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Retire in Salmiya Guide

If Salmiya is on your retirement radar, our detailed Retire in Salmiya Guide is your go-to resource. Delve into the crucial aspects of life here, including living costs, climate, housing options, healthcare services, and residency procedures. We also explore the city's social dynamics, volunteering scenes, transportation, and how walkable its neighborhoods are.

Retiring in Salmiya offers a unique blend of modern amenities, rich cultural experiences, and a warm, welcoming community. This vibrant city is a popular choice for international retirees due to its high standard of living, excellent healthcare, and diverse recreational activities. However, like any foreign country, it also presents its own set of challenges, such as language barriers and cultural differences.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Salmiya is relatively high compared to other cities in Kuwait, but it is still affordable for many retirees. Housing, in particular, can be expensive, especially in the more desirable neighborhoods. However, other expenses such as groceries, dining out, and transportation are quite reasonable. It’s worth noting that Kuwait has no income tax, which can significantly reduce the financial burden for retirees.


Salmiya experiences a desert climate with hot summers and mild winters. The summer months, from June to September, can be extremely hot with temperatures often exceeding 40°C. However, most buildings are air-conditioned, providing a comfortable respite from the heat. The winter months, from November to February, are much cooler and more pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C.


Salmiya is home to several top-notch hospitals and clinics, offering a wide range of medical services. The city’s healthcare system is highly regarded for its quality and efficiency, with many doctors and nurses speaking English. This makes it easier for international retirees to communicate their health concerns and receive appropriate care.

Public Healthcare System

While Kuwait has a public healthcare system, it is primarily intended for Kuwaiti citizens. However, international retirees can access private healthcare services, which are of a high standard and relatively affordable. Many retirees choose to purchase private health insurance to cover these costs.

Residency Options for Retirees

Kuwait offers several residency options for international retirees. The most common is the self-sponsorship visa, which allows retirees to live in Kuwait without a local sponsor. This visa requires proof of financial independence and is renewable annually.

Parks and Recreational Activities

Salmiya offers a variety of recreational activities for retirees. The city is home to several beautiful parks, such as the Salmiya Park and the Marina Crescent, which are perfect for leisurely walks or picnics. The Scientific Center, with its aquarium, IMAX theater, and discovery place, is a popular destination for both locals and tourists.


Food lovers will be delighted by the diverse culinary scene in Salmiya. From traditional Kuwaiti cuisine at Freej Swaileh to Italian fare at Solo Pizza Napulitana and Indian delicacies at Asha’s, there’s something to satisfy every palate. For a more casual dining experience, the Marina Mall food court offers a wide range of options.

Learning the Language

While Arabic is the official language of Kuwait, English is widely spoken in Salmiya, making it easier for international retirees to communicate. However, learning Arabic can enrich your experience in Kuwait. The British Council offers Arabic language courses for adults, providing a great opportunity to learn the language and interact with locals.

Local Culture

The locals in Salmiya are known for their hospitality and friendliness. They are generally open to foreigners and are always willing to help. However, it’s important to respect the local customs and traditions, such as dressing modestly and avoiding public displays of affection.

Meeting People and Volunteering

Meeting new people in Salmiya can be as simple as joining a local club or participating in community events. Volunteering is another great way to meet locals and give back to the community. Organizations like LOYAC offer various volunteering opportunities for individuals of all ages.

Housing and Neighborhoods

Most retirees in Salmiya live in apartments or condos, which are typically located in the city center. Some of the best neighborhoods for retirees include Block 10, known for its quiet streets and proximity to amenities, and Block 2, which is close to the beach and the Marina Mall.


Public transportation in Salmiya is reliable and affordable, with a network of buses connecting the city. Taxis are also readily available. However, many retirees choose to own a car for convenience. The city is also quite walkable, especially in the cooler months.

Joshua WoodJoshua 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.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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