Practical Life in Kuwait City

Mobile Phone in Kuwait City

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There's an overabundance of cell phones in Kuwait. Most people have two or even three phones. iPhones are hugely popular with the locals, and most expats. Kuwaiti's are "hooked" on cell phones and are constantly talking to someone, whether it be in the many malls, while shopping, working out at the gym and nearly always while driving.

How to Buy

Buying a mobile phone is quite simple. All you need is your Civil ID or a copy of your passport (side shops) and you're online in a matter of minutes.

Mobile phones can be purchased easily and from any corner store or shop. And, most major brand name phones have their own shops, with huge selections. Prices vary greatly from dealer to dealer so it's best to do some extensive research before buying any phone.

Most phones bought in Kuwait are tri-band and operate anywhere in the world. Not all phones are "unlocked", so do ask before buying.



There are two types of mobile phone plans available in Kuwait, prepaid and post-paid.

Prepaid means you buy a certain number of minutes from one of the three providers and must use those allotted minutes within a specified time frame, usually six months to one year..

Under a post-paid scheme, customers can choose between several packages with flat rates for every minute you call or one with a fixed number of free minutes. Customers exceeding their allotted time are charged a fee based on the number of minutes one goes over, which ranges from 20 to 50 fils per minute. Going over your Internet download limit may incur additional fees as well.

Under plans that charge you by the minute, one typically pays a few fils more for calls during peak hours (7am to 19pm) or to mobiles serviced by other networks. If you're a frequent caller, you may consider getting a "buddy option", allowing you to make cheaper calls to selected friends and family, or group of people. Unlimited plans, which cost roughly 20 to 50 KD per month, are also available for high usage customers.

Many of the providers don't tell you up-front about contract lengths, so be sure to ask before you sign your contract. Common contract lengths usually run for six months or one and two years, though there are some plans with shorter and lengthier options. Do shop around for the best deal.

Here are some basic points you need to consider when choosing the right deal for you.

  • Personal Use: Evaluate how much you use the phone, when, where you are calling, how often you use short message services (SMS), if you use the phone abroad, etc.
  • Coverage: Most important if you live in a remote place or regularly using the mobile while traveling in the countryside as most companies offer decent coverage.
  • Fees & Rates: Each operator offers several different plans and options. Investigate the plans carefully and evaluate your needs.

Pay As You Go

Prepaid cards are easy to come by and sold in nearly every grocery store, corner store and self-service machines. Cards are sold in the following amounts:

  • Zain:  1, 1.5, 3, 5, 10 and 20 (in KD)
  • Viva: 0.500 fils, 1, 3, 5 10 and 20 (in KD)
  • Wataniya: 1, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 (in KD)

Related article: Landline phone in Kuwait

Update 26/05/2013


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