Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cost of Living – Kuwait 2008

I’ve often been asked by people about the cost of living in Kuwait.

I haven’t seen really good data in one location about the cost of living here, so I decided to do some of my own trivial research on everything from the Down & Dirty to the normal and mundane.

Prices are average – and again, this is from my perspective. The conversion rates were for24 July 2008. The cost of living in Kuwait was reported at 11+% this month.

Count on Desert Girl for the real scoop! If you have items to add or questions to ask, bring it on!

One thing I forgot to mention on this list: If you live in an apartment building/complex, your building guard (called "haariss" here) should get 5kd per month for taking out your trash (there are no trash shoots here like in the US) AND washing your car. 5kd is the standard rate - you can pay him more than that if you want. My building guard is a super-nice guy. He fixes things, carries heavy stuff for me and generally makes sure that I'm ok/safe. When I cook, I make extra for him - especially during Ramadan. However, some harisses aren't as nice and try to take advantage.


Big Pearls said...

you have interesting data here.

Anonymous said...

I started reading the blog recently. You have very good local info here.

Are you sure the leased car price annual? I am currently leasing and paying way higher. Please do post where I can get the car at the rates you have.

Desert Girl said...

Hi Nathan. I have had to call around (often go to visit) for the best rates/specials on lease vehicles. Osoul leases 2-3 year old cars for less. It will be less on a 2 year contract also. Payless rents Subaru mid-size vehicles on yearly rates of around 100 kd/mo.

Here's a short list of some of the lease companies:

Kuwait Finance House

Phone: 880066


Al Manar

Payless – 471-9107

Anonymous said...

you are smart ,, you know exactly the cost of living in Kuwait ,,, BUT you have to know the ppl who makes a beer here in Kuwait ...the bottom line try my own beer .. im %100 sure you will love it with 1 KD per big mug

Sam Lawson said...

I like the point you bring up about the Harris. Some of the complexes rented by the contracting companies tend to have a Harris and guys that wash the car. Alot of the people in these places are paying 10KD+ a month (15KD if they have a "reserved" spot, which they actually get from the building for free!), and they tip the Harris 500fils-1KD everytime he changes a light or something.

Are the listed housing prices furnished? I know unfurnished can be cheaper, but the added expensive of outfitting an entire apartment in furniture could take a year to recoup in price difference on the lease.

This is another thing ruining things for alot of us.

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous - if you've ever tried to find beer on the black market here (as friends of mine have - I don't drink it or like it), then it it next to impossible. If you can figure out how to make your own, then I'm sure a lot of folks are envious!

Sam, under normal circumstances, if you turn nasty on them and refuse to pay what they want and say, "take it or leave it"; they will usually take it. More money for a reserved space?! Bullshit. I would find out the name of the building owner and then casually mention to the hariss, "Oh, you know, I was talking to Mr. (Al-Flan) the other day and he says that you shouldn't be doing that. Maybe you should talk to him?" Just the fact that you KNOW the name of the owner usually scares the bejezus out of them. All about "wastah" my friend.

virgo2079 said...

Hi DesertGirl, I've just got an offer from a company at Kuwait. The offered 500KD.. do you think it would be sufficient?? I'm also planning to bring my wife..

Anonymous said...


Currently I am in Melbourne, Australia and my annual earning is 120000 AUD, How much salary should be equalant in Kuwait to maintain same lifestyle as cost of living is higher in kuwait.



Anonymous said...

Hi Desert Girl,
Thanks for this wonderful blog. I'm being interviewed for a department head job at a new AUM university in Kuwait. They tell me I will be very happy with the package but will not reveal until I arrive for the interview. Any idea what a good package would be in Kuwait? Thanks for any advice.
Cheers, Rose

Desert Girl said...

Rose - Lets take this offline. Please write to me ( because I don't have your e-mail address.

My advise to anyone in your situation: "Sorry, if you are unable to disclose how much the position pays, I am not able to fly into the country on a whim." "Very happy" may be great for one person and bad for another. No one will respect you if you don't stand your ground.

For example, I met FIVE times (at 45 minute interviews each time) with a very well known company in Kuwait. They kept saying how wonderful their compensation was, etc. After wasting all those hours on them, they offered me a whopping 150KD.

Don't waste your time with companies who aren't straight with you from the beginning. Recruiters should be able to provide a salary range immediately.

Anonymous said...

Hi Desert Girl,I've just got an offer from a company at Kuwait. They offered 850KD. If I decide to move over, I will be staying together with another mate.

I am rather worried about the cost of living in Kuwait. I have went to several websites. Some of these websites have mentioned that you need to earn at least 1000KD to live comfortably in Kuwait. Is this true?

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous - There are a lot of variables that would make 850 good or bad. For example:

What is the job?
What are your qualifications?
What benefits (allowances) are included (if any)?
Your standard of life..
etc etc etc

Write to me at for more clarification.

Anonymous said...

Hello Desert girl thank you for the email. i live somewhere here in Iraq, working in a decent place right now with locals and Foreign nationals. Just need a change of pace. I lived in Kuwait before on the Gulf. In a controlled environement. I cannot say where but it was decent. I only lived on the economy really for a couple months there when the company I worked for lost the contract. But I am looking forward to living and working there again on a gov. contract. Thanks a million for all your information, Mark

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy I found your blog I'm from LA and I'm going to Kuwait in 2 months. It's random but do you know if you can enter the country and still get a visa with a one way ticket? I have a sponsor and everything.


Anonymous said...

hi desertgirl......
First of all wonderfull blog....helping people out......thanx for all the information

I would like to know that whether 550 KD will be sufficient for maintaining a standard life (for a Bachelor)and also save some money..also can u tell me the website from which i can track cheap airfares to and fro from India...

Anonymous said...

Hi Desert Girl..I would like to know if KD180 as basic salary plus KD20 as housing allowance is fair enough as salary for a watch repairman in Kuwait?..salary increase after 2years. Hope to hear a raply from u soon..thank you...FERDI

Anonymous said...

Very Sincere efforts...Desert Girl.
You are doing a great job.

Anonymous said...

Hey, i would liek to thank you for the valuable information in your site
anyway, i have few small question
in the prices there in average
1- how much hosing cost for 2 bed room?
how much the food will cost for family of 4 members(father, mother, 2 kids)
3- how much for transportation? Thans,

Anonymous said...

Dear Desertgirl
I will be interviewed today by American University of the Middle East. Any input from you will be appreciated. I have a phD and I like to know what to expect in terms of salary/benefits. Also any input about the location of the University (uqaila) will very much appreciated.

Thank you

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous 8:36: Write to me at I have been asked several times about AUME, but it is so new that I haven't had much feedback. Agalia is South of Kuwait City near Fintas. It is a newer area and the rents are still reasonable.

Anonymous said...

I am doing a paper on cultural diversity in Kuwait? I need help !!

Unknown said...


I am a qualified chartered accountant with 15 years experiance. Got an offer from a Kuwaiti company for KD 2,000/- (all inclusive). My family includes wife and 2 kids 14 and 10.

Do you think this salary is sufficient and would leave som reasonable savings?

Thanks in advance


Anonymous said...

Hi Desert Girl, thank you for all the good advises your are prosting here...

I need some help, I'll be moving to Kuwait soon and I need information about International Universities and schools, if you have any I'll relly apreciated.


Anonymous said...

Hi there !
I'm planning to move to Kuwait and I'm trying to find information about what kind of stuff can I move there (especially my plants? and of course other, like - spices, some food...). I couldn't find on net what I'm looking for, so I would be very grateful to you if you at least give some link for such information.
Thanks in advance,

Desert Girl said...

Contact Haydee Regalado, Customer Care Coordinator, at GFS Relocation (Allied Pickfords Representatives in Kuwait), They also do customs clearance so you don't have the headache.

Anonymous said...

Hi Desert Girl
Thank you for sharing all of your information and experiences about Kuwait. I am travling there shortly to complete the final interview process at AUM. I noticed there are some older posts here that also wanted some information about it. Is it okay if I email you with some queries.

Thank you again. Your advice is much appreciated.

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous June 2, 10:05: You are more than welcome to write to me, however, I am not affiliated in any way with AUM, nor do I have any information about them unfortunately. I can provide general information on Kuwait and employment packages, etc.

vineeth said...

Im a bachelor from india who got a job in kuwait for 425kd.I would like to know which place is good for me to stay..i prefer places with indians more.I would also like to know how much it will cost monthly for food.(Not cooking).Please do reply.....

vineeth said...

Hello....Please do reply...Im shifting to kuwait for 425kd pm on april 28th 2012..i would like to know how much my cost of living there.Im a bachelor.I would like to share room with other bachelors/family.How much will be my food cost?i prefer not cooking.Kindly reply because its urgent...

Desert Girl said...

Vineeth, prices of food have risen a bit since 2008, but not much. Most of the information I posted in 2008 is still accurate today in 2012.

I have commented about this before. It is impossible for ME to determine how another individual will live in Kuwait on X salary, getting X job. There are too many variables: Your current standard of living, education, job experience, where you are from, etc etc. You are going to have to do your own homework.

I have heard that apartments are available in areas like Kheitan and Hassawi for very little rent compared to areas like Salmiya and Mahboula. Would you want to live there? I don't know because I'm not you.

But - for 425/mo in Kuwait, you're probably going to have to do some cooking my friend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dessert Girl,

I have been offered 1000 kwd a month for a position in Kuwait. I have no accommodation or transportation allowance. I will be offered health coverage though. Will this be MORE than enough for 1 person and possibly 2?

Unknown said...

Hello, why is it sooo hard to find ICE in kuwait. Ive only been here three weeks. Please help