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Living in the Middle East guide

Find out all you need to know to relocate and live in the Middle East with the expat guide

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Generalities

General information
  • Located on the Arabian peninsula, Kuwait has a large expat population. It has a desert climate, with high daytime and lower nighttime temperatures.

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  • Here is an overview of the main historical, geographic, political, economic and cultural features of Israel.

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  • Turkey is known as a tourist hub for its economic, cultural and religious backgrounds. It has both breathtaking landscapes and a fascinating history.

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  • The United Arab Emirates have been attracting foreign professionals in large numbers since several years by providing various opportunities.

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  • Qatar is deemed to be one of Middle East's most developed countries thanks to its robust economy and the numerous opportunities offered.

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Formalities

Visas, passports and entry requirements
  • Some important facts about Kuwait, including laws, customs and an overview of the difference neighbourhoods.

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  • Travel formalities in Turkey vary according to the duration of your stay in the country. Citizens of some countries may require a visa.

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  • If you and your future-spouse share the same foreign nationality, you can be married by either Turkish officials or your own officials at your embassy.

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  • If you are planning to travel to Dubai, you will need a visa. Find, in this article, what are the relating formalities.

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Visas

Work visas, work permits, working holiday visas and residence permits
  • Expats' employers should assist with the process of applying for a visa for Kuwait, including for spouses and other family members moving with you.

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  • Gaining the right to stay in Israel longer than 3 months is easy if you are Jewish, and possible under certain conditions for non-Jews.

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  • Whether you wish to study or work in Turkey, you will have to apply for an appropriate visa, be it a student visa, tourist visa, or work visa.

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  • To stay in Turkey for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a more long-term permit within 30 days of arriving in the country.

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  • There are a number of visas for Israel, and the Law of Return allows members of the Jewish community to move to Israel more easily.

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Work

Labour market, how to find a job
  • Finding an internship in the United Arab Emirates can be a difficult task. Expat.com is providing you with some tips to help you find internship in the UAE

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  • Want to become a digital nomad in Turkey? The digital nomad's guide to Turkey will help you make the most of your nomadic life abroad.

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  • Most expats working in Kuwait apply for a position in the country well before arriving there. Some companies may offer inter-company transfers to Kuwait.

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  • Want to become a digital nomad in Israel? The digital nomad's guide to Israel will help you make the most of your nomadic life abroad.

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  • Learn more about Israels vibrant labour market and the opportunities it holds for you.

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Accommodation

How to rent a house or an apartment, leases and rental agreements
  • Kuwait offers a variety of accommodation in different areas of the country. Small and large apartment buildings and villas are readily available.

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  • An outline of the Israeli housing market, including tips to help you find suitable accommodation in Israel.

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  • Ankara, one of Turkey's major cities, has many attractive neighborhoods which offer various housing options. Rent prices are affordable.

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  • Istanbul is known as Turkey's economic capital and it is the country's most densely populated city. It continues to draw expats from around the world.

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  • Izmir, one of Turkey's major cities, is popular for its beach resorts. Its population continues to grow, with additions from the region, and wider world.

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Study

Student visa, University registration
  • Kuwait has a number of further education institutions for potential international students to choose from. You will need a student visa to study in Kuwait.

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  • Israel boasts a world-class education system. Find out more about universities, registration and visas procedures and student accommodation in Israel.

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  • If you are looking for a school for your child or looking into further education, Turkey offers a range of options.

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  • Though the English language is widely used, it will obviously be helpful to familiarise yourself with the Turkish language if you are moving to Turkey.

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  • This article gives readers a basic introduction to learning Turkish by providing a basic overview of some of the more common resources that are available for Turkish language learners.

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Health care

Public and private health systems
  • Kuwait has a developed healthcare system, though free healthcare is only available to Kuwaiti nationals. Expats can access these services for a small cost

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  • Israels top-notch healthcare system is accessible to residents through a quality social security plan.

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  • Turkey has a developed health care system, including quality services and facilities. Foreigners can easily access to these in times of need.

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  • When moving to the United Arab Emirates, health care will probably be one of your main concerns. Here is an overview of the Emirati health care system.

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  • If you are planning to move to Dubai, Expat.com is bringing you essential information about the local health care system.

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Bank

Open and manage a bank account
  • Expats looking to open a bank account in Kuwait will likely be assisted by their employer when doing so. Joint bank accounts are not permitted.

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  • An overview of Israels banking system, along with tips on how to open a bank account in Israel.

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  • Turkey hosts many national and international banks. Hence, foreigners can easily open a bank account provided they have necessary documents.

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  • If you are working in Dubai, you will probably want to open a bank account. Relating procedures are explained to you in this article.

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Tax

Tax system, income tax
  • Kuwait has a favourable tax system that means expats do not pay income tax. Corporate tax is fixed at a flat rate of 15%.

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  • During your stay in Israel, you will be subject to a range of tax including income tax, VAT and land tax.

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  • Turkey has one of the Middle-East's most competitive tax systems. However, income tax, corporate tax, value added tax and wealth tax may apply.

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  • Taxation in the United Arab Emirates is almost nonexistent. There is no tax on individual income, or value-added tax (VAT). Companies are however subject to a municipal tax.

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  • Income tax and value added tax (VAT) do not exist in Qatar. Moreover, it has a non-double taxation agreement with some countries.

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Transports

Train, bus, plane, car rental
  • It is not difficult to get around in Kuwait. Read this article to find the most suitable for you way to move within the country.

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  • Useful information about planes, trains, buses, taxis and shared taxis in Israel.

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  • Various means of transports are available in Turkey: airlines, trains, buses, etc. You may choose from these depending on your trips.

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  • Inexpensive public transport is available in Turkish cities (such as buses, trams and metros. You can also take a taxi to your destination.

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  • The United Arab Emirates host a modern and developed transports system which will allow you travel anywhere. Find out more in this article.

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Driver's licence

Driving requirements
  • If you are moving to Saudi Arabia, you will probably want to drive. Most foreigners have to apply for a national driver's license.

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  • With a tourist visa, you can drive with a foreign or international driver's licence. With a resident visa, however, you will need a Kuwaiti licence.

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  • Learn about the requirements to obtain a valid Israeli drivers licence and the traffic regulations in Israel.

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  • There is a wide road network in Turkey, and expats can use their licence from their country of origin for the first 6 months.

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  • Drivers from certain countries may drive in the UAE with an official translation of their licence. Others will need an Emirati or international licence.

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Removal

moving, formalities and useful tips
  • Moving to a new country can be a stressful event for you and your family, but there are many ways to make the move as stress-free as possible.

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  • Learn more about the conditions under which you can import your belongings and pets into Israel.

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  • If you are moving to Turkey, you will likely want to take your belongings with you. In this case, it is good to consult a moving company in advance.

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  • Before moving to Dubai, make sure to inquire with the customs department regarding products that you are authorized to bring along with you.

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  • Expat.com is bringing you some useful information and tips for a successful and stress free relocation in Dubai.

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Communications

Phone line, internet provider, post office
  • You can keep in touch via internet, mobile phones or using the post in Kuwait. You should use international postal companies when sending packages abroad.

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  • Find out how to stay connected via phone and Internet during your stay in Israel. Expats will find a number of networks to choose from.

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  • Turkey enjoys wide telecommunications coverage. You can access phone and internet networks almost everywhere in the country.

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  • If you have to make phones calls in the United Arab Emirates, there is nothing to worry about. Find all that you need to know in this article.

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  • Nowadays, Internet has become an essentiel part of everyday life. Find out how to subscribe for an Internet connection in the United Arab Emirates.

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Leisure

Sports, leisure and cultural activities
  • There are numerous leisure activities for expats to enjoy in Kuwait, from sports to cultural centres.

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  • Culture, sports, events; you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding what to do on your free time in Israel!

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  • There is so much to discover if you are moving to Istanbul. The city hosts some fifty places of interest and offers various leisure activities to expats.

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  • Turkish cuisine is based on sharing-plates of flavourful dishes, and Turkish coffee is internationally renowned. Dining is a social experience in Turkey.

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  • What are the leisure activities available in the United Arab Emirates? Find all that you need to know about leisure in the UAE in this article.

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Miscellaneous

  • There are various childcare, pre-primary and primary school options for expats in Kuwait. There are also a number of after school activities.

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  • The basic information that expats moving to Israel with children should have.

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  • You are allowed to bring 2 pets (cats, dogs or birds), or 10 aquarium fish with you when travelling to Turkey. All pets must have an identification device.

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  • The Turkish population is world famous for its culture and hospitality. Hence, you should not have much trouble in adapting to their lifestyle.

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  • Turkey has numerous options to keep your child occupied, from day care centres to all manner of entertainment options.

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