Kuwait at a Glance
Moving to KuwaitiStockphoto
Sief Palace is the seat of the Emir in Kuwait.
Kuwait has been a popular expat destination for decades. Until today, moving to Kuwait seems to have lost none of its attractiveness. What makes it so popular?
Part of the explanation is obviously the country’s economic prosperity and the career perspectives it offers. Many expatriates moving to Kuwait are attracted by the comparably high salaries and the fact that there are no taxes to be paid.
For those who can afford it, Kuwait offers a high standard of living with all imaginable amenities. At the same time, as many expats who have taken the plunge and dared the move toKuwait report, it is a great place to get to know Arab traditions and culture.
Move to Kuwait: Economic Situation
Kuwait’s booming economy is one of the main reasons why expats move to Kuwait. Today, the country’s economic success still heavily relies upon the oil industry: Oil products account for close to 50 % of GDP and more than 90 % of government income. The renewed rise of the oil price in 2010 and early 2011 has led to a significant increase in government spending and economic growth.
Income from oil revenues has enabled the government to greatly enhance the public education system and develop a comprehensive social security system. Expats moving to Kuwait, however, may only partly benefit from this.
Moving to Kuwait: Political Situation
Some expats moving to Kuwait may be worrying about the local political situation. In the title wave of uprisings in the Arab world in 2010 and 2011, there have been some protests in Kuwait as well. Main demands were the fight against corruption and wider economic and political reforms. Calls for the resignation of the prime minister were unsuccessful.
The current political system in Kuwait can be described as a constitutional monarchy. The position of head of state (Emir), which holds considerable powers, is hereditary: The ruling Al-Sabah family nominates a new Emir from its own ranks.
Many foreigners moving to Kuwait may not be aware that the country also has the oldest directly elected parliament among Arab states in the Persian Gulf region. Since women’s voting rights were introduced in 2005, Kuwait has truly universal suffrage.
Move to Kuwait: The Expat Job Market
The majority of expats move to Kuwait in order to work in the country’s booming oil industry. The country’s rapidly-growing financial sector and fields such as marketing, sales and business development also offer rewarding chances for expats moving to Kuwait.
Both Kuwaiti-owned companies and the many multinationals operating in Kuwait employ expatriates on a regular basis. Also, expats considering a move to Kuwait should not disregard government organizations as potential employers.
In recent years, however, job opportunities for expats wishing to move to Kuwait have been shrinking slightly. This is mainly due to competition from increasingly well-educated Kuwaiti graduates and government efforts to get more locals into upper-management jobs. Nevertheless, with a degree in the right field and relevant work experience, expats still have many opportunities to move to Kuwait.