When relocating to Kuwait, new arrivals will have to consider the cost of living in a foreign currency. The exchange rate may also be a shock for many since the Kuwaiti dinar (KWD or KD) is the strongest currency in the world.

Living expenses in Kuwait may differ greatly for expats, depending on their salary and any additional benefits they receive, their lifestyle, and how they choose to spend their money.

Unfortunately, with the national push for Kuwaitisation, securing a job and receiving lucrative employment packages in this Gulf state is no longer guaranteed. That said, expats offered a job here can often negotiate for extra benefits. This is especially important for expat parents who have to keep the high tuition costs of international schools in mind.

Thankfully, with a generous salary, prices may be less of a burden on the wallet than expats expect from this high-income country. Mercer's Cost of Living Survey for 2024 ranked the capital, Kuwait City, 119th out of 226 cities worldwide. This indicates that the city is far more budget friendly than the many other expat destinations that ranked higher, such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

Cost of accommodation in Kuwait

Many expats move to Kuwait with accommodation provided by their employers. Employers own or lease apartments for their expat staff to reside in, and these lucky expats won't need to worry about rent, utilities, or furniture costs.

That said, expats who are responsible for their own rent should expect over a third of their income to go towards accommodation expenses. We recommend checking whether utilities are included in the rental contract, as air-conditioning is necessary for summer, and could contribute to a high electricity bill.

Cost of groceries in Kuwait

A significant proportion of groceries in Kuwait have to be imported. So, buying typical food items that may have been more accessible at home could come at a steeper price. Expats on specific diets may find that certain foodstuffs are excessively expensive or hard to find in some cases.

Expats looking to reduce their grocery expenses can shop at local stores like Carrefour Kuwait. Tools like Pricena compare prices across several stores and find the most affordable.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Kuwait

Entertainment in Kuwait's major cities can be limited to indoor experiences such as restaurants, cafés and malls, which may not be wallet-friendly. Still, Kuwait has plenty of restaurants offering diverse cuisine and street food options, which can help expats reduce their expenses.

Expats will find that while Kuwait does not have many green spaces, there are always beaches, museums and archaeological sites to explore nearby. New arrivals must budget carefully to enjoy these delights, which can be quite pricey.

Cost of healthcare in Kuwait

Expats can access both public and private healthcare in Kuwait. That said, most expats prefer private medical facilities, which offer excellent care and short waiting times. Unfortunately, private hospitals are usually pricey.

Health insurance is essential, and expats must typically pay an amount towards public healthcare, whether they use it or not. Nonetheless, we recommend getting comprehensive private medical insurance to ensure complete coverage for any situation.

Cost of transport in Kuwait

Buses, cars, and taxis are the main forms of public transport. Buses are cheap but not frequently used by expats who can afford to get around in Kuwait by car. Expats are happy to buy new or second-hand vehicles or rent a car, as petrol is reasonably priced in Kuwait.

Driving can be much more affordable here than in many Western countries, but bear in mind additional expenses, such as car insurance. Taxis are also relatively affordable, but agreeing on a price with the driver before setting off is advised.

Cost of education in Kuwait

Expat parents moving to Kuwait with their children will need to consider the cost of international schools when setting up their budget. The country offers expats many schools with diverse curricula and quality facilities to choose from, but tuition costs are hefty. Newcomers are encouraged to negotiate a suitable education allowance as part of their relocation package to help manage the cost of education and schools in Kuwait.

Cost of living in Kuwait chart

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Kuwait City in June 2024.

Accommodation (monthly rent)
Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre KWD 549
Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre KWD 422
One-bedroom apartment in the city centre KWD 292
One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre KWD 221
Eggs (dozen) KWD 0.72
Milk (1 litre) KWD 0.48
Rice (1kg) KWD 0.64
Loaf of white bread KWD 0.29
Chicken breasts (1kg) KWD 1.85
Pack of cigarettes KWD 1
Eating out
Big Mac Meal KWD 2.20
Coca-Cola (330ml) KWD 0.17
Cappuccino  KWD 1.67
Bottle of local non-alcoholic beer KWD 0.60
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant KWD 20
Mobile phone monthly plan with calls and data KWD 5.83
Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) KWD 9
Basic utilities (per month for small apartment) KWD 17.10
Taxi rate (per kilometre) KWD 1
Bus fare in the city centre KWD 0.30
Petrol/gasoline (per litre) KWD 0.10

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

  • Comprehensive Family coverage, wherever you go
  • Paediatric coverage for well-child visits & immunizations
  • Access to dental and orthodontic care
  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service

Get a quote from Cigna Global

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!