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Kuwait is a tiny nation located in the Middle East, bordering Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The country is easily accessible by car, with the majority of the major cities and attractions being no more than 30 minutes’ drive away from the capital of Kuwait City. Drive to the Liberation Tower, Entertainment City or Kuwait’s vast desert.
Driving in Kuwait can be chaotic and caution should be exercised while doing so. Speed limits and other traffic laws are seldom followed, with speeding common. If involved in a traffic accident, do not move your vehicle until after the police arrive and have made their report. Failure to follow this procedure may result in an arrest.
Driving licences: an International Driving Permit is required to drive here.
Which side does Kuwait drive on: the right.
Motorways: 60–75mph (100–120kph)
Urban areas: 30–35mph (45–60kph)
Alcohol limits: alcohol is illegal in Kuwait therefore there is an absolute zero-tolerance with regards to driving under the influence. Those caught doing so face severe penalties.
Driving age: 21 years to hire a car and must have had a valid driver’s licence for at least one year.
Seatbelts: mandatory for front seat passengers.
Mobile phones and GPS: use of a mobile phone while driving is illegal. GPS can be handy in places like Kuwait City.
Cost of fuel in the Kuwait: fuel prices here are some of the cheapest in the world.
Car hire and fuel payment: credit cards and travellers’ cheques are widely accepted for car hire and fuel.
Insurance: included in car rental for a fee, with excess available as an extra.
Traffic and parking: parking is not allowed in areas where the kerb is painted black and yellow. Traffic is only an issue in Kuwait City.
Taxis are easily identified by their orange licence plates. While many taxis have meters, they are seldom used so it is important to negotiate a price beforehand. In general, taxis cost £1 for a five-minute trip and about £0.22 for each additional minute. The cost of a trip from the airport to the city, however, is about £7. Flagging down a taxi is easy; however, it is not advisable for women travelling alone. The best option for women is to make arrangements for a pick up. Shared taxis are also available.
Buses around Kuwait City are quite efficient. All buses are air conditioned and with the exception of during peak times, finding a seat is normally easy.
Ferries are available through Kuwait Public Transport Company (KPTC) from Ras Salmiya to Failaka Island. There are also boats available to other islands, such as Umm Al-Maradim, Bubiyan, Qaruh, Auhha, Umm Al-Naml, Kubbar, Warba and Miskan.
Kuwait International Airport is the only airport in Kuwait and is located 10 miles (15kms) south of Kuwait City. There are several airlines that service this airport from London, including Kuwait Airways and British Airways. If you are in need of a visa on arrival, look for the ‘Visa Issuing’ desk. There are no fees for visas for UK nationals.
Kuwait is a small country with the majority of its sights being in and around the capital, Kuwait City. Visitors can drive to the Kuwait Towers, the definitive landmark of the city, or visit the Grand Mosque and take a walk passed the Seif Palace before exploring the National Museum. Behind the National Museum is the Sadu House, which serves as a cultural museum for arts and crafts of Bedouin society.
Just outside of the city, visitors will find Mina Al Ahmadi. This oil port city is 12 miles (19kms) south of Kuwait City. It is interesting to take a trip out into the desert and visit the Kazmak desert cliffs. On a clear day, these cliffs offer an excellent view of the bay.
There are also a large number of activities for visitors in and around the city. Shopping in this tax-free nation, horse-back riding, golf, swimming at one of the public beaches and other water sports all offer interesting experiences for tourists.
Though the country is classified as having four seasons, the climate in Kuwait does not vary much. Summers are generally dry and hot, so this is not the best time to visit. Dust storms lasting for a week during this time of the year are not uncommon. The country is fairly dry all year round, with most rainfall occurring in the autumn months of October and November, as well as some thunderstorms in the spring. Within Kuwait City temperatures average around 25°C but reach as high as 45°C in the summer months.