Moving to another country for work can be daunting. You want to make sure your decision is worth the effort. Not only this, a new place means getting accustomed to a new culture and a new lifestyle.
The Kuwaiti Dinar is one of the highest-valued currencies in the world. No doubt, hundreds of people travel to Kuwait to seek employment. However, the market is highly competitive for jobs. Coupled with that is the government’s scheme of Kuwaitisation, a move to restrict the number of expats entering the country while also providing more chances to locally sourced talent.
This guide gives you detailed tips on getting a job in Kuwait. We go over the current state of the job market, the required work permits, the work cultures and the high-paying industries.
Based on the reports published by the World Population Review, expatriates make up 70% of the population. Foreigners coming in to work occupy positions among the skilled and unskilled labour forces. The percentage of people in low-income jobs is however higher than at managerial level positions.
Where should you work?
When you think of Kuwait, you cannot but think of its huge oil reserves. Majority jobs in Kuwait are concentrated in this industry. Petrochemical engineers have good scope here. The oil and petroleum industry pays well too.
The finance sector is yet another booming industry in Kuwait. Professionals in sales, marketing, accounting and auditing can really do well if they stick around for long.
A rapidly expanding healthcare system has also created several jobs for doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals. So, if you are trained in the medical profession you may want to look for medical jobs in Kuwait.
Teaching is also a lucrative career in Kuwait. The growing number of International schools have increased the demand for qualified teachers, especially English teachers.
One can also seek opportunities in real estate and construction too. There is a strong demand for warehouse workers, technicians and maintenance workers in Kuwait.
Finding a Job in Kuwait
There are multiple channels via which you can seek a job in Kuwait.
A number of multinational corporations have set up branches in the Middle East. The first way to make the move, if your company has a branch, is to opt for an internal company transfer.
The next available option is to consult a recruitment agency specialising in transfers to Kuwait. The advantage of working with them is that they also offer assistance with paperwork, visas and permits.
Networking with people in the same profession is another method to learn of vacancies in Kuwait. One can also create a profile with online job portals that target professionals looking for jobs in the gulf.
Speaking of salary negotiations, knowing the major expense heads will help you ask for a fair figure. A large portion of your salary will be spent on rent. The amount you pay depends on the neighbourhood, the type of accommodation, state of the rental (old/new, furnished/unfurnished). If your employer sponsors your accommodation, there’s nothing like it.
You will also have to factor in the expenses towards education if you plan to move with your family. The fees are more in an international school as against the amount you might pay in a local school. Also expect to pay more as your child progresses to higher grades.
All expats are expected to pay a fixed amount annually to access public healthcare facilities in Kuwait. However, foreigners will have to pay more for specialised tests if needed. There are private healthcare clinics in Kuwait too. They are known for their better quality care and lower wait periods. The charges of facilities offered at these private clinics are high.
Travel is cheap due to the low prices of petrol. One can make use of the public transportation system. Many expats find it more affordable and time-saving to buy a car (new or second-hand) for travel purposes.
Work Permits and Visas
Kuwait is very strict about adhering to rules and regulations. Entering the country without the right paperwork and visas can land one in serious trouble.
To work in Kuwait, you will need a work permit. A residency visa is a must-have too. The visa is sponsored by the employer or hiring company. In addition to this, you will need to produce the offer letter from the employer. There are other formalities that will have to be completed on arrival.
Kuwait has a ban or cap on expats from selected countries. Ensure you find out the criteria for your country before you choose to make the move.
If one works hard, there is a lot of money to make in Kuwait for three primary reasons. First, jobs offer a fair salary. Second, a higher exchange rate means you earn more of your home currency for every Kuwaiti Dinar. Third, your income is tax-free.
The job offers in Kuwait are generally inclusive of rental allowance, health insurance and the fare for annual tickets. The perks could however vary based on the company you are employed with.
Kuwait is among the culturally conservative Gulf countries. Foreigners, especially women, must be mindful of the clothing they wear. It shouldn’t be tight or immodest.
Islam is the offical religion of Kuwait. All expats are expected to respect the religion and its traditions. Arabic is the official language in Kuwait. Knowing Arabic will give you an advantage; however, English is used for most business dealings.
A typical work week in Kuwait starts on Sunday through Thursday. Workers enjoy a two-day weekend on Friday and Saturday. Some companies work with a one and a half weekend - either Thursday or Saturday is a half day.
Despite the government’s efforts to first absorb the locals for job opportunities, it still relies on expatriate labour for its varied industries. Trained and skilled personnel have a greater chance of being hired for jobs in Kuwait.
Look in the right places for a job in Kuwait and you will be on the path to success even before you know it.