Kuwait city


Kuwaiti visitor visas are valid for a stay of up to 30 days. Overstaying this duration will result in a fine of 10 KWD per day, which must be paid before leaving the country. Visitor visas are usually issued within two working days and currently cost 3 KWD. Nationals from 70 countries, including the US, EU member states except Croatia, Australia, and Japan, are granted entry visas upon arrival in Kuwait. If you belong to this group, you do not need to apply for a visa before traveling to Kuwait.

Those who are in Kuwait on a visitor visa may not take up any sort of employment. Working in Kuwait requires a work permit and a residency visa.

About Kuwait

Official name: State of Kuwait

Population: Over 3.5 million

Capital city: Kuwait City

Neighbouring countries: Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Geography: The Kuwaiti desert stretches for miles till it meets the Persian Gulf in the country's East,where the nation's capital and main visitor attractions are concentrated. Summers here are smoldering hot, with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius and above between June and August. Kuwait's coastal resorts and combed beaches provide a good means of escaping the heat, as do the country's Sea Clubs, pools, water parks and islands.

Out of Kuwait's more than 3 million total residents over half are expatriates and foreign workers, Kuwaitis making up a mere 30% of all inhabitants. Despite the staggering ethnic diversity, the country tightly holds on to its historic roots and traditions, with the average citizen bound to observing the local code of conduct - public displays of affection are not allowed, alcohol is strictly prohibited, and no food or drink can be consumed in public throughout the holy month of Ramadan.

Kuwait's main travel destinations are the historic Kuwait City, along with the nearby Salmiya, where lots of hotels, restaurants and shops can be found. Further areas of interest include Rai (home to the legendary Avenues mall), Shuwaikh (an industrial area with some attractions and shops), and Hawally.

Political system: Constitutional emirate with a parliamentary system.

Major religions: Islam is the main religion and Kuwait is a very conservative society which enforces strict Islamic customs. However, other religions are respected and expats are free to practice their own religions.

Main languages: Arabic (official) but English is widely spoken.

Money: The currency of Kuwait is the Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD) which is divided into 1,000 fils. There are a number of local and international banks operating in Kuwait and expats are able to open a local account.

Time: GMT +3

 240 volts, 50Hz. Both the UK-style three-pin and European-style two-pin plugs are in use.

Internet domain: .kw

International dialling code: +965 plus relevant city code.

Emergency contacts: 112

Transport and driving: Although Kuwait has well-kept roads, driving in Kuwait can be hazardous. Cars in Kuwait drive on the right side of the road. Road signs are in English and Arabic. Foreigners need an international driving permit to drive in Kuwait. Anyone over the age of 18 may hold a driving license - there is no restriction on women driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol will result in imprisonment. Petrol is cheap.