Practical Life in Kuwait City


Transport in Kuwait City


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Public Transportation

Kuwait has very little to offer in public transportation options. KPTC (Kuwait Public Transport Company) is the only means available for those without a car. There are mixed reviews when it comes to reliability and dependability of the system.

Many of Kuwait's public buses are in a poor condition, though in recent years, new buses have made their way to the streets of Kuwait. Timings and schedules are unreliable and often times, moving around Kuwait City via bus can take considerable time, and an enormous amount of patience.

The current fleet of buses numbers more than 400, with over 1050 drivers. According to 2004 figures, KPCT transported some 70 million passengers around Kuwait. Buses run from early morning till late evening. There are no 24/7 services, with a limited service on Fridays.

Different bus routes can be found on the KPTC website: http://www.kptc.com.kw/newenglish/Route21.html.

Tickets

Minimum fare is 250 fils. For longer trips, such as to the Fahaheel and Jahra area an additional charge on  50 fils fis required.

Customers may also purchase a "monthly subscription" to ride any of the buses.

Bus/Metro: Kuwait Public Transport Company

Train

There are currently no overland train services operating in Kuwait.

Bus

There are currently no National Bus services operating in Kuwait.

Ferry/Boat

KPTC runs regularly scheduled ferry services to/from Failaka Island and other remote islands belonging to Kuwait. Contact them directly for more information and prices on, 00+965+2574-2664.

Scheduled ferries to and from Iran are handled by Kuwait-Iran Shipping Company (Tel. 965 2410498). The ferries go three times a week from Ash Shuwayk in Kuwait to Bushehr in Iran. One-way tickets start from KD37 per person. The trip takes several hours.

Speedboats also go between Ash Shuwayk and Manama in Bahrain. A ticket is KD45 per person.

Ports and Harbors in Kuwait:

  • Ash Shu'aybah
  • Ash Shuwaykh
  • Kuwait City
  • Mina' 'Abd Allah
  • Mina' al Ahmadi
  • Mina' Su'ud

Plane

Kuwait International Airport (IATA: KWI) is Kuwait's only airport and is served by several airlines, mostly flying within the Middle East. Kuwait International Airport is operated by Director General of Civil Aviation. Airport information desks are located in Arrivals (tel: 180 ext. 1523) on the ground floor and in Departures (tel: 180 ext. 1522). Check-in time is two hours before flights are due to depart. Check with your airline about specific requirements.

Acquiring a Visa at the Kuwait Aiport

If you need a visa on arrival at the airport, look for the 'Visa Issuing' desks. You will be issued a queue ticket as your passport is examined and copied. At this time, you should fill out a visa entry form, and wait for your number to be called. You will be issued an A4-sized sheet (Arabic) which is your visa. Payment is accepted only in Kuwaiti Dinar. You can now proceed straight through immigration.

Airlines in Kuwait

Kuwait's national airline, Kuwait Airways, flies to major cities such as Frankfurt, Geneva and Rome, Kuala Lumpur, London, New York and Paris as well as several other European, Asian, African and Middle Eastern destinations. However, it is best avoided. As Kuwait's flagship carrier, Kuwait Airways has a poor ranking, its planes are aged, delays are common, and customer service is weak.

International airlines serving Kuwait include British Airways from London, United Airlines from Washington, D.C., Lufthansa from Frankfurt, KLM from Amsterdam, and Turkish Airlines from Istanbul, plus connections through other large Gulf hubs (Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, etc) are accessible through Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airlines, Gulf Air and many other airlines,

Transport to/from Airport

The airport is situated 16 kilometers south of Kuwait City and is easily accessible.

  • Trains:  No trains operate to/from Kuwait Airport
  • Shuttle:  Provided by some hotels. Additional fees may apply.
  • Bus:  Buses to Kuwait City depart from outside Arrivals on route 501. The journey time is about 30 minutes, and the fare KD0.25.
  • Drive: The Airport Road leads to/from Kuwait city and the airport and is well-marked. Ample parking is available at the airport. Charges vary, depending on length of stay.
  • Taxi:  Available curbside at arrivals. Airport taxis are usually larger American cars with a fixed fee list available on the inside of the taxi and the fare into the city should be around KD5-6. You can also use the 'limousine' service which is located to the right of the outside exit for KD 6. These generally have a reputation of much safer drivers than the airport taxis (driven by Kuwaiti nationals who usually do not observe posted speed limits and will even drive on the verge/shoulder at 120kmph!).

Taxi

You can call for a taxi, which can also be spotted around the city by their all-white color and company advertising. They can also be found around hotels.

White-and-beige taxis with yellow license plates and 'TAXI' signs can also be flagged down.  Fares are often negotiable, with short rides from KD 1 and longer trip across town around KD 2. Try to agree on a price before getting in. Also, some taxis will only take fares on fixed routes and offer a shared cab.

Note that most hotels can arrange a transfer for the same price as a taxi which is probably a safer and more comfortable option.

Beware that there has been some reports of solo female passengers being harassed or hurt. Try to travel with a companion and be aware of your surroundings.

Taxi Companies

  • British Taxi - 23912282 - 22391229
  • Al-Osta Taxi - 22410534 - 22412239
  • Al-Rissalah Taxi - 25730398 - 25758779
  • Special Taxi - 23921700 - 23921800
  • Al-Millionaire Taxi - 22666995 - 22666994
  • Al-Wehdah Taxi - 25528500 - 25528900
  • Burgan Taxi - 25750043- 25750042
  • Mishwar Taxi - 25729727 - 25729728
  • Al-Jamaher Taxi - 25733100 - 25733400
  • Asia Taxi - 24888074 - 24888075
  • Emirates Taxi -  24745006- 24745007
  • Al-Abraj Taxi - 24319940
  • Al-Arz Taxi - 23727755- 22612763
  • Al-Alfain Taxi - 24810630 - 25613100
  • Al-Aman Taxi - 23721112 - 23711115
  • Al-Omam Taxi  - 22404846
  • Al-Amwaj Taxi - 22654938
  • Al-Awal Taxi - 25323091 - 25321883
  • Al-Basha Taxi - 1808055
  • Al-Tahreer Taxi - 24812200 - 25399448
  • Al-Duro'o Taxi - 22450777- 25633332
  • Al-Rifa'a Taxi - 22422112
  • Al-Rige'e Taxi - 24881986
  • Al-Riad Taxi - 22427750
  • Al-Sahel Taxi - 23917161 - 23727707
  • Middle East Taxi - 25726644- 25712383
  • Al-Sadaqa & Al-Salam Taxi - 22617776- 22617775
  • Al-Sarraf Taxi - 25710712
  • Al-Qadsiyah Taxi - 25733504
  • Hanadi Taxi - 22644912
  • Al-Mokhtar Taxi - 23911211 - 23910023
  • Al-Malek Taxi - 22622244 - 25733114
  • Al-Manameh Taxi - 23901399 - 23902490
  • Sara Taxi - 25338545
  • Salwa Taxi - 25658203 - 25658219
  • Metro Manila Taxi - 25633307
  • Mustafa Karam Taxi - 23980044 - 23980045
  • Makati Manila Taxi - 25753004 - 25753003
  • Happy Land Taxi - 23919981 - 23919983
  • Wahet Al-Jahra Taxi - 24673000 - 24559222
  • Al-Ta'er Taxi - 25423188 - 25628222
  • Al-Rimal Al-Dahabiah Taxi - 25726444- 25722111
  • Paris Taxi - 24733337 - 24733336
  • Al-Sultan Taxi - 24804363
  • Al-A'ali Taxi - 24766401
  • Al-Quds Taxi - 22413414 - 25392176
  • Al-Qimmah Taxi - 25622400 - 25622110
  • Al-Hatef Taxi - 25511355
  • Al-Huda Taxi - 25714811- 24678881
  • Al-Reef Taxi - 24717044
  • Al-Jamaheer Taxi - 25643400
  • Al-Hizam Al-Azraq Taxi - 25638006
  • Al-Areej Taxi - 1808022
  • Al-Ta'er Taxi - 22626333- 22626999
  • Al-Jamaheer Taxi - 24844888 - 23940002
  • Mishwar Taxi - 25442246 - 25442247
  • Al-Farraj Taxi - 23715544 - 23716644
  • Al-Imtiyaz Taxi - 22622900- 22630800
  • Al-Mostaqbal Taxi - 23844999 - 23908777
  • Al-Doctor Taxi - 23716600- 23716611
  • Al-Zahra'a Taxi - 24738446- 24740773

Fares & Tipping

Taxi fares are clearly posted inside each taxi but rarely updated. Fares to most points in the city begin at a flat rate of KD 5 and steadily increase. Tipping is discretionary and not mandatory.

Car Hire

Renting a car in Kuwait is easy. Non-Kuwaitis with a visit visa can rent a car. In addition to their main offices located in Kuwait City, most car rental companies have branches in the main hotels in Kuwait. Many companies have small satellite offices at Kuwait Airport. An international driving license is required. Minimum age is 18.

Rental Car Companies in Kuwait:

  • Europcar 24735626
  • Hertz   24319326
  • National Car Rental   24343139
  • Budget Rent-a-car 24310064
  • Rent AL Mulla   24738205
  • Sixt Rent-a-car 24316637
  • AVIS Rent-a-car   24745528  
  • Thrifty     24735419 

Driving in Kuwait

WARNING: Driving in Kuwait can be extremely dangerous.

The statistics for car accidents and fatalities in Kuwait is simple staggering.  According to the Kuwait Times,

A total of 227 people were killed in more than 44,000 accidents reported in Kuwait during the first half of 2012, which saw the fatality rate increase by 25 percent compared to the first six months of the last year.

Because of the danger associated with driving, renting a car is discouraged for visitors. Expats should carefully examine their options and be prepared to drive defensively.


Update 26/05/2013



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