Kuwait in Brief
Kuwait is located in the Middle East. Kuwait shares its borders with Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Iraq. Most of the country is a flat desert plain, broken by coastal dunes and escarpments, marshes and salt depressions around Kuwait Bay, and an oasis in Jahra. The country has nine offshore islands. Kuwait is essentially a city-state. There are smaller communities inland and to the south, but most of the population lives in Kuwait City.
Kuwait is a small, oil-rich country nestling at the top of the Gulf, flanked by large or powerful neighbors’ - Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq to the north and Iran to the east.
Its oil fields were first exploited in the 1930s, and since the development of the petroleum industry after World War II and independence in 1961, oil has dominated the economy, making up around 90% of export revenues.
Kuwait has many historic and modern landmarks. One of the most important landmarks in Kuwait is the Kuwait towers. The Kuwait Towers were designed to resemble traditional Arabian Rose water Sprinklers. Inside the structure there is a superb coffee house and a revolving observation platform.
Another landmark is Kuwait's Sadu House. The Sadu House mainly exhibits Bedouin art displays. Visitors can observe Bedouin women weaving, buy handicrafts, or even take weaving classes.
The walls surrounding old Kuwait City - were torn down in 1957 but the city gates are still standing making it a very interesting visit.
Some other places of interest in Kuwait you might find interesting are:
The Sief Palace
The National Museum
The Science and Natural History Museum
The Green Island
The Entertainment City
The Old Souk
The Friday Souk
Kuwait Scientific Center
The Sour (old surrounding walls) of Kuwait
Kuwait's weather consists mostly of hot long summers and short winters. Dust storms and humidity are regulars during the summer period while in the winter it can get quite chilly and rain fall can come in sudden heavy but irregular bursts.
Hints for Visitors
Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially during the summer.
When exposed to the sun, drink plenty of fluids.
Kuwaitis make up around 37 percent of the population while the other 63 percent of the population consists of non-Kuwaitis; which makes it an interesting multiracial and multicultural country to visit. According to a report made at the end of June 2001 from the Ministry of Planning the estimated population of Kuwait is 2,228,363 million, 826,083 of them are Kuwaiti while the other 1,402,280 are expatriates.
The official and native language of Kuwait is Arabic. Though the Kuwaitis speak the Gulf dialects (all other Arabic dialects are understandable). English is also widely used in the State of Kuwait.
The Kuwaiti work week is mostly from Saturday to Wednesday, with Thursday and Friday making up a weekend. Banks and insurance companies work Sundays through Thursdays in order to coordinate with the international money markets and many of the private offices work half days on Thursdays. The government day is from 7:300 AM to 1:30 PM in the winter and 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM in the summer. The hours of private companies vary, with some working split shifts around a long mid - day break, while others have adapted to a western work day. Shops are generally open from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM and from 4:30 PM to 9:30 PM. While some malls have adapted to a 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM working day. However all timings are liable to change during Ramadan, with working hours becoming very irregular and shorter.
The Kuwaiti unit of currency is the Kuwaiti Dinar consists of 1000 fils and abbreviated "KD". The Kuwaiti Dinar is one of the strongest currencies in the Gulf. The paper currency comes in denominations of twenty dinars, ten dinars, five dinars, one dinar, half a dinar, and a quarter of a dinar. The coin denominations come in 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5 fils. Currently one KD. Equals approximately 3.4 U.S. Dollars.