Doing Business in Kuwait

Doing Business in Kuwait?
Business in Kuwait
Entry Visas and Work Permits
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
Offset Programme
Disclosure Law
Intellectual Property
Audit and Accounting Regulations and Practices
Geography and Climate
A member of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, formerly named and still commonly called the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Kuwait is situated on the northwest corner of the Arabian Gulf, between Saudi Arabia in the south and Iraq in the north. It covers a land area of approximately 18,000 sq km.

Kuwait City, the capital, lies on the northern coast of Kuwait Bay and is provided with natural protection by the sea.

The country is almost entirely flat desert, gradually rising away from the sea to its highest point of approximately 300 meters above sea level.

Kuwait is known for its hot, dry, desert climate throughout the year. In summer (April to October) the average temperature is 44°C, although it can reach as high as 51 °C, often accompanied by sandstorms.

Winter (November to February) is short but mild with temperatures ranging from highs of 18°C to lows of zero. Autumn and spring are short seasons; occasional rain falls only in the winter months.
Islam is the country's official religion, which does not contradict in any way with freedom of worship. Religion structure is as follows: Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shia 30%), other (includes Christian, Hindu, Parsi) 15%
Arabic is the official language of Kuwait. However, English is widely understood and used in commercial circles.

Kuwaitis use a dialect that has its own linguistic characteristics and is the everyday colloquial language used. It is close to formal Arabic.
In 2008, the population reached 2,691,158 includes 1,291,354 non-nationals, as follow Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7% . Age structure of the Population is as follows: 0-14 years: 26.4% (male 361,150/female 348,518) , 15-64 years: 70.7% (male 1,219,075/female 683,587) & 65 years and over: 2.9% (male 49,163/female 29,665) (2009 est.)

Most of the population resides in Kuwait City and its suburbs, particularly in places that overlook the coast of the Arabian Gulf.
Government and Political System
Kuwait is a hereditary emirate. For nearly 250 years it has been governed in unbroken succession by a member of the AI-Sabah family, who arrived in Kuwait in the 17th century from the central part of what is now Saudi Arabia.

In 1961 Kuwait gained full sovereignty from the United Kingdom. Treaties that had established a special relationship between the two countries were abrogated at that time.

The present Emir is H.H Sheik Sabah AI-Ahmad AI-Jaber AI-Sabah, who has ruled since 2005. The Crown Prince is H.H. Sheik Nawwaf AI-Ahmad AI-Jaber AI-Sabah; the Prime Minister is H.H Sheik Nassir AI-Muhammad AI-Ahmad AI-Sabah. Succession alternates between the families of Jaber and Salem.
The Kuwaiti currency is the Kuwaiti Dinar (KD), which is divided into 1,000 units known as fils. The KD is freely convertible.
Kuwait is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The country does not observe daylight saving time. Time differences and flying times from Kuwait to some major world cities are as follows:
Time Difference
Flight Time
Hong Kong
Los Angeles
New York
Business Hours
A five-day working week is normal in Kuwait. Public services and schools are closed on Friday and Saturday. The following are the normal business hours:
Ministries:7:00am to 2:00pm (April through October) or 7:30am to 2:30pm (November through March) from Sunday through Thursday
Oil companies: 7:00am to 3:00pm from Sunday through Thursday
Banks: 7:30am to 2:30pm from Sunday through Thursday
Business sector: between 8:00am and 5:00pm from Sunday through Thursday (often with a one-hour lunch break, which is the main meal of the day) and 8:00am to 1 :00pm on Thursday
Shops: 9:00am to 1 :30pm and 4:00pm to 9:00pm from Sunday through Thursday
Public Holidays
The Government and companies generally follow the Gregorian calendar. The Islamic calendar is seldom used for business purposes, but it does determine certain religious holidays. The following are the dates of the secular holidays in Kuwait as per 2009.
1 Jan
New Year's Day.
25 Feb
National Day.
26 Feb
Liberation Day.
9 Mar
Mouloud (Birth of the Prophet).
20 Jul
Al-Esra Wa Al-Meraj (Ascension of the Prophet).
21 Sep
Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan).
28 Nov
Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice).
18 Dec
Islamic New Year.