What makes Kuwait a popular Expat Destination?

Parimita Barooah Bora
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

For decades, Kuwait has been a popular expat destination. To this day, moving to this Arab country does not seem to have lost any of its appeal. What makes it so popular?

Part of the explanation is tied to the country’s economic prosperity and the career prospects it offers. Many expatriates moving to Kuwait are attracted by the high salaries that compare well to international standards. Kuwait has the highest-valued currency in the world which means more tax-free income to send home. For those who can afford it, moving to Kuwait could offer a high standard of living with all imaginable amenities. At the same time, as many expats who have taken the plunge and moved to Kuwait report, it is a great place to get to know Arab traditions and culture. Also it’s easy travelling to all Middle East countries from Kuwait. Therefore, getting a job in the Gulf country can lead to a rewarding expat experience.

Kuwait’s booming economy is one of the main reasons why expats move there. Today, the country’s economic success still squarely relies upon the oil industry. Income from oil revenues has enabled the Kuwaiti government to greatly enhance the public education system and develop a comprehensive social security system. Expats in Kuwait, however, may only partly benefit from this because of the recent restrictions and bans on healthcare access and driving.

The current political system in Kuwait can be described as a constitutional monarchy. The head of state (Emir) holds considerable powers, and the position is hereditary: The ruling Al-Sabah family nominates a new Emir from within its own ranks. Many foreigners moving to Kuwait may not be aware that the country also has the oldest directly elected parliament among Arab states in the Persian Gulf region. Since women’s voting rights were introduced in 2005, Kuwait truly has had universal suffrage.

The majority of expatriates moving to Kuwait do so to work in the country’s booming oil industry. Kuwait’s rapidly-growing financial sector and fields such as marketing, sales, and business development also offer rewarding opportunities for expats moving to Kuwait. Both Kuwaiti-owned companies and the many multinationals operating in Kuwait employ expatriates on a regular basis. Also, expats considering a move to Kuwait should not disregard working in the public sector.

In recent years, however, job opportunities for expats wishing to move to Kuwait have been shrinking. This is mainly due to competition from increasingly well-educated Kuwaiti graduates as well as government efforts to get more locals into upper-management jobs. In March 2013, the Kuwaiti government announced its plan to reduce the number of expats in Kuwait by one million over the next ten years. Nevertheless, with a degree in the right field and relevant work experience, expats will still find lucrative opportunities to move to Kuwait.

I remember when I first arrived in Kuwait how incredibly alien everything seemed. The strange sand colour landscape mostly devoid of trees and grass are shocking for someone visiting the arid Gulf region for the first time. Over the days, weeks, months and now years things like going to Fahaheel by taking a taxi from the road is normal which was quite frightful when we arrived. For the novice expat, arrival in a new country like Kuwait can be both exciting and daunting. There are so many challenges to living here. Whether you hail India or USA adjusting to an alien culture, land and society takes time. There will be a million questions on everything from how to find a flat , to how to get a driver’s license, if we will get food stuff we use in our motherland which we were used to , which will be the best school for our kids, finding activities for kids and ourselves and many more. There are many different private schools in Kuwait. From Indian and Pakistani to American and British schools, expats have a wide variety of international schools to choose from. However, government schools are only for Kuwaiti children or children of educators and are all taught in Arabic. Expats moving to Kuwait will find that there are many areas to live; some better than others, depending on how much one is willing to pay. Kuwait can be confusing when one first arrives; expats will have to learn how to navigate “rings” and highways when driving. 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 Failaka Island for that weekend getaway. 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. 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.

Kuwait is a nice place to live. It takes some adjustment, but then anywhere you live, everywhere there will be positive and negative points. As a mom of two kids, Kuwait is a safe place for expats like me and has ample places to take my kids out. Travelling is affordable and there are many national holidays. The quality of life I have here is probably better overall than what I had at home, although I miss home quite a bit. Living here really does change your perspective, so be prepared to be a changed person upon returning home.

Parimita Barooah Bora is a onetime lecturer and currently she is a stay-at-home mom. Having done her post graduation in English, Education and Travel n Tourism, she taught for few years until her relocation to Kuwait. She likes to share the experiences of her life as a freelance contributor to various newspapers, magazines and websites. Now, as a freelance writer and teaching children in the evenings at home keeps her busy. Member of IWIK Team.
View full profile


Disclaimer:Statements and opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and written by them; the author is solely responsible for the content in this article. IndiansinKuwait.com does not hold any responsibility for them.
Read this article online at

Express your comment on this article

Submit your comments...
     
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are strictly personal and IndiansinKuwait.com does not hold any responsibility on them. We shall endeavour to upload/publish as many of the comments that are submitted as possible within a reasonable span of time, but we do not guarantee that all comments that are submitted will be uploaded/published. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten other members; have obscene, unlawful, defamatory, libellous, hateful, or otherwise objectionable content; or have spam, commercial or advertising content or links are liable to be removed by the editors. We also reserve the right to edit the comments that do get published. Please do not post any private information unless you want it to be available publicly.

Community News
 

The Managing Committee along with the members got an opportunity to meet, greet and felicitate two great personalities of Tu...

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (Kuwait Chapter) organized a Bowling Tournament exclusively for its members ...

American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) - Kuwait Chapter is a premier voluntary, non-profit making Health, Safety an...

History repeated when Billava Sangha Kuwait (BSK) held yet another successful annual event Billava Chavadi 2019, on 20th Sep...

BDK Kuwait Chapter organized a Blood donation camp at Jabriya Central Blood Bank in association with Kalika science and Lite...