HOME | British foreign travel advice

 

Kuwait
UK foreign office news & advice

Latest travel advice for Kuwait including safety and security, entry requirements, travel warnings and health

2017-01-20T15:46:40.076+00:00: Latest update: Summary & Terrorism section – attacks in Kuwait are very likely; you should take additional safety precautions and remain vigilant in crowded places popular with foreign nationals

Attacks in Kuwait are very likely. You should be vigilant at all times, particularly in crowded places popular with foreign nationals, and take additional security precautions. See Terrorism

Following maritime restrictions issued by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior in 2011, you should take care when sailing in Kuwaiti waters. See Sea travel

Take care if you plan to travel in conservative areas like Jahra and Jleeb Al Shuyoukh. See Local travel

Around 6,000 British nationals live in Kuwait and a further 5,000 visit each year. Most visits to Kuwait are trouble-free.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

Safety and security

Crime

Violent crime against foreigners is rare. However, you should take care if you intend to travel in conservative areas like Jahra, where there have been incidents involving firearms, and Jleeb Al Shuyoukh where there have been riots by migrant workers protesting about their conditions.

Local travel

You should only use authorised road border crossing points into Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Any other unauthorised movement near borders is illegal and dangerous. Armed guards patrol border areas. If you plan to cross the border from Kuwait into Iraq, make sure you have the correct paperwork. See the Iraqi Embassy to Kuwait website for more information

Landmines and other hazardous ordnance are still present in Kuwait. You should avoid off-road driving. If you do travel off-road, restrict your movements to clearly identifiable tracks, and take great care even if an area has been officially cleared. Don’t pick up any strange metal, plastic or other objects lying around or hunt for war memorabilia.  

Road travel

If you have a visit visa you can drive in Kuwait using an international driving permit or a valid UK licence. Before driving you must obtain insurance in Kuwait. If you’re hiring a car, you can usually get insurance through your car hire company. If you’re planning to drive a car belonging to a relative or friend then you’re responsible for obtaining insurance. The insurance document must be kept with you at all times while driving.

If you’re applying to live in Kuwait, you won’t be able to drive unless you have a Kuwaiti driving licence. In this case, you should apply for a Kuwaiti driving licence when you receive your residency permit. You should confirm eligibility requirements for a Kuwaiti driving licence with the nearest Kuwaiti Embassy before you arrive.

Driving is hazardous. Many drivers pay little attention to other road users; drive in excess of speed limits, switch lanes without warning, ignore traffic lights and use mobile phones while driving. If you have an accident you must stay with the vehicle; don’t attempt to move it. Call the police on 112.

Sea travel

Many areas of the Gulf are highly sensitive, including near maritime boundaries and the islands of Bubiyan and Warbah in the northern Gulf and Abu Musa, and the Tunbs in the southern Gulf. The area in the northern Gulf, between Iran, Iraq and Kuwait has not been demarcated and vessels entering these areas have been detained and inspected. There have been occasional arrests. Make careful enquiries before entering these waters or visiting ports.

You should also remain alert to the effect any regional tensions may have on your route. Vessels operating in the Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Bab El Mandeb regions may be under an increased risk of maritime attack.

Take care when travelling by Dhow, as the safety of these vessels may not be up to UK standards. Make sure life jackets are available.

Political situation

Demonstrations and protests are uncommon in Kuwait and are normally, but not always, peaceful. Rioting is rare. You should be vigilant, avoid demonstrations and be alert to local and regional developments.

Terrorism

Attacks in Kuwait are very likely and could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. You should be especially vigilant at this time and follow the advice of the local authorities.

On 26 June 2015, Daesh carried out a suicide attack at the Imam Sadiq mosque in the Al Sawabir area of Kuwait City, resulting in 27 deaths and many injured. Further attacks on places of worship are possible.

Terrorists continue to issue statements threatening to carry out attacks in the Gulf region. These include references to attacks on western interests, including residential compounds, military, oil, transport and aviation interests, as well as crowded places, including restaurants, hotels, shopping centres and mosques. Further attacks are possible.

There is a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Local laws and customs

Kuwait is a Muslim country. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.

In 2017, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to start on 27 May and finish on 25 June. See Travelling during Ramadan

In public, you should dress and behave modestly. Women wearing shorts or tight-fitting clothes, in particular in downtown areas, are likely to attract unwelcome attention.

Carry your passport or a Kuwait civil identification card at all times.

Importing narcotics, alcohol, pork products and obscene material is forbidden and can lead to imprisonment.

Possession and abuse of drugs can lead to a prison sentence of between 5 and 10 years, and a heavy fine. Bail is not usually given and even if found not guilty you can expect to spend several months in detention while the case progresses through the judicial system. 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 your driving licence.

Entry to and photography near government, military and industrial and other restricted areas (e.g. near borders and oil fields) is forbidden.

Bouncing cheques is illegal and the law does not provide for offenders to be released from custody on bail. Post-dated cheques can be banked immediately.

Sexual intercourse between men and imitating the appearance of the opposite sex are punishable by law. Intimate displays of affection between men and women are also frowned upon.

Co-habiting of unmarried partners in Kuwait is illegal. If you wish to live with your partner in the same house, you need to be married.

If you are involved in a commercial dispute with a Kuwaiti company or individual, you may be prevented from leaving the country pending resolution of the dispute.

The British Embassy can’t intervene with labour disputes.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

Regardless of age, British nationals travelling by air can get a free 30-day entry permit/tourist visa or a 90-day visit/business visa on arrival in Kuwait for a fee. For further information contact the Kuwait Embassy in London:

Embassy of Kuwait 2 Albert Gate London SW1X 7JU Telephone: 020 7590 3400

You can now apply for an e-visa before arrival.

On arrival in Kuwait, the immigration authorities may ask to see evidence of return or onward travel, a sponsor’s letter and hotel confirmation.

If you are arriving by land or sea, you should obtain visas in advance from the Kuwaiti Embassy in London.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Kuwait.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are not valid for entry into Kuwait. However, ETDs are accepted for airside transit and exit from Kuwait.

Previous travel to Israel

If you have an Israeli stamp in your passport you may be refused a visa and/or entry into Kuwait.

Applying to work or live in Kuwait

For work or residency visas apply to the Kuwaiti Embassy in London.

If you intend to use UK documents like academic records, marriage certificates, or your driving licence in your application, you should have all such documents authenticated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK or by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country in which they were awarded and the nearest Kuwaiti Embassy. The same procedure is necessary for children’s birth certificates.

Your employers should not retain your passport.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

There is a state medical service with local clinics and several good hospitals. There are also private medical and dental facilities. Fees are controlled by the state and are expensive. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Money

There are plenty of ATMs and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.

Contact FCO Travel Advice Team

This email service only offers information and advice for British nationals planning to travel abroad.

If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the consular assistance team on 020 7008 1500 (24 hours).

If you’re abroad and need emergency help, please contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

If you have a question about this travel advice, you can email us at TravelAdvicePublicEnquiries@fco.gov.uk

Before you send an email, make sure you have read the travel advice for the country you’re travelling to, and the guidance on how the FCO puts travel advice together.

See also

Connect with me socially@

Select a country below:

  • British Embassy Kuwait

    Title:British Embassy Kuwait, main contact
    Email:
    Address:

    British Embassy
    Arabian Gulf Street
    Dasman
    Kuwait City
    Kuwait City
    Kuwait

    Contact: Telephone: +965 2259 4320
    Fax political & defence : +965 2259 4339
    Fax consular: +965 2259 4359
    Fax trade & investment: +965 2259 4368
    Fax management: +965 2259 4352
    Visiting:Our working hours are now Sunday to Wednesday 07:30 - 15:30, Thursday 07:30-13:30.

    The weekend in Kuwait is Friday and Saturday.

    For information about:
    Consular (NOT VISA OR PASSPORT) services to British nationals:
    consularenquirieskuwait@fco.gov.uk

    UK Trade & Investment enquiries:
    UKTI.Kuwait@fco.gov.uk

    UK Visas and Immigration Enquiries:
    https://ukvi-international.faq-help.com/




    Services:Emergency Travel Documents service (Assistance Services)
    Transferring funds for prisoners / for financial assistance service (Assistance Services)
    Births and Deaths registration service (Documentary Services)
    Service of Process (Documentary Services)
    Citizenship Ceremony service (Documentary Services)
    Legalisation Service (Other Services)
    Overseas Passports Service (Other Services)
  • Department for International Trade Kuwait

    Title:Department for International Trade Kuwait
    Email:UKTI.Kuwait@fco.gov.uk
    Address:

    British Embassy
    PO Box 2

    13001 Safat
    Kuwait

    Contact: General enquiries: +965 2259 4320
    Visiting:Office hours:
    Sunday to Wednesday 7.30am – 3.30pm
    Thursday 7.30am – 1.30pm
    Services:
  • UK Science & Innovation Network in Kuwait

    Title:
    Email:
    Address:
    Contact:
    Visiting:
    Services:

Currency converter for
Kuwait

Lastest travel news for
Kuwait

Images from
Kuwait


from flickr

International
telephone dialing codes

Find your nearest
British Embassy worldwide

Lastest travel alerts
Foreign & Commonwealth Office

  • Chile
    2017-03-28T19:34
    Latest update: Summary - there have been violent incidents in Santiago and Valparaiso on 29 ...
  • Guinea-Bissau
    2017-03-28T15:32
    Latest update: minor editorial amendments throughout
  • Pitcairn Island
    2017-03-28T15:03
    Latest update: this advice has been reviewed and re-issued without amendment
  • Ecuador
    2017-03-28T14:42
    Latest update: Natural disasters section (Rainy seasons) - the Metropolitan District of ...
  • Togo
    2017-03-28T12:02
    Latest update: Safety and Security section – there have been demonstrations in Lomé, ...
  • Afghanistan
    2017-03-28T11:47
    Latest update: Safety and security section – on 8 March 2017, the Afghan National Army ...
  • Macao
    2017-03-28T10:31
    Latest update: this advice has been reviewed and re-issued without amendment
  • Brazil
    2017-03-27T15:36
    Latest update: Summary - removal of information and advice on protests across major cities ...
  • Ireland
    2017-03-27T15:34
    Latest update: Summary - removal of information and advice for Ireland v's Wales World Cup ...
  • Samoa
    2017-03-27T14:28
    Latest update: Health section – cases of dengue fever have been confirmed in Samoa; you ...
  • South Sudan
    2017-03-27T14:17
    Latest update: editorial amendments throughout
  • USA
    2017-03-27T09:07
    Latest update: Summary – the US government has implemented additional security measures ...
  • Australia
    2017-03-27T00:26
    Latest update: Summary - Tropical Cyclone Debbie is forecast to cross the Queensland coast ...
  • Russia
    2017-03-26T14:25
    Latest update: Summary - Sunday March 26th. There are several large demonstrations in ...
  • Bangladesh
    2017-03-26T11:01
    Latest update: Summary - there is an ongoing security incident in the Shibbari area of ...
  • Tunisia
    2017-03-26T00:38
    Latest update: Summary – there’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation; the ...
  • Turkey
    2017-03-26T00:34
    Latest update: Summary – there’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation; the ...
  • Saudi Arabia
    2017-03-26T00:27
    Latest update: Summary – there’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation; the ...
  • Lebanon
    2017-03-26T00:22
    Latest update: Summary – there’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation; the ...
  • Jordan
    2017-03-26T00:17
    Latest update: Summary – there’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation; the ...

The latest news, travel advice, and information for Kuwait, updated regularly for all British travellers by the UK Foreign Office. Including British consulate and embassy addresses in Kuwait (Kuwait City).

Travel news, alerts, advice and information for other countries:

Source: UK Foreign Office | Google News | Flickr | World weather online | Website development company
Sponsors: Online backup | Hospitality jobs in kuwait | Desktop support Berkshire.
Contains FCO/Directgov data © Crown copyright and database right.

British foreign travel advice and information

Money transfers and currency exchanges