Life In Kuwait
Kuwait is located in the Middle East and borders the Arabian Gulf between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It is approximately 6,879 miles squared (17,818 sq KM), consisting of the mainland and has 9 islands, of which Failaika is the largest. The country is mainly flat but does have a desert plain.
It is a small, independent Arab state. The official language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and political links with the UK are good. Kuwait was a British Protectorate until the early 1960s and so there is a large British community in the country.
Kuwait City is the capital city, and administrative centre of Kuwait. It is the only substantial town, and the vast majority of the population live in or around it. As such a small country, the school campuses and accommodation blocks are no more than a 10-15 minute drive from the nearest impressive malls, and both less than a 10 minute drive from the coast- it’s also quite a comfortable walk (if you don’t mind the heat!)
Kuwait is one of the six countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council or GCC states. It therefore has close ties and links to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar although it probably has more in common with Saudi Arabia in terms of culture and development. Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are less than an hour away by plane, and you can drive to the Saudi or Iraqi border in around 1 hour from the city.
For those willing to put in the effort there is a surprising amount to do in Kuwait, from golf, shopping, eating, horse and camel riding, shopping, eating, go-karting, quad-biking, shopping, sailing, desert camping, eating, diving and shopping! Did I mention that there is lots of shopping and eating- the malls and markets are plentiful and the food is fabulous!
Kuwait is a desert country with intensely hot summers and cool short winters. During the months of March and April north-westerly winds can bring in dust storms. In the late summer the temperature is affected by humidity. The end of November cooler weather sets in dropping as low as -6C (-21F) at night with daytime temperatures between 10 to 17C (50 to 60F) during the day. The winter in Kuwait is colder than other Gulf countries because it is situated on further north and is affected by the cold winds from Iraq and Iran.
For those who have chosen to come and live and work in Kuwait, it is generally described as the perfect combination of a traditional Arabic lifestyle with enough 'westernisation' so you don't feel too homesick!