Kuwait City
Kuwait City
Kuwait City

Living in Kuwait Guide

Living in Kuwait Guide

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 13, 2020

Summary: Expats, global nomads and retirees living in Kuwait talk about meeting other expats, befriending locals, the local culture, diversity in Kuwait, international schools, crime and more.

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People living in Kuwait share their experiences making friends, adjusting to the culture, what expat life is like in Kuwait, healthcare in Kuwait and more.

Deciding Where to Live in Kuwait

When we asked expats living in Kuwait to offer newcomers advice about choosing a neighborhood and finding a home, they replied:

"Company provided it for awhile but I moved to my own place through the rental company we always use," said one expat living in Fintas, Kuwait.

"My company and most companies provide housing here. There are some bad places to live, as the locals, they LOVE Americans and are happy to help," mentioned another expat in Kuwait.

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Meeting People in Kuwait

Expats living in Kuwait talked about meeting people in Kuwait and local clubs and organizations:

"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," said one expat living in Kuwait City, Kuwait.

"Gyms, clubs, native embassy activities, women club, private clubs depending on hobby or interest," mentioned another expat in Kuwait.

Expat Life in Kuwait

What is it like living in Kuwait? Here is what people had to say:

"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)," said one expat living in Kuwait City, Kuwait.

"family...family..family..then family and lots of socializing. Sports is also popular. Kuwaities also like to shop, dine out and hand out at cafes," mentioned another expat in Kuwait.

What Expats Appreciate about Their New Culture

We asked expats in Kuwait what they appreciated about their new culture. Here's what they had to say:

"I appreciate the people's sense of pride in their country, for they are very patriotic," said one expat living in Kuwait City, Kuwait.

The Most Challenging Aspects of Living in Kuwait

Then, we asked expats in Kuwait what was most challenging about their new culture. They replied:

"Oddly enough, I have had more trouble with other expats, mainly males. These men are aggressive, presumptuous, and will not accept no for an answer. If a women has light colored hair, she will probably be a target of unwanted advances. Another group that has been difficult is the taxi drivers. Of course, not all but certainly many will overcharge you without a second thought. I tend to avoid taxis as much as possible, but that also limits my experiences and outings," said one expat living in Kuwait City, Kuwait.

"The university aged people whom I teach are materialistic and often without signs of human caring," mentioned another expat in Kuwait.

"I work in schools and come from being a mandated reporter of child abuse, it is more of the norm here, and there are no laws or much education about it. Another challenge for us is the way they drive in Kuwait. We'd heard about this when researching before coming here, but you actually have to live it to understand how terrible it is. That is very frustrating, and could be dangerous," commented one expat who made the move to Kuwait.

Diversity in Kuwait

We asked expats about diversity in Kuwait and whether locals are accepting of differences. They said:

"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," said one expat living in Kuwait City, Kuwait.

"We have people of various religions and faiths. But, in Kuwait Tradition and Customs are equally important. People here are becoming more accepting of non-Kuwaiti traditions e.g. women smoking in public, wearing shorts or revealing much of their body. Women don't cover head to toe here, but wearing very provocative clothes is still a bit taboo. Don't be offended when people stare at you. Everyone here stares; it's more like a sport. You'd think your fly is open or you spilled tomato sauce on your shirt. But, they are just practicing their hobby. If you go to a mall you will spot boys with spiky hair, a woman showing only her eyes, guys with baggy pants, ladies in mini skirts, girls wearing the head cover with full makeup, a guy wearing a T-shirt with Che Guevara. The crowds will vary from singles, teens, families, kids, etc. I guess you get the idea," mentioned another expat in Kuwait.

International Schools 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," said one expat whose children attend Al Bayan Bilingual School in Hawally.

"Ask for details about the assessment exam first, consider carefully what is being tested, and explore plenty of other options. Academics are important, but being a well-rounded person serves you better in real life," added another expat with kids at The English School in Salmiyya.

"One of the few good American curriculum schools in Kuwait. If you want your kids in that system, this school should be in the shortlist," commented one expat when asked about American School of Kuwait in Hawalli, Kuwait.

"If what you are looking for for your kids is just to have fun and get as little education as possible, let them join ASK. Otherwise, if you care about the quantity and quality of the education, then you better choose a different school. AIS is a decent school. Many British schools are good as well. TES, NES, KES, and BSK all are better than ASK," remarked another expat living in Kuwait - Hawally with children attending American School of Kuwait (ASK).

"Try NES or KES if you can afford it. GES is hiring cheap and teachers are not motivated to exert any extra efforts," said another expat in Kuwait with children at Gulf English School.

"My kids hated the school and most of the teachers. The teachers are obviously not happy so they don't treat the children right. The children are 99% behavior problem children and aren't given any consequences which frustrates the teachers (from what it looks like). It's sad because the school, being new, could have wonderful potential but it seems that Management is not experienced and have no idea what they are doing when they hire, organize and disclipline," remarked another parent with kids at Al-Nibras International School in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and 5 Best Places to Live in Spain. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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