Pros and Cons of Moving to Kuwait

Expats will find that there are a number of pros and cons when living in Kuwait
Relocation to any destination has its disadvantages and advantages, and expats will find that Kuwait is no different. The better prepared a person is for the less appealing aspects of life abroad, the more successfully they’ll be able to adapt. Here are some of the pros and cons of living in Kuwait. 
 

Accommodation in Kuwait

 

 PRO: Lots of options for accommodation

There has been a construction boom in Kuwait over the last 10 years, providing many different apartments and villas for expats to choose from. Almost all of the apartment buildings have a haris or manager on the building premises who will arrange for your trash to be taken out and your car washed for a small monthly fee.

 CON: Limited parking and amenities

Most buildings have limited parking spaces and amenities. It seems that parking spaces are not included in the blueprints of buildings so most renters are left to try to find a space anywhere and everywhere.
 

Lifestyle in Kuwait

 

 PRO: There are many things to do in Kuwait

The best time of the year to explore Kuwait is between October and April which are the “winter” months. There are many museums to visit, monthly events and Falika Island for that weekend getaway. 

 CON: Very hot summers

Dry, hot summers with some humid days may keep expats at home watching a movie, but, if choosing to go out, every building is air-conditioned and there are a lot of indoor activities (such as malls and restaurants) from which to choose.

 PRO: Taking advantage of the sunshine

When summer comes to Kuwait, everything tends to slow down as people stay home more often. But for beach lovers, there are jet skis, beach resorts with pools, and fishing excursions for entertainment.

 CON: Litter

Unfortunately, litter is a big problem in Kuwait as many people think it’s okay to throw things out of their windows instead of taking the time to find a bin. Residential areas don’t have enough large dustbins for the number of people living there so garbage may overflow into the streets.
 

Safety in Kuwait


 PRO: Low crime rates

Kuwait has a low level of crime but everyone should be aware of their surroundings. Women should not walk alone.

 CON: Police are known to have bad attitudes

If you have an accident or need to file a report, you may find that the police are in no rush to assist. There have been reports of police officers showing up to the scene of an accident very late if it’s just a fender bender. When you go to the police station they can be rather rude if you don’t speak Arabic. Very few speak English so you will need to have a translator in order to complete transactions in a timely manner.
 

Working and doing business in Kuwait


 PRO: High salaries

Kuwait has the highest-valued currency in the world which means more tax-free income to send home.

 CON: Expats must have a Kuwaiti partner

Expats wanting to do business in Kuwait must have a Kuwaiti partner or sponsor who will take 51 percent of the business, leaving 49 percent for the expat – even if the Kuwaiti partner does nothing to contribute.
 

Culture shock in Kuwait

 

 PRO: A variety of expat organisations to join

There is a wide variety of expat leagues/clubs for women to join, such as the American Women’s League (AWL), British Ladies Society (BLS) and Organizacion Latina En Kuwait (OLEK) for example. These organisations have gatherings and are deeply involved with schools and charity projects.
 

 PRO: Younger generation is more open

The younger generation of Kuwaiti citizens is more open to meeting expats these days which helps when one wants to learn about Kuwaiti culture.

 CON: Segregation rules

Men tend to have more problems adjusting as it’s not easy to meet people unless they are from work. Approaching and talking to a stranger is frowned upon, especially if they are female. 
 

Cost of living in Kuwait


 PRO: Tax-free income

There is no personal income tax in Kuwait, even for expats living and working there.

 CON: High cost of basic goods 

Although there are no taxes, the majority of goods are imported which means higher charges on basic necessities.
 

Education and schools in Kuwait


 PRO: Many different types of private schools to choose from

There are many different private schools in Kuwait. From Indian and Pakistani to American and British schools, expats have a wide variety of choice when it comes to international schools.

 CON: Education is expensive

Western private schools are extremely expensive if one's company does not pay for it and the education children receive may not always live up to the expected quality.

 PRO: Wide variety of colleges

There are several different colleges for students to choose from which means one does not have to travel abroad for their higher education.
 

Healthcare in Kuwait


 PRO: Many private hospitals to choose from

Kuwait has many private hospitals and more are currently being built. Most expats have insurance provided by their companies. Medical insurance is also available for everyone but can be costly.

 CON: Long waits at public hospitals

For those without insurance, government clinics and hospitals can be a nightmare as Kuwaiti citizens tend to have priority over others, making a wait even longer. Don’t expect to spend less than two hours for any visit to the hospital.

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