Blighty in Bahrain

by BTM

Sun, 12 May 2024

Steve Blight UK in Bahrain, Blighty in Bahrain

As part of our UK in Bahrain supplement, Bahrain This Month is highlighting key British figures who have helped shape the island into the welcoming, multicultural country it is today. One such pioneer is Steve Blight, who sat down with Kristian Harrison to share his fascinating story forged from 29 years of making a difference in the Kingdom. 

Mr. Blight began his professional life as a dedicated educator, shaping the minds of students in Washington, Newcastle. His passion for teaching was evident from the start, as he poured himself into his work, aiming to make a difference in the lives of his students. 

Reflecting on his time in the classroom, he fondly recalls: “It was during those early years that I realised how much impact a teacher can have and how much pride it gave me to see children who could barely say a word flourish into talented, confident young adults.” 

Mr. Blight’s sense of adventure would lead him to wanting to spread his wings. The perfect opportunity arose in 1995, when he embarked on a new chapter by accepting a position to help establish the British School of Bahrain. Moving to the Middle East was a significant shift, both culturally and professionally, but he embraced the challenge with open arms. 

“Bahrain opened my eyes to so much I hadn’t experienced before,” he reflects. “It was like jumping into a pool of new cultures and opportunities. I had four and a half brilliant years at BSB, but in the year 2000 I decided to do something else and got involved in the hospitality industry.” 

Transitioning from the classroom to Bahrain’s entertainment scene, Mr. Blight brought his trademark enthusiasm and passion to his new profession. From managing popular venues like the original Sherlock Holmes at the Gulf Hotel to overseeing operations at the prestigious Royal Golf Club, he thrived in the fast-paced world of hospitality. 

“I’ve always loved the buzz of the hospitality industry,” he admits. “It’s like every day is a new adventure, with its own challenges and rewards.” 

Despite the exhilarating highs and inevitable challenges of working in nightlife, his journey continued to evolve. He transitioned seamlessly into roles that capitalised on his expertise, from being a Sales Manager at African & Eastern, launching popular brands of selective beverages, to assuming the mantle of a Brand Manager and then Director of Sales at Gulf Brands International, while also being Club House Manager at Bahrain Rugby Football Club for five and a half years. 

A major obstacle arrived in 2020 when, after a chance meeting with the former British Ambassador to the Philippines in London, Mr. Blight agreed to accompany a trade delegation to the Asian nation to propose a better ‘Assisted Style of Living Accommodation’ for older people to offer them a greater quality of life. Whilst there, he took a short holiday to an island ostensibly for six days, but ended up being stranded there for 10 months thanks to COVID-19 lockdowns. 

He eventually returned to Bahrain that December with a fresh impetus, and took up a position with the National Hotel Services Company (NHSC), where he remains today. 

However, Mr. Blight’s journey is far from over, and he eagerly anticipates the next chapter, wherever it may lead. When asked to offer advice for any potential Britons looking to move to Bahrain, he posits: “I’d definitely say yes, come over. It’s a great chance to engage and integrate with a diverse population and learn a lot about multiculturalism. Most of all, especially if you’re a teacher, you can nurture the next generation and mould them into top class citizens in an amazing environment.”