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Kuwait Expat: Ten Tips for Living in Kuwait

By Betsy Burlingame

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!!"

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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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First Published: Sep 12, 2009

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