International cost of living and hardship / quality of living data for 780 global locations.
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Kuwait is in the Middle East, bordering the Arabian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
The climate is dry desert with intensely hot summers and short, cool winters.
The official language is Arabic. English is widely spoken in business and socially, some knowledge of Arabic is always appreciated. Some sections of the non-Kuwaiti population also speak Persian (Farsi) and Urdu. There is a wider use of English due to the large number of South Asian expatriates working in all sectors of the Kuwaiti economy.
The main religion is Islam.
The economy of Kuwait is a small, relatively open economy with proven crude oil reserves of about 96 billion barrels, i.e. about 10% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 90% of export revenues, and 95% of government income.
In Kuwait conservative local Islamic sensibilities should be respected. Expatriate men should not directly address Kuwaiti women in the street. Couples should not display affection in public places. Alcohol is banned. Expatriate dress code is conservative and respectful of Muslim and Arab cultural sensitivities. Suits for expatriate men, while expatriate women are required to dress conservatively covering the arms and legs. The safety risk for expatriates in Kuwait is low. Risks include low levels of petty and violent crime, and unexploded landmines, booby traps and cluster bombs in the desert from the Gulf wars.
The currency of Kuwait is the Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD). ATMs are available and credit cards are widely accepted.
Health care facilities are of a good standard but can be expensive.
The population is 4 Million (2019 est.), and the inflation rate (CPI) is 1.6% for Kuwait as at November 2019.
The Xpatulator Hypothetical Tax for Kuwait is based on the current personal income tax rate of 0% as there is currently no personal income tax.
Within Kuwait we also cover Kuwait City.
The cost of living for expatriates in Kuwait as at January 2020 is average in comparison to other places in the world. We have collected prices for the same items, world wide, based on Expat spending norms, in or closest to the location, and converted them to $USD so that we can compare the cost of 13 different baskets in 780 global locations. For each basket, compared to New York, the equivalent cost in Kuwait is as follows:1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: for tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$940. 2) Clothing: for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$1210. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$47, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$84, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$86 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$43.3) Communication: for various communication costs such as home telephone rental, internet subscription, mobile service provider tariff and data costs. A basket costing USD$200 in New York costs USD$214. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$26, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.15 per minute.4) Education: for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees and tertiary study fees. A basket costing USD$30000 in New York costs USD$24600. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$16,060 for Primary School, and USD$17,872 for High School.5) Furniture & Appliances: for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas. A basket costing USD$2500 in New York costs USD$1775. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$653, and USD$561 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.6) Groceries: for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$660. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$2.54, 1 kg oranges USD$1.99, 1 head lettuce USD$2.76, 1 kg potatos USD$1.22, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$5.07, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$6.58, 1 dozen large eggs USD$2.50, 500g loaf white bread USD$1.33, 1 L full cream milk USD$1.98, and 1.5 L water USD$0.65.7) Healthcare: for general heath care, doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$590. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$48, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,476.8) Household Accommodation: for items such as apartment rent, house rent, property purchase, mortgage rate, and utilities. A basket costing USD$5000 in New York costs USD$2250. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$3,113 in a central location, and USD$2,026 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.9) Miscellaneous: for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$485. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$9.48, while an international newspaper is USD$2.92.10) Personal Care: for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$330. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$26, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$132.11) Recreation & Culture: for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$575. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$14.96, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$137 per month.12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in a restaurant, and take away food and beverages. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$590. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$6.37, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$0.75, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$8.55, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$51.31.13) Transport: for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), car hire, public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$500. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$0.32, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$19,733.
Kuwait is -11.5% cheaper than USA for groceries, -18.2% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 27.8% more expensive for transport costs than India.
Kuwait is ranked as an extreme hardship location.The hardship premium for Kuwait for an expat from Australia, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Kuwait) premium of 40% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.