Kuwait is the largest city on the Arabian Gulf with a population nearing four million. Though the land area is similar to the size of Wales, the population is mostly confined to a single conurbation. The climate of Kuwait is that of a semi-desert with winter temperatures falling close to freezing but with summer temperature exceeding 50°C in the shade. Despite the high summer temperatures, living conditions remain comfortable with the extensive use of air-conditioning.
English is spoken by the majority of people in Kuwait. Nearly all shops, road-signs, advertising and even the currency employ English script as well as Arabic. Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) satellite television has an extensive selection of English programming. BBC World Service radio is broadcast locally 24/7 on FM. There are three English daily newspapers and, of course, the internet is available almost everywhere.
Transportation in Kuwait is dominated by the car. With the cheapest fuel prices and large urban motorways and expressways, many colleagues take the opportunity to own vehicles that would prove exorbitantly expensive to run elsewhere. Whilst some colleagues choose to buy vehicles, many others lease and a growing number choose to use taxis, forming relationships with a single company or even driver.
Both the sea and the desert provide opportunities for leisure, sport and adventure. Many colleagues take advantage of the superb facilities offered by clubs at the many five-star hotels. Team sport activities for adults include football, rugby and cricket, available within BSK and outside. Individual sports include golf, with two superb grass and two sand courses. There are opportunities to join organised cycling and jogging groups and horse riding. Scuba diving, jet-skiing and sailing are also available. Amateur dramatics and music groups are popular and provide opportunities to socialise with non-teachers.
For those who enjoy shopping, Kuwait provides some of the best malls in the world. Colleagues soon become familiar with ‘The Avenues’, ‘360° Mall’, ‘Marina Mall’ and ‘Al Hamra Mall’ at the bottom of Al Hamra Tower, which at 412.6 metres in height is the tallest sculpted building in the world. Whilst these malls offer familiar shops such as Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, IKEA, Carrefour and Next, they also offer many expensive designer boutiques. Away from the malls, the more traditional shops and ‘souks’ provide opportunities for bargain-hunting and purchasing eastern goods. Supermarkets are numerous and fully-stocked with western and local products.
Eating out is a normal part of life in Kuwait. With such a diverse range of nationalities in the population it is no surprise that cuisine from every corner of the world is represented. The sheer number of restaurants of varying prices is astounding and the level of service is constantly excellent.
The combination of frequent long holidays, allied with Kuwait’s geographical location, makes foreign travel very popular. Colleagues at BSK are among the most widely-travelled teachers that you are likely to meet. Whilst trips to every continent in the world, including Antarctica, have been made by BSK staff, favourite destinations continue to include India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia and countries in Africa. More locally, Egypt, Jordan, Oman and the UAE remain popular.
The lifestyle in Kuwait can become very addictive and it is no surprise that, whilst stays of five years form the average, some colleagues have made Kuwait their home for over thirty years. Many have chosen to raise their families in this peaceful, wealthy and friendly country.
Failaka Heritage Village, Tareq Rajab Museum, Scientific Centre, Kuwait Towers, Khiran Resort, CineScape, Aqua Park, Dar Museum, Bayt Lothan, Staged in Kuwait, Kuwait Car Museum
The Avenues, 360° Mall, Marina Mall, Al Hamra Mall, Salhia Complex, Talabat, Xcite, Best.com.kw, Souq.com, Q8Car, Blink, Taw9eel, Q8Flowers, Beidoun, Sheeel, Berwaz, Thouqi
The Sunshine Kindergarten, British Academy of International Arts, British Academy of Sport
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