Irish citizens, either visiting or residing in Kuwait, are strongly advised to register their details with the Irish Embassy in Abu Dhabi. Please click here to do so.
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that comprehensive travel insurance, including medical insurance, is obtained before travelling to Kuwait.
Travellers should note that the Irish government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Safety and Security
Most visits to Kuwait are trouble-free. However, you should be aware of the threat from terrorism generally in the region. Attacks could be indiscriminate, and against Western interests, as they have been elsewhere in the region.
There have been a number of protests by expatriate labourers over their employment conditions. You should avoid all protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent. International events and political developments (including elections) may prompt demonstrations in Kuwait. You should also avoid these demonstrations.
Only authorised road border crossing points into Iraq and Saudi Arabia should be used. Any other unauthorised movement in the vicinity of borders is illegal and dangerous: armed guards patrol the border area. If you are planning to cross the border from Kuwait into Iraq you, should ensure that you have the correct paperwork.
Landmines and other hazardous ordnance are still present in Kuwait. When travelling outside Kuwait City, you should keep to tarmac roads. Care should be taken when using beaches and picnic spots. Even where officially cleared, there is still a danger from unexploded ordnance. Do not pick up any strange metal, plastic or other objects lying around. Do not souvenir hunt for war memorabilia.
Driving can be hazardous. Many drivers exceed speed limits, switch lanes without warning, frequently ignore traffic lights and speak on their mobile phones while driving with scant attention to other road users. Constant vigilance is essential.
Hailing a taxi from the road is not advisable in Kuwait, particularly if you are female. There have been a few incidents of passengers being harassed while doing so. It is recommended to book a taxi in advance by telephone from a known and reputable taxi company.
Local Laws and Customs
Kuwait is a Muslim state and Islamic customs, in public, are strictly observed.
In public, general modesty of behaviour and dress is expected. Women who wear shorts or tight-fitting clothes, in particular in downtown areas, are likely to attract unwelcome attention.
The import and use of narcotics, alcohol, pork products and obscene material are forbidden and can lead to imprisonment. Penalties for drug trafficking include the death sentence. Drunken behaviour in public or driving under the influence of alcohol is punishable by a fine or imprisonment and/or deportation and the withdrawal of the driving licence.
Homosexual behaviour is illegal. So is any public display of
affection between men and women.
Co-habiting in Kuwait is illegal. If you wish to live with your partner in the same house, you need to be married.
Anyone involved in a commercial or any other dispute with a Kuwaiti company or individual may be prevented from leaving the country or placed in custody, pending resolution of the dispute. Bouncing cheques is illegal in Kuwait and can result in imprisonment and/or a fine. The law does not provide for offenders to be released from custody on bail. 'Post dated' cheques can be banked immediately.
Natural Disasters and Climate
The climate in Kuwait is hot and dry most of the year. Visitors should take appropriate precautions to prevent sun burn and should also ensure they do not become dehydrated, remembering that during Ramadan it is an offence to eat or drink in public between sunrise and sunset.
There are occasional sand storms but although they may restrict visibility, they are not usually of a severity to affect daily life.
Additional Country Info
Diplomatic and Consular Missions
The Embassy of Ireland in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is accredited to Kuwait - for contact details, please click here.Top