National flag carrier Kuwait Airways conveniently links Kuwait to the rest of the world through a network that spans the globe. Kuwait Airways flies over 40 destinations in the Middle east, Europe, South Asia and the United States. Many of the major international airlines fly also directly to Kuwait.
Citizens of “Gulf Cooperation Council” do not require an entry visa to Kuwait. European nationalities get visas upon arrival at Kuwait International Airport. For information, please contact the Kuwait Embassy in your destination. Other nationals can obtain a visa from any Kuwaiti Embassy or Consulate. Alternatively, you may contact any of the Kuwait Airways Offices worldwide that have the E-Visa facility or your hotel in case you have booked a hotel package in Kuwait. Clear valid passport copies are required to apply for a visa in advance through hotels. They need about 3 working days to obtain your visa. Online Visa application is available through the webpage www.kuwaitvisa.com/online-evisa-applicationwww.kuwaitvisa.com/online-evisa-application
The official language is Arabic, although English is also spoken especially in business, banking and big shopping centers.
Kuwait electricity is 220 – 240 Volt, AC, 50 Cycles, Single phase.
Kuwait is blessed with sunshine and warm weather throughout the entire year. A short but enjoyable spring from February to May brings cool and warm weather that sets the public parks in bloom and more tourists to visit Kuwait. During the summer months of May to September the weather is rather hot and dry, but the sea is warm and fabulous for all types of water sports and scuba diving. Autumn, from September until Mid-November, is characterized by moderate weather that is not unlike spring. Winter, from December to February, sees perfectly warm days but chilly evenings with occasional mild rain showers. The Touristic Seasons start from Mid September till Mid May. Despite of Kuwait’s Hot Summers, the country is equipped with the most efficient cooling system in all the buildings and means of transport.
The national traditional dress that Kuwaiti men wear is the Dishdasha (a long one-piece robe, usually white), Gutra (head covering), Egal (a black coiled rope to keep the Ghutra in place), a Bisht (a cloak, usually worn under the Ghutra). The women wear Darra’a (along sleeved dress), Al Malfa’a (a black head covering), and Abaya (a long black outer garment). However today, most of the Kuwaiti men & women dress in European suits & dresses and are modestly clothed.
The Kuwaiti Dinar is the official currency and is divided into coins of : 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 fils and bills of 0.250, 0.500, 1, 5, 10, and 20 Dinars. Credit cards are accepted in hotels, shopping malls and up-market restaurants. Traveller cheques and foreign currency can easily be exchanged at local banks. There are plenty of cash-points where regional and international cards can be used to withdraw money.
Kuwait has a wide range of luxurious hotels that cater to any level of comfort and budget (see our overview of 4 and 5 star hotels). But whether it is 5 star opulence or more modest accommodation, visitors will always be treated with a warm Kuwaiti hospitality.
In Kuwait the working week starts on Saturdays and ends on Wednesdays. Public services and schools are closed on Thursdays and Fridays but banks are closed on Saturdays instead. The work day starts at 7AM and ends at 2PM although these hours vary in the private sectors and from company to company. Some may open from 8Am to 1PM while others may open from 1PM to 7PM. These hours change during Ramadhan, official holidays and celebration.
24 hours On Call Taxis’ are available on request and can be arranged through your hotel reception or by phoning the ‘call taxi’ company directly. The fare cane be negotiated directly at the time of the booking. The Kuwait Public Transport Company also operates air-conditioned and non air-conditioned bus services around the city.
Shops open from 9AM to 1PM and from 4PM to 9PM though some work straight through the day. Some of the co-ops (markets) stay open 24 hours while others close late in the evening. The mystery of the city of Kuwait attracts the visitors and the residents to spend hours in a car drive to discover the main sites in the history of this city and all such places are within short distance and near each other.
As for restaurants in hotels will find a mini universe of international cuisine from the Gulf, Middle east, India, Philippines, Thailand, China, Japan, France, Italy, Mexico and others. Outside, Kuwait offers the visitor a tasting adventure at hundreds of restaurants spread all over Kuwait. The luxurious meals varies from fast food meals from international chain restaurants to Shawarma and Falafel Restaurants. Kuwait is a food lovers` paradise. Native cooking reflects Kuwaiti history, its tribes and immigrants and its international trading traditions. A formal Kuwaiti meal is designed to impress the oft sated which include the dishes like Mezza consisting of Hommos (chickpea), m`tabbal (aubergine), ful (beans), tabooleh (salad), khubus (unleavened bread), along with stuffed pastries. The Shaurba soups, Mahashee which is stuffed vegetables, Aish (rice) which is garnished with almonds, raisins and saffron, Kharoof (grilled lamb) or Samak (grilled or stewed fish) is also a part of the Kuwaiti meal. Kuwait is rumoured to have more restaurants per resident than any other country in the world. Without a doubt there is choice enough to suit every taste and pocket.
Local and international newspaper and magazines are available in Kuwait at hotels,supermarkets and countless small neighbourhood shops called “Bakala”. Local Arabic dailies are Al-Qabbas, Al-Watan, Al-Anbaa, Al-Seyassah, and Al-Rai Al-Am and there are also two English newspapers, the Arab Times and Kuwait Times. (source: Kuwait Tourism Services Company, www.ktsc-q8.com)