Kuwait
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Kuwait. Kuwait – Country Overview. Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia Area: total:  17,820 sq km land:  17,820 sq km water:  0 sq km Climate: dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters. Kuwait – Country Overview.

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Kuwait

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Kuwait


Kuwait – Country Overview

  • Location:Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia

  • Area:total:  17,820 sq km land:  17,820 sq km water:  0 sq km

  • Climate:dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters


Kuwait – Country Overview

  • Population:2,041,961.

  • Religions:Muslim 85% (Sunni 45%, Shi'a 40%), Christian, Hindu, Parsi, and other 15%.

  • Languages:Arabic (official), English widely spoken.

  • The unit of currency is the Kuwaiti Dinar (KD): KD 1 = 1000 fils.


Kuwait – Government Overview

  • Government type:nominal constitutional monarchy.

  • Capital:Kuwait.

  • National holiday:National Day, 25 February (1950).

  • Legal system:civil law system with Islamic law significant in personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

  • Government Offices: Saturday-Wednesday, 7:30 am - 2:30 p.m.

  • Banking Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Social Behaviors and Customs

  • Learn the meaning of fundamental Arabic words.

    • “Salaam Walekum” - to greet a stranger.

    • “Zain”- good,

    • “Marhaba”- hello, how are you?,

    • “Ahlen”- fine, thank you,

  • In Kuwait it is customary for men to be addressed as “The Father of (Abu)…”, with the name of their first born son inserted in the blank.

    • If you do not know the name of your associate’s first born son, you must ask them and then address them accordingly.


Social Behaviors and Customs

  • The making of coffee is a sign that a guest is welcome and honoured by their host.

  • It is important to generate a strong relationship with the public and with the upper-management of the company you are in business with.

  • When dealing with the higher-ups of a company, it is necessary to voice only what you feel they will agree with and will want to hear.


Social Behaviors and Customs

  • Kuwaiti women may only wear a burka. Although foreign women are permitted to wear their regular clothing, they are not able to wear short skirts or shorts.

  • Kuwaiti women comprise approximately 35% of the workforce.

  • Kuwaiti women are known to wear a lot of make-up and perfume.


Social Behaviors and Customs

  • Men greet each other first with a hug, and then by kissing each cheek twice (right, left, right, left).

  • A male may verbally greet a female, but it is unacceptable for him to initiate a physical gesture (i.e. a handshake).

  • It is considered rude and disrespectful to eat pork in their presence.

  • It is illegal for anyone to drink alcohol.

  • It is important to determine the fasting dates, as it is illegal and offensive for anyone within the country to eat openly during these periods.


Business Behaviors and Customs

  • Select a local business partnerwhen establishing a business.

    • It is more profitable to partner with a high ranking or royal family.

    • It is mandatory to have a local partner with a 51% share, in order to establish a business.

  • Thursdays and Fridays are allocated for prayer.

    • Praying is conducted five times daily, and Mosque is attended only by males, on Friday.


Business Behaviors and Customs

  • Business meetings are never held on Fridays.

  • Forget all standard business ethics and prepare for all types of dishonest transactions.

  • Decision-making in the Arab world is a painstakingly slow process.

    • Beauracratic structure: only one man has the authority to make the final decision.


Business Behaviors and Customs

  • Business uncertainties are particularly present in Kuwait, since it is an oil producing country and the market is very volatile.

  • Strong competition from Eastern countries, such as China, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, etc.

  • The competition for labour intensive products will be very high and profits will be low.

    • Strategy used:develop and sell high-tech products and then price them low.


Business Behaviors and Customs

  • At the time of presentations and other festivals, bring small gifts for your audience members, such as pens, diaries, stationary.

  • Deal with only higher management for major business transactions.

    • Lower management employees have no influence and are known to ask for bribed for their services.

  • It is not unusual for a Kuwaiti employee to receive promotion over an employee from abroad.

    • Ensure control over Kuwaiti companies.


Risks Involved

  • A local business partner can exit a partnership at any time, they can also cancel your business license.

  • No legal protection is available to foreigners in the event that an offence has been committed or a complaint has been made.

  • Business deception must be expected and is very common, especially in verbal promises.


Benefits Involved

  • Tax-free country, therefore, all profits belong to the company.

  • Large potential for growth and high profit margins.


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