With the right mixture of Western liberalism and strict Islam, Kuwait is the one of most visited country in the Middle East, apart from Dubai. In fact, its capital city is a bustling area made up of high-rise luxury buildings with well-preserved mosques and palaces that shows the integral part of their religion.
Kuwait International Airport
Last year, the country was chasing one million tourists annually, as part of the government’s five-year travel and tourism plan. But, given the authentic experience provided by Kuwait to every visitor, this number is not far from being reached.
However, visitors need to make a few adjustments in order to fit in, especially for those accustomed to Western ways of living. In this post, we will highlight some common dos and don’ts that every traveler needs to know before heading to the land of Kuwaitis.
Do Be Aware of Social Customs
Arab customs are very different from Western ones. Small gestures may mean less to you, but already big to Kuwaitis. To avoid any problems, be wary of these common social customs:
- Accept refreshments whenever offered.
- Always use your right hand when drinking and eating.
- Never show the soles of your shoes or feet.
- Avoid crossing your legs and keep your feet flat on the ground.
- Don’t walk on a prayer mat.
- Never beckon to people with a finger.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
Drinking alcohol or even offering people some of it can cause great offense, even in other Arab nations. The nation bans alcohol. When caught with alcoholic drinks, police can take you into custody and put you in jail for weeks. In fact, showing drunkenness and aggression are rarely tolerated. It can be quite an adjustment, especially for those who think they can enjoy a good drink after a long restless flight. There are great hotels with bars where travelers get to mingle with people, but still no alcoholic drinks are allowed in most of them. Some may offer the famous brands, but it can be quite costly.
Do Stay Hydrated
Knowing the heat condition in the country, one must stay hydrated at all times. It avoids the common medical condition due to overheating called hyperthermia. This is especially true for those pregnant travellers, who needs to take as more fluids as the others. Always keep a water bottle with you at all times to maintain your fluid levels up. However, plan your bathroom breaks strategically, as drinking plenty of water also makes your bladder full. It can be quite difficult to find toilets in the area that are clean and safe for women.
Don’t Wear Revealing Clothes
Photo courtesy of Peake Family Adventures
Another adjustment highly necessary for those travelling to Kuwait will be their choice of clothing. This rule greatly affects the women. Most Arab women dress depending on their religious custom, where often they cover most of their body from head to toe. Wearing the appropriate clothing, protects the women from unwanted attention. In other UAE states, foreigners can wear western clothes so long as its still conservative, said Visit Kuwait Guide. The hot climate may make the conservative clothing a bit of a problem for many. Just make sure that the clothes you choose do not reveal the shoulders, legs, and arms. This extends to men, as they should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts in the streets.
Do Get Travel Insurance
You’ll never know when an emergency or calamity strikes, but why wait for it to happen when you can be prepared for it ahead of time. A travel insurance policy will cover you of any emergency cost you may incur before and during your trip, such as flight cancelation, lost or stolen luggage, and medical expenses. This comprehensive guide to travel insurance shared some important tips to help you get the best policy:
- Pick the right policy
- Choose your level of coverage
- Go with a reputable brand
- Shop around
- Be honest (about your medical conditions and trip plans)
- Buy early
There are more customary adjustments one must know to avoid further problems in Kuwait. But, the ones presented above will make your trip a lot easier, even when visiting other Middle Eastern countries.
Do you have any travel tips that other travelers can use when going to Kuwait? Leave us a comment below!