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Guide: Kuwait

FACTS AND FIGURES

 

OFFICIAL NAME:

State of Kuwait

NATIONALITY: Kuwaiti
CAPITAL: Kuwait City GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Hereditary Emirate
NATIONAL DAY: February 25 (1950) LAND AREA: 17,820 sqkm (smaller than Bicol Region)
LOCATION: Northeast of the Arabian Peninsula. Lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf.
TERRAIN: flat to slightly undulating desert plain
CLIMATE: Summer: June to September (40'C-50'C); Autumn: October & November (20'C-30'C); Winter: December to March (10'C-19'C but down to 0'C in the deserts; Spring: March to May (20'C-30'C)
NATURAL HAZARDS: Cloudbursts, heavy rains, sandstorms, dust storms.
POPULATION: 2,595,628 (July 2011 est.)
PEOPLE: Kuwaiti-45%, Other Arab-35%, South Asian-9%, Iranian-4%, Others-7%
LANGUAGES: Arabic, English
RELIGION: Islam-85% (Sunni-70%, Shi'a-30%), Christianity, Hindu, Paris, Buddhism-15%
WORKING WEEK: Monday-Thursday, Friday is Muslim rest day. Working hours: 40 and 48 hours.
CURRENCY: Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD), Exchange Rates: 1 KWD = 156.3349 PHP (as of August 31, 2011)
CODE: COUNTRY DIALING =  +965     INTERNET  =  .kw  
TIME DIFFERENCE: UTC/GMT +3; Philippine Time is ahead by 5 hours.

 

REMINDERS:  Living in KUWAIT

Kuwait is a Muslim country and the culture, customs and traditions practiced by its people are purely Arab, based on the teachings of Islam.  Learn about their customs, culture, laws and religion.

1.  If someone greeted you with as-salam, you must answer back; wa-alaikom-as-salam (and also with you).  Remember that not answering a person's greeting is a sin in Islam.

2.  When giving or receiving something or eating, use your right hand.  The left hand is used for cleaning one's dirty parts of the body.

3.  When entering a holy place or a living room, tent, etc, remove your shoes unless you are told not to do so.

4.  Do dress conservatively.  Be aware that Arabs tend to stand a fraction of distance closer when conversing.  Don't tap at the back of anybody.  That's for very close friends only.  Even that is discouraged.

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking between sunrise and sunset. 

5.  Non-Muslim OFWs should refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public or in front of employers, associates and the public.

6.  The importation of narcotics, port products and pornographic books and material is forbidden.

7.  Don't use drugs and never carry any prohibited drugs.

8.  Don't give your address to people of doubful character because if they send you drugs in a letter or package you can be arrested as a pusher too.

9.  Don't use the name of god (Allah), the Qu'ran or prophet Mohammad and other Muslim saints with irreverence like "Mohammad".  It's better to say Alla ta, ala (the most high) or Qu'ran El-karim (Holy Qu'ran) or Rasul Allah (the messenger or Allah) Abi Mohammad (prophet Mohammad), etc.

10.  Don't interrupt, or pass in front of a Muslim who may be praying in public place.

11.  Don't involve yourself in the political activities of the host country.

12.  Don't discuss religion.  This is a very sensitive subject for some Middle Eastern people.

13.  Don't be too familiar with male employee and/or male household workers.  Don't smile at men you don't know.

14.  Don't go out with fellow workers without knowing very well their characters.  Don't go to far places without any reliable companion.

15.  Don't be persuaded by unscrupulous people to transfer employment while contract is still in force.

16.  Don't try to bribe a policeman.  It can cause you big trouble.