Thursday, June 12, 2014

12 rules to help you enjoy life in Kuwait

Read something interesting today. So sharing with my readers...

12 rules to help you enjoy life in Kuwait

This article provides basic recommendations on how to enjoy your life in Kuwait. The lack of development in all aspects of life in Kuwait has meant that people here – Kuwaitis and expats alike – have a harder time and less options for enjoying life than their fellows in other neighboring countries like Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. I mean, as Kuwaitis, we are stuck here, but for the expats, why would you come here if you could be in Dubai or Doha instead? 
Life in Kuwait can sometimes be pretty boring. No matter how biased one can be in favor of one’s homeland, it’s always beneficial to acknowledge the limitations and deficiencies of it. Such acknowledgements serve as a gate to self-criticism, which is a necessary prerequisite to making recommendations and offering solutions as to how to improve the experience of living here.
Having pretty much given up on all those governmental promises, I’ve formulated some suggestions and rules of my own for helping to enjoy life in static Kuwait, apparently frozen in its very own time warp, so here they are:
1.    Follow Politics. Do not miss political intercourse in Kuwait. All political actors here have their special sense of humor, whether comical lies and promises by ministers, or stupid proposals by MPs. It gets even funnier when people take to the street to protest, you get women dancing, swearing at ministers, and all kinds of amusing slogans.
2.    Don’t get involved in the Kuwait stock market. Do not let your life become dependent on colors, today green, tomorrow red. Rational economic and political order is missing in this country, which is reflected in the market. But let’s face it, it’s always fun to watch how people react to instantly making or losing money when it’s not your money.

3.    You NEED (wasta) connections. You cannot enjoy your life in Kuwait without having wasta. You will certainly need to renew your driving license, get a job for your visiting younger brother, extend his visit if he cannot find a job; these simple procedures will turn into pure suffering if you do not know someone who can help facilitate the process.

4.    When June comes, get out as fast as possible. It’s oven-hot, and there is neither water nor electricity, do not come back before September.

5.    If you do follow rule number four, do NOT use Kuwait Airways. Truly a horrible experience!!

6.    Friendships? If you are a Kuwaiti, make friends with expats; if you are an expat, make friends with Kuwaitis. The interaction and exchange of views and insights are fun.

7.    Visit a diwaniya. At least once a week even if you don’t like it, it’s important. It’s where you achieve Rule #3.

8.    Do not watch Kuwaiti football. Do not watch Kuwaiti football league as it is extremely weak and very boring.

9.    Join one of those health clubs or spas. Well, if you can afford them, of course. They are nice and you will enjoy your time there, but they are ridiculously expensive.

10.    Movies: forget about cinema in Kuwait. The Kuwait Cinema Company is months behind its counterparts in the west and even those in the region. Get smuggled DVDs from one of those places in Hawally or Salmiya. Sorry, IPR guys!

11.    Starbucks: Make peace with Starbucks, you have to like it, they are everywhere, and chances are you will end up in one of them, so accept the fact that Starbucks is a part of your life.

12.    Read Kuwait Times – every day! It will keep you up to date on local politics, provide funny stories about not-so-smart criminals, give you material to discuss with your Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti friends, and it can easily be found in any Starbucks.

(Editor’s Note: Kuwait Times occasionally publishes articles and columns from our archives. Please let us know if there is a ‘blast from the past’ you would like to see again by emailing us at

Originally published in the Kuwait Times in January 17, 2007.)

By Meshary Alruwaih

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