Facing the customer services in Kuwait will be a headache for you, especially the one you are dealing with is a Kuwaity. The feedback system for the customer services` satisfaction is not funtional. When you have to fix something complicated on your mobile network or banking system, the main office customer service will be your only option. Only one or two know what they job really are in customer services actually. It will be agitating to see the customer service man spends hours of talking with their friend who comes to visit as `a customer`. They will spend 1-2hours talking while drinking tea, do not care for other customers on the line waiting as the number is not moving at all. They are not really bothered to improve their customer systems quality at all. As far as I know, only a few ones have good customer services such as Gulf Bank, Wataniya Telecom, and The Sultan Center.
There are some illegal workers in Kuwait so you may see many police checking points in Kuwait. The checking points mostly will be on Arabian Gulf Road, Kuwait City Area and Some Circles On the Main Streets. BRING YOUR IDENTIFICATION CARDS EVERYTIME YOU WILL GO OUT FROM YOUR HOME. It could be CIVIL ID when you already have one or PASSPORT WITH THE VISA or `PERMIT TO STAY` for those who are working on their residency formalities. Police may ask you , `CIVIL ID or ID or WARAGGA (Arabic). If YOU COULDN`T SHOW ANY ID (S) YOU WILL BE BROUGHT TO THE POLICE STATION!!! BE CAREFUL WITH `A SINGLE POLICE OFFICER` WHO DO HIS OWN CHECKING AT THE `UNCOMMON SITES OF CHECKING POINT`. IF YOU ARE ABLE TO SHOW YOUR VALID ID TO THE POLICE, REFUSE TO COME WITH `QUESTIONABLE POLICE OFFICER` TO HIS CAR. Especially WHEN YOU ARE IN A QUIET PLACES WHERE ONLY YOU AND THE `OFFICER` present. The checking points WILL BE IN THE PUBLIC AREA OR ON THE MAIN STREETS. When you work in Kuwait, get your employer phone number in case your identity card paperwork still on processing. When you have a problem on the checking point, that is the number you have to call.
I dont know how to explain the sandstorms well to you all, but you can compare the pictures, taken from the same place, same time and same quality of camera flash. Sandstorm is really common here throughout the year. It may be often between winter to summer time. A windy day will lead to the sandstorm on the following day. For the grade 4 sandstorm , it will be started by the hail sometimes!!!!! Hardly once or twice a year. Grade 1 and 2 use to be happened several times a year. The worse ones grade 3-4 only few time a year. Maximum 2-3 times annualy. Bring masks or anything as your nose cover during the sandstorms. Zero visibility may happen during stage 4. It will be better to stop driving and look for the parking place when it happens when you drive. Car lights should be on during stage 3-4 when you drive for your safety. My advice will be : STAY INDOOR DURING THE SANDSTORMS.
You have to have a healthy heart if you want to drive in Kuwait. Speeding is a trend here for the younger drivers and surprisingly for the women with the face-head cover too!! Though the maximum speed limit will be 120 kph, some roads will have slower speed limit. Kuwait has many cameras on the street to catch the speedy vehicles but many of them are not working at all. You can not guess which ones are working properly though. It may be the reason for the amateur racer on the street here to spped. Other headache on Kuwait streets will be THE CRAZY MOTORCYCLISTS. Most of the motorcyclists will be helmetless and turning the road as the circus area. They try to get attention from the others (especially women) by speeding with one wheel only on their motorcycles HELMETLESS. The patience level of the drivers is low here as you can hear many honky cars everywhere if they think you are slowing down and blocking their way.:-)) Some will just on their front lights to ask a way from you though. You will be fined for speeding, passing the red light and not using the seatbelt (for front seats only). Sadly to say, THE MANNERS ON KUWAIT ROADS WILL BE APPROPRIATE ONLY WHEN THE POLICE AND CAMERA AROUND ONLY. That is why, the high rate of traffic ACCIDENTS is not a surprise for everybody.
Friday is the holiday for most of the workers here in Kuwait.Sunday will be the church day and the two main churches are located in the Kuwait City area.Though Kuwait is a moslem country, many expatriates are Christians.Do not try to drive through the city complex if you do not want to be trapped in a traffic.On Friday and Sunday afternoon, the city will be very crowded with people and cars. If you have to go to the city on these days, DO NOT DRESS PROVOCATIVELY. FOR GIRLS, TRY TO AVOID THE CROWD ON SMALL STREETS.Some crazy people will come to force and rush you in the middle of the crowd so they will be able to touch you. Bring somebody as your companion (s) and do not stand nearby the KFC girls, many prostitutes will be there too. Well, as a conclussion I may say : GIRLS, AVOID SPEND MORE TIME IN KUWAIT CITY ON FRIDAY AND SUNDAY AFTERNOON.
Kuwait seems to be a clean country for you. Wrong guess :-))It is not because of its people but it happens because they have many cleaners all over around the country. When you observe its people, they do litter everywhere. They even throw their things from their windows while driving!! Oh my.Guess what, this picture was taken in Kuwait City. Many great buildings like malls, luxury apartment, hospitals, government offices will be looked fantastic from the front side. Try to look at their back or non public areas. You will be very surprised. :-))
Going out alone for a girl is not a good idea here,especially for the asians or anybody look like an asian.You could be gank raped by teenage boys here.Salmiya,Shuwaikh,and around Kuwait city are quiet safe places in here.Don`t you dare to walk alone in Fahahael and Jahra area.Even boys could be kidnapped and raped in here.You may be laughing but my friend experinced it.When you see arabic noisy boys in group around,just avoid them.The crimes will be happened in front of everybody.Only few people will be helping you,if you are lucky.Ironically,some people will just watch you being hitted and robbed on the street. Many rape crimes to the housemaids are not treated legally. How much more you can expect for the street raping? Riding on the public transportation will be ok for the girls as long as you dress yourself appropriately. Anyway, I won`t recommend you to ride on the bus for long distance journey alone.
Yes.Taxis could be dangerous here.Arabic taxi drivers can not speak English and they could ask the ladies passengers number all over the way.Indian taxi drivers sometimes have a very bad body odor.Don`t take ilegal taxi,the ones without yellow car plat numbers and without names.You could be brought to the desert and be raped and robbed.This is for both male and female!For ladies,it will be better to ride in the taxi after the men and go down from the taxi first.Asia Call Taxi is a good choice.All the driver can speak English,polite,know all the places in Kuwait,and safe;though it will be more expensive than other taxies.Once you get the good taxi driver,get the number so you can call them anytime.
I think I (Lucy) have met my match with Quentin (Lucy). No Ethel's here... Not a good sign, right?
That said, when Quentin prounced at 5am in the car, 'Hey - let's go to Saudi Arabia. It's only 30 miles away...' I thought it sounded like a plan.
And yet I knew better: a) you must have a pre-arranged visa b) women must be in Burqa c) you have to be INVITED in order to get that pre-arranged visa.
In short, you just Don't Show Up at the S.A. border and expect a warm gracious greeting. Not me in a short-sleeve dress that was barely under my knees.
Okay... so we head south towards S.A.
We get to the Kuwait exit formalities kiosk on the road and it dawned on me (finally!!!!): Quentin, this isn't a good idea.
By this time he passed our passports to the Kuwait Border control and the guy took our Kuwait Visa's we paid for.
Now I'm really bumming.
"QUENTIN... get our visa's back"....
The immigration man doesn't speak English and probably isn't digging me yelling much either.
Anyway, he wouldn't give us back our visas.
We proceed to the NEXT kiosk hopefully for some luck. The 2nd guy doesn't speak English either but he let us make a U-Turn and then Quentin went inside to the office which was half S.A. and half Kuwait.
long story short, we got our Visa's back (Free too!) and 20 minutes later, we were back on our way.
This time, North.
Folks - don't try this. Unless you have a REAL Pre-arranged visa (with official invite) and women folk are properly dressed.
I cribbed some ideas from the Loney Planet Online Guide to Kuwait. They don't mention all that much to see, but of the two "Off the beaten track" type tips... they were both WRONG. Oh So Wrong, my little Lonely Planet Peeps. I'd normally go on a tirade and say "you cost us time / money /gas, etc..." But the fact is.. uh... there wasn't THAT much to do, so the Journey THERE was far worth the fact that there was no THERE when we got there.
Explanation: Lonely Planet says to go to Bubyan Bridge. It is a disputed island on the North North East part of the country. Disputee's include Iraq, Iran and Kuwait. I guess Kuwait figured, "if we build a bridge, surely this will tighten our claim."
So they have this bridge to the island, and nothing is there. You just drive and do a u-turn.
At least that is what Lonely Planet said and what I counted on! (Snicker....)
So, we get there... and there is a baracade up. We can't go to the island. The Bridge to NoWhere is NoHappening!
Bummed, but what the hell... it was fun finding it!
2nd inaccuracy, my little Lonely Planet guide! They also said that on the way to the Bridge to NoWhere you will encounter a grand entrance to "Kuwait National Park" and behind the gated entrance is nothing but desert. No park... And they said it's a "must see" sight and have your photo taken there, etc...
We didn't find it. We just found the National Reserve entrance and sign. (I'm going to take a guess that Kuwaiti's may have recently changed this sign from 'Park' to 'Reserve' cuz of the flack they were taking from tourists!)
Anyway... I gotz da proof we found BOTH. And you know what? I don't harbor real ill will: The joy is in the journey folks. Gotta find joy in the journey....
The rain will be in Kuwait for few times only but it is another disaster too. There are some construction sites all over Kuwait and the drainage system is bad. Moreover, many trashes just block the drainage and keep the roads covered with the water. During winter time, the raining day will head to fallen temperature on the following day. The worst thing is the rain after the sandstorm. The water drops will just carry the dirt on earth faster. Anyway, do not expect more rain in Kuwait.
It gets extremely hot in Kuwait... Though I haven't seen 140 degrees F yet, in mid-May we were getting temps above 110 degrees F every day. By August it was 120 degrees everyday with the high occasionally 125.
Drink lots of water, stay indoors or in the shade, and limit strenuous activity to morning and evening hours. It is just too dang hot!
When the wind kicks up and the sand starts flying, you'll feel like you are in the center of hell.
Most of the receptacles in Kuwait will be the 3 squared holes (see the picture). The voltage will be 220-240V and 50-60Hz. The buildings have big power of electricity so the brown out from the over powered appliances is less likely to be happened. Nevertheless, be careful on buying the electric appliances here. Some appliances will have huge number of power consumption. The adaptor for UK/Asian appliances with the two rounded prong plug is easy to find in Kuwait.
Sandstorms are a relatively common occurrence in Kuwait. My first day here, we suffered through a relatively minor sandstorm that covered much of the region. It lasted about 18 hours with stinging stands, high winds and low visibility. May is the worst month for sandstorms in the Middle East.
We had strong winds and blowing sand at least once a week or so throughout the summer, and significant sandstorms causing "brownout" conditions with 100 foot visibility or less at least once a month.
Kuwait is the Arabic country and English language is the second language which is widely spoken all around the country. The thing you have to be aware of is most of the English speakers here are not the native English speakers. If English is your mother tongue language, SPEAK SLOWLY AND CLEARLY AND USE LESS SLANGS IN KUWAIT. You may not be understood by the other people here who less exposed to the native speakers. On the other hand, you may find some difficulties in understanding the English with Asian or Arabic accent. Some workers (cleaners,porters,drivers,housemaids) or the elder ones can not speak English. Some spellings may not be correct anywhere and the good grammar will not be found easily.
Well, I can't really complain about this place because I was able to stay here for free several...more
This hotel is located very near Kuwait City Intl Airport. It is a short ride to Salmiya and Marina...more
Very nice place, highly recommended place. I had a good time for a week. Helpful staff, clean rooms.more