Cost of Living in Kuwait
The overall cost of living in Kuwait is similar to that in most European countries.
It is usual for a prospective employer to provide detailed cost of living figures when an expatriate or a foreigner negotiates a work contract. This is useful to help you decide whether the proposed job is financially attractive or even viable.
Rentals are the way to secure accommodation in Kuwait where designs are light and modern. Prices may seem high but air-conditioning is included in the apartment rent, as is satellite television and a swimming pool or fitness gym.
In terms of utilities, Kuwait is quite cheap compared to most European countries. Electricity, water and gas are owned and subsidized by the government. But be mindful during the summer, as air-conditioning costs are expected to escalate.
The country's local currency is Kuwaiti Dinar (KD) and has no restrictions, being easily convertible into any currency of choice. All major credit cards are accepted when shopping in Kuwait, although there are some shops like the co-op (cooperative) types which only accept Visa cards. Local banks encourage expats to open local accounts.
There are plenty of food shops in Kuwait, ranging from corner shops to supermarkets. Co-op stores (supermarkets) are found almost everywhere while supermarkets stock a varied choice of products. While most are high-quality local products, there are many imported goods as well, usually from the US, but the price difference is marked.
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.
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 while the absence of taxation plays a significant role in the low cost of items like cars.
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.
Expat Services in Kuwait
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