BRUNEI

  • Bandar Sri Begawan
  • Negara Brunei Darussalem, 'Brunei, the abode of Peace', is situated on the northwest coast of Borneo. The capital is Bandar Seri Begawan (pop 60,000)

  • The population of Brunei is approximately 411,000. Brunei is a multi-racial society: the majority of the population is the Malay community, followed by the Chinese, indigenous people and other smaller communities.

  • The official language is Malay but English is widely spoken and most business is transacted in English. Various dialects of Chinese as well as Indian and native languages are used. Arabic is also taught in state schools and in higher education.

  • Islam is the official religion with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan as the Head of Faith. About 67% of the population is Muslim. Other faiths practiced in the state are Christianity and Buddhism.

  • As a Muslim Sultanate, the country follows Islamic values and traditions. His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah is the 29th monarch in succession to the world's oldest continuously reigning royal line.

  • Brunei has a tropical climate. Rainfall and humidity are very high with an average temperature of 28 degrees throughout the year.

  • Electricity: 220-240 volts / 50 Hz

  • Time Zone: GMT + 8 hours

  • There are supermarkets where expatriates will find a satisfactory range of goods, several shopping centres as well as many small shops and stalls selling fresh produce. There is a variety of restaurants and different types of food available from fine dining to cafés and roadside stalls. It is illegal to sell alcohol in Brunei as it is a ‘dry’ country. However, non-Muslims may bring a limited quantity for their own consumption.

  • Housing: Most expatriates live in large detached houses, which are typical of Brunei. There are a limited number of apartments and condominiums, as well as clustered housing. The employment of household help is common, and there are no exclusive expatriate areas. Expatriates choose housing in most areas, although the conveniently located Jalan Muara and Berakas tend to be favoured.

  • Schools: There are a fewinternational schools for IB, IPC, British and Singapore curricula: including Jerudong International School and the International School of Brunei, both with good academic reputations. All foreign children must obtain a pass annually to continue studying in Brunei

  • Transportation: The public bus system is cheap and reliable but only in and around the capital. It is essential for most people to have a car. As Brunei is an oil state, the price of petrol is very low. If you choose to drive, you will need to convert your licence to a Brunei licence after three months, and sometimes may be required to take an additional aural test. There are also car hire companies, metered taxis and water taxis.

  • Healthcare: Brunei has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. There are government hospitals in all 4 of the country’s districts, as well as 2 private hospitals. Brunei’s largest hospital, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS), is in the capital. Health clinics are located throughout the country, supplementing the 5 general hospitals. The 2 private hospitals, the Jerudong Park Medical Centre and the Gleneagles JPMC Cardiac Centre, offer personalised or specialised medical treatment.

  • Work permits and visas: An Employment Pass or Work Permit is required for expatriates working in Brunei

  • Banking and currency: Banks are open from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 11am on Saturday. The local currency is the Brunei Dollar (BND).

• Do expatriates live in compounds?
As Brunei is a relatively safe country, expatriates don't live in compounds. They choose housing in most areas, although Jalan Muara and Berakas tend to be favoured because they are central and convenient for travel. Some expatriates also like clustered housing.

• Is alcohol for sale in Brunei?
No, it is illegal to sell alcohol in Brunei as it is a 'dry country'. However non-Muslims may bring a limited quantity for their own consumption.

Are there any international schools?
There are 2 well-established international schools with very good academic reputations.
Email: [email protected]