Cost of Living in Kuwait
Kuwait is without a doubt, one of the most sought after destinations in the Middle East. This oil-rich country radiates the promise of success and a better future for all aspiring expats who are willing to embrace the local overall cost of living which is similar to that in most European countries.
The overall cost of living in this Arab state is high compared to its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member whereas consumer prices are roughly 23.87 lower in Bahrain. Though Kuwait ranked as the 18th most expensive country in the world, life here is still relatively more affordable than in Qatar, United Arab Emirates and other prime expat destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Norway. The lack of taxation has a great contribution on reducing the high cost of living in Kuwait, but there is still an overwhelming price for selected items mainly the imported goods. Expats in this country should know that being able to save up will strongly depend on their lifestyle whereas those who choose to live lavishly will certainly have financial issues.
Average Rental Costs
Rentals are the way to secure accommodation in Kuwait where designs are light and modern. The cost for housing is the second highest expenditure in this country as it consumes around 31.5% of a person or household’s monthly income. There are plenty of properties being developed across Kuwait, so expats don’t have to worry about not finding the most suitable accommodation for them. Types of housing range from high-rise condominiums to large villas to renovated apartment blocks. Furnished units are also available but are mostly 25% pricier than the unfurnished ones. The average monthly rents on decent, but unfurnished rentals in Kuwait are listed below:
- One bedroom apartment (city centre) – KWD 285 or USD 930
- One bedroom apartment (outside the city centre) – KWD 230 or USD 760
- Three bedroom apartment (city centre) – KWD 590 or USD 1,930
- Three bedroom apartment (outside the city centre) – KWD 460 or USD 1,450
- Two bedroom apartment – KWD 300-460 or USD 1,000-1,500
- Two to three bedroom villa – KWD 550-690 or USD 1,800-2,250
Cost of Utilities
Prices may seem high, but air-conditioning is included in the apartment rent, as is satellite television and a swimming pool or fitness gym. Regarding utilities, Kuwait is quite cheap compared to most European countries. Electricity, water and gas are owned and subsidised by the government whereas the water bill is usually part of the electricity bill. Expats should be mindful of their electric consumption during the summer, as air-conditioning costs are expected to escalate.
- Electric, water and heating – KWD 14.05 or USD 46.05
- One minute of local prepaid call – KWD 0.05 or USD 0.15
- Internet connection of up to 10mbps – KWD 12.00 or USD 40.00
Cost of Basic Needs
Meat prices are reasonable, including imported meat. Being a coastal city, fish and seafood is cheap and bountiful. Locally produced fruits and vegetables are also cheap and come in abundance. Imported fruits and vegetables, which are considered high in quality, may be slightly pricier, but still, everything is within most people's budget. Soda and carbonated drinks are cheap. Alcohol-free beer is recently available in cans or bottles, with prices slightly lower than in the United Kingdom but higher than the average European prices. There are plenty of food shops in Kuwait, ranging from corner shops to supermarkets. Co-op stores (supermarkets) are found almost everywhere while major grocers such as Lulu Hypermarket and Carrefour stock varied choice of products.
- One litre of milk – KWD 0.47 or USD 1.55
- Loaf of fresh bread – KWD 0.30 or USD 0.95
- A dozen eggs – KWD 0.57 or USD 1.90
- One kilo of white rice – KWD 0.60 or USD 1.95
- One kilo of local cheese – KWD 2.00 or USD 6.40
- One kilo of boneless chicken breast – KWD 1.62 or USD 5.30
- One kilo of beef – KWD 3.00 or USD 9.75
- One kilo of apples – KWD 0.65 or USD 2.10
- One kilo of oranges – KWD 0.55 or USD 1.80
- One kilo of onions – KWD 0.36 or USD 1.20
- One kilo of tomatoes – KWD 0.50 or USD 1.65
Lower import duties have allowed electronic goods such as televisions, DVD players and even computer hardware and software to be sold at relatively cheap prices. Expats have varied choices to make from imported to local products. In general, the Kuwaiti market remains consumer-friendly whether one is a local, a tourist or an expat.
Cost of Daily Transportation
Driving is a typical way to get around in Kuwait because of the cheap gas prices which expats will find more affordable than the cost of fuel in their home country. When it comes to public transport, taxis are the most commonly used by the locals since they are easily situated in most residential areas and within the business district. Those who want to ride the cheapest mode of public transportation should opt for the buses which have routes across the state.
- One way bus ticket – KWD 0.25 or USD 0.85
- Monthly bus pass – KWD 15.00 or USD 50.00
- Taxi flag down rate – KWD 1.00 or USD 3.30
- Taxi additional rate per kilometre – KWD 1.00 or USD 3.30
- One litre of gasoline – KWD 0.10 or USD 0.25
Expat Services in Kuwait
Don't miss our Expat Services in Kuwait