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about the Kuwait

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  • middle-east-img

Kuwait is a small, sandy, barren country situated at the head of the Persian Gulf, nestled between Saudi Arabia in the South, Iraq in the North and Iran in the East. Since its rich oil fields were first exploited in the 1930s and the government launched a program of industrial diversification in the 1960s, the oil industry has boomed, dominating 90% of the country’s exports, and producing more than 10% of the world’s reserves.

In 1990 the country was invaded and annexed by Iraq. The Persian Gulf War in 1991 followed, where US forces successfully removed the Iraqi presence via ‘Operation Desert Storm’. Kuwait was left devastated, however, losing vast amounts of oil in the Persian Gulf War oil spill and having over 600 oil wells set ablaze by Iraqi troops. In 2003 Kuwait was used as a launch pad for the US invasion of Iraq.Kuwait was the first Arab country in the Gulf to have an elected parliament, and has been moving toward women’s emancipation since 1999, when an edict was put forward by the Sheik, finally being approved by parliament in 2005.

factfile

  • Full name: The State of Kuwait
  • Population: 3.369 million (WB, 2013)
  • Urbanized population: 3.369 million (WB, 2013)

Ethnicity:

  • Arab

    65%

  • Asian

    30%

  • Other

    5%

  • Capital: Kuwait City
  • Area:17,818 sq km (6,880 sq miles)
  • Major language:Arabic
  • Major religion:Islam (85% of population)
  • Monetary unit:1 Kuwait Dinar = 1000 fils
  • Main exports:Oil
  • GNI per capita:US $48,926 (WB, 2013)
  • Internet domain:kw
  • International dialling code:+965
  • Time:GMT +3
  • Life Expectancy:76 years (men), 80 years (women) (UN)
  • Nomadic/ Semi-Nomadic population:4%

useful information for expatriates

    • Climate

    Climate

    The summer months are from June to September. These months are usually hot (exceeding 48 degrees) and dusty with dust storms in June and July, and high humidity in August and September. Temperatures start to decrease to the lower 30s throughout October and the upper 20s to the mid 20s in November. Thunderstorms also begin in November. The winter months are December, January, February and part of March. During this time the temperature can reduce (particularly in desert areas) to 0 degrees or lower. The climate varies greatly from rain and fog to sun during the winter. Spring sees warmer temperatures and occasional thunderstorms.

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    Cost of Living

    Overall, the cost of living in the Middle East is similar to most Western European countries, although individuals are not taxed, which makes a difference to income. The costs of international phone calls are kept low by the government to encourage international business and investment. The cost of utilities are subsidised by the government, so these, too, are relatively low, although air conditioning is needed in most months.

public holidays

Muslim holidays are set according to local sightings and lunar phases. Therefore each year they fall on slightly different days. These are:

  • 01 Jan: 1 Jan: New Year Day

  • 01 Jan: Mouloud (Birth of the Prophet)

  • 02 Jan: National Day

  • 13 Jan: Liberation Day

  • 24 Feb: Leilat al-Meiraj (Ascention of the Prophet)

  • 20 Jul: Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)

  • 26 Aug: Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)

  • 12 Oct: Islamic New Year

Rental Properties/ Estate Agents

Under certain conditions, and with restrictions, expats can now buy property in Kuwait, however renting is still the usual option. Most employment contracts do provide a rental allowance. Monthly rentals can range from 300KD for a small apartment to 2000D for a large villa Some estate agents which may be useful:

Under certain conditions, and with restrictions, expats can now buy property in Kuwait, however renting is still the usual option. Most employment contracts do provide a rental allowance. Monthly rentals can range from 300KD for a small apartment to 2000D for a large villa

Some estate agents which may be useful:

  • www.frostrealestate.net
  • http://re.com.kw
  • http://asasrealestatekw.com
    • hospital-250x165

    Hospital

    There are plans for eight new hospitals to be built in Kuwait between 2016 and 2024, to cater to the natural population growth. The hospitals in Kuwait are rated amongst the best in Middle East Asia due to their high quality services and treatment systems.

    • School

    Schools

    French Schools - 

    Kuwait French School

    Tel: +965 5730026 / 5730025 / 5730024
    Fax: + 965 5730027

    International Schools
    Al-Bayan Bilingual School
    Tel: +965 5315125 / 5315269 / 5315268
    Fax: +965 5332836

    Al-Ru’ya Bilingual School
    Tel: +965 2610529 / 2610497 / 2667421
    Fax: +965 2610473

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    General

    • Carry your passport or a Kuwait civil identification card at all times.
    • Importing narcotics, alcohol, pork products and obscene material is forbidden and can lead to imprisonment.
    • Drunken behaviour in public or driving under the influence of alcohol is punishable by a fine or imprisonment, and/or deportation and the withdrawal of your driving license.
    • Entry to and photography near government, military and industrial and other restricted areas (e.g. near borders and oil fields) is forbidden. 
    • Homosexual behaviour and any public displays of affection between men and women are illegal. 
    • Co-habiting of unmarried partners in Kuwait is illegal. If you wish to live with your partner in the same house, you need to be married.
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    Driving

    Driving is on the left hand side of the road, and visitors can drive on an international license for the length of their visit or business visa, but residents need to apply for a Kuwaiti driving license. There is a large open market for used cars held every Friday morning in the Shwaykh District.

    • Shopping

    Shopping

    Kuwait has several western-style supermarkets and malls, such as the Sultan Centre, which sell a large number of imported European and American goods. The Salmiya district, a long, tree-lined, outdoor mall of shops and markets is popular for shopping, as are the downtown souks. 

    • WorkVisa

    Obtaining Residence/ Kuwait

    To live permanently in Kuwait, expatriates other than GCC citizens must have iqama (working residence), i.e. a residence permit. The three main types are work visas, domestic and dependent visas, all of which require a sponsor. An expatriate may, however sponsor his own residence, with or without being permitted to work, provided he has lived in Kuwait for many years and has substantial financial means.

     

    • WorkVisa

    Work Permits, No-objection Certs & Work Visas

    • Work Visas are “iqamas” granted under articles 17 (For Public Sector Employees) and 18 (Private Sector Employees) of the immigration regulations. To obtain residence on a work visa an offer of employment must first be accepted. The Kuwaiti sponsoring employer then applies for a work permit from the Ministry of Social Affairs & Labour, for which the sponsor needs a copy of the employee's passport, and must then obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the General Administration of Criminal Investigation at the Ministry of interior, which he does by submitting the employee's personal details.
    • If the employee is living in a country that has a Kuwaiti Embassy the employer will send him a copy of the work permit which he must take to the Embassy. He will also have received a copy through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for endorsement.
      The employee must then apply for an entry visa for Kuwait, using the endorsed work permit. Those sponsored by private sector companies will require their NOCs and a copy of the employer's authorized signatory as registered for business purposes. An applicant is also required to provide a medical certificate, obtained from a clinic recognized by the Kuwait Embassy, stating that their general state of health is good and that they are free of specific epidemic diseases. A good conduct certificate, issued by the police in the last place of residence, may be required for some nationalities.
    • If the employee is living in a country that has no Kuwait Embassy then the sponsor will submit the work permit and NOC to the Ministry of the Interior to obtain the entry visa. If an employee is on a visit visa to Kuwait when he accept employment, then, once the work permit and NOC are ready, he must leave Kuwait and return on the entry visa the sponsor obtain for him. For Westerners, a short round trip to Bahrain by air for the day may suffice.
    • However, most nationalities are obliged to return to their native country in order to undergo medical tests and have them endorsed at the Kuwait Embassy there.
      Once he has entered Kuwait, the Employee must undergo local medical tests and obtain a fingerprint certificate before he can process his residence visa. 
    • MedicalTest

    Medical Tests

    The medical tests are taken at the ports & Borders Health Division, Gamal Abdul Nasser Street, in Shuwaikh, just west of KISR but before the chest Hospital is reached. Documents needed on the day are: a passport, copy of the NOC, a passport sized photograph, and KD 10 revenue stamp. Revenue Stamps are available from the Post Office, or from private traders outside the test area who charge a small premium over the nominal value of the stamp.
    Appointments cannot be made for the test, and most people must queue for the various procedures. These include a chest x-ray and blood tests for serious infectious diseases, such as HIV (AIDS), TB, hepatitis B&C, typhoid and malaria. A meningitis vaccination is also given. It takes about a week for the results to come through. Persons found to be infected with epidemic diseases are deported.

     

    • FingurePrintandSecurity

    Fingerprinting & Security Clearance

    To have fingerprints registered, an employee's passport, copy of the passport, four photographs and a letter from the Ministry of Social Affairs & Labour are required. An application form must be completed in Arabic and there are freelance typists in the area who will do so for a small fee. It takes about a week for the fingerprints to be processed and the security clearance certificate to be issued by the Criminal Evidence Department of the Ministry of the Interior.

     

    • MOJH

    Kuwait MOH Requirements

    NON-Kuwaiti candidates will be eligible for employment only upon obtaining the following from the Kuwaiti State Authorities: 

    • Transfer of Residence (for local candidates)
    • No Objection Certificate/Work Permit
    • Entry Visa
    • Kuwait Ministry of Health’s licensure for medics/paramedics.  

     

     

     

     

    • Documents

    Required Documents for License and Visa (for doctors)

    • Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine – Authenticated copy
    • Masters Degree - authenticated copy 
    • Fellowship / Phd Degree (if available) –Authenticated copy 
    • Valid Professional Licence – Authenticated copy 
    • Experience Certificates – authenticated copies 
    • Criminal Status Certificate issued by official authorities in home country if employed out of Kuwait (must be attested from Kuwaiti Embassy). 
    • Copy of Passport valid for six months 
    • Scanned Color Photo 
    • Detailed CV 
    • Medical Results
      • Hb & HIV test 
      • CBC 
      • LFTs (SGPT, SGOT, Bilirubin) 
      • RBS 
      • Stool and urine 
      • Urea and creatinine 

     

     
    Authentication is to be done in the country of origin (the foreign office and the Kuwaiti Embassy). Employees recruited from abroad will be eligible for reimbursement of the following expenses: 
    • Medical Check up as required by the Kuwaiti Embassy 
    • Authentication expenses of professional certificates 
    • Visa Stamping expenses

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