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Housing in Kuwait

Renting is the only way an expat can get a house in Kuwait and this is a simple process with most reputable real estate companies advertising in the papers or a drive around the area you fancy will see many "For Rent" signs - the obvious ones are in English, and tend to have tolerant landlords, others are in Arabic (although it's obvious what the sign says) and should be treated with a little caution by the Westerner.

Flats are available furnished or not, the difference in price for a particular area giving a rough indication what is included. For a furnished flat most furnishings provided are only a year or so old at the most. These are adequate for your needs for the first few months, however if you feel the need to upgrade, for example fitting a bar, it is at your own cost. Towels and bedding are some times provided by your employer and if you are lucky the previous occupants will have left you some hangers.

Unlike some other Arab countries with compound life, expats and locals may share the same apartment block so discretion may be required in certain areas, check with your landlord. Where compounds are virtually nonexistent, predominantly expat tower blocks abound - two of the major ones being Fintas Towers (rent approx. KD500 min) and Fahd Al Sultan Complex (1 Bed from KD180) these tend to have better facilities such as Satellite TV, Gym, Security and parking .

Expat areas where Westerners tend to gather are (but are not limited to) in the North, Salwa, Salmiya (the main shopping area outside the city), Jabriya & Mishref and towards the South, Fintas, Fahaheel, Mangaf, Mahboula and Ahmedi, although the latter is almost exclusively an oil town owned by KOC (Kuwait Oil Company). Rent varies from KD230/month for a furnished one bed flat to KD1300 for a six-bed villa. Rental prices appear to be all inclusive but check before you sign and be sure to take a reader of Arabic with you as agreements are rarely written in English. A phone call will normally see any repairs carried out reasonably quickly, however it helps if you are keen on DIY. One point to look for when choosing your accommodation is covered parking; as the inside of a car can reach 70ºC making touching the steering impossible without first removing your socks to use as gloves.

Another point to note is that of noise pollution. Check the vicinity of the nearest mosque as the sound of earlier morning prayer call can be quite alarming, and the sound of locals collecting friends by honking their horn at all hours is annoying, as is a neighbour's cockerel! If you get the chance, opt for double glazing.

As you will probably notice when you arrive, Kuwait is a big building site, and as such, all rent prices are negotiable, with one expat knocking down the rent on a three-bed basement with private pool, from KD550 to KD350. Again, at the time of writing, it is said that there are nearly 14,000 empty apartments in Kuwait so it should, in theory, be a renters market. Most of the accommodation is however light and modern and once settled into they can be made to look quite attractive however there is no getting away from whitewashed walls.

Three major contacts are:

  1. Frost Real Estate - American run furnished/serviced accommodation
    Tel : 564 1789, Fax : 563 8012
    E-mail :
  2. Guide Real Estate - British run unfurnished flats
    Tel : 574 0256, Fax 574 0257
  3. Experts Real Estate - Indian run, but know the value of web advertising
    Tel : 888777, Fax : 245 3769
    E-mail :

Also, see the ads in Arab/Kuwait Times for apartment for rent.





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