Living in Kuwait

Slaught3r

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Joined
May 6, 2009
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3,138
Looking for some expats/guys who know something about living in Kuwait.

I am considering an offer from a bank in Kuwait, but I want to make sure I do all my homework. I basically have until Thursday to decide whether I want to follow through with the offer or not.

So my questions:
- How expensive is Kuwait really? I have done some research and it seems like the groceries cost more or less the same as local (except for meat).
- Furnished apartments... Yes or no? I see there is a massive difference between renting a furnished place vs not furnished. So I guess it comes down to how much it costs to furnish it yourself.
- I would be working in KC, Kuwait - where should I look at living? Which areas do I avoid?

Anyone with some input here? I would love to pick your brain...
 

eg2505

Honorary Master
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Mar 12, 2008
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23,830
Muslim Country, so Sharia Law and No Booze,
but I'm sure you knew that,

very strict laws, that you should at least know about, things like theft, adultery ect.
just Because you are a westerner, wont make you except from them.
 

HavocXphere

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Oct 19, 2007
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33,156
very strict laws, that you should at least know about, things like theft, adultery ect.

(Western) female friends of friends have reported feeling very safe in middle east countries though, so it's not entirely without merit. i.e. woman walking alone at night type stuff. Don't recall which country tho

I'd personally be concerned about being a 2nd class citizen frankly. Much of the middle east seems to have a "local national is right, expat is by default wrong" slant.

Though for a quick buck I can see that being an acceptable faustian bargain. I personally wouldn't but to each their own

shariah law=no banks
Yeah they just trade camels for food...
 

sly

Senior Member
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Jan 27, 2007
Messages
581
Worked there for 2 weeks, money is good.. expats are treated like 2nd class citizen,

Most locals don’t work, They live of the rent and the annual debt pardon from the king, lots of Pakistani nationals. , security is done by G4S mostly Kenyan nationals.. too close to Iraq

Food is good.. internet is controlled
 

Slaught3r

Expert Member
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May 6, 2009
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3,138
Thanks everyone - will weigh up my options, but to be honest I am not sure I want to take up this offer, even though the money is VERY good.
 

RedViking

Nord of the South
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Feb 23, 2012
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38,375
Friend of mine mom lived there for a very long time and he would go visit.

Very very very hot.
Nothing to do beside shopping. You live in Restaurants, Coffee Shops and Malls.
Your a westerner. You are seen as such.
You get paid well because it is not a nice place to live for many.
Lots of praying during the day.
If you are a man, you will have it better than a woman.
Women have to wear an outfit, are frowned upon, treated like crap.
Appearance is everything.
Islamic principles. Would help to know how they function to avoid unnecessary trouble or at least what to expect.

This is the conclusion I have drawn from listening to his and his mom's experience. Sounded more like she lived also in a compound or apartment of sort. Women only. Mostly socialise within your apartment community.

Let your employer provide your accommodation.

Everyone's experience is different though and depends on your circumstances.

Would be interesting to hear what other say.

Not for me. Not thanks.
 

MightyQuin

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Oct 6, 2010
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Cius

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Jan 20, 2009
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Have had a few friends and family work in the middle east, some still there, but none in that particular country specifically. Some commonality in their experiences though regardless of location.

Women are treated worse in public than men. My sister in law would literally get shoved out of the way sometimes in a mall by the Muslims if she did not step aside, not all the time but enough that she noticed the trend. Its hard to get Bacon or ham products but some countries have a special shop or section of a shop where you can get it (near Dubai for that one).

One friend of mine worked there and was caught out on food during Ramadan. Was staying in a hotel temporarily and the food areas close down after sunrise during Ramadan. He missed the breakfast call and had to go into the international area of the airport to find any food when he was starving by lunch time. It was made clear to him he was not allowed to eat in front of any Muslims so he had to hide somewhere to eat lunch. Was more prepared for the remainder of Ramadan ordering extra and keeping some in his fridge etc.

Experience can be a lot better if you are staying in a western compound type deal surrounded by other western neighbors. Those areas are more chilled and friendly.

Locals don't work as hard as immigrants in general, and they treat you as the hired help in many instances. Can be frustrating if you work in a situation where you depend on the locals for your job and they are unreliable or disrespectful.

Of those that did it I found few regrets. Most did it for a period to achieve financial goals. So they saved hard while there, brought dollars back after 2 years, and bought a nice house cash for instance. Those that have stayed are mainly doing so in Saudi or Bahrain but its about income. One set of friends had a combined income for two salaries of under 25K per month (food industry and a teacher) in SA. Over there they clear over 100K per month as a couple. Completely different quality of life for them so they have settled down. They get free flights home once a year to visit family and friends.

So its different but can be workable for the short term and sometimes even the long term depending on the financial position you are in. The worst experiences I have heard of are couples going over where one partner (generally the wife) don't have work. The stay at home wife can feel very cut off in a Muslim country and unwelcome in public, having no friends, etc. If you go as a couple plan to be in a western compound where relationships can be built (near US military base's are often good), or find work for both if possible. Have heard of a few cases where a couple went over on contract and the wife left for home within 6 months splitting the family up as she hated it there being alone all day. Just a thought.
 

MightyQuin

Not amused...
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Oct 6, 2010
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show me where in the "law" it allows banking when in the Quran usury is explicitly forbidden
Shari'ah Law governs the manner in which Muslim people conduct their lives, including banking. Islamic banking is deduced from the Shari'ah Law; hence it differs from conventional banking and forbids the payment or earning of interest, among other requirements.
 

rietrot

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Aug 26, 2016
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25,019
Muslims are not shariah law

shariah law is not ambiguous on this issue

forbid usury...
Banking != usury

Usury definition is - the lending of money with an interest charge for its use; especially : the lending of money at exorbitant interest rates.

You can even argue that all banking in SA is in compliance with shariah as the NCA regulates against exorbitant interest rates.
 
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