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Kuwait is small enough that the entire country is treated more like one large city. The country is divided into six governates – Al Asimah, Hawalli, Farwaniya, Mubarak Al-Kabeer, Ahmadi, and Jahra. These six governates are then each split into different areas, which are like neighbourhoods or small towns. Each area is then divided into blocks. Addresses in Kuwait are usually communicated by listing the area, block number, street, and building number. For example, Salmiya, Block 6, Hamad Al Mubarak Street, Building 1234. The governate is typically not necessary when communicating an address; however, some companies will ask for it in the shipping information.

Governates and areas in Kuwait

Arriving in Kuwait

Kuwait is a Muslim country. This should be kept in mind when travelling or moving to the area. As a Muslim country, certain laws are in place to uphold Muslim standards, and additional customs are expected to be followed.

Alcohol and pork products are not allowed into the country. All bags will go through the x-ray system before leaving the airport — this can be followed by a manual inspection if desired by airport security personnel. Pork products include pork food products, pig-skin, pig-skin products, and medication derived from pork. Attempted importation of any of these products can result in imprisonment.

Legal considerations

As an expat in Kuwait, please keep in mind that you are subject to all Kuwait laws. There is no leniency given to those who are unfamiliar with Kuwait’s laws.

It is illegal to move your vehicle in the event of a crash until a police officer arrives. It is also illegal to be without proper identification in Kuwait. You must carry either your passport or civil ID with you at all times. Police officers can request to see your identification at any time. If you are unable to provide it you are subject to immediate arrest with possible deportation. Homosexuality is also illegal, as is public displays of affection between men and women, and the cohabitation of unmarried couples.

Special considerations

It is customary for women to dress modestly in loose fitting clothing at all times, but particularly during the Holy month of Ramadan. Shoulders and knees are expected to be covered. Ramadan brings many additional laws that must be strictly observed by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. You must not eat or drink anything, including water, in public during day-time hours. All restaurants will not open until the breaking of fast in the evening. Smoking in public is also illegal as it is defined as a pleasurable experience. Breaking these laws will result in a fine and imprisonment for the duration of Ramadan.

 Useful links

Kuwait Legislations and Laws

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