For decades Bahrain has been home to one of the GCC’s most developed insurance sectors, with domestic and international firms taking advantage of the country’s robust yet accommodating regulatory structure to pursue business both locally and in rapidly emerging regional markets. Some 25 locally incorporated insurers operate in Bahrain, with a further 22 locally incorporated firms restricted to pursuing business outside Bahrain. However, a penetration rate of around 2.1% in the local market, compared to rates of around 8% in more developed European markets, suggests that there is still room for further domestic growth. Meanwhile, the number of reinsurance firms licensed to operate from Bahrain has been increasing steadily since 2006, with five conventional players currently established. The segment has also begun to tap into the demand for sharia-compliant cover.