Cost of Living
Depending on how frugal you are with you with money, Kuwait can be a very expensive place to live. About the only commodity that's inexpensive is gasoline. Kuwait's currency, the Dinar, has more buying power than the US Dollar (1KD=$3.50), the Euro (1KD=2.60 Euros) or the British Pound (1KD=£2.30).
Below are some examples of what one might expect to pay for basic necessities in Kuwait.
- Rent - 1 or 2 bedroom flats/apartments between 200-350KD. More spacious, 3-4 bedroom homes between 600-950 + KD per month. Many owners request six months advance rent.
- Utilities - Electricity, water and garbage are included in monthly rent. Some apartments come with Internet access and a landline telephone. It's not uncommon for many high-rise apartment buildings to have on site/in house handyman living in the building.
- Mobile telephone service - Kuwaitis love their iPhones and Blackberry devices! Mobile plans start as low as a 5KD per month. Zain, Wataniya and Viva are the main providers in Kuwait.
- Gasoline - super cheap and sold by the litre for @0.063 files (1000 files =1KD). Fill up your car or SUV for @ 2-5 KD ($12-$15/£8-£10/11-14Euros).
- Movie tickets - 1-2KD per ticket. Movies are heavily edited.
- Dry cleaning services - depends on the article of clothing being cleaned. 500files for most shirts, jackets @1KD, Suit @1.5KD
- Laundromat - 500files for dryers, 1KD for washing.
- Haircuts - Men @2KD (cut and massage) Ladies 8-10KD basic cut and blow dry.
- Groceries - Weekly grocery shopping @15KD.
- Bus Pass - Monthly bus passes cost 12KD.
Prepare for your Housing Search
When searching for a home in Kuwait, whether an apartment or house, there are several things one should keep in mind.
- First, do you want to live in the city center or outside?
- What's your budget?
- How far are you willing to commute each day? Morning and afternoon traffic can be a headache, depending on where you live.
- Do you want to be close to shops?
- If you have children, how far is the school from your residence?
- Do you want furnished or unfurnished?
- How much living space do you require?
- Will you be using a real estate agent or going it alone?
- Do you have pets? Some owners don't allow pets, especially dogs.
- Does your apartment complex or home have a generator?
Flat sharing is possible but do keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Most flat sharing is same sex - no mixing of sexes.
- Know who you're sharing with
- Be prepared to split all costs, including maid service which usually comes as part of the package.
- Average cost for flat sharing is roughly half of what one might pay to rent an apartment/home alone, plus any utilities.
Flat sharing ads are commonly found in local newspapers like Al-Watan Daily, The Kuwait Times, or The Arab Times.
Unfortunately, youth hostels don't exist in Kuwait. Budget travelers should consider using local hotels instead.