The Difference in Living Costs between Kuwait and the UK
Wherever in the world you go the costs vary. In Kuwait some things are more expensive than in the UK, while some a cheaper. Overall, though, the cost of living to an average standard is around the same. The advantage of living in Kuwait is that with tax free earnings, most who travel there to work have the potential for greater earnings.
Non-Kuwaiti’s are not allowed to buy Kuwait Real Estate so must rent. Rent In Kuwait is a little more expensive than in the UK, around 10 – 20% higher. However, as most are earning more (due to the lack of income tax) this is not a worry. The standard of accommodation, especially modern accommodation such as flats in apartment blocks, is generally of a good standard.
Food is also more expensive than the UK. Price can vary, though, significantly from one shop to the next so it is a good idea to look around especially if staying in Kuwait long-term. Prices can fluctuate and suddenly drop or rise in a particular shop. Some items are much more expensive than in the UK (e.g. vegetables) with others much cheaper (e.g. coffee beans). As with anywhere the price of eating out in a restaurant varies a lot, you can eat anywhere from MacDonald’s to the restaurant at the top of the world famous Kuwait Towers. The cost can be the equivalent of anywhere between £3 and £50. A good guide is £20 per person at a medium priced restaurant, so around the same as the UK.
Utilities are cheaper, largely due to government subsidies. The government runs electricity, gas and water supplies and subsidises them. Heating is less of a necessity due to the heat (although the winters can be a little cool) which saves money, although electricity to run air conditioning is a consideration.
Leisure costs completely depend on what you want to do. Going to the cinema and sport are among the more popular leisure activities in Kuwait. If you base a leisure budget roughly as the same as you would in the UK should shouldn’t go too far wrong.
Public transport is reasonably priced and a little less than that of the UK. Driving though, is significantly less. There is no road tax and there isn’t the high amount of duty on petrol as there is in the UK.
Electronic goods are cheaper in the UK, again due to a lack of tax. There is an import duty but this is lower than in Europe, thus bringing down the prices of products such as televisions, computers and hi-fis.
The two main things you think about, rent and food are generally a little more in Kuwait, but this is made up for in the lower prices of utilities and transport, which can be significantly less. The lack of tax is the main financial advantage of living and working in Kuwait. This applies to both the lack of income tax and the lack of high taxes on things like imports and petrol. Overall living costs are therefore around the same as in the UK but for many it has potentially higher earnings.
Guide section: Generalities
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