who were previously out of work can earn wages and support their family.


On Labour Day, many of the working class take the time to relax and mingle with neighbours, friends, and families. There are some who plan get-togethers similar to the American barbecue, but with traditional fare from the country.

There are some cities and towns where officials give speeches, and workers gather together to express their appreciation of the current number of jobs available in the country. In most cases, it is a laid back day that allows those who are usually at work, to relax and express their thanks for the lengths the country has come regarding labour, wages, and more.

Are You Planning to Visit?

If you have plans to visit Bahrain during Labour Day, keep in mind it is a public holiday. While this country is now a great tourist destination, most businesses remain closed, providing very little regarding access to consumer products. However, the celebration only lasts a day, and it is back to “business as usual” on May 2nd. However, if you have relatives, friends, or business associates in the country, it is an excellent time to visit since you can likely enjoy some of the feasts and other celebrations happening on that day.