Living in Kuwait
Last updated on Feb 03, 2023
Summary: People generally describe life in Kuwait as modern, luxurious, and safe. Expats love the high quality of life, the low cost of living, and the friendly people. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,500 per month, depending on lifestyle. The population of Kuwait is estimated to be 4.5 million, with the largest cities being Kuwait City, Al Ahmadi, and Hawalli. The cons of living in Kuwait include the hot climate, the lack of public transportation, and the strict laws and regulations. Additionally, the cost of living can be high for expats, and the job market is competitive.
What do I need to know about living in Kuwait?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Kuwait, they said:
"Before retiring in Kuwait, it is important to research the cost of living, healthcare, safety, and visas. One should be aware of the local culture and customs, and the procedure for obtaining residency and other visas, as well as the necessary documents that need to be provided. Additionally, it is important to look into financial options, such as investing in local banks or their securities market. Knowledge of work laws and taxes, including brokerage fees and applicable revenue taxes, is also necessary when planning to retire in Kuwait," wrote a member in Kuwait.
"Remember that this country is very hot from May through September, and in fact is insanely hot June, July, August. You have to stay hydrated and avoid outside during most daytime hours as far as shopping, etc. during those three months," commented one expat who made the move to Kuwait.
How do I meet people in Kuwait?
When we asked people living in Kuwait about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:
"One of the most effective ways to meet people in Kuwait is to get involved in activities or events within your local community. Joining a gym or a local sports team can be a great way to make new friends, while joining a club or attending a language exchange group can be great for those looking to expand their network. Additionally, attending local events such as festivals or music concerts can be a great way to meet new people who share your interests. Other more traditional ways to meet peoplein Kuwait include being active on social media networks, and taking part in activities such as going to the mall or local cafes," said another expat in Kuwait.
"There are lot of clubs/meeting groups/associations by expats from different countries in Kuwait. You can search on net or ask in here and surely someone will guide you," added another expat who made the move to Kuwait City.
What is life like in Kuwait?
When we asked people living in Kuwait what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:
"Living as an expat in the area is quite varied, depending on the individual's specific needs and motivations. Generally, expats have a pleasant experience, with a welcoming local community and plenty of opportunities to explore the different facets of their new homeland - from its culture and history to its wonderful landscape. Expats can also benefit from the area's good infrastructure, as well as its excellent transport connections to major cities like Prague and Vienna. There are also plenty of activities to suit all tastes, including sport, nightlife, dining and shopping. In some areas, expats have access to international schools, healthcare and other services. Living as an expat overall offers a unique and enriching experience, with the chance to experience local culture while maintaining a link to one's own homeland," commented one expat who made the move to Kuwait.
"Life here is how you make it for yourself: try to get a job without split hrs: lot of businesses here work 9-1 and then 4-8, and on this schedule you may have little time for anything else. Next is to find suitable pace to live. Many ppl with kids prefer apartments, so their kids can have some playmates. Although there are no theaters, there are plenty of cinemas, sport clubs, beaches, lot of eateries (dining out is much cheaper then in UK or US)," remarked another expat living in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Is there a lot of crime in Kuwait?
We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:
"Generally, Kuwait is considered to be a very safe country, with a low crime rate. Cases of petty theft and vandalism do occur, but violent crime is rare. The most commonly reported crime in Kuwait is credit card fraud. Drug-related crimes are also a problem in the country," remarked another expat living in Kuwait.
Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Kuwait accepting of differences?
"There is a diversity of cultures within Kuwait with expatriates making up a large portion of the population. Kuwait is mostly accepting of different backgrounds and beliefs with the constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion. Tolerance of different beliefs is commonplace, with many Islamic and non-Islamic religions actively practiced and respected. However, there have been instances of racism and discrimination against certain communities in the past. Generally, Kuwaiti people are friendly and welcoming towards visitors," added another expat in Kuwait.
"There are more expats here then locals. But one shuld be aware of local culture and religion and restrain of exposing too much of skin or show off ones body. Apply universal rule of dressing for ocasion, just because its hot does not mean you are always in bikini top and shorts," remarked another expat who made the move to Kuwait City.
What are the schools in Kuwait like?
"Schools in Kuwait are divided into three categories: public schools operated by the Ministry of Education, private schools operated by local or international providers, and international schools. Public schools are free to Kuwaiti nationals and are generally conducted in Arabic and offer curriculums based on the Kuwaiti system of education. Private schools offer a variety of curriculums, most commonly international curriculums, such as the British National Curriculum, the French system, the Indian Curriculum, or the American system. International schools offer international adaptations of national curriculums from countries such as the U.S., the U.K., France, and India, plus the International Baccalaureate Diploma. These schools cater to expatriate students, who make up the majority of their student population. In general, teachers are experienced and qualified, and have had international training. Most schools also offer extra-curricular activities such as sports and arts, in addition to academic subjects," commented one expat when asked about in Kuwait.
"This is the elite school in Kuwait that the Kuwaiti people want to send their children too but students must be bilingual in English and Arabic to get in. They also must pass a difficult exam to be accepted if they are high school students," explained one expat in Hawally, Kuwait with kids at Al Bayan Bilingual School.
Is the cost of living in Kuwait high?
We asked people how much they someone comfortably live on in Kuwait, they wrote:
"The cost of living in Kuwait is generally considered to be high. The country has some of the highest prices in the region for food, housing, transportation, and other basic necessities. The overall cost of living has been increasing in recent years, but in comparison to most other countries, it is still fairly high," added another expat in Kuwait.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.
- How do I meet people in Kuwait?
- What is life like as an expat in your area?
- Is there a lot of crime in Kuwait?
- What do I need to know before retiring in Kuwait?
- Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Kuwait accepting of differences?
- What are the schools in Kuwait like?
- Is the cost of living in Kuwait high?
- What advice do you have for expats having a baby in Kuwait?
- What are healthcare services like in Kuwait?
- Is the cost of living in Kuwait high?
- What type of recreational facilities are in Kuwait?
- What is the weather like in Kuwait?
- Are there good restaurants in Kuwait?
- Where will I buy groceries and do other shopping in Kuwait?
- What are the visa & residency requirements in Kuwait?
- Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Kuwait?
- What do I need to know when buying property in Kuwait?
- Are foreigners allowed to own property in Kuwait?
- What appliances are typically included in a rental?