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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Kuwait City 2024
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Kuwait City


7 Tips for Living in Kuwait City

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Advice for people moving to Kuwait City or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Kuwait City or thinking about moving there.

As an expat or digital nomad, moving to a new city can be an exciting yet daunting experience. Kuwait City, the capital of Kuwait, is a vibrant metropolis that offers a unique blend of modernity and tradition. Here are seven key tips to help you navigate life in this dynamic city.

1. Understand the Local Culture

Respecting and understanding the local culture is crucial when living in Kuwait City. The city is predominantly Muslim, and Islamic customs and traditions are deeply ingrained in the society. Dress modestly, especially in public places, and be mindful of local customs during the holy month of Ramadan. It's also important to remember that alcohol is strictly prohibited in Kuwait.

2. Learn Basic Arabic

While English is widely spoken in Kuwait City, learning basic Arabic can greatly enhance your experience. Not only will it help you navigate daily life more easily, but it will also show respect for the local culture. There are many language schools in the city where you can take Arabic classes.

3. Explore the Neighborhoods

Kuwait City is made up of several diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. Salmiya is known for its bustling shopping scene and vibrant nightlife, while Sharq is home to many of the city's financial institutions. Hawally is popular among expats for its affordable housing and diverse food scene. Spend time exploring these neighborhoods to find the one that suits your lifestyle and preferences.

4. Enjoy the Local Cuisine

Kuwait City offers a rich culinary scene that reflects its multicultural population. Be sure to try traditional dishes like machboos (a spiced rice dish) and mutabbaq samak (stuffed fish). For a taste of local flavors, visit restaurants like Babel, which serves contemporary Kuwaiti cuisine, or Freej Soeleh, known for its traditional dishes. For those craving international cuisine, The Kitchen is a popular choice.

5. Take Advantage of the City's Amenities

Kuwait City is home to a wide range of amenities that cater to both locals and expats. The city boasts numerous shopping malls, such as The Avenues, one of the largest malls in the Middle East. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Al Shaheed Park offers beautiful green spaces and stunning views of the city. The city also has a number of world-class museums, including the Kuwait National Museum and the Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Art.

6. Stay Connected

Staying connected with friends and family back home is important when living abroad. Kuwait has a robust telecommunications infrastructure, with several providers offering high-speed internet and mobile services. Many cafes and restaurants in the city also offer free Wi-Fi. However, be aware that some social media sites and VoIP services may be blocked, so consider using a VPN.

7. Get Involved in the Community

Getting involved in the local community is a great way to make new friends and feel more at home in Kuwait City. There are numerous clubs and organizations that cater to expats, offering activities ranging from sports to cultural events. Volunteering is another great way to meet people and give back to the community. Research groups that align with your interests and get involved.

Living in Kuwait City as an expat or digital nomad can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By understanding the local culture, learning the language, exploring the city, and getting involved in the community, you can make the most of your time in this vibrant Middle Eastern metropolis.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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