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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 country overview
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 overview1
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
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
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 customs1
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 customs2
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 customs3
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
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 customs1
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 customs2
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 customs3
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
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
Benefits Involved

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

  • Large potential for growth and high profit margins.