There are more than 20 hotels in Kuwait. These are officially
classified as deluxe, first class, and second class.
Kuwait's top hotels compare favourably with
the best internationally. Facilities include swimming pools,
health clubs, tennis courts, shops, and business centres.
Many have good conference and seminar facilities.
The hotels in Kuwait belong to an informal
cartel and prices are expensive by international standards.
Prices per day in the deluxe class range from KD50 for a
single room up to KD100 for an executive suite, to as much
as KD250 for the most expensive suite. Substantial discounts
are usually available for stays of more than 29 days. In
both deluxe and first class hotels, a 15% service charge
is always added to all prices. Prices per day at the lower
end of the Second Class are about KD15 for a single room
and KD18 for a double. Cheaper long-term rates are negotiable
and there is no service charge.
Kuwait also has a number of establishments
which describe themselves as 'motels', but which are really
serviced apartments. The better ones have flats with two
bedrooms, two bathrooms, sitting room and fully equipped
kitchens, and the prices include housekeeping and laundry
services. The motels usually have swimming pools, satellite
TV and international fax facilities. Cheaper than hotels
but offering similar facilities of comparable quality, they
are suitable for executive expatriates, on short-term contracts
of six months or so, for whom renting an apartment would
not be time or cost effective.
Villas and apartments can be found through friends, advertisements
in the local newspapers, real estate agents, and by wandering
around suitable looking buildings and apartment blocks.
Heating in winter is not really necessary.
But in summer air-conditioning is essential and is of two
types, wall type 'portable' units and central AC.
In some of the large Western style apartment
blocks the central AC conduits are often combined with the
heating system, so in winter the AC must be shut off to
Nearly all apartments and villas are let unfurnished.
Costs vary widely, depending on location and standard. A
small basic flat, the sort that is usually let to groups
of third world nationals, may cost just about KD100 a month.
In some areas, two bedroom flats in older buildings without
central AC cost KD125, three bedroom flats in slightly better
buildings with central AC about KD250. Ordinary two bedroom
flats in the City without central AC cost about KD200 a
Unfurnished single bedroom executive standard
apartments with central AC in the City and down along the
coastline cost about KD225 a month, while similar three
bedroom apartments cost KD550 or more. An innovation in
recent years is the grouping of fully furnished executive
apartments in 'self-contained' compounds with excellent
amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, restaurants,
etc, but these can cost up to KD850 a month. Villas in the
City suburbs begin at about KD600 a month depending on the
furnishings provided. Large suburban villas may cost well
in excess of KD1,000 a month, with KD2,500 being charged
for the most sumptuously appointed.
Usually a deposit of one month's rent is required,
more for more expensive properties. Rent is normally payable
at the start of the month to which it relates. Estate agents
charge quite high finder's fees, often one month's rent,
but their fees are negotiable.
Most apartments have a telephone line installed. Domestic
supplies of water and energy are reliable.
Most areas of Kuwait have mains water supply, though in
a few places water is still delivered by truck to tanks
on the roof. All residential areas have an electricity supply.
The cost of water and electricity may or may not be included
in the rent.
To have the power and/or water turned on, the
tenant's civil ID and house rental agreement must be shown
at the local office of the Ministry of Electricity &
Water (MEW). A refundable deposit is needed.
Domestic gas is distributed through a network of pipes only
in the Ahmadi area, and most residents in Kuwait do their
cooking using cylinder gas. In each area there is a gas
cylinder distribution depot near the local 'coop' supermarket.
A newcomer must buy at least one cylinder (KD8
each) and a connector (KD5). It is best to have two cylinders,
so that a full one is available when the one in use runs
out. Empty cylinders are exchanged for full ones at the
depots for 750 fils each.