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02/05/2018

Relocating to Kuwait

Relocating to another country can be a difficult and stressful time and there are many factors you will need to consider. Below is some useful information about Kuwait you should be aware of before making the decision to relocate.

Living in Kuwait

Kuwait’s booming economy has made it a popular destination for expats to relocate to. The country has the sixth largest oil reserve in the world, and the export of oil and petroleum products has made it one of the richest countries in the world in per capita terms. The cost of living in Kuwait depends on the type of lifestyle you want to live. For example, domestic goods and petrol are relatively cheap, but imported goods and electronics can be expensive.

Although Kuwait is an Islamic country, expats will generally find that Kuwaiti culture is strongly influenced by Western traditions. While the country is not quite as conservative as neighbouring Saudi Arabia, expats should always show respect for Arab traditions, including dressing moderately and not displaying affection in public. 

Culture 

Most Kuwaitis are Muslim, and Islam remains an important part of everyday culture and influences most aspects of social life in Kuwait. At the same time, the cultural differences of immigrants in Kuwait can be seen everywhere, from the international cuisine to the colourful dresses viable on the city streets. 

Kuwait has also developed quite an extensive Western-style expat infrastructure, in that there are many international schools, as well as local and international newspapers and television programs in English. 

What to Wear as An Expat

There is no compulsory Islamic dress code in Kuwait. Generally, Kuwaiti men can be seen wearing thwab (an ankle-length white cotton shirt), while women can be seen wearing abaya (the black over-garment covering most parts of the body). However, it is not unusual to see Kuwaiti men and women wearing western clothes. 

Similarly, there is no official dress code for expats. Men should avoid showing their thighs and stomach below the navel. Women should dress conservatively by not showing cleavage, having bare shoulders, or wearing skirts/shorts that are above the knee. 

Language

Arabic is the official language of Kuwait, although English is widely spoken and the official language of business. Expats should have no problem communicating with the locals. If you are planning on relocating to Kuwait, learning a few basic Arabic phrases and words is advisable. This can be viewed as a sign of respect by Kuwaitis. 

Climate

Kuwait is located on the tip of the Persian Gulf. Because it is a small state, there are few regional differences in environment and the climate does not vary significantly. The weather in Kuwait is similar to other Middle Eastern countries, in that they have long, hot and dry summers and short, warm and sometimes rainy winters. Temperatures during the summer can often reach 60C. The most pleasant months to live in Kuwait are February, March and November when the temperature will vary between 10C and 20C.

Want more information on relocating? Check out some of our other blogs:

Job Relocation Paperwork Explained
10 Top Tips for Relocating


 

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