May 21, 2010

What it's Really Like to Live and Work in Kuwait

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I received a comment this morning from an American lady requesting information on what it's like to live and work in Kuwait. I will write this post from my perspective and try to describe what it's like for me as an American girl. I love living and working in Kuwait. Like any country around the world, Kuwait has its good and bad points. If you are considering relocating to Kuwait for employment, I would highly recommend it.

Her main concern is that she is blonde with blue eyes and wondered if she should color her hair brown. I would have to say NO! There are tons of blue-eyed blonde's in Kuwait and it's not a big deal at all. If you are beautiful / sexy it doesn't matter what your hair / eye color is...you are going to get a lot of attention anywhere in the world.  (Not just in Kuwait). I will touch on this subject matter later.

There are many American women in Kuwait married to Kuwaitis that they met while studying at university in the US. If you move here with your Kuwaiti husband you will find that Kuwait is a pretty nice place to live and raise a family. Several of these women have successful businesses in Kuwait and live quite well.
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*** Update ~ 2014

This post was written in 2010 but I've updated it for 2014 with the help of B.  

For US contractors: FALA (Foreign Area Living Allowance) in most cases is gone and wages are going down faster than the US economy.  You might only come out ahead because you are saving Federal Taxes (only if you stay out of the USA 330 days per tax year) but keep in mind you will have to pay FICA Tax 7.65% if you work for a US company.  The good news with paying FICA is that you will be eligible for unemployment at the end of your contract year.  

Most US companies provide bus transportation or shared cars to and from work. They also provide single or shared apartments.  Housing allowances (if given) are less and unfortunately the rent here has increased by more than 30%. There are also a lot less jobs available for US Citizens as Foreign Nationals (TCNs) or Filipinos (Local Hires) are more cost effective. 

There are still jobs and $$$ to be made in Kuwait but not as much as before.  In order to earn more $$$ as a Westerner you really need to go to Afghanistan with a good US company, have the highest qualifications / specialty or work with a high paying, local, Kuwaiti company. 

* End of update *
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Working in Kuwait (This part was written in 2010 but is still relevant now.)

When I first came to Kuwait I briefly worked on a big American contract. You usually work 48 hours a week with two days off. The salary is considerably low compared to other US companies here but the quality of life is high. I really enjoyed working for this company and it's a great place to start if you're young and need to get your foot in the door. My salary was around $4,000 per month which included a foreign area living allowance (FALA), shared car and apartment. You will get four weeks paid vacation with ten days of paid holidays. This is the standard.

I'm currently working for another big US contract but this is my last week. We work 72 hours a week with one day off. The one thing I can say about working with them is that you are here for the money. My starting salary was around $6,700 per month and within a year it went over $8,000. Not bad if you are young, single and without dependants. You get basically the same benefit package as my first company here but they bus you instead of giving you a shared car. The first thing I did was lease my own car so I wouldn't be stuck on a bus. My biggest issue with this company is that you can't travel on the weekends to exotic destinations like you can at my first company. I can get along with anyone but believe me your patience will be tested here. I'm about to get a much needed vacation before I start my new job.

My current contract (remember this part was written back in 2010) will not be renewed because of significant downsizing. This is a good thing since they just cut off our FALA and uplift. Thanks to a referral from a close friend, I just landed a terrific new job here in Kuwait with a local "Kuwaiti" company. Let’s just say that it's sweet and my dream international job! The new company will pay almost the same as what I make now but you only work 60 hours and five days a week. That means weekend travel is back on the menu for me. :D I can't wait to start new job / life in Kuwait where they actually follow the Kuwaiti Labor Law.

***Did I mention that in most cases your earnings are tax free up to $91,400? (Warning: Only if you stay outside the US for 330 days per tax year.) Check with the IRS website for yearly updates.

Finances

As you already know, gas is dirt cheap. Bottled water is more expensive than gas for your car. The average exchange rate isn’t good for us Americans here in Kuwait but the US $ is pitiful almost anywhere you go in the world. If you are a Western Expat working for a US company or DOD your living expenses are generally part of your benefits package. One Kuwaiti dinar is the equivalent to around $3.54 dollars. Ouch!

Travel

Kuwait is an excellent base for those with wanderlust. Europe, Asia, several other countries in the Middle East (UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, etc.) is just a short flight away. My love of travel is what keeps me happy living and working in Kuwait.  * If you are coming to work in Kuwait as a teacher you will have a lot of free time to travel. 

Heat / Dust

There is no better way to say it...Kuwait is hot as hell! The good thing is that everywhere has A/C so if I can stand it you can.

Dust storms suck! You can't avoid them. Hopefully this summer will not be as bad as last year. The dust storms are a pain so hiring a good cleaning lady is a must for your apartment. You can also have your apartment building Haras wash your car daily to keep it clean. These services are very reasonable in Kuwait compared to the US. And you will be far too busy working and enjoying your new life to clean yourself.

Cultural Activities

There is plenty to do during your time off so go out and explore your new surroundings. I highly recommend purchasing a good GPS.  Many blogs in Kuwait list current events and activities.

Check out my post on: Tour Kuwait in one day which also links you to my two and three day posts.

World Travel Guide on the Middle East

Shopping

Shopping is considered a sport and a form of entertainment in Kuwait. There are malls everywhere with all of your designer favorites.  Kuwait has every high end, luxury designer boutique you can think of (Hermes, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Bulgari, Prada) that might be cheaper than the rest of the world because all shopping is tax-free. The souks are also a great place to shop (gold, fabrics, perfumes, souvenirs) and I highly recommend Mubarakiya in Kuwait City. If you live in Kuwait you will enjoy spending some of your free time and money at the malls. Check out my links section on the right sidebar for the list of the most popular Kuwait Malls.

Food

Yummy Yum Yum! Almost every place delivers to your front door. There is a wide variety of restaurants for every taste bud. Including many American chains but I suggest you try the local flavor. There is a website you can look at (Talabat.com) that literally delivers everything you could ever want or crave to your front door. DANGEROUS!!! There is also a link for grocery delivery.  One thing for sure, you will never go hungry living in Kuwait and you just might gain a few pounds.  Note: if you drink a lot of water I would get the telephone number of your closest / cleanest bacala (tiny store) near your residence so they can deliver it to you when needed. A great / inexpensive bottled water brand to drink while in Kuwait is called "Arwa" which doesn't have a lot of salt like the rest.

What to Wear

You can basically get away with wearing anything in Kuwait. Keep in mind that you are representing your country.  You are pretty much free to dress as you please and many Westerners do. It depends if you want to look classy or trashy.

Safety

Kuwait is generally a safe place to live. Crime is increasing like everywhere else in the world. I used to feel much safer here compared to the US but after some scary attacks on Western girls I do not feel that way as much anymore. Again, it's still safer here for American girls then it is back home. For more information hit on the links below and click on their crime section: (Or go to my "crime" label on my blog.)

Arab Times

Kuwait Times

Driving in Kuwait

I won't lie to you...driving is a SCARY business in Kuwait. It doesn't take you long to get the hang of it and your seat belt is your best friend. Every day I drive in fear because some maniac almost hits my car driving twice the highway speed limit. Then if that doesn’t freak you out there are always the burned and smashed cars on the side of the roads from horrific daily accidents. (YES! It’s really that bad.)

Dating

Well, dating in Kuwait is complicated. According to my Kuwaiti friends it's not really allowed but almost everyone is dating anyway. Go out, enjoy life, have a little fun! Experience a new exotic culture. Life is too short to just work all day without any play. If you can't get a date in Kuwait then you need to unlock the closet and jump out. But safety first and be smart! Kuwaiti men are just like any other men in the world. Some are good and some are bad. If you’re a target in the US for being used and abused then you will be a target anywhere in the world and not just Kuwait. It's really up to you and your standards.

Bars and Clubs

Yep, it's true...there are no "legal bars or nightclubs" in Kuwait unless you go to the US / foreign embassies. Drinking alcohol is illegal. There are lots of parties during the weekend. You can get homemade / illegally imported alcohol here but I advise you to be careful. If you have to get your drink on, the most fun way is to fly to Dubai and Bahrain (just 50 minutes away by plane).

Alcohol

Again it's illegal in Kuwait but you can buy it here on the black market. It's probably cheaper and more fun to just fly to Dubai or Bahrain for the weekend where you won't pay $354 per bottle of Red Label like in Kuwait.  You can also make it at your house on the down low.  Many people do make their on wine, beer or champagne. (I ain't got time for that sh**t! ;p Just fly me to Dubai!)

Harassment

Any women from 6 - 60 will experience some sort of unwanted or wanted attention in Kuwait. This is especially true if you drive alone. Most of this is harmless flirtation but it can sometimes get a little scary. One morning I was driving to work alone and a Kuwaiti male tried to run me off the road. I didn't even see his car until he almost hit mine. At the next stoplight he jumped out of his car and tried to get into mine. He seemed to be high on alcohol / drugs and just wouldn't give up. It was beyond scary and I almost kissed the ground when I made it safely inside the Camp Arifjan gate.

Always lock your doors and travel with a cell phone. Try to look ahead and ignore any unwanted attention. Usually ignoring does the trick but it's not always effective. If you are young and beautiful like the self-described American lady that sent me the comment this AM - all the ignoring in the world doesn't work. Trust me!!! You probably get a lot of attention in the US as well. You just might get a little more here in Kuwait. If the constant attention bothers you, try sunshades on the windows of your car, wearing a manly baseball cap with your hair tucked in or traveling with another person.

Now for some straight talk and humor:

Are you a lady of average cuteness or pushing 80? You might not get that much attention in the US but in Kuwait you will be one hot mama! ;p Literally there's a saying that a '2' is a '10' here in Kuwait because the ratio is about 4 to 1. Some girls let all this sudden attention go to their newbie little heads when back in their home country they couldn't get noticed from a fireman if they were on fire.

If you smile, laugh or give any indication that you are approachable this will translate as you wanting them to chase you. If you don't want them to chase you then ignoring them will work for you. But ladies...why not enjoy yourself a little while in Kuwait and experience the culture?  I hear about and even see some of these women enjoying all the attention they never had before. I say good for them. :) I know one American lady who is close to 60 and she recently told me she is constantly approached my young Kuwaiti men. She shared some hilarious stories of how they propose marriage, blow her kisses and follow her everywhere she goes.

Like I said, it's mostly harmless flirtation but you should remain cautious and aware of your surroundings. Also watch out for local / expat guys who might be using you because you are new to Kuwait and naive.  There are even some Green Card marriage / money seekers searching for wealthier, older, Western women to con.  Please just be careful and take things slow until you really know this guy.

Please feel free to comment and ask me any questions you might have about living in Kuwait.  You can read the post comments below for valuable information.  Click on "Load More" at the very end to see the most recent post comments.

(I will do my very best to answer you quickly but please understand with my current social calendar and travel it could take up to a few weeks but I will respond.)
 

216 comments:

  1. My nephew is on his way to Kuwait today to work from USA so I was just curious about the culture. He had to get fitted for a bullet proof vest and gas mask so I was sort of nervous.
    I really appreciate your blog. It has made me feel much better and even considering looking into getting a job in Kuwait myself since I don't have one here in America.

    Thanks again and have a great day.

    Gigi

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  2. hello there!
    i'm wondering what is the cost of basic food/clothes/services in Kuwait? is it too little money 300 KWD for leaving there, with accommodation, shuttle and meals paid by the company?

    thank you

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  3. Hi Anonymous ~ Do you mean you will receive 300 KD by the company you work for to cover rent, meals and expenses or that the company provides all three and you receive 300 KD to spend as you please? Please feel free to email me (See contact page) if you need any help.

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  4. i found your blog very helpfull indeed,i will be moving over to work for a usa company in the next few weeks,is a living allowance of £360 gbp enough to live on,they are supplying apartment and car?

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  5. Anonymous 5:19 PM ~ Thank you and I'm glad I could help. If your company is supplying housing and a car and you have a living allowance as well then you are lucky! ;) I think you have a good package deal. Best of luck with your move to Kuwait. Be sure to check out the blogs in my friendly fire section to read about what's going on in Kuwait.

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  6. Thank you for providing information about living/working in Kuwait.

    You said that there is a lot less $$$$ to be made in Kuwait working for a US company.

    For an annual starting salary of $94,000 [assuming this is all-inclusive, free housing and bus transportation], is this not enough annual salary where the first $91.4k is tax free? 72-hours a week if fine, I used to work 100+ hours a week when I was in service. AFAIK, the starting salary for Kuwait contractor has been in that range 94-130k and 130k-190k in Afghan for IT specialists. Was it MORE than that prior to 2011?

    RE: drinking and bars
    I’m only there to do my job and make money. No distraction is what I’m after, gotta complete my MS degree while in Kuwait. Long as there’s a fitness room and internet access, I’m good…lol

    RE:
    Still something to consider when signing a contract is an annual RT to the US.

    RE: Post Office
    If one is making $94k a year, shouldn’t that be enough to pay for any shipping free charged by Amazon?

    Thanks for the 411!

    -518

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  7. Anonymous ~ you're welcome. Most US contractors do not make even close to that salary in Kuwait anymore. A lot of Americans went home. I switched to a foreign company just in time. I'm a safety girl and there are still lots of good jobs in Kuwait.

    There is no postal system in Kuwait so check out the Aramax website, FedEx or DHL. You are going to pay a lot to ship.

    Stick to your goals in Kuwait and you will do just fine. Best of luck!

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  8. Hi there, I enjoyed reading all your blogs. My husband is currently in Kuwait as a US Contractor and he was thinking about signing on for another year...he mentioned me moving out there to be with him bc 2 years is a long time apart.....I am considering it knowing that I probably wont be able to get a job, but being with him is worth it. Your opinion?

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  9. Anonymous 3:02 AM ~ hello and thank you sweetie :D If I was in your shoes I would go for it and move to Kuwait! I agree that two years is too long to live apart if you don't have to. If I was you I would move here and experience a new culture. Just be prepared for being alone a lot at first until you make friends because he probably works a lot of hours. I would join a gym (Spa) and go there whenever he was working. Hopefully he lives in a good area where there are coffee shops that you can go to and read a book, people watch and drink tea/coffee. Walk along the Arabian Gulf before it gets too hot. Make friends by joining groups, start a blog about your life in Kuwait or even apply for a job while you are here. See all of the cultural and historic places in Kuwait, go to events and just relax for a year. There is travel on the weekends, terrific restaurants and great shopping malls. I hope you go for it! :D

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  10. I am soooooooo happy that a savvy girl like yourself has written this blog! I am on my way to Kuwait in the next 2 weeks to start my new job. I was in kuwait with the military on deployment living at Camp Ali Al Salem. I only time i left the base was when I went to Arifjan or to the hospital to get X-Rays so i never saw the culture or the city, but i made friends with a young woman who was there and we've been friends every since. Now that im outta the military and on my way, I am so excited! My husband is also coming( we are working for the same company) The company pays for housing so thats great but I have a 5yrs old Maltese/toy poodle who I may need to bring. I've been looking at apts on justlanded.com just incase i need to pay and yes the prices are steep! But with both of us working we should be able afford and still save like we want to. Do you know what cities are near Camp Arifjan or how far Salmiya is from Arifjan? I found some cool apts in the area and I just wanted to get a general idea of how far it would be to travel from there to Camp Arifjan where we will be working? I have other questions as well....

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  11. I...AM...FEARLESS! ~ Thank you and welcome to my blog. :D Please email me (see contact tab above) and ask me any question you would like to know. I am happy to help you in any way I can.

    Your company should allow you to have "married housing" and you can pay a pet deposit. Please only fly with your little darling in the cabin with you, under your seat. I look forward to your email.

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  12. I am so happy I read your post...I just received a job offer for Kuwait and was contemplating if I should go or not. After reading your post I think I'm gonna take it I have to contact ITT and ask them for more information regarding housing allowance etc...

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  13. Jme ~ Thank you for your sweet comment. I'm glad I could help. I think ITT is a good company to work for and they have several contracts in Kuwait right now.

    I wish you the best of luck and please email me if you have any more questions. :)

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  14. I have been on the fence about taking an offer from ITT, myself. There is something about them I don't trust. The hourly rate seems low and knowing we don't get APO's is very disconcerting. I am a female and I am ready to tell ITT to forget it. I have a choise bw there or Djibouti with SRA at a much higher salary.....You say travel is harder under ITT? I would have taken ITT/Kuwait bc I want to travel. Advice?

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  15. Sheila ~ I think that you missed the update part at the top of this post. ITT now has APO privileges. I have several friends that work for them and they are letting me ship my stuff since I work for a Q8i company now. It's also super fast compared to Aramex.

    If you were offered a job with ITT KBOSSS then most employees work a 6 day week with 1 day off. No weekend travel but you will receive 4 - 5 weeks of vacation plus 13 paid holidays a year which is really good compared to the US. I've been hearing good things about ITT lately and most of the people that work there seem to be happy. The salary isn't "BIG $" but most Kuwait contracts have decreased salary and all but cut out a foreign area living allowance. I also have friends who work in Djibouti and their salaries are much higher but their living conditions stink. I'm not sure about time off but you should consider the pay, country and benefit package before making your final decision. Just feel blessed to have two job offers on the table because I know a lot of people who would love to be in our shoes.

    Best of luck! :)

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  16. Thank You! You just made it possible for me finally get a good night's sleep. :}

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  17. Sheila ~ You're welcome! I'm so happy I could help. Sweet dreams! :)

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  18. I have enjoyed reading this information. I am considering taking a job there as a single white rural female as well. Looking to go to one of the International schools to teach. Is it possible to hire a driver for the first month or so? Do people ever carpool?

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  19. Hi,
    Loved reading your blogs, I was considering taking a job in Kuwait teaching at an international school. I was wondering if Kuwait has a night life?

    Thanks

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  20. Faizah ~ Oh, how I miss a real night life! There isn't one in Kuwait. There are parties (most suck), cafes, restaurants and activities but nothing great. There are no dance clubs, live music bars / clubs (Karaoke doesn't count), uncensored theaters, opera houses, etc. but we jet off to Dubai for the weekend for some okay entertainment. If you really want to enjoy a nightlife then Kuwait is not the place to be. If your salary is good then don't worry about it and just fly to other locations on the weekend. :)

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  21. Anonymous ~ Yes, it is possible to hire a car (shared) service in Kuwait. I know some Filipinos that do it. Maybe your school will provide housing and a bus service to and from work? Kuwait is very expensive so please make sure you have a decent benefits package and salary. A lot of people come here to save money but only end up making enough to live here and travel once a year. They think their salary is high and get shell-shocked once they arrive. Best of luck!

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  22. My husband is considering a position with ITT. Do they offer housing, or is that on a case by case basis?

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  23. Yes, they offer housing (shared) or stipend according to my gf BB that works for them. :)

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  24. Thanks for the quick response. I really appreciate how informational this was. . . definitely the best information I've found on the web yet!! Thanks for the help!

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  25. Anonymous ~ You're very welcome! I'm so glad I could help and wish you the absolute very best with your adventure in Kuwait. :D

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  26. You blog is very helpful! Happy MLK Day! Quick question? Do you know what the Kuwait laws are for OT?

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  27. Anonymous ~ Please Google the "Kuwaiti Labor Law" and it will fill you in on all the details. I believe after 48 hours in Kuwait you are then paid 1.25. If you have to work on your day of rest I believe you are paid 1.50. Thank you for your comment. :D

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  28. ITT SUCKS, I would avoid this company if at all possible. The people that work for them are idiots, they will treat you like crap, there is no security or stability with this company. They pay far less than any other defense contractor, it's a group of a bunch of relatives and it's who you know with them.

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  29. Anonymous ~ Ouch! That's not very nice. Several of my friends work on their new contract and seem quite happy. They are just trying to make a living like everyone else.

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  30. I'm considering moving out there to work in the restaurant business. Is $140,000 a good salary out there and how bad is the cost of living? Food, rent, cars, international schools?

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  31. Anonymous ~ 140K seems like a fair wage for Kuwait but it all depends on what your position will be within the company. How long is your contract? Remember that you should be out of the US for 360 days per year in order to receive the tax benefits. (Assuming you are American ;) Renting a car is kind of expensive for expats, renting a flat or villa isn't bad especially when compared to large cities around the world. Petrol is dirt cheap but schools are very expensive. Tuition for the American School in Kuwait is around 10k per year for elementary school. Be careful about signing any leases with car companies and housing managers if you do not plan on staying for the entire contract. They will put a travel ban on you so you cannot leave Kuwait or return without paying it. Several acquaintances have had this experience. Best of luck to you with your relocation to Kuwait.

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  32. Hi there!

    Your blog has been very upliffting in regards to Kuwait. I've been offered a salary of £17,000 GBP which is roughly 8500 KWD a year. After reading about costs of living in a furnished appt, I think I will just have enough money to survive, should I try to negotiate for a few more KWD, is this done? Do you think it possible to spend no more than 500KWD a month total and still live in a nice furnished appt? Please help, thanks! :)

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for my late reply. :) I would try to negotiate a bit more money for accommodation and transportation. I'm not sure how you budget yourself but you can just make it on that salary. It will not be enough to really enjoy living here because you just make enough to get by with rent/food/transportation/etc.

      I know a lot of teachers make 800 KD a month but they are provided a place to live so that helps. I wish you the very best. :D

      Delete
  33. Expat and the City, I worked for ITT for years and am only speaking from experience. There are a few good people working in Kuwait, true, however most can't find employment in the states so they stay in Kuwait. ITT on a program is far worse than any other defense contract, most current employees will agree. ITT does not take care of it's employees, for example housing and stipends, pay, benefits, just look at the quality of employees and topics of conversations at ECP's. It's rather embarrassing actually.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous ~ I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. I know a few people that were let go from Honeywell and had to go home. Now they are trying with ITT because the job market in the US is really bad. Like I said, my friends that work with them are pretty happy.

      It seems like most contractors are heading to Afghanistan. I switched to a Kuwaiti company and I've never looked back.

      Where do you work now? Are you still in Kuwait.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 29, 2012

      Hi Expat!

      I would LOVE to get off Arifjail, what company did you move to and are they hiring? You said it is a Kuwaiti company, are they fair to you? Do you have two days off, I can't give up my week-ends to Dubai?

      Delete
    3. LOL @ Arifjail. I've only seen Desert Girl refer to it that way on her blog. :)

      There is a good reason most of us "Western Female" Bloggers keep our companies on the down low. We don't want people snooping. I think you understand. :) Working for a local company doesn't mean you will not have to go to the US Camps. Many require it on a weekly basis.

      Delete
  34. Hey,

    Just wondering if you have heard of American Creative Academy? Is it a good school. Also is 700KD enough to live on with everything paid?

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry but I do not know anything about the schools in Kuwait. I'm not married yet and I do not have any children. :) I think that 700 KD with all expenses paid is good. Always ask for teacher discounts at the gyms and spas. Best of luck to you! :D

      Delete
    2. I met some teachers fro Canada who worked there-- school is well-run compared to others. They were single with no debt and in their 20's. Had no problem with the 700 KD per month-- lots of travel and savings.
      As Expat mentioned, ask for teachers discount at spas and salons. Usually 20% off services.

      Delete
  35. Is it possible to find out the name of a housing building for contractors in Mangaf, Kuwait city - have seen photos of some of the accomodations, but lookung for a specific place - all I know is the address which is listed as :
    Building 23, Block 4
    Street:18
    area: Mangaf
    I have searched the net but unable to determine if any of the places are this particular location - all I know is that is a 12-story building. Any help would be much appreciated

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous ~ I try to stay away from Mangaf because it's a hot overcrowded mess! There are tons and tons of buildings in Mangaf for laborers and Westerners. The only place I would live in Mangaf is near the Arabian Gulf. I would google a realtor in Kuwait to assist you. Best of luck! :)

      Delete
  36. @expat: I didnt know where to write this...but have u heard abt the swimming ban at messilah beach? I went with my family there today, and after we entered, we were given a flier stating that because of pollution, people are not allowed to swim :| yeesh! First the bar-be-que ban, now this! time to jump ship :P

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing No_Obie. That's terrible news! What an environmental disaster. :'(

      Delete
  37. AnonymousMay 06, 2012

    Any advice on how would go about finding out about working directly for the Kuwait government? My husband grew up in Kuwait and left when 18 to US. We both are US citizens and I'm a nurse practitioner and he's in I.T. We're thinking about making the move for financial reasons if we can stash away a lot of cash. Any advice?

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    Replies
    1. My advice if you want to make serious $$$ is not to work for the Kuwait government. Contracting for the US Gov't is the best way to go.

      Most of the nurses and IT workers are FN's in Kuwait that are cheap to hire with excellent qualifications. If your husband speaks fluent Kuwait that might be a plus. I wish you the best of luck.

      Delete
    2. "Fluent Kuwaiti" not Kuwait, oops...

      Delete
    3. Sorry, Expat, I must disagree with you here. I've worked in Kuwait for 2 of the highest paying Contractors before getting on with the local government. Not only is the salary almost double but we also get huge bonuses every year. And, being a US citizen is a plus. The downside is our medical insurance only covers us over here -- not in the states. But we work less hours, have more holidays off, get more vacation in the year, and are paid a higher indemnity. And my Arabic is scary :)

      Delete
    4. AG, I hear you! I hope I never have to go back to contracting. I'm looking for a job in the UAE but my benefits and salary will be difficult to match.

      I appreciate your input because you have been here a lot longer and you have more knowledge than I do on Kuwait. How would she contact the Kuwaiti Government to apply for IT and nursing jobs? Are they hiring US citizens in the Nursing and IT field and paying double compared to US Contractors in Kuwait like Jacobs, LM, etc.? That would be an awesome salary at 32K+ per month. That is great money for Kuwait and normally what you would have to go to Afghanistan to make.

      I didn’t know that and thought it was only FN’s or locals in IT and nursing in Kuwait. I also thought it was only certain specialized fields and positions where they want Westerners. That the demand was getting lower and lower as they try to fill most specialized positions with Kuwaitis now. That’s good news and if you can give her advice on how to go about searching for a job here with the Kuwait Government that would be great. Thank you AG. :)

      Delete
    5. You might be pleasantly surprised about the UAE and the rate of pay. Most jobs actually pay a bit higher than here and the cost of living in Dubai has dropped dramatically since 2010. Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, is still quite expensive to live.

      I wish I had more information about exactly how to seek out a job with the government here. I was fortunate to get my job through DG and those she knows. I do know most of the local oil companies and banks (the best to work for) hire through placement agencies and you can apply to those online. The hospitals (government) would probably require finding out who handles their HR -- no idea about that one. And the private hospitals have their own HR departments but also use placement agencies.

      Really wish I could be more assistance! Good luck in your search for UAE work. Placement agencies are a good place to start there as well.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous ~ AG suggested placement agencies that you can find online. Best of luck with your search and please keep us posted.

      * Thank you AG! :)

      Delete
    7. AnonymousMay 11, 2012

      I live in the UAE and just for your information, there is an 'Expat Tax' which is umbrella'd in your DEWA bills. The only way you can avoid this property tax is if your landlord covers your DEWA expenses which is rare because landlords don't want to pay this tax. Cost of living is less as far as food costs, even your Al-Shaya charges less in Dubai at his restaurants than in Kuwait. But you spend alot more on living expenses such as gym expenses, and entertainment expenses. I still would much rather live in Dubai than Kuwait any day - Kuwait has a LONG way to go before it becomes a civil nation in many ways.

      Delete
    8. I think Dubai has nightmare traffic and all the tourists would be annoying. I would much rather live in Kuwait and just visit Dubai on the weekends. :)

      Delete
  38. AnonymousMay 10, 2012

    Can you do a piece on how to find a job in the UAE, like which American companies are you looking at? I have been looking for another job in Kuwait, hopefully off Arifjan, but it is so unbelievably hard to find a job. I have my own housing in the UAE and I have full residency. I noticed that your friend DG just visited some of her friends that found a job there, do they work for an American company? I noticed above that your friend AG works for the Kuwait government, where do they work, how would I go about seeking any employment there? Thank you. Sometimes this is the only networking that is available to some of us. I appreciate any information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have residency in the UAE you should be able to contact headhunters or placement agencies on line that can match your skills and experience with employers. You can email DG and ask her as well. I do not know about her friends that she went to visit but I know DG will be happy to assist you if she knows any info on the UAE. :)

      I'm trying to get motivated in my job search and make the extra time to do it. :)

      Delete
  39. AnonymousMay 14, 2012

    Soo I've read this blog and another one about this subject...why? because I too have been offered a position w/ ITT Exelis but for APS-5 contract in Kuwait and am awaiting leaving to Kuwait within the week...that being said, I'm a little leary of the experience hearing varying things about housing and transportation but still want to keep an open mind about it. My hubby is planning on joining me there in Kuwait and us living together during the year contract so I'm wondering what is the best way to clarify with them that I do want my spouse to live with me during this time (btw my hubby is Iranian) and I found out from the Kuwaiti Embassy in LA that it is possible for them to grant him a companion visa for Kuwait during my employment with them. My main concerns are really more related to the housing situation, transportation and overall trying to mitigate any issues with getting jipped or going into a lion's den which is why I'm really trying to see other American's viewpoint on all this. I also just wanted to see what the conditions in Kuwait for an American and Iranian would be as I'm aware of the fact that there are obvious rifts between Arabs and Iranians. I'm also concerned for my hubby and being able to work also during that time and or find a PhD program there. If anyone has some constructive feedback that would be greatly appreciated and yes I speak Arabic, not Gulf dialect but I understand it pretty well...I also understand the cultural differences as far as modesty in dress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 14, 2012

      You really need to live in Dubai, not Kuwait. A PHD program? I suppose he could do that on-line. The base has just implemented a new (?) policy that ony 10% of employees for any given company can have access badges (badges to drive your car on post). It is 111F today and will get hotter soon. You may(?) have to park in the dirt parking lot quite aways from the gate and take a filty dirty bus through extensive security which could take about an hour to get to your building on post. Yes, you just might be walking into a lion's den and I fear that you might not think it is worth it. Granted if the salary is good and you want to go through all the hassles of getting to and from work only to live in a building that when you look out the window you think you landed in some filthy guetto in Kuwait go ahead take the job. Kuwait is not clean compared to other beautiful neighboring GCC countries like the UAE or Qatar. I would suggest if you could get a position in Qatar it would be a much more pleasant work environment all the way around. There is an Iranian community in Kuwait, but minus the great Iranian restaurants that you have in LA (I am assuming you live in LA) Dubai however, has a huge Iranian community with great restaurants and is a fabulous well run country with a formative government. Ask about the work hours, people are crying on how long they are forced to work 60-70 hours per week with only one day off. What is so ironic, is that there is not enough work to encompass this type of workweek and they continue to exhaust their employees to work these extended hours sometimes only to stare at a computer screen whilst milking the US government. I welcome anyone else to comment here, this is my opinion, but then again, I think Kuwait is one of the poorest run countries in the GCC and it is ashame that the government doesn't care more as far as the development process. You will be shocked how run down the airport is and stay away from Kuwait Airways it is one of the worst airlines in the world - I call it the Nazi carrier.

      Delete
    2. You should really ask your ITT recruiter all of your questions before making your decision. ITT is providing it's employees with shared accommodation. Your status would be unaccompanied. You would have to rent an apartment for you and your hubby with your salary. According to my gf Bama there is a long waiting list for the housing stipend.

      There are tons of Iranians in Kuwait so your husband will feel comfortable. One of the nicest American ladies I know in Kuwait is married to an Iranian guy here that spoils her rotten. ;)

      I wish you the best of luck and I hope you will be happy here.

      Delete
  40. AnonymousJune 08, 2012

    Expat, I will be arriving in Kuwait at the end of this month (June). I will be working in Camp Arifjan, is there any areas you would recommend for housing. I have been told Mahboula, Mangaf and Falaheel are good locations, do you agree?

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bad part about working on Camp Arifjan is the fact that you have to live in these areas for the convenience. They are really not the best areas of Kuwait. What is your budget for an apartment per month? If your company is paying for it I would definitely get something with a nice balcony and view of the Arabian Gulf. Avoid Mahboula, Mangof & Fahaheel at all costs. I would suggest Fintas because it's just a little bit nicer. Email me if you have any more questions and best of luck! :)

      Delete
  41. AnonymousJune 19, 2012

    Hello, thank you for this blog! It is so informative. Our family currently resides in GTMO, Cuba. We are not a military family and neither he nor I have ever been in the military. My husband is a U.S. contractor and in the IT field.This is his 1st overseas job ever. His contract is up at the end of Aug and he has an upcoming interview soon w/ a company called ITT. It's for an IT position (Help Desk and Information Assurance) in Kuwait. I'm not sure exactly where we will be living/working, but the email from the recruiter shows Mahboula.

    I have so many questions. Since we are fairly new to overseas employment, I wonder what the typical salary for such positions in Kuwait. We would like to know so we can sort of get an idea for salary negotiation.

    My other questions are below:
    1. Does ITT typically cover housing for families? Do they even allow families to live in Kuwait or just the employee?

    2. We are an interracial couple (Asian/African-American). How are interracial couples treated in Kuwait? Our daughter is biracial and I just want to make sure she won't get treated poorly by the locals because of her racial background.

    3. One of your blogs mentioned that ITT employees do not get an FPO/APO address. This must be important since you mentioned it, but I'm not fully understanding why. Is it because costs of shipping items to Kuwait w/o an APO/FPO address will be costly, or is it because it will not be allowed?

    4. If ITT does not cover housing for families, does the company typically pay for the employee's trip home for visits? If so, how often do they allow employees home visits? If they don't, what is the average cost for travel (airfare) from Kuwait to the states?

    5. What's it like working for ITT? I'm asking this because I recall you mentioning this company in one of your blogs so I figured you must have worked for them before?

    Thank you in advance for your help!

    ReplyDelete
  42. OH no! I'm so late answering you (one week) and I really apologize. Let me try my best to assist you now. I asked two friends that are currently working for ITT in Kuwait.

    There is no salary negotiation with ITT unless you are in upper management. It's a take it or leave it offer. There are too many people dying for a job so it works for them and the other US Contractors. Keep in mind that most US companies are not paying great like they used to in Kuwait. You would need to go to Afghanistan for some cha-ching!

    1. Unless your hubby is upper management then it is just housing for the employee. You would not even be allowed to live in company provided housing unless it is in his contact. He can request the stipend but that is also not easy to obtain. ITT typically provides shared company housing for the employee only. There is bus transportation to and from work.

    2. I think your daughter will be fine. I do not think you and your husband will have any problems either. I will say that my Asian friends tell me they are frequently discriminated against because a lot (not all) residents in Kuwait think they are maids. Discrimination is all over the world so there is no way to avoid it. Even I have some problems when the local men think I'm Russian and for sale. I just make them wish they were never born. ;)

    3. I think you need to read the entire post again. ITT does have APO mail now. They didn't at first but now they have it.

    4. Your husband would receive 20 vacation hours per month while he works at ITT. He can take a vacation after he has his residency visa 18 and if his leave is approved. People that work in Kuwait for US Contractors should always keep in mind that they are here to support the US Military. It's mission first! The average airfare is around $2,000. It really depends on the time of year you go, how far in advance you buy your ticket and where you live. Look and wait to purchase your tickets when the airlines have sales.

    5. I worked for another contract with ITT and it's nothing like the ones they have now. The salaries are half the amount now that I made back then.

    I wish you the very best of luck and let me stress that you should ask your ITT recruiter all of your questions. They are the ones that will give you the very best answers. :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Just had to throw in my 2 cents here. If the offer is on the TACSWAACA contract, that's entirely different than the KBOSS and TO1 contracts. They are provided housing in a totally different area -- generally private apartments or a shared villa. They are either given a company car or share one with a colleague. Working hours are a bit different than the other contracts. Not sure how their housing allowance is now since the reward of the new contract, but they used to give 700KD a month for housing AND sponsor your family on the company.

    But as you said, Expat, it's best to ask anything and everything to the Recruiter. Especially which contract it's for. They were all bid differently and with different benefits for the employees.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just spent the last hour or more trying to recover this post. Blogger must have some sort of issue going on and it erased and jumbled up my post content when I tried to edit the APO part off. :(

      Yes, the K-BOSSS contract is the largest one for ITT in Kuwait and it took over from CSA. I have friends still on TACSWAACA from 2009 and they had to get their own cars and I think their housing allowance was around 300 KD.

      I think everything is changing so rapidly that even the recruiters are probably confused. ;) Still, they will be able to answer everyone's questions so don't be shy to ask them.

      Delete
  44. AnonymousJuly 04, 2012

    Hi,

    I have an offer to work for GOFSCO ( www.gofsco.com) as an IT Executive for a USD4,000 package (all-in). Do you think this is a fair offer? Thanks and more power to your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It depends, I'm sorry to ask but are you Western? It costs a lot more to live in Kuwait if you are from the West. Does it say standard pay without OT?

      I think that is a low salary if you are a Western expat and working as an executive. Also, will you have to pay for health insurance, an apartment, transportation and food out of this salary? They provide you a yearly ticket to and from your home country?

      Delete
  45. AnonymousJuly 11, 2012

    i would love to experience living/ working in Kuwait for a year or 2 on a contract or something, but how do you find or go about getting these jobs....(my friend was telling me her father works over there at a recreation center and makes pretty good $$$)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would job search online daily and ask your friend to help you get a recruiter's email from her Father. Best of luck! :)

      Delete
  46. AnonymousJuly 31, 2012

    Your blog is fantastic, thank you for sharing.

    What is the minimum salary for a hotel GM or director of sales (from Canada)? And what about nanny's for small children? I have 2, one just turned 1 and another just starting kindergaten. And what opportunities for my hubby who is a plumber pipe fitter gas fitter by trade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Anonymous. :) I wish I could answer all of your questions but I do not know. Perhaps you can post them on an expat forum?

      I do know that nanny's are very reasonable in Kuwait but it's not easy to get a "good" one. Schools are expensive in Kuwait and often make it difficult for expats with children.

      Delete
  47. Hi!

    You have a great blog! So funny and informative!
    I am considering moving to Kuwait as it looks great. The only concern I have is that I am British-Chinese - born and bred in Britain but from Chinese descent. I am concerned about the status of Chinese women in Kuwait, especially as I will be a single female myself. I gather many Chinese work as maids/service staff, but if my biggest problem is being mistaken for a maid then I can live with that!
    Do you come across many ABCs (American born chinese) or BBCs (British born chinese) in daily life?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately my American Asian friends have all told me this happens to them here in Kuwait. They get really upset about it when it does. I wouldn't let that stop you from coming because it doesn't happen all the time. There are racist jerks everywhere in the world.

      Delete
  48. Hi,
    I was wondering if you can recommend me a good area to live near Sharq (my husband will work in that area) and we want to find an apartment close to the office and in the same time to have easy access to restaurants, shopping malls, etc. And the most important for us is the possibility for jogging in the neighbourhood.
    Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharq is one of my favorite places to live in Kuwait. You should try to live in a building close to the Arabian Gulf so you have a nice view. Not directly on the Gulf Road or the noise will be unbearable. There is an amazing place to run all down the Arabian Gulf and Sharq is one of the nicest spots. Plenty of restaurants and things to do because you are next to Salmiya. I would contact a trustworthy real estate agent to help you get an apartment. Please email me (contact tab above) for details.

      Delete
  49. Hi,
    Great blog.
    I am looking to move to Kuwait on a secondment with the firm (approx 2 years). I will be working as an auditor. Any additional tips/comments for a Single Guy from New Zealand? Is it quite easy to meet people outside of work?

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will tell you the truth, if you got an offer in Qatar or the UAE jump at the opportunity, but in Kuwait, will be a nightmare. It is a horrible place to live and I know expat loves it in Kuwait and she can tell her her version, but I think the place is a dump. You end up living in a box, socially you will find yourself alone, so if you just want to work here, live the life of a monk and spend a monthly budget to fly to Dubai for some normalization than make the sacrifice. This is my opinion. Kuwait is far from a civil place to live - it is purgatory.

      Delete
    2. First let me write how much I LOVE NZ! I spent a lovely holiday there and ate my weight in cheese and meat pies. Yummy! :p

      I agree with Anon above on the fact that the UAE and Qatar are great places to live with more to offer Westerners. However, Kuwait is what you make of it. My friend B has lived around the world and she says Kuwait will just spoil you if you are a Westerner. It's just easy peasy to adjust with lots of conveniences that even Europe is lacking. It's really up to you to make it a good place to live. I miss a lot of things about the West but then you can hop on a plane to Europe in 6 hours or Dubai for some sinful fun in 50 minutes. It's not cheap but it's worth it. As far as being a single Western male: scoring a girlfriend here requires you to just breathe and have a pulse. (Ha ha!) ;) Just be careful because most (not all) are targeting you to be a baby's daddy to send endless $$$ or a magic carpet ride to the West. Be smart and have fun! :)

      Delete
  50. Haha awesome! I'll definitely miss the pies if I decide to move! Yeh socializing for me is a big factor, don't mind the work for 5 days, but I want to be able to play for the other 2.
    What do flights to Dubai usually cost from Kuwait? Is it affordable to fly out there every weekend or 2?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can check out websites for cheap flights at http://www.flydubai.com/ and http://www.jazeeraairways.com/ They always have cheap seats and last minute specials. You can even get great rates at new hotels.

      Delete
  51. So I have a friend that's going to be doing a restaurant opening in Kuwait City soon and they recently offered her a management position. She's under the impression that the US dollar is worth more there so she'll come off better working there than Dubai. Is this true? Also, is 2 women cohabitating in the same apartment allowed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe the US $$$ is worth more in Dubai. Check with a currency converter for today's rates. Dubai has a lot more distractions and goodies to spend $ on. Tell her to be careful with her $ and try to save some. Many (not all) companies hire Americans to just set up the business and build the brand and then bring in cheaper expat labor to run it.

      There is no problem with two girls living together in Kuwait. If her company is renting the apartment she will probably have to request permission if you stay more than a month. It depends on the company's policy.

      Delete
    2. Thanks!! Also how are African Americans treated there?

      Delete
    3. I have noticed that African Americans like Kuwait more than anyone and seem to do well living here and integrate well with the Kuwaitis.

      Delete
    4. @ DaHoneyDipTX ~ They are treated really well. I've been told by some of my African American friends that Kuwait is the only country they have been to that they never felt discriminated against. There seems to be a lot more African Americans than Caucasian Americans in Kuwait.

      Delete
  52. Hi I am planning to Move Kuwait for JOB with family , How safe this country is ? What should be the salary for survival ?
    Other perks etc. Pl. advise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that is very difficult question to answer. It depends on nationality, experience, education, the company, etc. on what your salary range will be. Does the company provide transportation, housing, health care, yearly ticket and a food allowance? Kuwait is pretty safe when compared to the USA. (Except for the driving which is scary as hell. :)

      Delete
  53. hi EXPAT, i got a job offered as sales assistant at the sultan center. They offered me for 150kd(128kd for my basic salary,12kd for accommodation and 10kd for transportation) that's the break down of my salary if ever i worked there. 2 yrs contract. , do you think i can survive there? I'm a Filipino, single and this is my first time to work abroad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read the post about Chinese takeout in Mahboola just in case you have to work at the Fahaheel branch.

      Delete
    2. 12KD for accommodation is very low unless you share an apartment with lots of girls. Do you know any Filipino girls in Kuwait that might be able to give you a better answer? Americans are charged much more for apts in Kuwait so I'm afraid I can't give you the best answer. I wish you the very best. :)

      Delete
  54. hi expat thanks a lot for your reply. I am looking forward for this since last week..hehehe..60 of us will be working in Kuwait for the sultan center. Do you know this company?is it okay to work there? thanks for your reply.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I buy my groceries from TSC from time to time. That is when I actually cook. Hehe! :P I wish I could help you more but I do not know anything about working for them.

      Delete
  55. wow that's great to hear. But do you see a lot of Filipinos who work there at TSC???its okay its a big hepl for me.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they have mixed nationalities working in their stores.

      Delete
  56. okay. thanks a lot for your help.:)

    ReplyDelete
  57. Anytime! :-) I just wish I could have assisted you more. I wish you the very best. :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. I am thinking of moving to Kuwait to join my husband who works out there. I was worried about moving out there but reading your posts have eased those concerns. I don't want to sit around out there, I want to work while I am out there. Do you have any suggestions on where to look? Do I have to look for contract job or can I simply look for a job when I move out there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think moving to Kuwait is a great idea but your best option is to get a job before you come. There is a lengthy work visa process and your husband can probably explain to you what he went through with his company. Ask your husband to network at work and try to get you a few referrals. Best of luck!

      Delete
  59. Hey thanks very much for your blog. Certainly a lot of good information about the place. We are an Australian family of Turkish descent. We have been living in Sydney and London for a while but my company offered me a role in Kuwait. I work for an American bank and will be doing consultancy for local organisations. It seems like a good opportunity and we are seriously considering it. My company offers an expat package that will include many benefits including housing and car allowance. Overall it seems like a good package. I was wondering what would be an average rent for a decent apartment with nice views and close to water? I was told Shaab Al Bahri is a nice place (apparently close to work). What is your opinion? Could you recommend alternative places? Looking
    for a place for 2-3 bedrooms.


    I read your comments around harassment for women driving alone. It does worry me a little bit. Exactly how widespread is this? My wife would be driving around with my 15 months old son. I read a lot of comment around how crazy drivers are. We are used to this to some extend from our years in Turkey. But how bad is it really?

    Thanks in advance for your comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denizci! I'm glad the blog has helped you. Shaab is a great area and you can get a really good 3 bedroom apartment there with an Arabian Gulf view, close to the water for around 500 KD and up. It's better if you get a good real estate agent. I would suggest you rent a nice floor of a villa where you will have a lot more space. Of course you will need to furnish it in most cases. It depends on how long you stay here.

      First of all, it will not be easy for your wife to get a driver's license to even drive. You will want to ask the company about that because she might need a taxi or driver. As long as she dresses on the conservative side and ignores the constant harassment then she will be fine. Everyone gets harrassed here (including men) but the more attractive you are of course the more you will get. Dressing very conservative seems to help me more than anything. And tying up my hair. I went to Turkey and it is much worse here but with a little caution she should be fine.

      Kuwait is the most dangerous country in the world for driving. They were #1 again for last year. I'm very nervous about having a baby here as I will marry a Kuwaiti man shortly. I just hate the lack of safety here.

      Delete
  60. I was married to Kuwaiti and lived there several times in my 13 years of marriage. I worked for kms it did not pay well. It was just enough for spending money. Indian schools are OK, my children went to them. Might just be for Kuwaiti citizens.

    ReplyDelete
  61. They should add the Gulf Spring insurance into you package. Kuwait is currently under crisis...you can lost everything

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the protests are too peaceful in Kuwait with a few minor incidents. :)

      Delete
  62. Hi =) Thanks for all the infrmation. I want to ask u something. I am going to Kuwait with a friend of mine to try to live there and find a job. I am from Portugal. We don't have any job yet, we just have one friend of mine that is working and living there. What do you recomende me to find a job? do you think it will be difficult to us to live there? What is the minimum wage there ? Thanks =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully your friend can help you find a job but it's usually best to secure a job before coming to Kuwait. The visa process is complicated and takes time. Plus you will need medical and police checks. There isn't a minimum wage as far as I know. Only certain workers that come as maids have minimum salary requirements. I am not an expert and can really only speak from an American perspective. I wish you good luck and success in finding a job.

      Delete
  63. Hi! First of all, I am amazed with your dedication and patience in replying to every post here. I'm very lucky to have stumbled upon your blog. Lots of useful information! :)

    I'm a Filipino. It's my first week here in Kuwait and spending my time hunting for a job exhausting all of my dad's connections. I've been staying with him here in Hawally (he's been an expat for 24 years I think). By the way, he's the president of a large group of bikers (mountain bikes and road bikes) and we have Americans as well as other nationalities in our group). You might wanna join :)

    Can you give some job hunting tips?
    1. Do you know anyone from telecommunication companies here like Wataniya, Viva, or Zain? I recently worked for a telecommunication company in the Philippines. Most say that you need a "wasta" or someone inside the company for you to get a job easily here in Kuwait.
    2. Do I need to look for recruiters? Or recruitment agencies? I am open for job opportunities as an entry level employee. So I consider working in a totally different field of work apart from my previous one. Maybe you have vacancies in your company? Haha!

    I'm enjoying my stay here in Kuwait. Amazed by how cheap the used cars are! And the low price of gas! The locals are nice too. No unpleasant experiences yet :)

    BTW, do you know any local or expat dance groups here? Hiphop dancing is my passion. I have no luck in looking for one online :(

    Thanks in advance! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry I'm late but I would talk to other Filipinos about how to search for a job in Kuwait. They will be your most valuable resource.

      For HipHop dancing you can contact @dossy2 on Twitter and ask him. He's an instructor and is also a member of the 965 Crew.

      Best of luck! :)

      Delete
  64. i have just applied for a job in Kuwait..i have 2 children and a longtermpartner..i havnt left the uk for 17 years...am i crazy??!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, you're not crazy and good luck with finding a job in Kuwait. :)

      Delete
  65. Hey,

    My name is David from dubai.I joined your blog and i must say that it is more than insightful.I am planning to come to Kuwait to work with Kuwait Energy which is involved in the oil and gas industry,do you have any info about the company and they asked me to quote the salary figure i expect.I dont know about salaries in kuwait,please give me a rough salary figure for an engineer with 2 yrs experience and a bachelors degree.

    Kind regards.

    David

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi David! Thanks for joining the blog. Are you a Westerner because that makes a difference in regards to salary?

      Delete
  66. Hey, we are now confirmed to arrive in Kuwait in July. We are certainly excited about the prospect. I was wondering if you can recommend decent areas for a western expat family to live. We would like to be close to water, that is so far what we came up with in regards to the criterias. I know these things are very personal but i would appreciate your personal insight. Cheers....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My suggestion is to go through a real estate agent here in Kuwait to help you find a good place to live. Where you live depends on your work location, budget, etc. Kuwait has many areas close to the Arabian Sea which is my favorite part.

      Delete
  67. I am an english woman shortly to be seconded to Kuwait. i have been working in Saudi Arabia for the last year so im hoping Kuwait is far less restrictive. My compnay will pay for hotels or apartment, please can you recommend an area to live, my budget will be about 700kd per mth. Also i am hoping my partner can come and join me, not to work but for long holidays. Will there be any issue with him staying with me? and finally, i have a driver in saudi but im hoping tobe able to drive in Kuwait, is it easy to get a permit for this?

    many thanks in anticipation

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kuwait is less restrictive but still strict. Where you decide to live should depend on where you will be working. If your budget is 700 KD I suggest you rent a floor of a villa for around 400 KD unfurnished. You can request a real estate agent when you get here to search for a good place. You are not allowed to live with someone of the opposite sex unless you are married or closely related. Westerners do it but you have to be careful and most landlords will not allow it. You can get a driver's license in Kuwait but your company should help you obtain one.

      Delete
  68. Expat: Are there any job placement agencies for American nationals in Kuwait? There is such a large population of Americans working in Kuwait and a need for qualified Americans throughout different sectors, you would think that someone would have established such a business in Kuwait during the past few years? There are huge amounts of people that want off Camp Arifjan, I mean take yourself for example, you worked on the camp then found a job at a Kuwait company, isn't it MUCH better? But some of us have developed keen job skills working on the camp and could be beneficial to the job market in Kuwait especially considering the fact that Kuwait could be entering a construction boom. Job Placement Agencies are common in the west and someone should establish one in Kuwait for Americans by Americans - it would be a good business for someone who has networking capabilities in the market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In addition to Anon 9:05AM comment, there are also Americans living in Kuwait who may want employment on Camp Arifjan. It gets really old posting your resume to cyberspace over and over again to these US companies. Some of us have are own housing/cars in Kuwait and would only want a package (ie health/life insurance) that you would get in the States when applying to these companies. And some of us are educated with formative job experience, just without ability to network in Kuwait which is really difficult to do. So I agree with this person, why is there not a job placement agency for Americans in Kuwait, possibly run by Americans? Some of the jobs are classified level positions that can only be held by US citizens and if they are already in Kuwait, wouldn't it be easier to hire them. I wonder also if there is a job placement like this in Dubai - now your talkin!

      Delete
    2. I remember when you commented about this before and it's a great idea. Hopefully someone will have the time, money, and resources to do it.

      Delete
  69. hi, you're blog is nice to read it made me smile in some of your story. just wanna know if its still safe to work there in kuwait because i am applying for work there as service crew in a baking shop and also the average pay for a blue collar job. i hope you for your response...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello back and thank you! :) Kuwait is pretty safe (except for driving) if you act street smart at all times. Incidents do happen sometimes on the bus and if you take a taxi you are not familiar with. Always try to have a travel buddy, especially if you are a girl. Never get into a taxi cab you do not know. Dress conservative and be aware of your surroundings.

      I hate to write this but if you are Western it is much easier in Kuwait and you will be treated far better. If you are Asian it can be a bit tough but the good news is that there are more expats then Kuwaitis here. You can make lots of friends here from your home country. They will be your best resource on work and salary. I'm not sure about the normal wage for a baking shop but I wish you the very best of luck. :)

      Delete
  70. Dear expat,

    I have recently got selected as a guest relation officer for a five star property in Kuwait. It's not tht great deal as they are offering me only 160 dnr month. They money is not a big concern for me as it's just the start of my career...my mom is bit concern as she has heard alot things ( ofcourse bad ) about Kuwait city that it's not at all safe for girls...also my fiance has also got selected for the some company...will i be allowed to stay with them..we have recently got engaged but not married yet as it will take lots of paperwork & change of name...i dont want to go alone n stay...plus worried about the expenses...please guide..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are a girl in Kuwait and you travel with a buddy, do not talk to male strangers, never get into a strangers car or a taxi you do not know. Dress conservative and always pay attention to your surroundings (no iPod music while walking outside) then you can be safe here. You cannot be with a man that isn't your immediate family member or husband. It is forbidden to live with a man or even stay at a hotel before marriage. When I go to a hotel here my fiancé has always had his own room or we stay in separate villas with our male / female friends. If this guy is 'the one' for you I would marry before moving to Kuwait.

      Delete
  71. AnonymousMay 19, 2013

    Can you tell me more about working as a therapist in hotels in Kuwait and the wages,I recently aplied and was exepts it safe for south-africans

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are many South Africans working at the JMB hotel and spa and at the Hotel Missoni. They have a group of them that hang out together. I have no idea about the wages. Try to find a chat forum for SA's in Kuwait. I wish I could be of more help. Best of luck to you.

      Delete
  72. Dear All,

    I have been offered a sales job in kuwait. Am single bachelor, & a fresher too.
    Salary offered to me is 300 KD/month. No accomadation/food.
    Can i survive with this salary, & have some savings.
    Pls do help. just two min of urs.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you share an apartment with lots of guys and cook together you can make it. Many people do and save. For that salary your employer should provide accommodation and transportation. But your compensation depends on several factors in Kuwait. Good luck! :)

      Delete
  73. AnonymousMay 23, 2013

    Hi,

    I am from India & I have been offered 1500 kD per month and I am in search of good apartment to shift kuwait with my family. Need your help in this matter. My budget is around 300-350 KD for rental purpose. I read your above blogs and seems pretty interesting.

    Regards,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My apologies for this very late response. Yes, you can find an apartment in Kuwait for that price.

      Delete
  74. " If you smile, laugh or give any indication that you are approachable this will translate as you wanting them to chase y...." haha

    I remember when I initially moved to US, people were just so different here - I still haven't come across any rude ones! - you get smiles from random strangers(males/females), greeted hello, how you doin?, etc.. - also from blue eyed blondes :p and various color combinations lolol

    Nice to be around friendly people!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's nice to hear Chris. I'm glad you are being treated so well. :))

      Delete
  75. AnonymousMay 24, 2013

    Hello,

    I have just been offered a job at the Australian College of Kuwait. It involves 25 teaching hours per week, which feels a bit heavy, and I get paid 1200 KD, which doesn't seem like much. I've been looking around, and I can't get a good sense of what life is like in Kuwait City. I'm not a huge fan of big cities (NYC drove me crazy, and I work in SF, which sometimes drives me crazy, but it's OK) and hate having to struggle with driving and parking and whatnot. I want to be able to go to the store and work easily without driving around looking for spots or parking several blocks. Is there housing near ACK in West Misref so that I can be right by work (I can't seem to figure this out!)

    Is there any nature? Are the beaches safe to swim in?

    And last but not least, I'm looking for a truly exotic experience. I've grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Does this really feel different? Does the feeling wear off?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 25, 2013

      OMG, I strongly suggest that you decline this position, you will eventually feel imprisoned by Kuwait, the driving and parking will be horrendous and West Misref will be very hard to find housing in and lastly swim at the beach? I wouldn't put a toe in the water off Kuwait, it is that polluted. Even a UN agency warned Kuwait last week about the high levels of mercury in the fish that is not safe for human consumption. You would NEVER wnat to swim in a swim suit at a public beach, you will probably get assaulted, in fact the crime rate is very high in Kuwait and you would avoid going out at night due to crime and traffic. I think your salary is OK for the middle-east, but not worth the journey - just my view.

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure if Kuwait will be the best choice for you. It's not fair to judge you by your comment but it does seem like you might be a little high maintenance. ;p There are beaches that are safe to swim in and I love going to the Western 5 star hotels. Kuwait does seem more modern than traditional but you will be close to other countries like Oman and Morocco.

      Maybe you should visit here as a tourist before you make your final decision.

      Delete
    3. @Anon 9:20 AM ~ Your negative comments always crack me up! LOL! ;)

      Delete
  76. Gurl, you should seriously consider writing a book like "Desperate in Dubai"... I'm sure you have great stories to share! I

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 25, 2013

      @Elen - She could write "Desperate in Kuwait", actually she really could and her friend Desert Girl can be one of the characters also. It probably would be banned here, but we'll buy it in Dubai :)

      Delete
    2. I plan on doing just that when I'm older and living back in the USA. NOTHING will be held back and I promise it's going to be scandalous! ;) I just need a ghost writer because I'm a painter not a great writer.

      Delete
  77. AnonymousMay 30, 2013

    Hi! Ur blog r pretty amazing And it is so informative

    I'm a Chinese descent from Indonesia. Will I get too much discrimination than I can handle there?

    using some connection In airway Company, I'm considering to go to gulf country, work An Easy Job (like Customer Care Or Duty Free section) In Airport And start my adventure.
    Basically I can chose whatever in gulf country I wish to work And my friend will provide the job
    But Kuwait And Dubai r in my Top consideration.
    in ur suggestions, which one is better for living? Or is there another suggestion?
    I'm getting used to a comfortable life here in Indonesia.
    And I wish I can at least afford my shopping And hangout expense with my salary As the company will provide the accommodation And the transportation. Is that possible?
    I know I still need to wait the salaries they offer then I can decide exactly can I afford it or Not. But basically,
    Is a living Cost in Kuwait r lower then in Dubai as I heard?

    Another thing,my partner r an Arabic descent with double nationality,Egyptian - Australian.
    is that possible for us living together in Kuwait As an expat? Or can we just simply pretend that we r married. R the people there gonna questioning bout our married Papers And that kind of legal stuff?
    R a different Religion couple gonna b too eye catching there?
    thanks in advance for ur help


    Xoxo
    Mercy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello and thank you for your nice comments. :) I have Asian American friends in Kuwait and they do receive a lot of discrimination compared to America. That's just what they tell me. Also, you cannot live with a man that isn't your Father, Brother or Husband. Kuwait is a conservative country and if you get caught it could mean jail and deportation.

      Delete
  78. Dear all ...
    I am from Afghanistan..
    and right now i am working with company called Supreme as an IT Supervisor in Kabul.
    I worked for 10 years with some company...

    I like to work in Kuwait but i don't know how to find job there...
    please help me to find job in Kuwait and i am happy to pay my first month salary to anyone that find me job in Kuwait.........
    Waiting for your kind reply

    Thank you so much in advance..

    Best Regards,
    Faheem

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mohammad. I wish that you find a good job but this is not an employment website. This is just a blog on living in Kuwait.

      Delete
  79. AnonymousJune 17, 2013

    I'm looking into a job in Kuwait and had a quick question (haven't read your whole blog so forgive me if it was covered elsewhere): How is the internet there? As fast as American cable internet speeds? Is it restricted? As a westerner would I have the same access I enjoy in the US for social networking sites, google, streaming video ... porn? I should say, are there any legal concerns a red-blooded male should keep in mind while web-surfing in Kuwait?

    ReplyDelete
  80. The Internet sucks here and it's expensive. A lot of things are blocked but the guys at work say it's easy to get around it. I wouldn't know as I am a good expat girl.

    ReplyDelete
  81. RANJAN PATIJuly 03, 2013

    I am an Indian. I retired last year after working for 37 years in State Bank of India. Being quite healthy both physically & mentally, I want to take up a job at Kuwait. I am a B.Com & MBA (HR). Anybody who can guide me how I can get a job at Kuwait City ? I heard that work-visa is not given now a days. Is it a fact? Thanks a lot in anticipation.
    Ranjan Pati

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish you luck in finding a good job but this is a blog and not an employment website.

      Delete
  82. hi i m offered with a job in kuwait in a coffee shop with 200 kd but with no food and no accomodation so, i just wanted to ask that will it b enough to save some amount by spending in food and accomodation and how much will i b able to save if i stay with 5 people sharing a same room n how much will it cost for transportation for a single person per month ,and for fooding and living plez let me know because i m really worried should i accept this offer with such minimum salary or not

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is just my opinion but that's a very low salary and accommodation / transportation should be provided.

      Delete
  83. Hi, I liked reading your blog, must say you have more positive things to say about Kuwait than I've read anywhere else on the net.

    I been offered a package of KD2,300. Do you think its enough for a family of four (husband, wife with 2 children ages 6 & 7). Is it worth moving to Kuwait for this Salary from UAE?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why thank you! I'm happy you like the blog. Your salary would be $8,050.

      Before I can answer your questions I need to ask you a few.

      Will you receive free accommodation, transportation, and healthcare?

      Are you sending the children to a private school in Kuwait?


      Delete
  84. Accommodation and transportation is included in the package
    (rent about 600KD).

    Healthcare and yearly tickets are not. Yes I would like to send the kids to a private school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would ask the company to add private insurance as part of your benefits package. There is practically free government hospitals in Kuwait but I would never go there.

      Regarding your children's education: The American school is 10k plus a year and not all teachers even hold education degrees. Private education in Kuwait is very expensive and totally not worth the price. Ask the new company about school suggestions and prices before you agree to come to Kuwait.

      Best of luck! :)

      Delete
  85. what do you think about Camp Arifjan living as IT SPecialist with ITT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have several friends that work for them and they are very happy. Go for it! :))

      Delete
  86. Good day

    I Have received a job offer from a American company to go work in Kuwait. I will be receiving KWD350 p/m, will that be enough for me to get a decent place to stay and live a comfortable live? I'll be working 6 days a week so don't need anything too fancy to stay in at least until i get a promotion or raise! Im still young and sure that i will grow fast in the ranks of the company, but before then would you say KWD350 is enough?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you can make it on that salary but your company should really provide you with transportation and accommodation. This will help you save and also have a better quality of life.

      I'm not an employment expert so I wish I could help you out more. Best of luck to you.

      Delete
  87. hello i just got a job in kuwait with salary KWD400 will that be OK to live there? accommodation & transportation provided by company

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If your company provides you with accommodation and transportation that should be fine. Just please keep in mind that this is not an employment website and that Western salaries are much higher due to the added costs for us to live here, the currency exchange rate in our home company, etc.

      Delete
  88. My husband and I just moved to kuwait mmm maybe 5 months ago, everything here is fairly expensive compared to the united states. My husband is kuwaiti and im well im just an american (considering thats where I spent most of my 25 years of life). I wouldnt call myself high maintenance really but I do have standards. my husband and I have been looking for apartments and everything in the 300- 400 range is like a closet.. and to top that off the apartment people refuse to rent to my husband because he is kuwaiti even though I am not. We are currently staying at my inlaws though thank god. We have decided to keep a very open mind though about finding a new place. I have a 7 month old so I havent really been anywhere but malls and recently joined the fitness first gym in 360 its pricy but worth the hour of freedom I get from being in the house. Kuwait is also not very baby friendly. I breastfeed the old fashion way with out pumping and I find myself sometimes feeing my baby in a bathroom stall. My husband says I can use tge prayer room for women but I get stares because I donthave an abaya on to hide my baby under. Over all its been an adjustment. If you have money like anywhere in the world things will be a little easier. If your mentally flexible adjusting to the heat and traffic and peoples ignorance time to time will be easier to cope with. Since ive been here I still havent made any friends but ive also been attached to my baby. Shes finally eatting more solids and im some how trying to find a hobby painting classes or something to fill up my home sickness. Over all though I do feel like there are many opportunities in kuwait. Yes you do need a wassta for most things to get done here and yes paper work is a pain in the ass I still havent gotten my reaidency and we have been working on that for 5 months since ive got here! My advice is look up everything you need before coming here thats paper work related ask as many people as you can about theprocess and understamd that no one here works past 12 in the afternoon as far as the government is concerned!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences on being an American newbie in Kuwait married to a Kuwaiti.

      Delete
  89. Hello, I have just been offered a teaching job in Kuwait, Salmiya. The package includes accommodation, healthcare and flights and a salary of about $33,000. I was just wondering if this sounds like a good package. Also being a young, single, western female I was wondering what the social scene in Kuwait is like? I know that it is a dry country and that's fine, but is it easy to meet other expats in Kuwait? and is there a large young expat community living in Kuwait? I know very little about Kuwait and your blog has been very insightful. I am a bit scared about signing a contract and then spending the year with no friends lol. Thanks, any advice is appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  90. You will make so many friends here and get to travel to fabulous new countries. I've never met a Western teacher in Kuwait that didn't love it here. Email me on the contact tab and I will give you a link to some of my teacher friend's blogs. :)

    ReplyDelete
  91. Hi,
    Great blog!! I am planning to move to kuwait for a job that I have been offered. I am happy with the package, etc. I am bringing my wife and 2 kids with me - a question I have is about my wife and employment. She is a childminder here in Europe, and I want to find out if she can set up there to mind ex pat's children in kuwait, would she legally be allowed to do this and is it common to do this? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! :) I'm not an expert but there is an abundance of Third World affordable childcare and maids in Kuwait. The pay is very low but if she went to a good Uni and has great references / experience she might be able to nanny for a very wealthy Kuwaiti family. She would have to get a job / work permit before she enters Kuwait.

      Delete
  92. Hello, I was very pleased with your blog, i was offered a job last week with Emirates, I'm sure any of you who has flown to the middle east is familiar with them. I am American btw and also a homosexual, this job will require me to spend 99.9 percent of my time in the GCC mostly in Kuwait, Dubai, and maybe a few additional routes to neighboring countries and Europe. I am however not worried about my salary, however my question is whether or not I would get by in the GCC, My partner would be making the move with me, and was wondering if we would be okay living in Kuwait City? Obviously public affection would be off limits as it is here in the states, but It has weighed on my thoughts for a while now and has had me re-thinking the job offer. Any help is much appreciated, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will be just fine as there are plenty of people here, Bahrain and the UAE. Just keep it on the DL.

      Delete
  93. how about the transportation ?
    How much is shared transportation between arifjan and kuwait city.
    Is it better to lease a car compared to transportation ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want your freedom then lease a car by yourself or with a friend / coworker.

      Delete
  94. I just got an offer with a US company on Camp Arifjan and I wasn't sure judging from what's wrote that it would be a good decision to move there
    surely it sounds as rewarding experience but I'm little hesitant to leave my job here at the US because I'm afraid that companies will not recognize my experience and I will have hard time finding job because of that if I go back home can you please advise on that ? I'm leaving my current job at the US because I want to support the troops have slow paced life get away from the stress here save some money pay some of my debts and explore new places and travel to new countries when possible during the weekend ..
    how expensive are the tickets to go to Dubai Qatar Bahrain or Egypt range ? my offer is around 30 $ /hr based on 56 hours work week standard work week is 48 hours housing is provided by the company and shared transportation APO is available do you think this is a good offer that can save money judging by the living standards there ? I'm currently getting paid a little bit above 120K/ year in the US but I still wanted to try new things and explore new places please advise do you think it worth moving there ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please don't! You have a high paying job in the States and although you are looking for a 'change of pace', this job offer is not worth it. It appears to me that everyone is miserable, most often jobs in Kuwait are hostile work environments with no adherence to any labor laws, whether Kuwaiti labor laws or American labor laws. Kuwait is now known as the guetto of the Gulf, and Kuwaitis have become very xenophobic about foreigners being in their society, Dubai, yes, is a totally different story, but with your work schedule with one day off a week, you will never see the lights of Dubai unless you take off work which may be very frowned upon. You will feel like you are imprisoned in Kuwait, and if you are sharing transportation and you have to use the bus service from the parking lot located outside the base, you're pretty much screwed. I have never met such miserable people in my life working on that base, bad management and hostile work environments - not worth giving up your job in the States that most of these people would love to take your place and return home. If you get a job offer in Qatar, I say go for it, it is a very 'civil' base in a quiet country closer to Dubai and everyone seems to be very happy working there. Avoid Kuwait, unless you are desperate for employment and strong enough to endure the suffering involved in living there. I work off the base in Kuwait and it is much better, who knew that I would be treated better by the Kuwaitis then by the Americans. Most people working for this company can't get jobs in the States, that is why they work in Kuwait.

      Delete
    2. It seems like you had a very bad experience but do you think you have a fair judgment ?
      So is everybody there hostile or is it may be you didn't get a long with everybody ?
      I'm saving gas rent and tax deductions plus you are close to many tourist destination countries in the middle east and asia so does that still make it as a bad offer

      Delete
    3. Anonymous December 26th ~ Please email us (contact page).

      Delete
    4. I sent you an email

      Delete
    5. Are you the person that emailed asking to speak to us over the phone? Sorry, but that's not going to happen. You can email a question and we will try to assist you. This is a personal blog and not an employment agency. I hope you understand.

      Delete
    6. Sorry didnt mean to invade your privacy understand I will email you my questions however I decided to take the risk and come to kuwait and I m here experiencing what it feels to live in kuwait your blog is really useful to provide good insights about kuwait.
      Apologies again and I appreciate you taking the time to respond and answer our questions.
      Thanks again.

      Delete
    7. Well, I'm glad you decided to come and I hope you will have a pleasant time while you are here. Best of luck!

      Delete
  95. Hi Expat Girl,
    I have spent quite a bit of time here reading through all the posts here. It is quite informative. I have just been offered a job by ITT Exelis as a Network Engineer and i am going through the clearance process right now. I have a couple of things which i am pondering over regarding moving to Kuwait as i am not really sure whether i will end up taking the job or not.
    They offered me $29.37/hr based on a 56 hrs/week job. Regular hours will be 48 hrs/week. They will pay over-time for any hours above 48 hours, and asked me to commit to work up to 72 hrs per week.
    Below are the benefits:
    Vacation: 240 hours per year, accrued monthly.
    Housing and Transportation: Company provided (housing stipend may be available), shared.
    Vacation Allowance*: $3,000 paid in two installments: $1,500 paid at 6 months of employment and $1,500 paid at 12 months of employment.
    Completion Bonus*: $2,000 paid at the end of the Term of Employment

    I will have to pay for my own health and dental insurance out of this package. The cost comes close to $10,000 for the duration of the contract.

    One is this enough to survive over there and save since it looks like i will be responsible for my meals ? Also what do you think is the average cost of feeding for a three square meal at home, if i buy and prepare my own meals. I have a family that will be staying back here in the US while i am away, that is my wife and two little kids. We currently live in the Midwest where i am currently working, but they will be moving to the DC area if i decide to take the job. I will be subsidizing their stay here, because my wife will be going back to school for maybe a year if i move over there. Also based on your conversation with other Americans working for ITT, is it possible to negotiate and get more money out of ITT once they make an offer ?
    Next, i will be coming under OMDAC-SWACA in Kuwait contract with DOD. They are very secretive about where you might be posted once you get to Kuwait. Do you or anyone know where they might post one once one gets there ?
    I am taking this job to try and pay off some of my student loans, save some money and maybe join other DOD contractors over there who might be offering more if there are any. Assuming that i move over there, i plan to stay there no longer than three years as a contractor for US companies, after which i will return back home and continue my career here. I am African American, and have a bachelors degree from one of the Ivy leagues school around here. What are my chances of getting something better if i move ?
    If you think that i should take the offer let me know. Any other advice would be very much appreciated. Also so long as i can work, go to the gym, and study, that is really all i care about.

    ReplyDelete
  96. please thanks a lot and am much impressed about your blog. i am from Accra, Ghana and considering a move to Kuwait in the next two weeks on a ticket of an agent who promise to secure me a security job with incentives like free accommodation for five years with a salary of 100KD. i would kindly want to know if its good to sustain me live well in Kuwait. And how possible is it to get a part time job such as in the hospitality business.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please be very careful and really check out this company before you come to Kuwait to work.

      Delete
  97. I read today in the paper that Homeland Security will be opening a new pre-screening facility in Dubai. They just opened one in Abu Dhabi to the thrill of many people in the region who want to avoid the long queues to enter the United States and let's face it, after a long-haul flight, no one wants to queue 3 hours to enter a country. I looked at the Homeland Security website this morning to see if they list career opportunities in the UAE, but it is not listed. Would you have any idea where someone, who is seeking employment with this progect, look for job openings? I doubt I would look under Etihad or Emirates, because these are American jobs. If you state ask a job placement agency, then which one, there are many in the UAE? Thank you for your suggestions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great idea for a job. I really have no idea but you could just keep searching the Internet daily for Homeland Security Dubai jobs. Perhaps you could email someone in Homeland Security's recruiting department by sending a random "contact us" email.

      I wish I could be more helpful but I just don't know how to help you. I do wish you the best of luck with your search.

      Delete
  98. When you say Kuawati, is expensive to live in, can you elaborate?
    I have been offered a teachers contract at a local school. House and transport covered. What costs would be the highest for me?

    Thanks so much. You have been such a help already.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you cook at home sometimes instead of eating out all the time then you will be fine. Teachers travel a lot so you will be just fine. :) Try to bring your makeup and clothes with you since it's usually the same price in KD as it is in USD at home.

      Delete
  99. Hello from Europe :)
    I am glad I found your blog,it provided me with so much useful info, thank you :)
    Id like to know how much money is necessary for a decent living of a family of three (our kid is 3) without restaurant and other "luxuries" expenses, since we plan to start out modest and to cut down on any unnecessary things. Some ppl told us that 600 kd would be enough, but whats ur opinion on that matter? Also, do you have any info on nurses' salary?
    Thanks in advance !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marina. Hello from Kuwait! Hehe! :D

      I'm glad the blog has helped you. That makes me really happy. I have no idea about a nurses salary but I believe Kuwait pays a lot of people according to their nationality. Westerners and Kuwaitis making the highest salary in most cases. Does the 600 KD include you paying for your own apartment and transportation or is that already covered in your employment package?

      Delete
  100. 600 kd net salary (accommodation/transport and health/dental insurance paid)

    ReplyDelete
  101. In your opinion - how much would be the minimum required income for a family of three (a preschooler) with all the expenses included (by all expenses i mean accommodation, food, clothes and stuff , without luxuries such as eating out), thx a million!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marina, I wish I could tell you exactly but since I moved here single without children I'm not sure. I think 600KD will be fine in your case if you live modestly and shop at the co-ops. Many families make it on much less.

      Best wishes to you and your family. I hope you will enjoy your time here.

      Delete
  102. hi kindly guide me about Kuwait and I got job offer fom land mark group and they are offering me 300 kd . I m concern about the cost of living and fooding is it good amount for kuwait they are only providing me conveyance allowance .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly I'm not sure but I think 300 KD should be okay. Best of luck! :)

      Delete
  103. Hi

    thanks for the wonderful blog - its very informative.

    I am Indian - and I generally understand that Asians in particular Indians get a raw deal when it comes to being treated with respect in most middle eastern countries. And that it is much better for Americans.

    I understand that this is a sensitive topic but could you please share your knowledge on this issue.

    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a difficult question to answer since I'm not Indian. I will say that the majority of people in Kuwait are Indian expats. You really have the power in numbers to not let anyone disrespect you. Unfortunately nobody really stands up for themselves here except for loud mouth Americans. ;) Americans are treated pretty well here but we also demand respect. If someone skips me in line or tries to steal my parking spot then I am going to make them wish they weren't born. ;p

      I think there are a lot of Kuwaitis that do treat Indians with respect but the ones that don't seem to get away with it. I would go on the website: Indians in Kuwait and see what they say to get a better understanding. I really wish you all the best! :)

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  104. You say that people don't comment anymore, well here you go, I will respond to this person who is Indian with a rather long response. I'll make up for the shortfall! :)


    For over 40 years Indians have sought employment in the GCC, which brought them higher wages than in India with close proximity to their homeland. Basically Indians filled low-level jobs that were hard to fill by local GCC nationals, and although the salary levels were low to GCC nationals, they were adequate for sub-continent workers. Basically Indians were able to market themselves as ‘Indians’ which equated many times to cheaper labor with minimal complaints, although demonstrations are common in India which is considered a flourishing democracy. This has worked in their favor for years and many companies in Kuwait hire Indians based on this ‘racial policy’, even American companies shamelessly, even though it is against US law to hire by race. But times have changed, the GCC six member-nations make up one of the most youthful regions in the world, one-third to one-half of the population is under the age of 25, and if I have invested in the education of my youth by sending them overseas, upon their return home, these GCC nationals should be able to find jobs within their nation. As this issue reaches critical levels within GCC government forums, local governments are forced to review expat labor levels and this affects Indians who still command a lion’s share of the job market, especially in the UAE. Singapore has limited Indian employment to certain sectors, unless they are qualified to fill key roles in companies which some Indians do currently, because Singaporeans now want these clerical level positions. During the past 5-7 years, there have been other nationalities that have formatively competed for low-level jobs with Indians, especially in the service sector, so my advice is that the youth of India need to address their employment obstacles of unemployment, low salaries and infrastructure problems with their government so that Indians can find job opportunities at home especially as the doors start closing in the GCC.

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    1. Thank you Anonymous! Would you like to be a co-blogger with us? ;p I need help! I just answered four emails with tons of questions about moving to Kuwait. I can hire you and fire Mrs. Big Booty and her broken promises.

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  105. Hi there :), I am so glad to have ran across your blog by coincidence, but now that I’m here I have a few different questions for you that I think are important. I have never left the United States, but a few of my buddies from school finally persuaded me to apply for some international jobs. They are already doing defense contractor work in other parts of the Middle East, in places like Qatar, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia, is Kuwait going to be anything like those places, would you recommend a newbie to international travel taking a job and living there? Would you say the pros outweigh the cons? What is the dating scene like, are there a lot of STD's, should I just plan on bringing a girl from the states over with me, will my mixed race/multi-cultural background be a problem? I literally just received a job offer from Texaco and am definitely anxious to scene, but I don’t want to sign my life away and end up getting in a miserable or even dangerous situation, are there any specifics/perks that I should negotiate into my contract before signing, do you know anything about the Texaco company, does a 4-year contract for 6,500 British Pounds Sterling sound about right, is it a good place to work for, if not do you recommend any other places? I have two Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship, have work experience in Human Resources and Accounting so far, and I’ve been told that the Middle East would be the best place to make the most use out of my degree and work fields while also being compensated quite nicely, just being honest, after talking to some of my current co-workers who have military backgrounds I’m starting to feel a little bit uncertain, I just want to make sure that I’m making the best decision, and at the same time not possibly be missing out on a once in a lifetime chance to do something spontaneous and life changing, any tips and advice that you are willing to share would be greatly appreciated, hopefully I’ll be on your side of the planet very soon if everything works out!

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    1. If you go to the search bar on this blog you can look for any topic on Kuwait you want to learn about. You can also Google it. Yes, there are STD's all over the world. The point is to protect yourself. I can't answer about your company but I would send all of your questions to your recruiter. That's their job. Working in Kuwait for me is wonderful but you have to decide for yourself. You can always travel the region and the world why you are here. :)

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  106. Dear Expat,
    Thank you for your nice blog. I'm Egyptian and my wife is a dentist who will be moving to Kuwait. I wonder if there are any clubs or any place in general where my 5 years old kid can continue his swimming training and any playing areas for other sports with trainers and how much would it approximately cost. I know you mentioned you don't have kids but if you could ask for me i would appreciate that a lot.

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    1. There are so many clubs in Kuwait and lots to do for children. Some are free and some charge. There are different prices depending on where you go. I'm sure you will find plenty to do when in Kuwait. :)

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  107. i am a Kenyan citizen and I have been offered a job in Kuwait. I have read your blog and so far it is the most resourceful blog I have seen My questions is, are Africans treated badly considering the fact we are considered as third world citizens????

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