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Cost of living in Kuwait

Rinnoo's Kuwait Blog

When talking about the cost of living in any country, there are no fixed numbers to talk about because they vary depending on your level and how you choose to live; a simple life or a luxurious life or you just want to be in the middle. In this article, we tried to cover basic areas of daily life in Kuwait.

1. Apartment Rent:

- If you want a studio, you can find a studio between KD 150 (500$) and KD 250 (830$) per month and that depends on the location and size of the house.

- If you want 1 bedroom apartment, it will be between KD 200 (660$) and KD 300 (990$) per month and that depends on the location, size of apartment and the status of the building whether old or brand new.

- If you want 2 bedrooms apartment, it will be between KD 300 (990$) and KD 500 (1650$) per month and that depends also on the location, size of apartment and the status of the building whether old or brand new.

- As for 3 bedrooms and more, the rent is more than KD 500 (1650$) per month. The more rooms and the bigger the apartment, the more you will have to pay whereby so huge apartments may cost you a rent of KD 1000 (3300$) or more monthly.

- In some cases, a 1 or 2 bedrooms may cost more than KD 1000 (3300$) per month if they have a sea view just like those apartments that overlook the Gulf Road.

Note that the rents were not so high few years back but recently, residents in Kuwait faced a big raise in apartment rents. In the future, rents in Kuwait may raise or drop so what we displayed now are the average rents during this certain period of time.

2. Transportation (Private car/bus/taxi):

In Kuwait, it is easy to own your own private car. Many expats either buy a brand new car in installments that they pay monthly or they buy used cars and pay cash since they are cheaper.

But in general, when talking about cars, it depends on the type and model of the car so you can get a cheap car or an expensive one based on your budget.

As for gasoline, it's very cheap whereby you can get your fuel tank full for KD 3 (10$) only. Even if you have a big car that consumes more, you can get it full for KD 6 (20$).

Other means of transportation in Kuwait include Taxis and public buses.

For Taxis, you pay KD 1 (3.3$) if you want to go from one place to the other within the same area. If you want to go from an area to another close area like from Hawally to Salmiya, you pay KD 2 (6.6$). The farther the distance, the more you pay. For example, from Hawally to the airport, you may be charged KD 5 (16.5$).

As for the public Buses, they are cheap whereby a ride costs 100 or 250 Fils or so and you can buy a monthly card for KD 15 (50$) or more that allows you to take all rides for free throughout the month.

3. Cleaning Services (maids/housekeepers):

a. A maid to live with you at home:

In Kuwait, you can easily get a maid to live with you at home or you can get a maid that is paid per hour either through an agency or by making an agreement with maids that work as freelancers.

The available maids are from Philippines, Sri Lanka and some African countries.

To get a Filipino maid, you pay KD 850 (2800$) for the agency and then wait for two to three months before she arrives. Her Salary is KD 110 (360$) per month.

To get a Sri Lankan maid, you pay KD 1250 (4100$) for the agency and then wait for two to three months before she arrives. Her Salary is KD 70 (230$) per month.

If you want to get a ready maid from the office without applying and waiting, you pay about KD 1500 (5000$). Most of the ready maids in the office are usually maids that returned back to the agency after working for another house. And the reasons of returning to the agency include having a bad employer who treated them badly or that they weren’t able to cope.

For an expat to sponsor a maid, he has to pay between KD 200 (660$) and KD 250 (830$) for the residency or Ikama of the maid.

Note that there were more nationalities in the past years like Indonesians, Indians, Ethiopians and many more but they stopped coming to Kuwait for some different reasons.

b. A temporary maid to be paid per hour:

Some Companies or agencies provide cleaning services by sending you a temporary maid and in this case you pay per hour. Most of them take between KD 10 (33$)and KD 15 (50$) for every 5 hours of work.

You can also find maids that work as freelance and you usually set with them a monthly agreement that includes 3 to 4 hours of work per day for about 3 days a week. They take between KD 50 (165$) and KD 60 (200$) per month.

Note that freelance maids are mostly Indians and you find them usually by asking the Haris who is the man in charge of the building.

4. Food and restaurants:

If you want to eat in Kuwait without spending a lot of money, it’s better for you to cook at home because no matter what you order from any restaurant, note that it will cost you less if you buy the ingredients and prepare them on your own.

This doesn’t mean that you can never go to restaurants but with a limited budget, visiting restaurants can only be on weekends and in holidays.

And even when you plan to go out, the amount you will pay depends on the type of restaurant you choose to dine in and the kind and amount of food you order. For example, having lunch in fast food restaurants like KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King is cheaper than going to other kinds of restaurants like French restaurants.

As for buying ingredients and cooking at home, note that shopping from a government cooperative society / supermarket is usually a lit bit cheaper than shopping from private supermarkets.

Most expensive ingredients are usually meat, chicken and the most expensive of all is fish. Other than these, the prices of what you buy depend on the brand whereby you can find a can of tuna with ten different prices.

5. Fun and Entertainment:

If you want to have fun and entertain yourself and your family in Kuwait, you have to pay in most cases.

For example, renting a jet ski on the beach for one hour costs you between KD 20 (66$) and KD 25 (83$).

Renting a football soap playground on the beach for an hour costs KD 10 (33$).

If you want to spend your day in Aqua Park which is a water park that you can enjoy, you’ll have to pay KD 3.750 (12$) per person and still buy your food and drinks inside.

Going to the mall is also a very common option in Kuwait but can you go to the mall without buying anything at all, at least a small snack or drink? And here, the amount you pay depends on what you buy and what you eat or drink.

Semi-Free options of entertainment include having a picnic on the beach or taking a walk on the seaside but the problem is the weather. Kuwait is very hot for at least 6 months a year so you can’t always enjoy outdoor activities.

Expensive options for entertainment include spending your weekend in a four or five stars hotel and resort in Kuwait whereby a night might cost you up to KD 100 (330$) or more.

If you don’t want to sleep in the hotel but you just want a one day access to the beach and pool, you pay between KD 15 (50$) and KD 20 (66$) and this amount does not include food and drinks.

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