Kuwait City, Kuwait Report of what it's like to live there - 05/19/23

Personal Experiences from Kuwait City, Kuwait

Kuwait City, Kuwait 05/19/23


1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

This is my second post.

View All Answers

2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

It takes about 20 hours to get from the US East Coast to Kuwait City with layover in Amsterdam or Frankfurt. There are some flights through Doha, Qatar that are about 15-16 hours.

View All Answers

3. How long have you lived here?

Lived in Kuwait for almost 2 years.

View All Answers

4. What years did you live here?


View All Answers

5. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, military, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Diplomatic mission.

View All Answers

Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

The housing is great here. There is an option to live on the Embassy Compound or in the city. Both options are great. Houses are very large and spacious. Apartments are large and most of them have wonderful views of Persian Gulf.
Locations vary between the Gulf Road and little surrounding neighborhoods.

View All Answers

2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

You can find almost everything you need and even more here. There is great number of US products from groceries to clothes, home décor, and electrical equipment. There are stores like ACE hardware and Sears. The cost is the same as in the US or slightly higher.

There are also local co-op grocery stores and hardware stores. The prices are better there and selection is good but different at each store.

View All Answers

3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

We only shipped corn tortillas and grits, everything else you can find here.

View All Answers

4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

The food options are amazing here! We are truly going to miss the variety of cuisines and choices. There are more US chains and restaurants in Kuwait than in some cities in the US - Texas Road House Grill, Cheesecake Factory, Benihana, Chills, Applebees, Dean and Deluca, P.F. Chang's, Vapiano, Starbucks everywhere, Costa Coffee, Peete's Coffee, obviously McDonalds and Burger Kind, KFC, Shake Shack, and other fast food chains. In addition, due to a wide expats population you can find very good Thai, Indian, Lebanese and of course Kuwaiti restaurants.

View All Answers

5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Occasional ants, can be easily treated.

View All Answers

Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

We use DPO, takes about 2-3 weeks to get here, sometimes faster.

View All Answers

2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

The household help is widely available. People pay between $700 - $2000 for full time help.

View All Answers

3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

I see lots of gyms here, many of them are only for men or only for women, same as spa salons.
There are mixed gyms, and I have heard good things about the ones in hotels like Radisson or Jumeirah.
You can find indoor rock climbing, tennis, and aerial hoop and pole fitness here ( last for women only). All sports options are on the higher price end.

View All Answers

4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

I had no issues with using my credit almost everywhere. Some places only accept local credit cards. We were fine without a local card for 2 years. ATMs are fine as well. Majority of stores do not accept American Expresss.

View All Answers

5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

I know of many churches and religious communities here. Most of them in English. English is widely spoken here.

View All Answers

6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

I have not had a need to use local language. I tried learning some Arabic, but as everyone speaks English well here, I did not have a need to use it.

View All Answers

7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

No, I do not think so, most places have ramps and automatic doors.

View All Answers


1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

There is local Uber, calls Karim. It is fairly easy to use. Public transportation is almost non-existent here.

View All Answers

2. What kind of vehicle(s) including electric ones do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, infrastructure, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car or vehicles do you advise not to bring?

I would recommend a large SUV. The gas prices are very low here. Roads have a lot of speed bumps that are not visible, multiple roundabouts, and pot holes. There always seems to be a major road construction project.

View All Answers

Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes, we use Zain. I takes some time, as you need to get all your local IDs and accreditations first in order to get an account. It is 5G and extremely fast for around $50/month.

View All Answers

2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

We have both, local provider as well as our US phone numbers. We use Google Fi and we like our connection here.
Local providers affordable and easy to subscribe and around $30/month.

View All Answers


1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

Yes, there are a few good vet hospitals here. We have a cat and rescued a dog here. The prices like in the US or slightly higher, and the quality of care is also very good. There is a PetSmart equivalent called PetZone and other per stores here. You can find a lot of grooming places and boarding places for pets.

View All Answers

Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

There are multiple EFM employment opportunities within the mission. I do not know much about work outside the mission.

View All Answers

2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Pet rescues are a big deal here. There is always a need for a volunteer or help with rescuing pets.

View All Answers

3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Depends on the work environment. Generally business casual is a way to go. Formal dress is required for big representational events. We typically wear pants/long dress when we go out in public.

View All Answers

Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

No, just be mindful while driving. Otherwise it is very safe here.

View All Answers

2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Medical care is decent here. You can find almost any specialist you need. A lot of expats option to have babies here.
I guess very extreme conditions would require medical evacuation.

View All Answers

3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Air quality is moderate, somedays could be bad. I think during sand storm season (May-June) and sometimes in the fall there are days with bad air quality.

View All Answers

4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

For those with food allergies, I think it is manageable here. Gluten-free, lactose-free and other products are widely available. A lot of restaurants provide vegan and vegetarian food options.

View All Answers

5. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?

Summers are very hot (125 F hot). So you do not want to spend much time outside. There are plenty of indoors activities for adults and children for this reason.

View All Answers

6. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Yes, it is extremely hot is summer - June - August, but pleasant weather all the other months (70-90 F in the fall and spring, 50-70 F during the winter).

View All Answers

Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

There are many international schools and preschools. We have had a good experience with one of the local daycare centers.

View All Answers

2. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Daycare centers are widely available. The price varies, with most common I think is $1000 per month for a half day.
Our son attends daycare, and we love it! He goes there with the smile on his face everyday. His day care has teachers from Australia and the US, and the principal is from the US as well.

View All Answers

3. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes, there are a lot of sports and classes available for kids. We tried swim classes and had an amazing experience.
There is so much to do with kids! I have heard of gymnastics classes, soccer classes, tennis lessons, etc.

View All Answers

Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Expats are the majority in Kuwait. Many of them here to support daily life.

View All Answers

2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Many people have group gatherings and find fellow expatriates to socialize with. Either through church or other social events.

View All Answers

3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

I think the city is great for families. There are nice parks, walks by the beach, a lot of playgrounds. We like going to Murouj - there are restaurants, trampoline park, petting zoo, playgrounds ( paid, but fun and clean). All malls have soft play areas and mini amusement parks everywhere. By the Kuwait Tower there is newly opened Aqua park. Restaurants all very kid-friendly with kids menus, high chairs, etc.

View All Answers

4. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?

Locals are very friendly. Many of them studied in the US or travelled to the US many times.

View All Answers

5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Kuwait is not friendly towards LGBTQI members.

View All Answers

6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

There is some prejudice towards other nationalities, but generally there are church services for various religions and both genders are treated fairly.

View All Answers

7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

We recommend making a trip to the desert. Kashta, a picnic in the desert or go watch camel racing (very unique experience).
Travelling in the region is easy - flights to Dubai, Muscat, Doha all 2 hours or fewer.

View All Answers

8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Local Kuwaiti restaurants are a good experience. Eating at Freej Swaeleh has been one of our favorite places to go.

Yasmin farm in Wafrah was a fun day trip.

View All Answers

9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

You can find some nice arts and handicrafts here. We recommend to visit Sadu House.

View All Answers

10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

You can get almost anything delivered to your house. There are a lot of American commodities here. There is also a big IKEA store.

View All Answers

Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

It is more welcoming and open than I thought it would be. It is a very nice city.

View All Answers

2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Yes, we definitely would.

View All Answers

3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

You can get almost everything here.

View All Answers

4. But don't forget your:

Sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle.

View All Answers

5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

Netflix show The Exchange.
Book- Veils in the Vanguard

View All Answers

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More