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Rules in Kuwait

The basics of living in Kuwait: understanding the culture and following the rules


Traveling to a new country can be an exciting adventure, but it’s important to remember that each destination has its own set of rules and cultural norms. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these guidelines to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience. In this article, we will explore the key elements of living in Kuwait, including important rules and cultural norms that foreigners should be aware of. Whether you’re planning a trip or considering a more long-term stay, understanding the expectations and regulations of Kuwaiti society will help you navigate the country with ease.

Key Elements

Dress Code

One important aspect of Kuwaiti culture is the dress code. It is customary for both men and women to dress modestly in public. Women are expected to cover their shoulders and wear loose-fitting clothing that covers their knees. It is also common for women to wear a headscarf, although it is not mandatory. Men should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts in public, opting for long pants and shirts instead.

Respect for Islam

Kuwait is an Islamic country, and it is essential to respect and adhere to Islamic customs and practices. This includes being mindful of prayer times and avoiding eating, drinking, or smoking in public during the holy month of Ramadan. It is also important to avoid any disrespectful behavior towards religious symbols or traditions.

Personal Conduct

In Kuwait, it is important to be aware of your personal conduct in public. Public displays of affection, such as hugging or kissing, should be avoided, as they are considered inappropriate. Additionally, it is important to be respectful and polite in all interactions with locals, as this is highly valued in Kuwaiti culture.

Laws and Regulations

It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations of Kuwait to ensure a safe and legal stay. Some important rules to note include:

  • Alcohol: Kuwait follows Sharia law, which prohibits the sale and consumption of alcohol. It is illegal to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages in public places.
  • Photography: Taking photographs of government buildings, military installations, and civilian infrastructure is strictly prohibited and can lead to legal consequences.
  • Drug Laws: The possession and use of illegal drugs are strictly prohibited and can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment.

It is important to note that these are just a few examples, and it is advisable to research and adhere to all laws and regulations governing your stay in Kuwait.

Customs and Etiquette

Understanding Kuwaiti customs and etiquette is essential to ensure respectful interactions with locals. Some key points to consider include:

  • Greeting: When meeting someone in Kuwait, it is customary to greet them with a handshake. However, it is important to note that Kuwaiti men may not extend their hand to women unless the woman initiates the handshake.
  • Eye Contact: Maintaining eye contact during conversations is a sign of respect and attentiveness.
  • Gift Giving: If invited to a Kuwaiti’s home, it is customary to bring a small gift, such as chocolates or flowers, as a token of appreciation.

Tips for Traveling

Now that we have explored the key elements of living in Kuwait, here are some practical tips to consider while traveling to the country:

  1. Respect local customs and traditions: Embrace the culture and show respect for local customs, traditions, and religious practices.
    • Subtip: Research and familiarize yourself with basic Arabic greetings to show politeness and appreciation for the local language.
  2. Dress modestly: Follow the dress code mentioned earlier to ensure that you blend in with the local culture and avoid any unwanted attention.

  3. Stay updated on travel advisories: Before traveling to Kuwait, stay updated on any travel advisories or warnings issued by your government to ensure your safety.

  4. Carry identification documents: Always carry your passport or a copy of it with you, as you may be required to present identification at various checkpoints.

  5. Take local transportation: Utilize the local transportation system, such as taxis or buses, to navigate the city. Ensure you have the contact information of reliable taxi services or ride-hailing apps.

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is important to consult official sources and seek professional advice to ensure compliance with the rules, laws, and cultural norms of Kuwait. Laws and regulations can change over time, and it is the traveler’s responsibility to stay informed and respectful during their stay.

By following the rules and cultural norms of Kuwait, you can make the most of your journey and create lasting memories in this beautiful country.