Expat Life in Kuwait: What You Should Know!

July 17, 20150

Z-5VmXq3Kuwait, the oil-rich Arab country, attracts job seekers from around the globe. Working overseas, particularly to an attractive job destination like Kuwait, is a great idea for young job seekers who seek to explore lucrative career opportunities. However, it is vital that you know what is in the store for you in a foreign location.

The following post throws light on various aspects that you would require to know as an expatriate in Kuwait:


Arabic is the official language of the country. However, English is widely spoken and also used for business purposes in all industries. The knowledge of a foreign language adds to your advantages when planning to work abroad. Hence, learning a few important words and phrases in Arabic will allow you to interact with the locals easily. Start learning now.

Work Permit

All expats (except the nationals of GCC states) are required to obtain a valid work permit before working in Kuwait. On the other hand, a work permit is issued to expats having a valid employment offer and a sponsor (employer). The employee needs to get it verified by the local Kuwait Embassy. One can get more information regarding an application for a work permit on the official website.

Work & Employment

Kuwait includes a large expat population and workforce in various key sectors. Apart from numerous job opportunities in Kuwait, the tax-free income is another major attraction for the job seekers.

In the Arab country, Friday is the Muslim rest day. Hence, if you have a five-day working week, Thursday or Saturday will be the other day off. Depending on the company’s work policy, the working week may vary between 40 to 48 hours. However, in the holy month of Ramadan, daily working hours are reduced by 2 hours.

Dress Etiquette

As an expat, the knowledge of dress etiquette in Kuwait works in your favor. What you wear is a personal choice; however, business attire is quite conservative. Women refrain from wearing tight fitting or revealing clothes. Ideally, the clothes should cover your knee and elbow completely. However, the expat women are not required to wear an abaya. Men should wear good quality suits in meetings.

Business Etiquette

People in Kuwait are hospitable and give importance to their cultural norms. Hence, it is vital to understand and follow their culture when working in the country. Greetings are accepted among people of the same gender. So, if you are a man, never offer a handshake to your female employee!

Labor Law

When working and living in Kuwait, it is important to familiarize yourself with the country’s labor law.

The labor condition in Kuwait is governed by three main legal codes-

  • The Labor Law of Oil Sector regulates the employment conditions in the oil sector
  • The Labor Law for Government Employees governs the working conditions of civil servants
  • The Labor Law of Private Sector regulates employment conditions for those working in the private sector

Kuwait Labor Law includes all rules and regulations that any employee should know before accepting the work contract in the country. It also mentions procedures and guidelines that Kuwaiti employers must follow to ensure that an individual is authorized to work in the country. Kuwait Labor Law is subject to amendments, deletion and decrees.

So, get prepared for a challenging, yet promising career in Kuwait!

Author – Swati Srivastava is an avid writer with a keen interest on the extensive domain of job search and career counselling for job seekers in Kuwait and the entire GCC region.

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