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Panorama of Kuwait City at night, with Al Hamra Tower and Kuwait Towers, Kuwait
Panorama of Kuwait City. The sculpted Al Hamra Tower (412 m) is the tallest buildings in Kuwait, the Kuwait Towers, a famous landmark of the city, in the far right.
Image: hamad M


Kuwait in brief

Location Map of Kuwait. Where in the world is Kuwait?
Location Map of Kuwait

Kuwait Flag
Flag of Kuwait

Destination Kuwait, a Nations Online country profile of the oil-rich, family-run emirate in the Middle East. The State of Kuwait is situated on the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the northwestern part of the Persian Gulf (Arabian Gulf).

Kuwait borders Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and it shares maritime boundaries with Iran. Several islands belong to Kuwait, the largest are Bubiyan, Warbah, and Failaka islands, situated off the coast of the mainland.

With an area of 17,818 km², the emirate is somewhat smaller than twice the size of Cyprus, or slightly smaller than New Jersey.

Kuwait has a population of 4.5 million inhabitants (in 2020); about one-third are Kuwaiti nationals, the others are expatriates and foreigners. The capital of the emirate is Kuwait (City). Spoken language is Arabic, English is the lingua franca. The official religion in Kuwait is Islam. Kuwait is one of six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and a member state of the League of Arab States.

State of Kuwait | Dawlat al Kuwayt

Nominally a province of the Ottoman Empire ruled from Constantinople (todays Istanbul) from the 16th century until the latter part of the 19th century.

On 23 November 1899, Sheikh Mubarak signed the Anglo-Kuwaiti Treaty with Great Britain. The treaty established Kuwait as an autonomous British protectorate with a semi-autonomous status for the country.

In the mid-1930s, Kuwait began the development of its petroleum industry, the basis of the country's modern prosperity. On 19 June 1961, Kuwait gained full independence from Britain, and in 1963 it became a member of the United Nations.

Kuwait's sovereignty was critically threatened when Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait on 2 August 1990, claiming that Kuwait was harming Iraq economically by refusing to reduce its oil production. Many Kuwaitis were forced to flee to Saudi Arabia and other countries. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, an international coalition of 30 states, led by the United States, began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that completely liberated Kuwait in four days. Kuwait has spent more than $5 billion to repair oil infrastructure damaged during 1990-91.

The Arab states of the Persian Gulf, also known as the Gulf States, are Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.



Country Profile

Official Name:
Dawlat al Kuwayt
local short form: Al Kuwayt
Int'l long form: State of Kuwait
Int'l short form: Kuwait
formerly: Qurain (before the 17th century).

ISO Country Code: KW, KWT

Actual Time: Sat-Sept-23  06:08
Local Time = UTC +3h

Country Calling Code: +965

Capital City: Kuwait (pop. about 238,000) more


Official Sites of Kuwait

Kuwait National Assembly building in Kuwait City
Kuwait National Assembly in Kuwait City, the building was designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon.
Image: xiquinhosilva

Political System
Kuwait is a constitutional emirate with a semi-democratic political system. The country is ruled by a hereditary emir, who can pass laws by decree when parliament is not in session and can veto legislation. The emir selects the prime minister, and the cabinet is subject to his approval. He can also dismiss government ministers and dissolve parliament.
Top positions in the cabinet, such as the prime minister, interior, defense, and foreign affairs, are traditionally held by members of the emir's Al-Sabah family.

Official Sites of Kuwait

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Kuwait Prime Minister
Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

Majlis al-Umma
The Kuwait National Assembly.

Ministry of Communications
Ministry of Communications Kuwait.

Ministry of Information
Official site of the Ministry (in Arabic).

Kuwait E-Government
State of Kuwait gateway to government services.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait (in Arabic).

Diplomatic Missions
The Permanent Mission of the State of Kuwait to the UN
Kuwait's representation to the United Nations.
Embassy of the State of Kuwait in Washington
The official website of the embassy.
Embassy of Kuwait
Embassy of Kuwait in Japan.
Embassies in Kuwait
Foreign Embassies in Kuwait.

Central Statistical Bureau
Kuwait statistics.




Maps of Kuwait

Political Kuwait Map
Map of Kuwait (click map to enlarge)
Image: ©


Map of Kuwait
Political map of Kuwait.
Google Earth Google Earth Kuwait
Searchable map and satellite view of Kuwait.
Google Earth Google Earth Kuwait-City
Searchable map and satellite view of the emirate's capital city.

Map of the Persian Gulf
Political map of the Persian Gulf.
Map of the Arabian Peninsula
Reference map of the Arabian Peninsula.
profile Map of Countries of Western Asia
Political Map of Countries of Western Asia and the Middle East region.
profile Map of Western Asia
Map of Western Asia and the Middle East region.
Map of Northern Africa and the Middle East
Political Map of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East.



News of Kuwait

Arabic Newspapers
Image: Márcio Cabral de Moura

The Media in Kuwait

Kuwait continues to restrict free speech, using provisions in the constitution, the national security law, and other legislation to stifle political dissent, as well as passing new legislation criminalizing or increasing penalties for various forms and means of expression. (HRW)

Online News from Kuwait
Kuwait Government News
Official news from Kuwait.

Kuwait News Agency - KUNA
KUNA is an official state news wire service based in Kuwait.

Kuwait Times Newspaper
National and international news.

Al Rai
Kuwaiti daily newspaper. (in Arabic)
Al Qabas
Kuwait News. (in Arabic)
Kuwaiti daily newspaper. (in Arabic)
Daily News from Kuwait. (in Arabic)
Arab Times
English language daily published in Kuwait.

International News sources
Arabian Business Kuwait
A weekly business magazine published in Dubai.
Gulf News
Kuwait news by GN, an English language newspaper published from Dubai.
The Guardian Kuwait
Kuwait news by The Guardian, a British daily newspaper.



Arts & Culture of Kuwait

Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre, Kuwait City
Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre in Kuwait City, the performing art complex JACC is also known as the Kuwait Opera House.
Image: SSH

Arts & Culture

Al-Shaheed Park Museums
Al-Shaheed Park is Kuwait's largest urban park, in the wide-open area are two museums, the Habitat, and the Memorial Museum.

Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah
The cultural organization operates several cultural centers in Kuwait, among them, the al Sabah collection of ancient Islamic art.

Kuwait Cultural Office
The Cultural Office of the Embassy of the State of Kuwait.

Hala February Festival
Kuwait's celebrations of the National and Independence Days.

KidZania Kuwait
The interactive edutainment center is home to a kid-sized city.

Kuwait Festivals
Celebration calendar and locations.

Kuwait National Museum
About the Kuwait National Museum.

National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters
Arts and culture. (in Arabic)

Sadu House
Kuwait's rich textile heritage.

Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre
JACC is also known as the Kuwait Opera House.

Tareq Rajab Museum
Collection of Islamic arts: calligraphy, pottery, metalwork, glass, wood, ivory, and jade carvings as well as textiles, embroideries, and jewelry of the Islamic world.

Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
World Heritage Site Traditional weaving of Al Sadu
Sadu traditional weaving refers to textiles with geometric patterns handwoven by Bedouin women mainly in Kuwait and neighboring Saudi Arabia.

World Heritage Site Date palm, knowledge, skills, traditions and practices
Knowledge, skills, traditions and practices for the use of the date palm. Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East and the Indus Valley for thousands of years and have been cultivated since ancient times.




Business & Economy of Kuwait

Trading floor of Kuwait Stock Exchange
The trading floor of Kuwait's Stock Exchange.
Image: Andreas Gursky

Kuwait's economy is based on oil. Its currency, the Kuwaiti dinar, is the highest-valued unit of money in the world. There are non-petroleum industries like financial services. The country is home to a large wealth-management industry. According to the World Bank, Kuwait is in the top-10 of the wealthiest countries in the world (per capita).

Central Bank of Kuwait
The Bank regulates the Kuwaiti stock market and maintains a strict monetary system on behalf of the State of Kuwait.

Boursa Kuwait
Kuwait's Stock Exchange.

Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The chamber represents business establishments in Kuwait.

Kuwait International Fair
Kuwait's first and largest exhibition center.

Kuwait Investment Authority
State-owned investment fund.

New Kuwait
The Kuwait National Development Plan to transform Kuwait into a financial and trade hub.

Mina Ahmadi, Mina Shuaiba and Mina Abdullah Kuwait refineries.
Mina Ahmadi, Mina Shuaiba and Mina Abdullah Kuwait refineries.
Image: Ken Doerr

Kuwait Products

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK)
The dominant Kuwait-based bank is engaged in the provision of banking, financial, and investment services.

Kuwait Finance House
Islamic Banking

Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC)
Umbrella organization to manage Kuwaits oil interests.
Kuwait Oil Co. (K.S.C.)
The oil company is a subsidiary of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.
Kuwait Petroleum International Limited KPI
Kuwait Petroleum International, known by the trademark Q8, is the international subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.

Kuwait National Petroleum Co. KNPC)
Government-owned shareholder company.

Boubyan Petrochemical
The first private-sector company in Kuwait that invested in the government-controlled petrochemical sector.

Kuwait Airways
Kuwait Airways Corporation serves destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Asia, and the USA.

Jazeera Airways
Jazeera Airways is a Kuwaiti airline with with scheduled services in the Middle East, India and Europe; its head office is at Kuwait International Airport.

Kuwait International Airport
Kuwait International Airport is located in Farwaniya, about 20 km by road, south of Kuwait City.

Kuwait Port Authority
Kuwait's three ports are Shuwaikh Port, Shuaiba Port, and Doha Port.

Shuwaikh container port, Kuwait
Kuwait container port.
Image: Kuwait Ports Authority




Tourism in Kuwait

Kuwait Towers at sunset, Kuwait City
Kuwait Towers at sunset, Aqua Park Kuwait on the left.
Image: U.S. State Department

Destination Kuwait - Travel and Tour Guides


Discover Kuwait:
Kuwait Towers (water towers), Wall of Kuwait Gates - Al Jahra Gate (Kuwait's old city walls with gates), Souq Al Mubarakeya (souq), Youm Al Bahar Village (traditional wind-tower architecture with craft workshops), Kuwait Liberation Tower (telecommunications tower), Kuwait Grand Mosque (largest mosque in town), Failaka Island (a planned vacation paradise).

Tourism in Kuwait
Kuwait's government information about tourism in Kuwait.

A Kuwait portal with country information, a Kuwait directory, and Kuwait news.

Wikivoyage Logo Wikivoyage: Kuwait
A Wikivoyage guide to Kuwait.

City Guide
Kuwait (City)
The Municipality of Kuwait. (in Arabic)

Souq Sharq and Marina Kuwait
Sunset over Souq Sharq, a major shopping center, along the marina, the Central Bank of Kuwait on the left, Kuwait City.
Image: Zizi.husain



Education in Kuwait

Building of the American University of Kuwait, Kuwait City,
Entrance to the American University of Kuwait, Kuwait City.
Image: Evan Hemingway

The Public Authority for Applied Education & Training (PAAET)
Academic institute in Kuwait. (in Arabic)

American University of Kuwait
A private liberal arts institution

Gulf University for Science & Technology
GUST is the first private university established in Kuwait.

Kuwait University
Kuwait higher education since1966. The public university with six campuses offers programs in sciences, engineering, humanities, medical, and social sciences.


Environment & Nature

Camels in the desert landscape of Kuwait
Camels in the desert landscape of Kuwait.
Photo: Irvin Calicut

The general environmental issues in Kuwait include but are not limited to climate change, loss of agriculture, loss of biodiversity, air pollution, and water pollution.

Beatona (our environment) is Kuwait's official environmental portal.

Environmental Monitoring Information System of Kuwait (eMISK).

Environment Public Authority (EPA)
Prepares and applies public policy for the protection of the environment and develops strategies and action plans to achieve sustainable development. (Arabic only)

Kuwait Environment Protection Society
Website of the society. (Arabic only)

Kuwaiti ‘environment’ exposed to high levels of pollution
Arab Times article about Kuwait's environmental problems.


Kuwait History

Camels at the burning Ahmadi oilfields
Camels at the burning Ahmadi oilfields. When Iraq's army withdrew from Kuwait at the end of the First Gulf War, Saddam Hussein ordered Kuwait's oil fields to be set on fire.
Image: Steve McCurry

Kuwait's history from early settlements to the Persian Gulf War, article by Encyclopædia Britannica.

History of Kuwait
Overview of Kuwait's history by Wikipedia.



Indigenous People of Kuwait

Kuwaiti youth celebrating during the 50/20 Celebration parade in Kuwait
Kuwaiti youth celebrating during the 50/20 Celebration parade in Kuwait. The celebration honored 50 years of Kuwaiti independence and the 20 years since Operation Desert Storm.
Image: Eric Guzman U.S. Army

Bidoon (bidoon jinsiya)
Minority Rights Group International about the Bidoon, a stateless Arab minority in Kuwait who were not included as citizens at the time of the country's independence or shortly after that.

Bidoon (social class)
Wikipedia article about the Bidoon, a social class in countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), particularly Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.



Additional Information

Selected country profiles of Kuwait published by international organizations.


Amnesty International: Kuwait
Amnesty International is a non-governmental organization focused on human rights.

BBC Country Profile: Kuwait
Country profiles by the British public service broadcaster.

BTI Transformation Index
Kuwait Country Report 2020 by Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Freedom House: Kuwait
The U.S. government-funded non-profit organization whose goal is to promote liberal democracies worldwide.

GlobalEDGE: Kuwait
Kuwait ranking by the Global business knowledge portal.

The Heritage Foundation: Kuwait
The Heritage Foundation index of Economic Freedom.

Human Rights Watch: Kuwait
HRW conducts research and advocacy on human rights.

OEC: Kuwait
The Observatory of Economic Complexity provides the latest international trade data.

Reporters Without Borders: Kuwait
RSF (Reporters sans frontières) is an international NGO that defends and promotes media freedom.

Wikipedia: Kuwait
Wikipedia Kuwait page in many languages.

The CIA World Factbook -- Kuwait
CIA World Factbook Kuwait Page.


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