Council member


The Kingdom of Bahrain was an original founding member of the Digital Cooperation Organization.

Its participation was ratified by HE Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, whose Transportation and Telecommunications Ministry oversees IT infrastructure in the Gulf state.

Like its neighbors in the Gulf, Bahrain’s internet penetration ranks amongst the highest in the world, with over 99% of the population online. Social media use, digital literacy, and mobile connection rates all also exceed global averages, with the later currently standing at 130% of the total population.

These factors underline the success of the government’s drive to pursue a rapid digital transformation strategy which aims to position the country as a regional digital innovation hub. This multi-phase approach has boosted domestic jobs, attracted foreign investment, and helped to modernize wider sectors such as logistics, finance, and tourism.

Key Achievements

  • In 2017, Bahrain adopted a ‘Cloud First Policy’ to streamline investment in the sector in cooperation with tech industry players.
  • In March 2017, the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) created a partnership with fintech incubator and ecosystem builder Singapore Fintech Consortium (SFC) to establish a fintech ecosystem and regulatory framework.
  • In 2017, Amazon Web Services announced it would build a major data center in Bahrain, the first in the region.
  • In 2018, Bahrain’s FinTech Bay was launched to develop and accelerate the fintech ecosystem in the Middle East.
  • In 2019, Bahrain enacted the Personal Data Protection Law, the main data protection regulation in the country.
  • In 2020, Bahrain ranked 4th in the Arab Digital Economy Report.
  • In 2021, Bahrain recorded over 1.5m active social media users, from a population of 1.72m people.
  • In 2021, In November, Bahrain launched a bold and ambitious Economic Recovery Plan to stimulate post-pandemic growth that will see more than $30 billion invested in national infrastructure and strategic priority sectors.
  • In 2022, Bahrain launched its 2022 – 2026 Telecommunications, Information Technology and Digital Economy Strategy.

Bahrain skyline

Bahrain’s digital economy has seen significant growth in recent years and the country has been able to carve out a successful niche as a data center market.

Amazon Web Service’s decision to launch its first cloud region in the Middle East from Bahrain was a major win, validating the country’s strategic investment in its ICT infrastructure.

Through close cooperation between the government and the private sector, policies have been crafted to be as business friendly as possible. Meanwhile, favorable incentives for the fintech community have helped to attract leading businesses and startups, increasing high-skill employment, and encouraging cross-collaboration and R&D.

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) adopted a new program that facilitates a regulatory sandbox for fintech start-ups, encouraging the development of fintech technology in the country. This has helped to diversify the economy, drive growth, and increase productivity by improving services for the next generation of businesses.