Kuwait Expat: Ten Tips for Living in Kuwait

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on: Nov 03, 2016

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Summary: Ten Tips for Living in Kuwait from Kuwait Expats.

Living in Kuwait - Ten Tips for Newcomers

1) Learn patience. You will be tested. (jdport)

"On the whole I like Kuwait. Yes, it can be infuriating especially when dealing with the goverment and there are times I have thought "What the hell am I doing here" but on the whole I am actually enjoying it," explained millemanuk.

2) Come with an Open Mind (LivKim)

"I've met some people who have expressed some negative views on Kuwait and it's people. You have to really come here with an open mind. It has been a bit of a culture shock, but I really like it, and Kuwaiti people are really open and welcoming" shared another expat," (LivKim)

3) Get passport photos done, lots of 'em. (millemanuk)

Everything that you apply for here requires two piccies. Two for the Civil ID, Two for your Driving License, etc, and they have to have a blue background!. (millemanuk)

4) Bargain Taxi fair prior to riding. (americaninkuwait

"Taxi's from the airport are standard - KWD5 - but around Q8 you should pay between 1,5 or 2 - and ask for a price before you get in - I see many starting to use the meters now - but most don't - they operate on a basis of renting the cab for KWD7 a day so have to get enough fares to make up their own wages," advisesMikeD

5) Although not popular with expats, busses are a safe and inexpensive way to get around the city.

"It's [riding the bus is] safer than driving the death defying roads, only problem I have ever had is when kids throw rocks and break windows, and I was sitting a windows that broke and was not afffected, except for a little glass, but I've ridden over 100 hours night and day bus rides and have enjoyed them. Great, very cheap way to see the city as a whole and see people you may not see. I'll be glad to help, I think that the bus even for a woman is very safe and far safer than driving or cabs for general trips, the people are very courteous, hard working mind their own business people and the women sit in the front of the bus if they wish and men get up and move to let women sit in the front rows...that might have been done 100 years ago in America....I would have no qualms in riding a bus, but very very few expats do," shared Kwater. Babyofmine added, "What may not be safe is waiting for the bus, so avoid standing alone on remote freeway bus stops and you should be fine."

6) When shopping at souks bargain, bargain, bargain ..for fun and profit. (kwater)

"As to clothes - I travel light and brought suits, but then added to my wardrobe from the very large Friday Market (souk dzouma) - so if you're into that kind of thing, you can get everything from jeans and track suits to Oakley t-shirts and leather jackets - just a matter of hunting around there," adds MikeD

7) During Ramadan, DO NOT EAT, DRINK, SMOKE, CHEW GUM, OR KISS YOUR GIRLFRIEND/BOYFRIEND IN PUBLIC. It's a one-way ticket to jail. (jdport)

8) Refrain from any alcohol consumption. If you need it, fly to Dubai for the weekend. (jdport)

"Single ppl not having a bar or general gathering place find it a tad more difficult than usual. Dubai is an hour flight away and it's VERY humid there - but you can at least see normal couples going out and there are some really cool bars and hotels out there," MikeD adds.

9) Learn the word Insha'allah, (Pronounced Insharla, means "Gods Will"). You will hear it on a daily basis... (millemanuk)

10) The Heat

Cloud999 explained, "It is very hot in the summer but it also gets very cold in the winter which is something I wish I knew before we came as the first winter I had a lack of warm clothing!!"

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 6 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and 7 Tips for Obtaining Residence in Italy. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Comments about this Article

Apr 15, 2011 00:27

I will be working for DynCorp in Doha Qater if anyone could please provide answers: 1. My wife wants to come and live, is it safe? 2. Are you able to buy groceries, milk coffee bread ECT ? 3. Want kind of housing will be provided? 4. Can you buy a car? 5. Is there alcohol to buy? Please provide any tips that will help! Thank you!

Apr 28, 2011 03:56

Living in Kuwait for nearly two years now has brought me much in the way of fun, travel, experience, activity and connections. Many Ex-pats who come here often don't know what to expect or they didn't plan much in the way of preparing themselves for cultural and traditional differences. When I got the call that I would be working on a project in Kuwait, I was living in Luanda, Angola, Africa at the time where water was dirty, trash was everywhere and there was no mall. Food was outrageously priced and didn't taste great at all. To move just 5 ft by vehicle would take 3 hours and there wasn't one day that would go by where the police would stop me and my driver for God knows what. Angola taught me all about patience, gratitude, and resourcefulness and I was therefore, definitely ready to enjoy a country where things go and flow with a bit more ease (don't get me wrong, I actually loved Angola!). In Kuwait, you will find pretty much everything you need from food, to clothes to shampoos to good restaurants. The view of the sea is lovely and I think the architecture is amazing. While there are no bars or pubs or clubs, there's much to do in the way of outdoor activity from jet-skiing, boating, paint-ball, amusement and water parks, bowling, gorgeous movie theatres, malls, coffee houses, art and dance classes, exhibits, and go-carting. Kuwait is also perfectly positioned on the planet if you wish to visit other countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Nepal, or Lebanon. The number one complaint from Ex-pats regarding Kuwait is that it is a "dry" country meaning you can't alcohol. My philosophy is if that is the only reason you wish to not come to Kuwait, well, that's a pretty pathetic excuse. You will miss out on making good money if you subscribe to that thought. You will miss out on experiencing a culture you weren't otherwise exposed to. You will miss out on the opportunity to travel to other places for a reasonable price. And, you will miss out on seeing what you are capable of and how resilient you are because Kuwait does challenge the spirit! I've enjoyed Kuwait for many reasons and I will admit that there is a phenomenal "underground" social scene. I won't get into any more details on that but let's put it this way: I've had far more fun here than in most of the other places I've lived! Like any place on the planet, Kuwait might take some getting used to but really it's all about YOU and YOUR attitude and willingness to see Kuwait through different eyes.

Aug 13, 2011 07:31

I need some HELP, please: Let's say I have about 500KD allowance to join a diving club in Kuwait. For that lump-sum payment, I would like for my wife and I have credits toward boat trips and diving equipment rentals. Do you think that is feasible? Where would you recommend?

Sep 22, 2011 09:36

everything is available in kuwiat behind closed doors. its very nice place to be friendly people and must easier lifer compared to india

Dec 6, 2012 11:06

He shouldn't need an itnortanienal calling card. Just get a regular AT T calling card. When soldiers are in Iraq, the phones call out just like he was in the states. Also get one that is rechargable. You keep the card and just give him the numbers off of it, so you can get more minutes on it when he needs them.

Nov 3, 2016 09:27

Moving to kuwait in a few weeks, just wondering if anyone knows the school notthingham British school Kuwait? are they good? do o ave kids there?

First Published: Sep 12, 2009

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Living-in-KuwaitKuwait Expat: Ten Tips for Living in Kuwait

Ten Tips for Living in Kuwait from Kuwait Expats.

Ten Tips for Living in Kuwait from Kuwait Expats....

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