Kuwait is not trying to emulate the economies of UAE and Qatar. The UAE and Qatar do not have sustainable economies. Expats are 90% of the populations of UAE and Qatar. Qataris and Emiratis work in the public sector more than Kuwaitis work in the public sector. Do you have any idea how unsustainable that is?
Kuwait is not the UAE/Qatar and any comparison between those countries is invalid for the following reasons:
1. 60% of Kuwait's population is Arab (including Arab expats). Kuwait's population has always been predominantly Arab in its composition whereas most people in the UAE and Qatar are non-Arabs (South Asian migrant workers).
2. Kuwait has suffered from extensive terrorist attacks and war. The UAE and Qatar were never victims of terrorism and war. In the 1980s, many terror groups bombed various part sof Kuwait, hijacked Kuwaiti planes, kidnapped Al-Sabah sheikhs and attempted to assassinate Emir Jaber via suicide bombings. Then in 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and obliterated Kuwait's infrastructure. Kuwait's infrastructure megaprojects were postponed for 10 years until Saddam's fall because what's the point in building amazing infrastructure if it's going to get bombed by Iraq again? Saddam threatened to invade Kuwait many times up until his death.
3. In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Kuwait was the most developed and most advanced country in the Gulf region and Middle East. In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Kuwaitis were usually 40% of the total population. Right now, Kuwaitis are only 30% of the total population and Kuwait is deteriorating. This means that an increase in expat population is not positively correlated to Kuwait's development, it only makes things worse because Kuwait City was not built to accommodate 4 million people. Kuwait City is overpopulated. The rapid rise in the expat population was not meant to happen, it happened because of the recent Arab Spring and illegal visa trafficking. Emiratis and Qataris have always been 10%-15% of their country's total populations. Kuwaitis are usually 40% of the total population.
4. Kuwait's economy is structured differently from the economies of the UAE and Qatar - and that's a good thing. Kuwait's economy has always been structured differently from the economies of the UAE and Qatar, before the Gulf War Kuwait was making great strides in economic diversification. Everything went downhill after the Gulf War but Kuwait is currently experiencing a renewed period of growth and the projects market is rapidly rising.
Your point #3 is mute as Kuwait could have chosen to continue on the same path of PROGRESS. And during those years (60-early 80’s), alcohol was legal in Kuwait and there was actually a tourist industry in the country. Boosting the economy – and foreigners were welcome.
6:12, you also stated that, "Qataris and Emiratis work in the public sector more than Kuwaitis work in the public sector. Do you have any idea how unsustainable that is?" I disagree. (From my personal experience), both Qataris and Emiratis working in the public sector have a work ethic and develop their countries - side-by-side, if I might add with who? Foreigners. However, your thought process validates my next paragraph.
6:12, while I think some of your theories are nice - in theory - they have only been put to practice in.the.past. Kuwait is stagnant. No implementation. No enforcement. No desire to make it better. And if there is a desire to make it better, committees are formed to TALK about it and then THINK about it and nothing is accomplished. And you are correct – that is indeed quite different than the economies of Qatar and UAE: They act. They also "maintain" (which seems to be a word foreign to Kuwait - if you will). Even when new projects are implemented (ok, so we have had a few new roads, new road expansions, etc.), within a few years, you notice how dilapidated they become because no one maintains them. Go to any public area in Kuwait and look around. You can quite literally say in many areas of the country, "Kuwait is crumbling".
10 December - Hey check out this cool article (that appeared in a UAE paper) on young Kuwaitis who want change. Just when I was on a rant!