Etiquette in Kuwait

Kuwait, located at the tip of the Persian Gulf, has a population of almost 3 million people. 80% of the population in Kuwait is Arab, with small representations from South and East Asia, and Iran. There is also a considerable expatriate community in Kuwait, although the government rarely grants citizenship to foreigners.

Arabic is the national language, but English is well spoken among the business classes.

After a tumultuous history of occupation and invasion, Kuwait is now a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government, and is often described as the most liberal country in the region.

Almost all of Kuwait’s population is Muslim, with an estimated 60-70%  Sunni and 30-40% Shias.

The dinar is the currency used in Kuwait.

Gift Giving Etiquette

Visitors to Kuwait should bring thoughtfully selected gifts for their business contacts. The best type of gift is a souvenir from your own country, specifically something that is not available for purchase in Kuwait, such as picture books, native crafts, anything made in your own country. If you can tie-in the focus of your company to your gift, even better.

You can give the gift either at the beginning or the end of your visit. It doesn’t matter whether you give your gift in public or in private.  Flowers are also an acceptable gift .  There are no numbers that are considered bad luck so there are no restrictions about how many of anything you give.  Gifts to avoid giving are magazines, alcohol, weapons and drugs.

Also, if your contact has children, including a small token toy or age appropriate gift is a nice gesture.