Muna Al-Fuzai

Over the years, I have become accustomed to hearing inquiries from people who want to work in Kuwait, but are not sure about this decision and if they should make this move or not.

This question often comes to me from potential expatriates to Kuwait, especially Europeans and Asians. It is natural that they do not understand the nature of Arab and Gulf countries. Their knowledge about our countries often comes from the media, news and friends, which may be bad or good.

I believe that it is not easy for anyone to move from their home country to a new land, whether to work or study in countries that are different in religion, culture and history. If your choice will be a place like Kuwait, then a newcomer should take into account cultural, social and religious differences.

They should be aware that Kuwait, for example, is a religiously conservative country compared to other Gulf states, as there are no nightclubs and liquor is forbidden. Therefore, the newcomer’s acceptance of Kuwait’s lifestyle is important, but life is not difficult. There are many things that make life comfortable financially, like a salary, especially if it is rewarding, as a good income can be realized in a short period.

Living expenses are not very cheap but acceptable. I think prices in Kuwait are relatively reasonable compared to other countries, and there are no taxes – yet. Any person who has been offered a contract of employment in any country in the world – and not only Kuwait – must be cautious and read and review carefully the work contract with a lawyer or a legal authority to ensure their financial and moral rights are secure in case of a dispute or termination or even the normal ending of the contract. Also, the time duration of the contract, any penalty conditions and the nature of the workplace must be reviewed to avoid problems.

Information about the workplace can easily be found online, whether it is a company, hospital, etc. I also think it is important that what is mentioned in the employment contract must match the information you receive verbally over the phone or by email. Communication with the embassy of their home country in Kuwait is also important to ensure that the embassy is informed of the offer and to become aware of the nature of the country, its culture and people. There is a system here called the sponsorship system, which acts as a legal guarantor before official authorities. I advise newcomers to Kuwait to check the reputation of the sponsor in the community to avoid problems. Kuwait is a cosmopolitan country – it is open to diverse cultures and nationalities.

This is a positive thing, as the new expat will not feel bored or lonely. Also, freedom of religion is guaranteed. Kuwait is a very hot country in summer and cold in winter, but the beauty is that air-conditioning is everywhere, from the car to the office. Obtaining a driving license is easy for an expatriate with experience and a driving permit. I believe that the decision to accept a job in Kuwait is completely personal, and it should not be based on the experiences of certain people or news reports. Verifying the validity of the contract and its terms is the most important thing. I wish good luck to all those who decide to come to Kuwait!

By Muna Al-Fuzai
muna@kuwaittimes.net