Brunei Darussalam is a relatively small nation located on the northern shore of the island of Borneo and has been a member of the Commonwealth since the resumption of their independence from the UK on 1/1/1984.
Most of the Brunei population is Malay Muslim and as such- Muslim, Sharia law in in force. As the country’s religion is very important it is appropriate to respect the local laws and traditions whist living in or taking a holiday there.
The weather in Brunei is hot, humid and at times rainy where the average temperature is 27.1°C and an average rainfall of almost 2.9 metres annually during their two monsoon seasons! With rain brings unspoiled natural rain forests with an abundance of untamed wilderness coupled with some beautiful iconic, white sandy beaches.
If you’re planning to move to Brunei we have information below on living in Brunei as an expat with your family. We have a list of expat clubs, schools, forum, general information, advice and links for women to help you plan your move.
- Expat Clubs
- Local News Sources
- Country Information
- Resident and Work visa information
- How to get a driving license
- Where to live and about the accomodation types
- Healthcare information including Hospitals and Insurance
Based in Seria, BFBS in Brunei currently broadcasts to the British Forces Garrison, home to a battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles and its support units. BFBS also runs part of its Nepalese Radio Services from the same centre. BFBS regularly host events and coffee mornings for ladies in the area.
If you’re a woman in Brunei and want to chat to other ladies then join our ExpatWoman Forum to chat with other women.
International School Brunei
The International School Brunei is an international school located in Berakas which is the area of Bandar Seri Begawan. It remains the first international school set up in Brunei and has primary, secondary and alumni education with full boarding accommodation.
Curriculum: National Curriculum for England & International Baccalaureate
Address: Jln Dato Haji Ahmad, Berakas, Bandar Seri Begawan BB1114.
Telephone: (+673) 2330608
Jerudong International School
Jerudong is an international school with junior, middle, upper and sixth form education catering for children aged 2 to 18 years of age. JIS is an English-medium, co-educational day and international boarding school.
Curriculum: UK National Curriculum (GCSE)… Sixth form + A Levels or IB
Address: Jalan Universiti, Kampong Tungku, Bandar Seri Begawan. BE2119
Telephone: (+673) 2 411 000
Seri Mulia Sarjana International School
The school is among the leading private international schools in Brunei Darussalam. We set ourselves apart by providing a warm and caring community which nurture children's abilities. Our balanced curriculum, academic support, and extra-curricular activities prepare students for success in any setting life may take them.
Curriculum: CIS (Cambridge International School)
Address: Spg. 340 Kg. Mata-Mata. Jalan Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan. Negara. BE 1718
Telephone: (+673) 2421311 / 2456584
The Borneo Bulletin
The Borneo Bulletin was first published in 1953 as a weekly community newspaper for expatriates working in the Belait District. In 1959, the founders of Borneo Bulletin sold the press and newspaper to the Straits Times of Singapore. At that time the weekly Borneo Bulletin consisted of twelve pages and had a circulation of 3,500 copies.
Capital City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Other Important Cities: Borneo, Mayaysia
Currency: Brunei dollar (B$)
Calling Code: +673
Brunei Darussalam city area codes, +673 (2) Bandar Seri Begawan, +673 (3) Kuala Belait, Seria
Internet TLD: .bn
Electricity: The only provider of electricity in Brunei Darussalam, Brunei National Electric Company (BNEC)
- 993 Police
- 991 Ambulance
- 995 Fire
- 998 Search & Rescue
Time zone: BDT (UTC +8)
British High Commission
Address: 2.01, 2nd Floor, Block D. Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex. Jalan Pretty, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8 711.
Telephone: (+673) 2222231
The Saudi Embassy
Address: Hous 1 Simrang 570 Kampung Salar, Brunei Darassalam.
Telephone: (+673) 2792823
United States Embassy
Address: Simpang 336-52-16-9, Jalan Kebangsaan. Bandar Seri Begawan BC4115.
Telephone: (+673) 2384616
Address: No 8Simpang 74 Jalan. Subok.
Telephone: (+673) 2262741/2/3
Address: c/- Deloitte & Touche, 5th Floor, Wisma Hajjah Fatimah. 22 & 23 Jalan Sultan. P O Box 1965.
BS8811. Bandar Seri Begawan
Telephone: (+673) 2225880 / (+673) 2223640 / (+673) 2236603 / (+673) 2222422
Address: Address: No.1, 3, 5 Simpang 462, Kampung Sungai Hanching Baru, Jalan Muara, BC 2115, Bandar Seri Begawan.
Telephone: (+673) 22341034
Address: Level 6, DAR Takaful IBB Utama. Jalan Pemancha. Bandar Seri Begawan BS8711.
Telephone: (+673) 2229435
Visa requirements for Brunei vary by nationality, anyone who wishes to travel to Brunei will need to have a valid passport and / or onward ticket or be able to prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves whilst in the country. Here’s some useful information on entry requirements.
In order to work in Brunei you will be required to apply for an employment visa. The Department of Immigration and National Registration will issue an ‘Employment Pass’ which will enable foreign nationals to work in Brunei Darussalam.
To apply you will require;
- Employment Pass application form
- Visa application form
- Application letter from your sponsor or employer
- Photocopy of your passport
- Employer’s labour license
- Labour Department Form- 500
Your application can be submitted either by your employer or sponsor to the Department of Immigration and National Registration in Brunei Darussalam. The average processing time is 5 days and once approved your employment pass will be valid for up to 2-3 years depending on the requirement and can be extended after the expiration providing the applicant returns to their country of origin beforehand. The family of the Employment Pass holder will be issued with Dependant Passes. A health screen is compulsory and will be a simple blood test and chest x-ray.
There are plenty of options for you to choose from when it comes to selecting somewhere to live in Brunei. From hotels to guesthouses and serviced apartments catering for all types of visitors whether you are travelling on business or taking a holiday.
A typical expat family would likely rent a large detached house which you’ll find a lot of in Brunei. Apartments are not as common to find and there isn’t really any specific expatriate areas such as compounds as it is a relatively safe country although you’ll find the most popular areas to live in are Jalan Muara and Berakas which are popular because they are central and convenient for travel, it’s also very normal for expat families living in Brunei to employ home help such as a maid.
In Brunei you drive on the left, most of the roads are easily accessible and once you have your bearings you’ll not find it that dissimilar to driving in Europe or any other major city. Be prepared to drive cautiously as drivers can be unpredictable. You can drive in Brunei on foreign license, be it UK US or other as long as it is endorsed by the Brunei Land Transport Department, alternatively you can use an IDP – International Driving Permit for up to three months. Here’s some useful information from The Land and Transport Authority.
The healthcare system in Brunei is said to rank one of the best in Asia and with that said the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital in the capital is equipped with the latest advances in modern medical technology and facilities.
Here’s a list of the hospitals and medical centres in Brunei:
Hospital PIHM Temburong (Pengiran Isteri Hajjah Mariam Hospital)
Telephone: (+673) 5221526 ext 127
Pengiran Muda MahkotaPengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, Tutong Hospital
Telephone: (+673) 4221336 ext 991
Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital BSB (RIPAS)
Telephone: (+673) 2242424
Suri Seri Begawan Hospital (Belait)
Telephone: (+673) 3332366 ext 991
Telephone: (+673) 2611212
Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC)
Telephone: (+673) 2611433
Panaga Health Centre- Seria
Telephone: (+673) 3341302
Amir's Clinic, Bandar Seri Begawan
Telephone: (+673) 2228002
CY Lim Clinic, Gadong
Telephone: (673) 2449488
Dr Haji Asri Clinic, Berakas
Telephone: (+673) 2422788
Dr Lim Medical Clinic, Gadong
Dr Prema Clinic, Bandar Seri Begawan
Telephone: (+673) 2421727
Lee Clinic & Dispensary, Bandar Seri Begawan
Lim’s Clinic & Dispensary, Bandar Seri Begawan
Telephone: (+673) 2222181
Luke Tan Clinic, Kuala Belait
Telephone: (+673) 3225601
Riverview Medical Centre, Bandar Seri Begawan
Telephone: (+673) 2238018 ext 8816
TK Chan Clinic, Bandar Seri Begawan
Telephone: (+673) 2422141
Yong Clinic & Dispensary, Bandar Seri Begawan
Telephone: (+673) 222 0284