State of Kuwait

Kuwait is located in the northwestern corner of the Arabian Gulf and is bordered by Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Approximately 10% of the world's oil reserves are found within Kuwait’s borders, making it one of the wealthiest countries, per capita, in the world.

Geographically, the Arabian Desert covers most of Kuwait, and the country’s CN8801-024.jpglandscape is dominated by flat to slightly undulating plains that are covered with short, tough grass and small bushes. Kuwait has a number of islands off of its coast, all of which are uninhabited with the exception of Failaka Island. Kuwait City is the country’s major city and capital. It is located on Kuwait Bay, which is a natural deep-water harbor.

Kuwait is an independent country which became a member of the United Nations in 1963. It is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. In terms of political freedoms and freedom of the press, Kuwait is often described as the most liberal country in the region, with male and female citizens both being allowed to vote for elected leaders in the country’s parliamentary system. 111 (26).jpg

Kuwait has a population of approximately 4 million people, of which approximately 1.2 million are Kuwaiti. The remaining residents are expatriates from all over the world, with the largest numbers being from neighboring Middle Eastern countries as well as India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Bangladesh.





The religion of the people of Kuwait is Islam, and the official language is Arabic. However, English


 is widely spoken and is often used as the language of business. There are a number of Mosques and two Churches in Ahmadi.



The citizens of Kuwait observe the Holy Month of Ramadan, which is a time of fasting for all Muslims. During this month, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and smoking between sunrise and sunset. Non-Muslim employees at KOC should respect this religious practice in public places. New employees should also take note that alcohol and pork in any form are forbidden at all times.

Kuwait is home to both a cosmopolitan and traditional society where new employees will find welcoming people and a safe environment to work and live. 




Living in Kuwait


Kuwait is known for its long and hot summer. Winter is short and mild. Rainfall is generally low.

Spring normally starts in mid February until end of April. Lovely weather, with occasional rainfalls, sand storms and hot winds and fluctuations in temperature.



There is no income tax or sales tax in the State of Kuwait.





Formal schooling in Kuwait begins at the age of 6, with most of the prominent schools offering KG/Preparatory classes for 3-4 year-olds. There are a number of schools in the country that follow British, American, Indian and Pakistani curriculums.333 (6).jpg
It is advisable to establish direct contact with the schools and visit them before deciding on a school for your children. It is also advisable that you establish contact with a school well in advance of your arrival in Kuwait because some schools have waiting lists. Be sure to register your child as soon as possible. Most schools will only accept full payment of fees in advance (annually or per term), with no refunds possible whatsoever. Fees vary from school to school, with most offering a 10% discount for enrolling more than one child.
Before a student is admitted to a school, the School Health Section of the Ministry of Education requires evidence of a BCG vaccination (showing a scar on the arm is usually sufficient), and a general health examination. Your school will provide all the necessary information about these requirements.
Most English, Indian, Filipino and Pakistani newspapers and magazines are available in Kuwait. “Kuwait Times”, “Arab Times” and “Al Watan Daily” are the English language newspapers, Magazine and Journals from the UK are usually sold at the Sultan Center Supermarkets, Jareer Bookshop and The Kuwait Bookshop.
BBC World Service is available on both FM radio and satellite TV, and there are four mainstream English FM radio stations.
Local TV channels are available in Arabic and English languages. Most apartments rented by the expatriate community of KOC have a satellite receiver installed.
KOC provides a host of sports facilities in Ahmadi at greatly subsidized rates, in addition to two sports clubs and two restaurants. A modern ten pin bowling alley forms part of the indoor recreational facilities in Ahmadi. Outside of Ahmadi, there are many spa and sporting facilities as well as a Zoo, entertainment parks and a water park for children. The waters of the Gulf are ideal for sailing and scuba activities.
Domestic Staff
Maid services are readily available. Maids can be employed as temporary or permanent employees (live-in). Live-in maids are only allowed for families. Most maids are from India, Bangladesh, or the Philippines. They have different levels of English language competence.
Maids advertise their services and availability in the local English newspapers.




A number of modern, Western-style shopping malls can be found in Kuwait and offer a wide range of clothing stores, restaurants, coffee shops and cinemas.

It is easy to find dry cleaners, tailors, florists, barbers, chemists, grocery stores and neighborhood cooperative societies (Co-ops), which function as grocery stores.
Several grocery chains are conveniently located throughout Kuwait, including Carrefour, The Sultan Centre, Lulu Hypermarket, Geant and City Centre. These stores offer a wide variety of grocery products as well as electronics, clothing, household goods, bed and bath items, etc.

Local and mostly imported fruits, vegetables and meats are available as well as many brand name products from around the world. It is possible to find food appropriate for dieters, diabetics and the cholesterol-conscious, as well as a limited selection of organic items.

Getting Around CN8617-010.jpg
Buses and taxis cover large areas of the city and suburbs. Taxis are easy to identify and use. Fees are usually negotiated with the driver and are highly variable. It is recommended that fees are always agreed before a journey; if not metered.
Gas stations are open 24 hours. The price of petrol is 65 fils per liter.

The road system of Kuwait is based on the American system. It consists of seven ring roads that cut across from west to east; they are numbered in numerical order. Intersecting the ring roads are main highways that run north to south which are also numbered in sequence. An up-to-date satellite navigation device, loaded with a Kuwait map is strongly recommended.
Driving Licenses
International driving license:
It is permissible to drive in Kuwait with an international driving license for a fixed period of time. Once a residency permit is issued, the international driving license is no longer valid. As an employee of KOC, the Company will assist in obtaining a valid KOC driving license. A spouse may also obtain a Kuwait driving license if the spouse will drive children to and from school.
You can drive in Kuwait under an International Driving License if you have arrived on a Visit/Business Visa but not a Work Visa. The International License must be insured and only lasts the length of your Visa, normally 1-3 months.
An eyesight test and a Blood Group Certificate is required as part of the process to obtain a Kuwait driving license
Driving in Kuwait111 (13).jpg
Although the quality of freeways is exceptionally good, Kuwait unfortunately has one of the highest incidences of motor vehicle accidents in the world. Newcomers to Kuwait are urged to be exceptionally careful when driving. When entering a traffic circle, drivers must be alert and concentrate. A high degree of defensive driving techniques are required.
1. Insurance & Registration
Normal short term insurance to protect property and personal possessions against loss or damage is not easily available in Kuwait.
Two main types of motor vehicle insurance are available at competitive rates, i.e. balance of third party and comprehensive motor vehicle insurance. A new car is first registered for three years. Thereafter registration must be renewed annually. Balance of third party vehicle insurance is compulsory and costs approximately KD 19 a year. To re-register a car after the third year, the insurance must first be renewed and then the car taken for testing. The vehicle is then subject to an inspection by the traffic authorities of Kuwait.
Comprehensive insurance for the first year and third party insurance for the remaining years of the plan may be included in the total price. Generally most cars driven in Kuwait have only third party insurance obtained at a cost of approximately KD 19 per year.


Modern and well equipped private hospitals and laboratories are part of Kuwaiti society. The list below names a limited number of hospitals in Kuwait that meet international standards for healthcare:
Private Hospitals Contact Numbers:
Al Seef Hospital: 2576 4000
Al Rashid Hospital: 1886 886
Dar Al Shifa Hospital: 1802555
Hadi Hospital: 1828282
London Hospital: 1883 883
New Mowasat Hospital: 2572 6666
Salam Hospital: 1830 003
British Medical Centre: 2371 3100
Care Clinic: 2261 0666
International Clinic: 2574 5111
Alya International Hospital: 2227 2000

KOC employees can choose between the medical services offered by Ahmadi Hospital or the services offered by a private medical insurance company. Kuwait Oil Company offers Health Services to the employees and their families through Ahmadi Hospital. Employees may also decide to join a private medical insurance company. The details of the two schemes will be explained during the first week of employment with KOC.
About Ahmadi Hospital
Ahmadi Hospital was inaugurated in April of 1960 to treat Kuwait Oil Company employees and their families only. In the middle of the 1980s it was decided to open the hospital to all oil sector companies. The hospital accommodates many services, medical treatment and other relevant support services. Among these important services are: Emergency, General Practice, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Orthopedics, Dermatology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology, Ear, Nose & Throat, Dentistry, Preventive Medical Services, Radiology, Anesthesia, Intensive Care Unit, Laboratory, Physiotherapy, Dietary services and Dentistry.
In addition, consultative clinics are conducted once a week by consultants seconded from the Ministry of Health. At present, a team of 18 General Practitioners + M.O. Dermatology practice primary healthcare and constitute the Hospital Medical Outpatient Department.
They conduct their consultation on a daily basis from 7:00 am – 10 pm, Saturday to Friday, looking after a total population of approximately 100,000 which constitutes the Oil Sector Employees and their families. They are responsible for taking initial decisions on every medical problem that arises.
Specialized Medical Services consist of several specialties, such as: Surgery, Internal Medicine, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Ear, Nose & Throat, Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Dermatology, Urology, Neurosurgery, Chest Diseases, and Dentistry.
Familiarize Yourself with KuwaitT8262- (3).jpg
It is not surprising for many non-Arabic speaking individuals coming to Kuwait as employees to experience a cultural shock. It is therefore advisable that newcomers familiarize themselves as best as possible with issues about the culture and society of Kuwait. It is recommended that expats join the AWARE Center – Advocates for Western–Arab Relations. Their email address is and their web site is





About Kuwait Oil Company

Kuwait Oil Company has the important and privileged responsibility of providing energy to the world. Since 1934, our mission has been to explore, develop and produce Kuwait’s hydrocarbon resources. However, our job doesn’t just stop there. At KOC, we believe we can produce Kuwait’s most important resource in a way that is both economically viable and environmentally sound.

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