Kuwait is a Muslim country. Most locals hold conservative views: they wear traditional costumes, go to the mosque regularly, and observe Muslim rules. But to live and work in Kuwait, it is not necessary to practice Islam, just to respect the local culture and customs.
In Kuwait, there are no rules obliging visiting women to wear abaya, the traditional costume of Arab women. But the wearing of miniskirts is not encouraged here either. Women in Kuwait are free to work, rent housing, and walk around unaccompanied by men.
In this article, Layboard will review and give examples of the cost of living in Kuwait
Jobs and Wages
Most newcomers work in the service sector.You can also find job vacancies in Kuwait without problems, but we advise you to do it before you have not yet moved to Kuwait itself. Also popular are jobs in construction, medicine, pedagogy and of course – oil and gas industry.
Remuneration depends not only on professionalism of the employee, but also on nationality. Americans and Europeans always get the highest wages, unlike Indians and Filipinos.
Average monthly wages in Kuwait
- IT specialist. Salary (2395 KWD).
- Doctor. Salary (KWD 2371).
- Top manager. Salary (1730 KWD).
- Engineer. Salary (1730 KWD).
- Architect. Salary (1045 KWD).
In Kuwait, an expat’s salary is usually divided into a base salary of 70%, housing reimbursement of 20%, and transportation of 10%. Some companies offer lower wages, but provide workers with housing and transportation. Most often migrants work in the service sector.
Waiters earn 200-350 dinars. You cannot count on tips in Kuwait – it is not customary in Muslim countries. Day laborers in a restaurant earn about 150 dinars. Cooks get on average 200-400 dinars. Managers’ salaries depend on the experience and skills of the particular employee and the position in the management team – 500-2000 dinars.
You have to work 8 hours a day, Friday and Saturday are days off, vacation is 30 working days.
Very often the company can provide housing for a certain period of time for the first time, there are no sites to find housing, most often you have to look for housing in groups on Facebook: Western-minded expats in Kuwait, Kuwait flats & rooms for rent. There are rarely anything suitable, but you might get lucky. You can also contact a real estate agency. Agents usually charge a commission of one month’s rent for their services. Often you find an apartment with the help of friends, or just by walking through the neighborhoods you are interested in
Renting a one-bedroom apartment without furniture starts from 300 dinars. The same apartment by the sea costs 450 dinars. Furnished apartments are more expensive.
Mostly rented two- and three-bedroom apartments. It moves more than one person at a time to share the rent later.
Payment of utilities in most cases is included in the rent. Recently introduced electricity – once a year for 120-160 dinars. In addition pay for cleaning and garbage collection – 5 dinars.
Private problems, such as broken air conditioners, can be solved by calling the building manager. You will only have to pay for the service if it is your fault.
The most popular supermarkets are the local Sultán Center, the well-known “Carrefour” and the Indian Lulu Hypermarket. There’s also the British Marks & Spencer and the American Dean and Deluca – if you like instagram grocery shopping, that’s where you go.
There are cooperative grocery stores or state-run department stores in every neighborhood, but I’m confused by the quality and storage conditions of the goods in them.
You can buy reasonably priced fruit at stalls or at the market. If absolutely necessary, you can run to a bakala – shopping stall. They are usually located on the first floors of houses. But there is a very limited selection of products and inflated prices.
Approximate prices for products in Kuwait:
- salmon filet, 1 kg – 7.99 KWD
- beef filet, 1 kg – 3.09 KWD
- chicken filet, 1 kg – 1,71 KWD
- Olive oil, 1 liter – 1.50 KWD
- eggs, 30 pcs. – 1,38 KWD
- oatmeal, 500 g – 1.12 KWD
- sunflower oil, 1 liter – 0.72 KWD
- bananas, 1 kg – 0.49 KWD
- macaroni, 500 g – 0.45 KWD
- carrots, 1 kg – 0.40 KWD
- milk, 1 liter – 0.36 KWD
- onions, 1 kg – 0.34 KWD
- potatoes, 1 kg – 0.30 KWD
- oranges, 1 kg – 0.28 KWD
The supermarket is open 24/7
In Kuwait, all alcoholic beverages are prohibited. There is no alcohol in restaurants or hotels. The ban applies to both citizens and foreigners.
But in supermarkets and some restaurants there are all sorts of non-alcoholic drinks. Non-alcoholic wine, champagne, whiskey, and vodka are all crazy to buy in Kuwait.
You can buy non-alcoholic versions of beer and wine at any supermarket.
Kuwaiti national cuisine, like many Arab cuisines, includes a huge variety of meat dishes. Pork is not cooked here, it is forbidden for Muslims. But you can order beef, chicken, lamb and fish almost everywhere. The traditional Kuwaiti dishes are for example Machboos – chicken with rice, Muttabaq Samak – sea bream baked with spices and Harees – a dessert of boiled and puréed oatmeal, sprinkled with cinnamon on top. Also on the table there are always dates and laban – a dairy product like kefir.
The most popular drink after water is coffee. Kuwaitis like to sit down for a cup of coffee with friends and family.
Food prices vary everywhere:
- A falafel sandwich and a plate of hummus in a small café costs 1 dinar (3 dollars).
- The same falafel and hummus at a fancy Lebanese restaurant will cost at least 3 dinars.
- In a restaurant the average bill per guest is 14 dinars. It’s quite expensive, but far from the limit.
- A cup of coffee costs on average 1.5 dinars.
- Prices for main courses in most restaurants start at 4.5 dinars.
Buses. Public transportation in Kuwait is not the most popular way to get around, but it is one of the most affordable. Locals consider buses as transport for beggars and travel exclusively in private cars. Therefore, you do not meet them in the bus cabin.
All buses are air-conditioned, which is not the case with bus stops. The ticket costs ¼ dinar. Compared with the cab the trip is 15-20 minutes longer.
The most common means of transportation in Kuwait is a cab. White cars with tires are constantly moving through residential areas in search of new customers.
There is a high probability that a cab driver wants to earn some money for a passenger, therefore it is better to negotiate the price in advance.
The minimum fare is 1 dinar,
I pay 2 dinars for a 15-kilometer trip.
On average, a person spends about 30 dinars on a cab in a month.
The cheapest package plan costs 5 dinars per month. It includes 5 GB of Internet, unlimited calls and sms within the network and 100 minutes to call other operators.
A Wi-Fi router that connects a phone, tablet and laptop for 600 GB a month costs 6 dinars a month.
The level of medicine in Kuwait is high. The economy allows the country to hire good doctors and buy expensive equipment. Many doctors come from the CIS countries and are happy to have the opportunity to work well.
In public hospitals, doctor’s appointments are free, but you often have to pay 5 dinars for a medical form. It is considered very cheap. Visitors are often treated by insurance. The type of insurance depends on the position and is paid by the company.
Life here is measured and some will find it boring. But the atmosphere allows you to concentrate on your goals: to travel, build a career, and do self-development.
It is possible to move alone. But it is worth preparing in advance for a radical change of environment. Extroverts will be bored here without large groups of people and daily parties. Moving with your family is easier, especially with young children. It’s very safe here and there is an opportunity to give children a good education.