Sunday, December 07, 2014

Do they want everyone to leave? Kuwait 5-Year Residency Bill About to Move Forward

So, I came to work today and related the story of being kicked off a beach by (very nice/polite) Kuwaiti policemen and he told me about a draft law that looks like it is about to be passed.  It has already passed a committee, so it is on it's way to becoming law...

The law would limit the residence of expats living in Kuwait to 5 years; and it would be retroactive with no exceptions.

My mother will be really happy to hear this news as she's been trying to get me to move back to the States for the past 17 and a half years (roughly 6 months after I arrived here).

The finance company that holds the lien on my car will not be so happy and I hope that Kuwait Airport has intentions to build a bigger parking lot when 1/3 of the country leaves.

How are they going to implement this?  There are a lot of laws coming up now and they're not talking about how they're going to implement them.  Who will be asked to leave first?  Professionals? Housekeepers?  People who were born in Kuwait?  This is gonna git interesting.

So is Kuwait now some exclusive club that only people, Article 1, inside the gate are entitled to membership to?  It seems that it is headed that way, doesn't it?

How will this affect the Bedoun population?  How will "they" ship them out of Kuwait?  Cargo ship? Maybe in Conex containers?  Where will they go?

Oh, and let's talk a wee bit about the economy.  What is going to happen to all the pigeon-hole apartments they've built around the country (that are going for huge rents)?  Who is going to live in those?  What about consumer goods and service providers?  What will happen to those businesses?

It is sad and it seems to be getting worse.

Has Kuwait learned nothing from countries like Qatar and UAE?  Sure, they can emulate some of their architecture, but obviously nothing of their economies.  Qatar and UAE are trying to invite foreign investment.  Kuwait is trying to deter it.  It is almost like the national slogan should be, "We don't want you here."

They pretty much wanted us here in 1990-91.  I remember that.  What happened to that hospitality?

Articles in the news about the residency cap:

Kuwait Times:  MP Proposes 5-Year Cap
Gulf News:  Kuwait 5-year expat residency cap a step nearer
Legal Panel Clears Bill
5-Year Residency Proposal to Hit Banks and Real Estate Sectors Hard




12 comments:

Saad Ali said...

pigeon-hole apartments... very funny

Anonymous said...

The proposal will only affect low-skilled migrant workers with an inadequate level of education and poor literacy rate.

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.

Desert Girl said...

Maybe they should clarify in the media. It sounds as if it relates to all expats.

Anonymous said...

Never gonna happen
Gail

Anonymous said...

Their Target :Dont need them" expat is the asian community in general.They target are the asian maids that clean,cook , take care of their kids and wash their villas, cars and gardens.Their target expats are those who clean out their dumpsters.Their target expats are those underpaid overworked asians who "serve" them food,beverages at all the fats food joints.Their target expats are those who work in bakkalas and garages.Their target expats are those who slog fixing their boats, ships without any increase in pay and denied allowances.Those are the expats they are talking about getting rid of.

Anonymous said...

Who will do all these jobs. Kuwaitis? You must be kidding. You want to keep all the skilled workers alone ehh? What do you think Kuwait is a United States that will attract the best of talent from everywhere. What a joke ! Let them implement it. I would like to see some Kuwaitis who do these kind of jobs when the expats have gone.

Anonymous said...

I can see it now, Kuwaitis running to the diwaniya’s of their favorite MP's begging for ‘wasta’ favors, to keep their long-time household staff in employment, that have exceeded the 5-year duration. You may not be aware of the shortage of maids in Kuwait and how expensive and difficult it is to get a decent maid to even come here, because back in the Philippines, they’re all begging to go to Dubai mostly in the service industry. Although Kuwait has encountered invasions and hatred by its neighbors in the past, as Anonymous 6:12pm has pointed out above, the concerted stagnation of Kuwait’s economy, compared to the advanced development plans of its GCC neighbors, has been dismissed in GCC channels as instability caused by a democracy experiment that has been utilized as a tool to fuel agenda’s, and further, it is has not been for the benefit of Kuwait economically. Two words that can describe the failed policies of Kuwait is lack of ‘implementation’ and ‘regulation’ of its laws that should be spearheading growth potential which should be sparking more foreign investment because in simple terms, “The oil is running out”. OK, you can lackadaisically reminisce about the 1970’s - 1980’s, but really how does that address Kuwait in future terms? It was very well published in the GCC press about the problems of visa trafficking in Kuwait and how government members thrust 10,000’s of illegal workers, with no jobs, on the streets of Kuwait for their own personal gain. Is this how they are going to clear this mess? Why not increase ‘transparency’ in government, streamline the system, I don’t know, implement ‘EGATE’ and network all the immigration files so that there is less possibility of human trafficking over Kuwait borders? How many hundreds of Yemeni’s crossed over the Kuwait border illegally recently, as reported in the press? This can’t be good for security; you state Kuwait is on high alert? Kuwait can’t attract quality expats, because no expat would live in Kuwait under the present tone of the administration and the low quality of life. God Bless you! If I’m Al-Shaya, he more than likely flies his key execs, from neighboring GCC nations to watch his stores, and puts anyone he can find to manage them in Kuwait, because who really cares about the market there? Customer Service, it died with Virgin’s departure. There is a ‘migration’ going on in the Gulf where expats are beginning to move out of areas like Dubai, because of the high costs of living there, so Kuwait could be capitalizing on that, attracting a more quality labor force to Kuwait, filling those apartments on the Gulf Road, but no, their government, with horse blinders on, pass negative expat legislation with a sign that reads ‘Don’t Come Here’. Please take that sign down at the pathetic main airport terminal in Kuwait that reads ‘Land of Friendliness’. We all laugh at it when we see it, maybe it should read ‘Kuwait for Kuwaitis – Go Home’. Let them dig their own grave! At the end of the day, who really cares, they’ve been dismissed now, nobody is discussing them in GCC boardrooms anymore. Business expansion plans almost never involve Kuwait unless it is Kuwait based company.

Desert Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

But didn't the same panel reject this proposal last May?

http://www.arabtimesonline.com/NewsDetails/tabid/96/smid/414/ArticleID/205976/reftab/96/Default.aspx

Anonymous said...

Just reading this made my stomach turn....the 5 year residency thing is something my husband talks about all of the time...I think Kuwaiti's have this strange idea that they should be the only ones to benefit from the resources of their country...to the point of not paying a fair wage for hard labor..I can't relate to their mentality and I'm offended by their old world ways..I didn't like it, so I left...also, I heard Kuwaitis talking about taking the gas subsidies away from foreign workers...so they would have to pay market price for gas...give me a break...such spoiled people

mai said...

hey there desert gitl(?)
am a kuwaitian girl and i agree about something you mention which i don't know lol (( bring stupid))
kuwait is filled ppl who want money and money can't you see the ppl who live in are suffering but not all .all the ppl who works with goverment are only adicted to money and they ain't no pure 100% kuwatian they all have roots from iran if you won't believe me ask any guy who is waering white dress (( desh dasha)) cuz not everyone will tell you the truth since some of them are living with us and about our king (( shaikh )) he is busy enough with other country to give us a shit since he though that we are in good hands the goverments's hands no shit they only takes money all the big building that still in constructiong or just finished the material are all cheap which it bad cuz they would collapes any minute but they don't care!!! japan gave kuwait an adivse about a new project should be going on . cuz we can't depend on the oil forver it gonna finish soon really soon and when it finish wars gonna happen poor life gonna happen ... japanese engineer sujest doing a solar system (( sun light power )) but kuwait said it gonna be really expensive kuwait is only filled with shopping malls and dinners and all .. cuz they want to take the money they gave to the ppl (( salary)) belive me or not their mouth won't shut unliss i came i kill them all i wish our king will make a rule ALL irans ppl go out ALL bad goverment be PUNISHED but they ALL l.a.z.y !!
that all i love kuwait it upbove my head i love our king but i don't like how they think of life this way ...

Honey Combs said...

I lived in Kuwait my entire life and have to say that in the last ten years so much has changed. Some for good but most it seems to be for the worst. I agree with you, Kuwait seems to not want foreign investment unless it is on "their terms" Those business deals only go so far. You can't be a large player in the economy of the world if you actually have no intention of incorporating it into your own country. The United States would not be the United States if they had implemented such rules and regulations. A lot of people are saying not to worry and that this is to tackle the large illegal immigrant population. Tell me something, if they are illegal doesnt that mean they are not in the books? But you know who is? The people legally working. Let says they implement this for the sake of lessening the "lower waged" workers. The law still technically applies to all foreigners which will then be abused. It will become a pick and choose. No expat with ever feel any sort of security. So how will this be implemented properly? There is no way it can properly work without discrimination and wrongful deportation of people who do not deserve such treatment. My husband came home the other day telling me Saudi is thinking of implementing the same kind of law. Tell me how large companies are going to function with that kind of turnover rate? Every five years to basically have to retrain everyone. This is not economically possible for corporations. If this law passes no one will ever invest and/or expand into Kuwait ever again.