Day to Day Living in Kuwait
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Day-to-day Living in Kuwait
Kuwait does not have any obligatory state or employer contribution insurance schemes. Therefore, private medical insurance is recommended for foreigners living in Kuwait.
There are no state pension schemes for foreign expatriates. However, certain institutions and some international companies do have corporate pension schemes. If you were paying into a state pension in your home country, it is advised that you should continue to do so. However, you should also take advantage of the high disposable income that you will receive in Kuwait and set up a personal pension plan.
Expatriates cannot own land or property; therefore you will the only option is to rent. There is a vast range of apartments and villas available to rent in and outside of compounds. Most of the buildings are contemporary and are built to a high standard. Modern buildings are often quite spectacular, as much money is invested in their construction. There are many construction projects in the pipeline.
The majority of property is unfurnished, but is likely to include goods such as a fridge-freezer, cooker and washing machine. Furnished accommodation usually costs around 25% more than an unfurnished property. Rental costs generally vary depending on the size and location of the property.
Renting accommodation in Kuwait is generally straightforward, and your sponsor will help you with the process. There are a number of methods to finding a property to rent, including notice boards, estate agents and visiting the compounds (they invariably have a real estate office on the premises). Relocation consultants are also commonly employed by multinational companies and large institutions establishing in the region. They will provide you will all the information needed.
It is common for a rental contract to be drawn up with the owner of the property using the sponsor as the principal.
Kuwait has an extensive, well-maintained and contemporary network of highways. There is no railway system, therefore most people travel by car or bus. Kuwait has a very cheap and broad system of both local and intercity buses. However, the government is planning to construct a rail network which will include a city metro for the capital.
Cost of living
The overall cost of living is not dissimilar to that of most European countries. The lack of general taxation means that many items are of a low cost. However, internationally recognised brands of foods and household goods are quite expensive, and so locally and regionally produced alternatives are available for less and are of considerable quality.
Utilities such as electricity, water and gas are subsidied to some extent by the government, which owns the services. However, in the summer months, the cost of air conditioning increases dramatically, just as the cost of heating increases in the winter.
Things to do and see
Kuwait City is a metropolitan city with high-rise office buildings, luxury hotels, parks and gardens. There are a wide range of nightclubs, bars and theatre which offer a plethora of entertainment and fine dining restaurants. Traditional entertainment and food can be found at local cafes and venues.
There are many activities available across the country, such as sailing, scuba-diving, power boating and horse riding.
The Kuwaiti year is based on the Islamic calendar.
- 10th Dhul-Hijah (between January and February)Eid Al-Adha
- 1st Muharram (between February and March)Muslim New Year
- 10th Muharram (between February and March)Ashura
- 12th Rabi II (between April and May)Prophet's birthday
- 27th Rajab (September)Prophet's ascension
- 1st Ramadan (October)Ramadan
- 1st Shawaal (November)Eid Al-Fitr
- 1st January New Year's Day
- 25th February National Day
- 26th February Liberation Day