Shipping to Kuwait
Are you looking to move to Kuwait but are unsure on how to go about getting your personal effects shipped there? Many people have moved locally or even across the country but moving to the Middle East is a whole new experience in itself, with added pressures and considerations.
That is where choosing the right international removal company is crucial. With so many to choose from, it is not an easy task. With 145 years’ experience in the international removals business, there is nothing White & Company haven’t seen or moved before.
As founder members of the industry recognised regulators of BAR, FIDI & OMNI you can be assured of the highest industry standards in our door to door service and know that your precious belongings will be treated with care from collection in the UK to delivery at your new home in Kuwait.
Why Move to Kuwait?
Kuwait is an oasis of desert plains situated on the Persian Gulf with an abundance of beautiful beaches spread across 9 separate islands. A real rags to riches story, this oil-rich emirate has recovered from a turbulent political and economic history to reposition itself as a thriving business and commerce hub in the heart of the Middle East.
A popular expat destination, some 70% of Kuwait’s 4.3 million population are estimated to hail from overseas. Even though the government has begun to limit the number of foreigners working and living here many still seeking out opportunities to experience an affluent lifestyle here, thanks in large part to the absence of personal income tax.
The cost of living is also very favourable when you consider monthly outgoings in Kuwait City are generally considered to be 34% more cheaper than a comparable city like Dubai and the public infrastructure is just as good with excellent transport hubs and international links.
The attractive array of leisure activities is also behind behind the rise in expat numbers with a well-established expat community and plenty of opportunities to socialise and make new friends. From jet skis on the beach to air-conditioned malls, Kuwait ticks the boxes across all departments. Salmiya Kuwait waterfront, known as the Corniche is a great place to run or have an evening stroll and offers stunning backdrop views of the capital.
The weather is scintillating hot year-round and takes some getting used to, particularly in the height of the summer months. Many expats report missing walking to places which is inadvisable either because of the heat or the absence of pavements. Being a predominately Islamic country, there are also certain customs and practices to adhere to. Women are advised to dress moderately and drinking and smoking in public places is considered an arrestable offence.
Despite these initial culture shocks, most expats report little issue with working an living in Kuwait and often say that they feel very safe and secure and enjoy a better quality of life than in the west.
Working in Kuwait
Many expatriates working in Kuwait are employed in the oil industry, although due to the recent drop in oil prices, Kuwait’s economy has begun to shrink.
The fastest growing fields in the service sector have been real estate, medicine, business services, and finance which all offer various opportunities for expats.
There are many multinational companies operating in Kuwait however, finding a job in the country is not as easy as it was few years ago, especially if you are moving with a partner. Kuwait is encouraging its local workforce to take more jobs higher up the career ladder and express preference is given to local candidates over foreign workers.
Foreigners generally are not granted citizenship, irrespective of how long they have been a resident of Kuwait. To live and work in Kuwait, expatriates must obtain a residency visa (iqama). This visa can only be issued based on a valid employment offer from a private company or a Kuwaiti government organization. The Kuwaiti employer then applies for the iqama on behalf of the expatriate employee. You are then issued a ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) with which you can enter Kuwait.
Visit the following web sites for further information on working in Kuwait:
Kuwait has the highest literacy rate in the Arab world. The general education system consists of four levels: kindergarten, primary, intermediate and secondary. Schooling at primary and intermediate level is compulsory for all students aged 6 – 14. All the levels of state education, including higher education are free for Kuwaiti children.
You will find that there are many different private schools in Kuwait. From Indian and Pakistani to American and British schools, expats have a wide variety of choice when it comes to international schools. Western private schools are extremely expensive unless your employment contract either pays in full or subsidises private education. The Bayan Bilingual School, the American School of Kuwait, the American International School, the British School of Kuwait, and the French School are just some of the many prestigious private schools available to the Kuwaiti population.
The following site has a selection of international schools and education information:
In 2014/15 the Cabinet for the Government in Kuwait approved the principle that foreigners could own property in Kuwait, subject to strict conditions. This overturned a longstanding law which restricted property ownership in Kuwait only to citizens of Kuwait. The purchase of a house, apartment or land does not entitle the owner to residency status however.
Purchasing property is not an easy process and is fraught with red tape so you will need to do plenty of research beforehand. Most expats, especially newcomers, will prefer to search for a property via an estate agent who has a solid reputation amongst the expat community.
The average cost of purchasing property is currently at KWD 1,771 (£4355) per square metre in the centre of the city. Towards the outskirts of the city this drops to KWD 1281 (£3150).
For the majority of expats looking to stay in Kuwait for a short period of time renting a property is the best option. Rental costs are comparable with many European cities. The cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city costs in the region of KWD 278 (£683) per month and on the outskirts KWD 224 (£550)
The following web sites have a selection of properties for sale or rent:
When you move to a new country, and are importing used household effects, there are certain essential documents that customs will need in order to clear your effects. Like most worldwide countries Kuwait has very strict importation regulations and consequences if regulations are not adhered to.
There are certain items which are strictly prohibited and will be open to hefty fines or even imprisonment if importing them is attempted such as narcotics/illegal drugs of any kind, medicines pornographic materials, and political, military & religious materials/ literature & icons contrary to the Kuwaiti government, Islam, and/or Arab beliefs and teachings.
To ensure that you do not incur any heavy fines due to customs delays, it is imperative that you familiarise yourself with Kuwait’s customs regulations before your arrival.
Moving to Kuwait is a thrilling opportunity, but also one that requires dedication, plenty of organisation and time to research. For some helpful tips and information on settling into life in Kuwait, visit some of the many Expat forums online:
Kuwait City has no shortage of transportation options whether for tourists or residents. Plans are being prepared to build a railway system in future, but, buses, cars or taxis are the only means of common public transport available in Kuwait at present. The local bus system is cheap and extensive however and taxis are considered by expats to be a reliable and cost efficient alternative to running a car in Kuwait.
For those expats intending to drive, on first arrival in Kuwait, you may drive using an International Driving Permit. When a new Kuwaiti civil ID has been issued, you must change to a local driver’s license. Note however that while Kuwait enjoys well-developed infrastructure main roads and expressways are subject to heavy traffic during peak hours, and accident rates are comparatively high.
Health care needs in Kuwait are evolving rapidly in line with its changing economic and population profile. The country has a state-funded healthcare system, which provides treatment without charge to Kuwaiti nationals. There are outpatient clinics in every residential area in Kuwait.
A public insurance scheme exists to provide reduced cost healthcare to expatriates. Private healthcare providers also run medical facilities in the country, available to members of their insurance schemes.
Expats have been required to join a public insurance scheme since 2006 and must provide evidence they have done so when renewing residency permits. These mandatory annual health care plans have a minimum level of cover, so expats must pay for medical appointments, tests, surgery and medicines.
You must ensure that you have adequate medical cover before you arrive in the country.
There are plenty of health insurance companies on the market offering a range of insurance packages:
Shipping My Effects to Kuwait
The whole moving experience can be incredibly stressful, especially so when relocating abroad. White & Company, with its 145 years of experience in the removal industry, can help make the process a lot less traumatic.
White & Company move thousands of families around the globe each year and have branches all over the UK. We can arrange a free no obligation home survey and quotation. This will be carried out by one of our qualified surveyors, who is able to answer any of the questions and concerns you may have and offer advice where necessary.
The purpose of the survey is to determine the volume of effects you will be shipping. The cost of shipment is based on the space your effects will take up in our vehicle if transportation is by road and in a container if being shipped by sea. Following the visit, you will receive a written quotation.
White & Company
Providing International Removals since 1871
We recommend a visit from one of our Surveyors for all International moves, so that we can assess your requirements, and the volume of goods to be moved.
Main cities in Kuwait
What Others Say…
Wayne Middleton and Brian Witherford were professional and extremely helpful. Did a brilliant job. Would recommend Whites to anyone. Thanks very much.
Have used this company regularly for 5 years including my time in the armed forces. They are professional and efficient. Will use them again on our next move.
The move went very smoothly and they were very polite.
A very smooth move by White and Co. The team worked very hard and were polite, professional and helpful.