Kuwait

Public health is entirely supported by the government at local clinics and hospitals, with a 5KD~$17.88 fee paid by foreigners visiting Kuwait and 1KD~$3.57 for expats with a resident visa, or a visitor's visa. Private non-governmental clinics are available as well, but charge much more at 30KD~$107.31 and upwards. You will be entitled to free treatment in case of an accident or an emergency. In case of an emergency, call 112.

respect

Ramadan dates

2012 1433: Jul 20 - Aug 18

2013 1434: Jul 9 - Aug 7

2014 1435: Jun 28 - Jul 27

The festival of Eid ul-Fitr is held after the end of Ramadan and may last several days. Exact dates depend on astronomical observations and may vary from country to country.

Kuwait adopts a live-and-let-live policy for clothing, and you'll see a wide range of styles: women wear anything ranging from daring designer fashions like tank tops and short shorts to black abayas, while men can be seen both in T-shirts and shorts or the traditional dazzling white dishdashah. Bikinis are fine at the hotel pool, but not on public beaches.

Do not eat in public during the holy month of Ramadan or you may be fined or even go to jail. The fine is 100 KD or about US$350.

Do not get into conversations concerning the Emir of Kuwait. Although Kuwait is a relatively democratic country with one of the best freedom of speech laws in the Middle East, the topic of the Emir is beyond the red line.

Do not take pictures near the Iraq border fence.

Alcohol is prohibited in Kuwait, however, possessing alcohol will generally NOT get you into trouble; especially if it is for personal use. Also, never drink and drive.

mobile

Kuwait uses GSM and mobile phones are widely available. Major operators include Zain, Wataniya Telecom, and Viva. As roaming charges can be very steep, it makes sense to get a local SIM card: prepaid starter kits are available for around KD 5~$17.88, including some call time.

phone

The country code for Kuwait is 965.Local phone numbers are 8 digits long. The numbering system is as follows:Numbers starting with 2 are landline telephones.Numbers starting with 5 are mobile telephones for the VIVA Mobile Operator.Numbers starting with 6 are mobile telephones for the WATANIYA Mobile Operator.Numbers starting with 9 are mobile telephones for the ZAIN Mobile Operator.Numbers starting with 1 are service numbers.To dial outside the country from Kuwait, prefix the country code with 00. E.g a US number would be dialed as 00-1-555-555-5555.

telephone

Kuwait has high international call rates. Although calling overseas is also very cheap if you use the many booths that advertise 'Net2Phone' service, which is illegal. Basically it is calling over the Internet. For home usage, Phoneserve cards are available mostly in Hawally that can be used for cheap calls worldwide. Users with credit cards use Skype and Yahoo Voice for communication as well, but skype website was banned now.

Some traditional corner-shops commonly referred to as "Bakalat" sell an international calling card called Big Boss which offers good rates to Europe but only when calling landlines. For the rest of continents the rates are decent even when calling mobile phones.