Safety and security
There have been a number of protests by expatriate labourers in Kuwait over their employment conditions. International events and political developments (including elections) may also prompt demonstrations in Kuwait.
Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser. And avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational.
If you find yourself in the vicinity of a protest, leave the area immediately and do not take photographs.
Most visits to Kuwait are trouble-free. However, you should be aware of the threat from terrorism generally in the region. Attacks could be indiscriminate, and against Western interests, as they have been elsewhere in the region.
Landmines and other hazardous ordnance are still present in Kuwait. When travelling outside Kuwait City, you should keep to tarmac roads. Be careful when using beaches and picnic spots. Even where officially cleared, there’s still a danger from unexploded ordnance. Don’t pick up any strange metal, plastic or other objects lying around. Don’t souvenir hunt for war memorabilia.
Crime remains relatively low in Kuwait but you should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways.
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places.
Violent crime against foreigners is rare. However, you should take care if you intend to travel in conservative areas like Jahra, where there have been incidents involving firearms, and Jleeb Al Shuyoukh where there have been riots by migrant workers protesting about their conditions.
We advise against hailing a taxi from the road in Kuwait, particularly if you’re female. There have been a few incidents of passengers being harassed while doing so. We recommend that you book a taxi in advance by telephone from a known and reputable taxi company.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Kuwait, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Abu Dhabi if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Kuwait, you should be extremely careful. Driving can be hazardous because many drivers exceed speed limits and switch lanes without warning. They frequently ignore traffic lights and speak on their mobile phones while driving with scant attention to other road users. Constant vigilance is essential. If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Crossing the border
Only use authorised road border crossing points into Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Any other unauthorised movement in the vicinity of borders is illegal and dangerous: armed guards patrol the border area. If you’re planning to cross the border from Kuwait into Iraq, you should make sure that you have the correct paperwork.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Tue, 03 Jan 2017 09:40:30 GMT