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Living Expenses in Kuwait

Posted by Hilite Homes Real Estate Agency on April 13, 2020
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To an ordinary western expatriate the cost of living in Kuwait is more or less equal to that of most European nations. Kuwait City’s overall cost of living index is compared to that of living locations with the middle cost. The cost of living index includes prices through many basket groupings for given quantities of same goods and services. Nevertheless, Kuwait’s lack of taxation is a major advantage, particularly on certain things such as cars. However, the cost of living will largely depend on your personal lifestyle, just as is the case in any other city.

The cost of living listed on the basis of large basket groupings is described below. These results, which Numbeo collects, are based on 1332 entries from 174 different contributors in the past 18 months.

Some businesses sell the accommodation free of charge. Otherwise, you would need to rent a flat. Nevertheless, often the cost of accommodation can be high, depending on the amenities and the location provided. Many of the apartments rented come with air conditioning. Satellite TV can be sold, but does not cover all channels. It can include a swimming pool and/or gymnasium.
Single bedroom apartment for rent in City Centre can fall in the range KWD160 to KWD350
Single bedroom apartment for rent outside City Centre can be in the range KWD130 to KWD250
Three bedroom apartments within City Centre – KWD350 to KWD800
Three bedroom apartments outside City Centre – KWD280 to KWD500

If you go by designer labels, clothing can turn out to be expensive. Yet, that’s not the only situation in Kuwait. Winter clothing is badly required. Given the region’s hot climate, much clothing is unnecessary. Men’s office wear is usually shirt and tie, barring formal occasions. The estimated budgets are given here
Pair of Jeans – KWD7 to KWD25
A summer dress in a Chain Store in the likes of Zara or H&M – KD8 to KD20
A pair of mid-range Nike Running Shoes – KD20 to KD35
A pair of men leather business shoes – KD15 to KD50

In general, education is costly in Kuwait but, apart from local schools, they have American, English, Indian, Pakistan and Filipino schools. The cost of schooling for children is free for those working in government / public sector, and who send children to public schools. Even if you work in the private sector, you would have to pay for your schooling. The cost for the school can vary as every private school has its own policy. The cost will therefore depend on the type of school you select, but most of them charge far beyond KD1000. Generally, the expense of crèche / pre-school tuition, high school / college tuition / primary school fees, tertiary school fees are all on average fairly higher relative to other towns.
Preschool or Kindergarten, Full Day (private) monthly for 1 child – KD40 to KD227
International Primary School for 1 child annually – KD600 to KD3000

Food and Grocery
Kuwait is open to a range of cuisines and has plenty of restaurants including Arabic, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, American, and Philippines. Restaurants and eating out prices are high relative to most other cities, including business dinner, restaurant meals, hotel rates, putting away drinks and snacks.

In case, you chose to purchase internationally branded food items and household goods, you will no-doubt end up paying higher prices than in your home country. But, there are good options available in the local and regional markets that are of great quality. Grocery costs for food and non-alcoholic beverages, cleaning materials including baked goods, baby consumables, canned foods, cheese, baking items, dairy, fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, oil, fruit juices, pet food, pre-cooked meals, sauces, snacks, seafood, soft drinks, herbs and spices, are comparatively less than in other cities, in overall cost of living index.

Meal for two in an inexpensive restaurant could range from KD2 to KD4
Three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant could range from KD10 to KD14.
Mc Meal at McDonalds or an equivalent combo meal – KD1.50 to KD2.50
Cappuccino (regular) – KD1 to KD2

Alcohol and Tobacco
Where these are allowed, the price of wine and spirits is marginally lower than in the UK, but higher than the average European prices. The cost of alcoholic beverages including alcohol at bar, liquor manufactured locally, beer, whisky, wine and tobacco products including cigarettes are lower prices compared to other cities.
Bottle of mid-range non-alcoholic wine – KD0.7 to KD2
Domestic non-alcoholic beer (0.5 ltr bottle) – KD0.35 to KD2.50
Imported non-alcoholic beet (0.33 ltr bottle) – KD0.35 to KD0.60
Cigarettes 20 pack (Marlboro) – KD0.90

Utilities like energy, water and gas are to some degree subsidized by the governments of the country, because the governments own the utilities (except for bottled gas supplies), because they tend to provide electricity and water at subsidized rates, primarily for the benefit of citizens. The services are also cheaper than in other European countries. Nevertheless, air-conditioning prices will increase during peak summer. Electronic products like hi-fis, television, DVD players, computer hardware and software, photographic equipment is all less costly than in other European countries, due in large part to lower import duties.
Communication rates for rent and call home telephone charges, internet access and service provider fees, mobile and cell phone contracts, and calls are less costly compared to other cities. The government keeps the cost of telephone calls and foreign calls small, as it aims to promote international business and investment in the country.
Basic (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for 85m2 apartment per month – KD5 to KD20
1 min of prepaid mobile tariff (local) no discounts or plans – KD0.03 to KD0.07
Internet (60mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL) – KD5 to KD12

The cost of general healthcare, medical and medical insurance, physician consultation rates, private hospital costs, non-prescription medicines, private medical insurance, and medical aid contribution is comparatively less expensive in comparison to other major cities. While Kuwait has a reputable public healthcare system that offers free or low-cost healthcare to all residents, the expats are lately being banned by the government from using public healthcare facilities, and Kuwait has begun to build expat-only hospitals charging a considerably higher price.
The medical facilities and treatment at public and private hospitals are usually on par with American and European standards. But for very specialized treatments, people who can afford the costs, whether citizens or expats, seek medical care outside the country.
Kuwait also offers vaccinations free of charge in public clinics. The pharmacies are all well-equipped too.

Expats paying annual health insurance, medical treatment at a hospital will be atleast KD5, and public wards would be charged KD10 per day.

For foreigners visiting the country, medical treatment at polyclinic will cost KD10, and hospital will cost KD20, outpatient clinic would cost KD30, a day in public ward KD70 and ICU will cost KD220.

A stay in a private room at a hospital will cost KD130 per day and deposit for a private room KD300 and KD150 for public ward.

Prices for public transport, car fuel, transportation costs, vehicle insurance and vehicle repairs, including vehicle hire and purchase, petrol, diesel, repairs of public transit systems, vehicle insurance, tyres, purchasing of vehicles are all less costly than in other cities.
Bus transport is available throughout Kuwait for nearly USD 1, while taxi fare could range from KD1 to KD3 or KD4.

One-way ticket (local transport) – KD0.25 to KD0.30
Monthly pass (regular) – KD11 to KD15
Starting tariff for taxi (normal) – KD0.75 to KD1.50
Taxi 1km (normal tariff) – KD0.50 to KD1.00
Taxi 1hour waiting (normal tariff) – KD1 to KD3
Gasoline (1 litre) – KD0.09 to KD0.12
Volkswagen Golf (or equivalent new car) – KD4000 to KD7000

Miscellaneous (sports, entertainment, personal care)
Aside from other miscellaneous general expenditures, this segment covers sports, recreation, and other entertainment expenses.
The cost pertaining to stationery, general goods, domestic help, dry cleaning, office supplies, magazines and newspapers, postage, are all as expensive as in other cities. Cost of personal care products and services including hair care, cosmetics, tablets, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, cost relatively less than other cities. However, cost of recreation amenities including books, DVD, CDs, sports goods, and theatre tickets are quite expensive here.

Fitness club, monthly fee per adult – KD20 to KD60
Tennis court rent (per hour on weekend) – KD5 to KD20
Cinema, 1 seat – KD3 to KD4
Cinema, 2 tickets – KD7