Where is Kuwait located?

What countries border Kuwait?

Kuwait Weather

What is the current weather in Kuwait?

Kuwait Facts and Culture

What is Kuwait famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Women play a greater role in Kuwaiti society then women do in many other Gulf countries, although they seldom socialize... More
  • Family: Family Names: The first name is the personal name The second name is the father’s personal name. It is used... More
  • Personal Apperance: In urban areas Western style clothing is becoming popular with the young people. However many Kuwaitis still wear traditional Arab... More
  • Recreation: Football (soccer) is the most popular sport. People on the coast enjoy swimming in pools (jellyfish are a concern... More
  • Diet: In Kuwaiti homes, foods from other Arab countries are commonly prepared. Favorites are "dolma", rolled vine leaves stuffed with flavored... More
  • Food and Recipes: Kuwaitis eat with the right hand. One should leave some food on the plate when finished eating otherwise it may... More
  • Visiting: Kuwaitis spend much of their free time socializing with family members and friends. Diwaniya is a place separate from the... More

Kuwait Facts

What is the capital of Kuwait?

Capital Kuwait City
Government Type constitutional monarchy (emirate)
Currency Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD)
Total Area 6,880 Square Miles
17,818 Square Kilometers
Location Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Language Arabic (official), English widely spoken
GDP - real growth rate 1.2%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $72,200.00 (USD)

Kuwait Demographics

What is the population of Kuwait?

Ethnic Groups Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%
Nationality Noun Kuwaiti(s)
Population 2,993,706
Population - note note: Kuwait's Public Authority for Civil Information estimates the country's total population to be 4,183,658 for 2015, with immigrants accounting more than 69%
Population Growth Rate 1.79%
Population in Major Urban Areas KUWAIT (capital) 2.406 million
Urban Population 98.300000

Kuwait Government

What type of government does Kuwait have?

Executive Branch chief of state: Amir Sheikh MISHAL al-Ahmad al-Sabah (since 16 December 2023); he succeeded his brother, Amir Sheikh NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah following his death on 16 December 2023

head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh MOHAMMAD Sabah Al Salim Al Sabah (since 4 January 2024); First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh TALAL al-Khalid Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (since 16 October 2022); Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Khalid al-FADIL (since 9 April 2022); Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil Bader Hamed Yusef Al-Mula (since 16 October 2022)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, approved by the amir

elections/appointments: amir chosen from within the ruling family, confirmed by the National Assembly; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the amir; crown prince appointed by the amir and approved by the National Assembly
Suffrage 21 years of age and at least 20-year citizenship
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kuwait

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: not specified
National Holiday National Day, 25 February (1950)
Constitution history: approved and promulgated 11 November 1962; suspended 1976 to 1981 (4 articles); 1986 to 1991; May to July 1999

amendments: proposed by the amir or supported by at least one third of the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds consent of the Assembly membership and promulgation by the amir; constitutional articles on the initiation, approval, and promulgation of general legislation cannot be amended
Independence 19 June 1961 (from the UK)

Kuwait Video

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Kuwait Geography

What environmental issues does Kuwait have?

Climate The country is a sandy, riverless desert interspersed with small hills. Vegetation is sparse. Kuwait's climate is typical of the region. Summer (April-October) temperatures often exceed 120°F, although daytime temperatures of 110-115°F are more common. Mean annual rainfall is 45 inches and occurs mostly during December and January. Short autumn and spring seasons (November, February, and March) are delightful. During winter (December and January), clear, sunny days are common, but it is often cold enough to require a light winter coat in the mornings and evenings. In the early morning the frost point is occasionally reached. Sand and dust storms occur throughout the year, especially between March and August. Periods of high humidity occur, but during the hottest months (June, July, and August), humidity levels usually remain very low.
Border Countries Iraq 240 km, Saudi Arabia 222 km
Environment - Current Issues limited natural fresh water resources; some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification
Environment - International Agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping
Terrain flat to slightly undulating desert plain

Kuwait Economy

How big is the Kuwait economy?

Economic Overview Kuwait has a geographically small, but wealthy, relatively open economy with crude oil reserves of about 102 billion barrels - more than 6% of world reserves. Kuwaiti officials plan to increase production to 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020. Petroleum accounts for over half of GDP, 92% of export revenues, and 90% of government income.

With world oil prices declining, Kuwait realized a budget deficit in 2015 for the first time more than a decade; in 2016, the deficit grew to 16.5% of GDP. Kuwaiti authorities announced cuts to fuel subsidies in August 2016, provoking outrage among the public and National Assembly, and the Amir dissolved the government for the seventh time in ten years. In 2017 the deficit was reduced to 7.2% of GDP, and the government raised $8 billion by issuing international bonds. Despite Kuwait’s dependence on oil, the government has cushioned itself against the impact of lower oil prices, by saving annually at least 10% of government revenue in the Fund for Future Generations.

Kuwait has failed to diversify its economy or bolster the private sector, because of a poor business climate, a large public sector that employs about 74% of citizens, and an acrimonious relationship between the National Assembly and the executive branch that has stymied most economic reforms. The Kuwaiti Government has made little progress on its long-term economic development plan first passed in 2010. While the government planned to spend up to $104 billion over four years to diversify the economy, attract more investment, and boost private sector participation in the economy, many of the projects did not materialize because of an uncertain political situation or delays in awarding contracts. To increase non-oil revenues, the Kuwaiti Government in August 2017 approved draft bills supporting a Gulf Cooperation Council-wide value added tax scheduled to take effect in 2018
Industries petroleum, petrochemicals, desalination, food processing, construction materials
Currency Name and Code Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD)
Export Partners Japan 24.1%, South Korea 12.8%, US 11.8%, Singapore 10%, Taiwan 7.4%, Netherlands 4.4%, Pakistan 4.3%
Import Partners US 12.8%, Japan 10.9%, Germany 9.7%, Saudi Arabia 6.4%, UK 5.9%, Italy 5.3%, France 5.1%

Kuwait News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Kuwait?
Source: Google News

Kuwait Travel Information

What makes Kuwait a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Kuwait is a small, oil-rich constitutional emirate. Foreign workers constitute approximately 75 percent of the labor force. Kuwaiti citizens number 1.1 million of the country's population of 3.4 million, and enjoy the benefits of a generous social welfare system that guarantees employment, housing, education, and medical care. Facilities for travelers are widely available.


The crime threat in Kuwait is assessed as low; however, Kuwait is not crime-free. Although there has not been a rise in crime incidents targeting U.S. citizens, crime overall in Kuwait is steadily increasing according to local media reports. Reports from Westerners of petty theft and vehicle break-ins are crimes of opportunity and usually a result of practicing poor personal security,e.g., not locking vehicle or hotel room doors, exposing money and jewelry, or leaving valuables in plain sight and unattended. However, there have also been reports of harassment and sexual assault, especially of women when traveling out alone. Incidents have occurred in various areas and times to include the Gulf Road, shopping malls, hotels, and in residential neighborhoods.

U.S. citizens should be mindful of cultural and social norms when traveling in Kuwait. To reduce your chances of becoming a victim, practice personal security measures, and share guidance with your family and household members. Female travelers should keep in mind the cultural differences in Kuwait and should be aware that some actions may invite unwanted attention. Modest dress, not engaging in small talk, not making constant eye contact, and maintaining a low profile may deter harassment. As always, call 112 for emergency assistance.

Laws in Kuwait regarding domestic violence are distinctly different than the laws and protections afforded to victims in the United States. Assaults with minor injuries may not be considered criminal acts. Victims of domestic violence often report that they encountered difficulty with making the reports to the police. It is recommended to obtain the services of a private attorney. The Embassy’s List of Attorneys is available on the Embassy website. Social service agencies are few, if any; when they exist it is often only for the benefit of Kuwait citizens.

Travelers should exercise caution with public transportation and check points as police impersonators have been known to use that ruse to lure their victims. Police stations generally do not have female officers or investigators to assist with these cases. While most hospitals will contact a criminal investigator to assist a victim of crime, victims with minor injuries may need to make the initial police report and obtain the required documents for the collection of evidence prior to receiving treatment. The Government of Kuwait does not provide victim’s assistance and there is no rape crisis center or similar service in-country.

The Kuwaiti police accept crime reports at the police station with jurisdiction over the area where the crime occurred. If filing a crime report, it is advisable that the U.S. citizen be accompanied by a person who speaks Arabic or by a local attorney. The Embassy’s List of Attorneys is available on the Embassy website. Filing a crime report can take several hours as a police investigator will take the victim’s statement orally while composing his investigative report. In all cases of abuse, the victim must obtain a medical report from a Kuwaiti hospital.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Kuwait, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. Persons violating Kuwaiti laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Alcohol is illegal; possession of it or driving under the influence will result in your immediate imprisonment. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Kuwait are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Kuwait, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going. If arrested abroad, a citizen must go through the foreign legal process for being charged or indicted, prosecuted, possibly convicted and sentenced, and for any appeals process.

Within this framework, U.S. consular officers provide a wide variety of services to U.S. citizens arrested abroad and their families. To learn what the Embassy can and cannot do if you are arrested overseas, please see our information on arrests overseas.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

Individuals arrested for criminal violations in Kuwait are generally taken to the public prosecutor within two business days to determine if there is sufficient evidence for an investigation and may be detained for up to thirty days without a formal filing of charges. Juvenile proceedings are closed to all but court officers.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

The health care system continues to develop, with many government and private medical facilities available in Kuwait. Medical care at government-run clinics and hospitals is provided at low cost to legal residents of Kuwait. Private physicians and hospitals charge fees for services, and some do not accept local health insurance. Many hospital and clinic services do not compare to U.S. standards.

Safety and Security

U.S. citizens in Kuwait should exercise a high level of security awareness and are advised to monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages. The Department of State remains concerned about the possibility of further terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and interests abroad, specifically in the Middle East, including the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula.

Kuwait is located in a region that continues to face the threat of terrorism. Extremist groups in the region have transnational capabilities to carry out attacks against locations where Westerners congregate. U.S. citizens residing in, or traveling to, Kuwait should therefore exercise caution at all times. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. Terrorist actions may include bombings, hijackings, hostage taking, kidnappings, and assassinations. Increased security at official U.S. facilities may lead terrorists and their sympathizers to seek softer targets such as public transportation, residential areas and apartment complexes, schools and places of worship, oil-related facilities and personnel, and public areas where people congregate including restaurants, hotels, clubs, and shopping areas. U.S. citizens are advised to immediately report any unusual or suspicious activity in Kuwait to the Kuwaiti police or to the U.S. Embassy.

Kuwaiti law permits freedom of assembly, although groups larger than 20 individuals must obtain prior approval from the Ministry of the Interior. Still, spontaneous demonstrations take place in Kuwait in response to world events or local developments. At times, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. The Embassy advises U.S. citizens to avoid areas of large gatherings and demonstrations. Exercise caution if within the vicinity of any large gatherings and demonstrations and monitor media coverage of local and regional events. It is illegal for non-Kuwaiti citizens to participate in any demonstration, even if the demonstration is licensed.

U.S. citizens in Kuwait should also maintain a low profile, practice personal security measures, and avoid areas where Westerners are known to congregate. As in many other countries, soft targets such as shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants can be considered vulnerable to terrorist attack. Heightened security awareness should be exercised at areas perceived as Western or residential complexes where Westerners largely reside. U.S. military personnel, as well as civilians and contractors related to military interests, are also potential targets.

U.S. citizens are also reminded that desert areas and certain beaches contain unexploded ordnance and war materials left over from the 1990-1991 war. Unexploded ordnance results in deaths each year throughout the country.

The following areas are considered off-limits for U.S. diplomats and require U.S. diplomats to seek special permission to travel in these areas in order to conduct official duties: Kuwait/Iraq border – north of Mutla’a Ridge, the tank graveyard (near Ali Al Salem base), and the city of Jahra. U.S. diplomats are also recommended to avoid the following areas, especially during nighttime hours, as they have been identified as high-crime areas: Jleeb Ash Shuyoukh, Hasawi, and Abbasiya, located on the outskirts of Kuwait City International Airport.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Kuwait, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Kuwait is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving in Kuwait is extremely hazardous. Although Kuwait has an extensive and modern system of well-lit roads, excessive speed on both primary and secondary roads, coupled with lax enforcement of traffic regulations and a high density of vehicles (almost one vehicle for every 2residents), leads to frequent and often fatal accidents. Incidents of road rage, distraction on the part of drivers, poor driving skills, and highway brinksmanship are common in Kuwait, and can be unsettling to Western drivers in Kuwait who are accustomed to more rigid adherence to traffic laws.

The government-owned Kuwait Public Transportation Company and the City Bus Company operate bus services throughout the Kuwait City metropolitan area, on 50 different routes, which are widely used by the low-income expatriate labor force. Taxis are available at major hotels and may be telephoned to pick up passengers at other locations. It is sometimes possible to hail taxis on streets; taxis have meters, but fares are more commonly negotiated. U.S. citizens are advised to use only marked taxis with meters. U.S. citizens, especially those traveling alone and/or in darkness hours, should avoid sitting in the front seat of a taxi, do not travel to unfamiliar areas, do not enter taxis with unknown passengers, and not engage in “small talk” that can be misinterpreted as interest in the taxi driver. Visitors can use international driving permits issued by their respective countries within the time limit of their visas; however, the visitor must also have liability insurance. It is illegal to drive in Kuwait without a license and car registration documents. If an individual is stopped and cannot produce these documents, the individual may be taken to a police station and held until the documents are presented on his/her behalf.

The Government of Kuwait may provide U.S. citizens with a Kuwaiti driver’s license. Visitors and residents should consult the Ministry of Interior website for the most up-to-date information on obtaining a driver’s license.

If an individual is involved in an accident, Kuwaiti law mandates that he/she must immediately notify the police and remain at the scene until the police arrive. Involvement in an accident, even if not at fault, can lead to arrest and temporary incarceration. At-fault accidents can result in arrests, demands for financial restitution, and/or travel bans preventing individuals from departing Kuwait.

The use of front seat belts is mandatory in Kuwait. Driving is on the right side of the road. Speed limits are posted. Making a right turn on a red light is not permitted unless there is a special lane to do so with a yield sign. When a driver flashes his/her high beams in Kuwait, it is meant as a request to move the car into a slower lane to allow the driver with the flashing beams to proceed ahead. Parking is not allowed where the curb is painted black and yellow. Digital cameras for registering traffic violations, including speeding, are in use on Kuwaiti roads. Non-payment of traffic and parking fines may result in travel bans which remain in place until the fines are paid, often with penalties.

Possession or consumption of alcohol is illegal in Kuwait. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense, which may result in fines, imprisonment, and/or deportation. Repeat traffic violations or violations of a serious nature may also result in the deportation of an expatriate offender.

Kuwait has one of the highest per capita rates of cellular telephone ownership in the world; using a cellular telephone for phone calls or text messaging while driving remains illegal, although it is widely practiced. Local emergency service organizations may be contacted by dialing 112. Ambulance crews do not respond as quickly as in the United States and do not often include trained paramedics. Visit the website of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior for information and statistics in Arabic about traffic safety and road conditions in Kuwait.

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