Life in Kuwait

Life in Kuwait

Kuwait is a very safe and stable country with a high level of political freedom. Women are encouraged to work, drive and vote.


Language and Religion
The official language is Arabic, though English is widely spoken and understood. Islam is the state religion. As a result all Islamic holidays are officially observed. The holy month of Ramadan is one of the most important months of the year. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Muslims and non- Muslims are required to refrain from consuming food, beverages in public. The school provides special arrangements during the month of Ramadan both for the students and teachers. Working hours are reduced during the month.


Clothing
There is a wide variety of styles and dress material available. Readymade clothing in Kuwait can range from cheap quality to expensive designer couture. The various styles reflect the multinational culture of Kuwaiti population. Tailors and dressmakers are widely available. Laundry and dry-cleaning services are in plenty. Although Kuwaitis are broad-minded, Islamic traditions dictate clothing decorum. The fashionable clothes worn by Kuwaiti ladies do not reveal shoulders and upper arms, and usually stretch down to mid-calf at least. In the work place, formality of dress varies among different companies and occupations in Kuwait, but styles are modest.The dress standards at work are similar to any western country. There is no requirement to cover up as a female.


Money
The Kuwaiti Dinar is one of the strongest currencies in the world. This offers overseas employees the opportunity to save for the future and enjoy a high standard of lifestyle while in the country. The Kuwait Dinar as at mid February 2019 was trading at KD1 = £2.50.


Driving and getting around
Kuwait has a good road network between cities. The Kuwait Transport Company operates a nationwide service which is reliable and inexpensive. Taxis are plentiful in supply and may be easily hired at short notice. Share-taxis are also available. Taxis can be made available by a phone call, and this service is popular and reliable. A standard rate is applicable to most taxis, but those at hotel ranks are more expensive. Tipping is not expected. Car hire is also relatively cheap by European rates.


Expat Community
There is a large and active expat community in Kuwait and 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.


Social Life
Social life is primarily centred on sports, the arts, shopping, eating out and enjoying the coffee-shop style culture. There are many coffee houses in Kuwait with most international brands present. Many expats, teachers join beach clubs, which offer the use of gyms, swimming pools and the opportunity to soak up the sun in a more private setting. The Coastal positioning of Kuwait allows for an active water sports culture and there are many opportunities available to take advantage of the warm waters, and participate in activities such as sailing and scuba diving. Shopping is another favourite activity in Kuwait. Almost every commodity is available. There are the traditional markets, souks, and ultra modern shopping malls with all the well- known and luxurious brand. Coop Societies in each district provide large western style supermarkets supplying goods from all over the world. There are traditional corner stores, bakalas, in most streets providing everyday goods. Kuwait boasts a very popular market called “Friday Market “ which operated on Fridays and one can pick up bargains for at ridiculously low prices.


Sporting activities are central to most of the overseas populations and all types of clubs exist from Gaelic football to tennis, netball, cricket and so forth. There is an amateur theatre company and they are always looking for volunteers. Kuwait has numerous attractions which include excellent museums, a corniche ornamented with combed beaches and extravagant restaurants, modern shopping complexes and marinas, long and lazy retreats, and new beach resorts. A few centres one can enjoy is the Ice Rink, Entertainment City, Aqua Park, The Scientific Centre and Dhow ( boat)tours.


Travel
Kuwait is a great base from which to explore the rest of the world. It has an extensive network of flights and destinations across the Middle East as well as the Far East.


Weather
Being situated in the Arabian Gulf, the climate of Kuwait features hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures are coolest between December and March when northerly winds prevail. From July to September the average temperature is 36 degrees centigrade. Dust storms almost always occur with a rise in humidity during summer.