Your thoughts about Living in Afghanistan - Kabul


    I'm a new here in Afghanistan forum. I'm now living in Dubai with my family, planning to work in Afghanistan, Sharhr e Naw specifically. I'm a chef and I have a great opportunity waiting for me to work in this region in Kabul. What are your thoughts? I read a lot of article that it is still not safe for expats. Please do let me know.

     Much appreciated!!!


Having worked in Afghanistan for over 2 years I would advise you to ask questions of your employer as to security arrangements for you.
Is your accommodation secure, will you have a driver and a guard. Will they provide full medical insurance cover which includes full medical evacuation.

It is not a safe place to be in.

Hi - thanks a lot for the heads up, really do appreciate it. The employer that I will work with has a company based in Afg, BM Group where they supply armoured vehicles and security. Is there any place/ accommodation for a foreigner like me that you think you can suggest, I'm seeing places like, baron,green valley and chamelot. I will have a meeting with the employer today, just want to know what else should I ask him.

Thanks in advance.

I am also now in Dubai, ,I have done contract work in international development since 2010 in Afgh.  In 2010-12 Kabul was fun and one could move around, go out to restaurants, sightsee ...Now its very different, Security situation is very bad now, restaurants have mostly closed, there is nothing to do at night or Fridays and going into the countryside is impossible,  I just finished my last job there in June.  Now, just go there to work and save money!  Im sure you will have a security manager which will ensure safety at your house and place of work.  Shar e Now, is the main downtown district.  A big threat now is kidnapping of foreign workers there, so this is main reason you should not go out alone walking in the city streets ...unless you can pass for an afghan maybe!  What is your nationality? Who will you go to work for?  You will find several main supermarkets where you can buy a lot of foreign food products but prices are very expensive for imports. Supermarket names are Spinneys ( like in UAE) and Finest.  Then there are many more local supermarkets too which are ok, fresh produce in winter is often quite limited.  Fish is frozen and poor quality.  Alcohol is black market only and very expensive and hard to get. But if you wish to earn decent money and save, its a good idea to go work over there for a few years. Hope this helps - Mare

Hi Mare - I'm Filipino, and i'm living in Dubai for 4 years now(my kids and wife is here as well), I will be working under a Company(BM Group) who's main service is armoured vehicle and security, they are planing to have a Brazilian Churrascaria Restaurant(steak house) in Shahr e Naw. I'm really worried about being safe in Kabul, he told me he will organized security and accommodation for me and my team that will travel to Afg. I've read that there are some heavily secured compound that is accessible in everyday needs, you know something about it? In your knowledge, where is the place to stay with little extra pay?

Thank you so much Mare, I'm reading some of your threads, it really help people specially on newbies like me, may GOD bless you always.

THANKS - Luigi

No problem I am happy to help - A Brazilian restaurant - that sounds interesting!
Is BM company a local aghan one?
Yes there are 'secure compounds" - they are near the airport and they are hugely expensive to live in, and in my opinion b their very nature, they are targets. There is one called The Baron near the airport , another called Chamelot also near aiport ( airpot itself is high target area) and one calle dGreen Village out on Jalalabad road outside city centre ...I would not recommend as they have all been hit by bomb attempts last few years and they continue to be a threat as the bad guys know those compounds are full of foreigners who can not and do not go outside. In the compoundsa re gyms, shops, restaurants, etc.

its better you use a small, low profile guest house/hotel near to your work, Limit your time driving out in the streets. The compounds will require a long drive to get to and from Shar e Naw. Park Star hotel is good and safe and low profile or Kabul Star. Your employer will know of these; they are both in shar e naw as are other low profile small-ish hotels/guest houses which afghans use too and they are never targets - These types of places will offer you a decent package room plus food for a decent rate in USD$.

Do not worry, your employer will provide all security, its standard. Limit your time in the streets, be low profile, avoid high profile places like compounds, and you will be fine. You will work hard though as nothing else to do! Make sure , however that his new restaurant does not illegally serve alcohol, if so they are asking for trouble! Many international restaurants used to serve booze under the table, but all got hit by suicide bombers so all are closed now!  If you are a simple law abiding restaurant, no problem.

You honestly have more chance of getting killed in a bad car wreck here in Dubai then having anything happen to you in Kabul- really!  Media makes big stories all the time.

when might you go over to Kabul - my husband works there so Im going for Christmas - call me here if you need anything on 056 9854755 - Mare

PS - tell me what accommodation your employer suggests and Ill tell you what I know
Also my husband there works for a security company so I can ask his opinion too and let you know

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