Living in Kuwait Expat Guide – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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From fast cars to local diet restrictions, clubs to camel racing, and many others, the benefits of living in Kuwait cannot be overemphasized. If you’ve been following our blog posts, we highlighted some of the costs of living in the country. Not only that, but it explained some outstanding facts about getting jobs.
Kuwait is a very friendly state, and many clubs and societies would probably make you forget your home country. Amongst them are the British Ladies Society and the American Women’s Leagues who has a range of activities and other significant amounts of local foods to enjoy in Kuwait.
However, relocation to many countries has its disadvantages, and expats will find that Kuwait is no different. The better prepared you are for, the less appealing aspects of life abroad, the more successful you’re able to adapt to the environment. Does that sound interesting? Read further!
Thanks to a construction boom in Kuwait that offers expats varieties of jobs to choose from. Typically, Kuwait is a small country in Asia that has an undeniable amount of wealth. Meanwhile, many of the citizens of this country still live in extreme poverty because oil is the most important industry.
Of course, in this article, we will walk you through the benefits of living in Kuwait. Aside from this fact, we have compiled some of the pros and cons that’d give you a hint to what living in Kuwait looks like. Life can be difficult for citizens or foreigners who don’t profit from oil; that’s why we’ve got you covered.
Facts about Kuwait Living Conditions
Wealthy, crime-free, and just about Kuwait’s safety, it’s a great entry point to the Muslim world of souks. Besides, it’s important to check your government travel advisory before you travel to this country. Also, as you would with any country you travel to, be aware of your surroundings in public places and avoid large gatherings without further ado; let’s quickly walk you through the facts about living in Kuwait.
Getting Around in Kuwait
Wiley vehicle patterns and unconventional driving habits encourage tourists to opt out of renting a car in the country. While the roads are good in Kuwait, the driving skills and level of respect for road signs may not be respected compared to other countries.
The health hazard in Kuwait is becoming increasingly popular in recent years. In terms of weather and environmental hazard, the country seems to experience sand and dust storms regularly. This way, it’s crucial to check your hotel or local guide before planning to fill any health-related form in Kuwait.
Local Laws in Kuwait
Kuwait is a Muslim country, and you should know that they have respect for local traditions, customs, laws, and religions. In fact, during the month of Ramadan, you’re most likely to visit the religious areas. Without further ado, below are the illegal activities and some of the prohibited things in the country.
- Homosexual acts in Kuwait is prohibited
- Importation and the use of pork products are not allowed
- You may be restricted to watch pornography
- Drinking while driving is not allowed
- Importation and the use of alcohol is restricted
- Unmarried heterosexual couples are not allowed to live together
Exploring the Arabian Desert
Exploring the Arabian Desert is probably another thing to know about the country’s living conditions. This desert covers most of the nation’s tiny land. It is flat, sandy, and you can enjoy several outdoor activities, including dune bashing, sunset watching, quad biking, and many others, to mention a few.
Kuwait Population Diversity
Maybe something you don’t know about Kuwait is that you’ll see a mixture of cultures in the country. For instance, you may see approximately 70 percent of the people in Kuwait city as foreigners. Moreover, you’ll hear a lot of diverse languages spoken in the city. With this in place, you can enjoy various cuisines in the city’s restaurants as well.
Best Beaches on Persian Gulf’s Water
Kuwait has some of the best beaches on the Persian Gulf’s water, making it one of the reasons why foreigners need to visit the country. One of the beaches that you can explore in Kuwait is the white sandy Messilah Beach with Egaila Beach Park, a close second away.
Home to Architectural Diversity
The citizens of this country enjoy a wide diversity of architectural designs, with some buildings dating back to the 18th century. Also, Kuwait has a wonderful blend of towering skyscrapers and traditional Arabic notes to remember. Besides, one such wonderful thing you’ll see is the Grand Mosque.
Pros and Cons of Living in Kuwait (2021)
Of course, moving to a new country is just like riding a rollercoaster. There are high, and at the same time, you’ll experience some lows while it may be so intense that you’d feel like you want to be violently sick. Now that you’ve understood the key living conditions take a look at the pros and cons in Kuwait.
Education for Foreigners
As of today, expats enjoy the educational facilities in Kuwait. If you’re planning to relocate with your families, be rest assured that you’re moving to the right place. You don’t have to worry because this state has amazing schools for citizens of Kuwait and expats.
Since teaching is one of the major jobs in this country, it’s quite common to see foreigners teaching in major schools. In fact, a teacher’s job is of the wealthiest in the Middle East, and it will definitely fetch you a reasonable amount of money. This teaching job offers nothing less than 500 -800 KWD/month.
Excellent Traveling Experience
Kuwait is not a big country, due to which traveling has been made easy and affordable. Also, you can easily book a taxi and enjoy a comfortable ride in the city. Meanwhile, Kuwait has strict traffic rules owing to which you can smoothly drive on the road without disturbance.
Business Culture in Kuwait
The business culture in Kuwait is essentially Arabic because Islam dominates most facets of life in the country, including business practices. Therefore, expats need to familiarize themselves with the traditions and show respect for local customs and business etiquette while working in the country.
While there’s gender equality in Kuwait, expats should know that women are given greater freedoms than in some of Kuwait’s neighbors. Tittles and seniority are respected in Kuwait business culture, while the structures are hierarchical and decisions are made at the top. Let’s take a look at the dos and don’t before we proceed to other benefits and disadvantages of living in Kuwait.
- Always respect Islamic principles and practices in the country – whereas an effort to learn Arabic would also be appreciated
- Please do not rush to a conclusion during negotiation as it’s against the law. Instead, always have patience and expect decision-making to be slow and steady
- Ensure that the business cards from your employer are printed in both English and Arabic language
- If you’re in a position to arrange a business meeting, don’t arrange it on Friday, as this is a day of rest and an important day for Muslim prayers
- Dress conservatively if you’re new to Kuwait fashion jargon. Also, women should take particular care with their clothing while avoiding tight or revealing clothes
Low Crime Rates
Kuwait is one of the countries with low crime rates. On the other hand, you should be aware of your surroundings as an expat. This is because; Kuwait police are known to have bad reviews. Therefore, we advise you not to work alone. If possible, you can hire someone that’d translate your language to Arabic.
No Income Tax
It’s relatively essential to know that Kuwait has no personal income tax. In fact, new emigrants enjoy a tax-free life. On the flip side, you can experience the high cost of basic goods and services. This implies that many of the foods you see in Kuwait are imported from different countries, which places higher charges on necessities.
Free Parking Spaces
Surprisingly, finding a parking space in Kuwait may seem like a dream come true. Also, if you manage to find one, you should be thankful. This is because; residents do not have parking space in their homes. Aside from this fact, there are some Kuwait parking rules you should be aware of. On the other hand, the country is safe, and you should not worry about your car being stolen.
Lifestyle in Kuwait
When it comes to Kuwait’s lifestyle, there are many things to consider. Without further ado, we will walk you through some concepts to note.
- Weather in Kuwait – Don’t be surprised that Kuwait is a very dry country. One of the best outdoor activities you can enjoy in this country is going to the beach. Aside from that, there are not many things you can do outside with your family and friends. Again, summer can be really hot, and you might even end up in your apartment.
- Litter in Kuwait – Literally, don’t be surprised that you see Kuwait citizens when they randomly throw garbage from their window onto the streets. Obviously, they do not care about hygiene in this sense, but this could be a cultural shock for you. Therefore, if you’re not okay with this tradition, you can find a bin for yourself without complaining about other’s recycling methods.
- Food and Beverages in Kuwait – Kuwait is considered to be the food capital of the world. But, the cost of food might be high if you’re looking to get a favorite. However, if you’re used to eating pork, you can only eat it in your apartment because it is illegal in Kuwait.
- Trouble Finding Friends – being an expat in Kuwait can be challenging to hang out with friends. Not that it’s rare to find people around, but the problem is that; getting a friendly relationship with the locals can be challenging. This is because; being an expat has its limit even after living for a couple of years in the country.
- Traveling Around – There are numerous opportunities when it comes to traveling and meeting new places in Kuwait. However, being an expat in this country means that you should never forget to bring your passport with you to any location you choose to go with friends.
Kuwait Healthcare System
The Healthcare system in Kuwait can really be challenging for expat, especially if you don’t have comprehensive medical insurance. Nevertheless, they are not free, and the waiting time for both expats and locals can be extremely long. Although the government has started the implementation of segregation for local and expat patients, and this could reduce the burden of a long queue.
Kuwait Immigration Entry Requirements
In our previous post about moving to Kuwait, we discuss more on the types of Kuwait visas and the documents required to enter the country. Today, we will proceed by explaining some relatively new concepts, including the Kuwait immigration entry requirements. Let’s review the details below.
Eligible citizens can submit a simple Kuwait visa application online. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the government has restricted specific countries. With this in mind, applicants must fill in their details and passport information before receiving an approved visa in Kuwait through an email address.
Foreign nationals traveling to Kuwait for purposes other than tourism must apply from the Kuwait Embassy or Consulate in their home country. Some of the eVisa entry requirements include the following;
- A recent passport photograph for your biographical page
- A valid credit or debit card you’ll use for the Kuwait tourist visa fee
- You can also tender your GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) residency card, if applicable
- Supplying a valid email address to receive the approved Kuwait visa
- Print, at least a copy of the visa, to present at Kuwaiti border control
Practical Guide to Life in Kuwait
As we’ve always stated, organizing an international relocation is not something you should plan on your own. As a newbie, we understand what you need; that’s why we are trying our best to walk you through the basics. So, let’s get on the track to put you through the practical guide of living in Kuwait.
- Just like Saudi Arabia, Islam also has a massive influence on Kuwait’s culture and way of living
- Most of the country’s investment is based on education and healthcare. But thanks to the revenue generated from oil that plays a huge role
- Driving is the main mode of transportation because of the cheap gas prices
Kuwait is the sixth-largest oil reserves nation, and its exportation of oil and petroleum products has made it one of the richest countries in the world. With the substantial oil revenues, the government provides its citizens with extensive social welfare services. Also, the booming economy in Kuwait has made the country a popular destination for workers and expatriates.
Furthermore, as aforementioned earlier, the country is basically surrounded by desert, and the average annual rainfall in this country is about 115 mm. Nevertheless, extensive use of air conditioning in Kuwait will make the country bearable for expats. Meanwhile, do not forget to pack some warm clothes.
Religious Culture in Kuwait
While Islam remains the major religious practice in this country, nearly all Kuwaitis are Sunni Muslims. So, don’t be surprised to be hearing the phrase “inshallah” in all their conversations. At the same time, the cultural influences extend to the emigrants. That’s why Kuwait is suitable for people that practice the Islamic religion.
Buying a Used Car in Kuwait
Foreigners moving to this country for the first time are not permitted to buy any used product, especially when buying a car. It’s only the Kuwait nationals that are permitted to buy a used car solely. And considering local driving habits, you’ll need to inspect your car to abide by driving rules.
In addition, leasing or renting a car from a local agency is a popular alternative to get the right car. With this in mind, you should avoid dealing with the hassle of repair problems and unreliable mechanics in the country.
Expat Guide to Cost of Living
If you follow our post regularly, you must have seen the average prices of the foods, utilities, and other essentials in Kuwait. To add to the information listed earlier, we highlight the guide to spending and the cost of living as a foreigner.
This way, while moving to Kuwait as an emigrant, you should be ready to experience the world’s most expensive currency. This means Kuwait is a highly sought-after destination for many expats who want to earn more money. For Europeans, it is not a cheap country to live in.
On the flip side, petrol and cars are fairly cheap, while electronics and white goods may cost slightly less than expat used to experience in their home country. Besides, the biggest expense for many expats wanting to live in Kuwait will be accommodation. For those living in the city, a one-bedroom apartment will cost you nothing less than KD300 per month, while a two-bedroom costs KD320.
If you’re looking for cheap accommodation, foreigners should look outside of the city centers. In rural areas, you can see a one-bedroom apartment for as low as KD230. Moreover, the prices of electricity, gas, and water are subsidized by the government, making the country affordable and comfortable for emigrants.
Frequently Asked Questions by Expats
How do I Convert Currency on Arrival
Of course, conversion of currency is easy. You can refer to Kuwait-airportdotcom for further information on how to convert your local currency. Aside from this fact, have it in mind that all banks in Kuwait offer customers credit cards, debit cards, and they can be used at any branch of the same bank.
How Do I Know Kuwait’s Country Code?
This should be the last question you should ask as an expat. That’s why it’s vital to make proper research before moving to any country of your choice. However, the country code is +965, and there are three national GSM mobile telephone networks in the country (Wataniya and Pioneers).
Can I Take My Pet to Kuwait?
In Kuwait, you’re required to have a licensed veterinarian complete certificate indicating that your pet is healthy enough to travel. Moreover, your pet, for instance, must have been vaccinated for rabies at least thirty days before travel. While you’re making provision for these documents, ensure you have an import permit guaranteed from the Animal Health Department.
Can We Say it’s Easy to Live In Kuwait?
Daily life is easy in Kuwait. At first, expats can find it challenging to cope with the cost of living and traditions. But, it will be easy if you practice the Islamic religion. Aside from this fact, you’ll enjoy Kuwait if you already have a place to stay.
What’s the Estimated Cost of Moving to Kuwait?
You can refer to our previous post on moving to Kuwait expat guide for more information. However, for a family of four, the estimated monthly costs are 2,552 USD without rent. Alternatively, a single person can prepare for an estimated budget of 687 USD without rent.
What’s A Good Salary in the Country?
If you’d love to enjoy good pay in the country, you should be expecting nothing less than 1,260 KWD per month. Although an average salary range from 320 KWD (lowest average) to 5,700 KWD (highest average) but you may be less in some cities without housing, transport, and other benefits.
Which Country Pays Highest Salary In 2021?
It comes as no surprise seeing Switzerland have the highest paid salaries in the world. According to research, the average wage in this country is about 64,000 USD per annum. If you want more information about the country, refer to the country’s expat guide on this platform.
Moving to Kuwait has come easy with our free expat guide. If you want to relocate to this country for whatever reasons, it’s quite essential to read carefully before you plan your visa application. Many people move to Kuwait because of the country’s prosperity! But have you ever asked yourself why you want to move to the country? If that sounds like a yes, share your opinion in the comment session!