Saturday, September 18, 2021

How To Travel Around Kuwait

AsiaKuwaitHow To Travel Around Kuwait

Kuwait has an excellent road infrastructure. All signage are written in both English and Arabic. The main north-south highways are essentially freeways with numbers such as Expressway 30, 40, and so forth. These are connected by progressively wide-spaced ring roads labeled First, Second, and so on, making navigating relatively simple.

Using Google Maps for navigation is an excellent choice since it provides traffic and route information, as well as all important destinations. However, if you need to locate a place by its address (which you usually won’t), Google Maps will even provide you with the incorrect address for your present location and locations. This is owing to the way Kuwait addresses operate, as well as a lack of adequate support for Kuwait subdivisions in Google Maps. Areas are referred to as neighbourhoods, while blocks are referred to as sub-neighbourhoods. For example, if you live on Street 1, Block 1, Jabriya, your address will be Street 1, Kuwait City (since Kuwait is the only city, and neighbourhoods aren’t allowed to be mentioned in addresses). So, if you want to travel to/find a location using its address, make sure you download the free and simple-to-use official Kuwait Finder GIS system from its app store.

By public transport

Kuwait’s public transportation system is sufficient, with three firms (KPTC, City Bus, and KGL) operating dozens of routes in each major city. Bus wait times vary from one minute for the most popular routes to fifteen minutes for less popular routes. All buses have air conditioning, and it is generally not difficult to locate a seat. However, during peak hours (7-9AM, 2-4PM, and 8-9PM), most routes are congested, and public transportation should be avoided if you want to travel comfortably. It should also be mentioned that, although regions with a large expatriate population are well-served by public transportation, Kuwaiti residential zones are mostly served by taxis.

By taxi

These are identified by orange license plates and may be rented by the day, in which case rates should be agreed with in advance. Although most cabs have meters, they are seldom utilized since, in reality, meters are constantly “broken,” covered, missing, or just disregarded, and rates must be agreed upon in advance. Cabbies are notorious for charging exorbitant rates. There are also share-taxis available. The most practical method is to hail cabs from the side of the road. However, other sources have stated that it is not recommended, especially for ladies, and that cabs should be booked in advance by phone from a reliable taxi operator. The cream-colored cabs are the cheapest, but they are also the most likely to be badly maintained and potentially hazardous, given the speed and size of the rest of the cars on Kuwaiti highways.

Most taxis have a set charge, although those at hotel ranks are more costly. Inexperienced westerners regularly pay 2 to 5 times the normal prices, which are generally KD 0.500 (500 fils) for up to a 5-minute trip plus approximately 100 fils (KD 0.100) each minute after that. The sole exception is airport departures, which cost around 3 KD. Tipping is not required, however rates should be negotiated before entering the cab. To prevent disputes or loss of personal property if a taxi driver demands more than the agreed amount after arriving at the location, it is usual to gather all luggage and leave the vehicle before giving payment. If required, the passenger may put the money in the seat and walk away.

By hire car

Self-drive is an option. If you provide an International Driving Permit, the rental business will be able to obtain the required temporary insurance, which is drawn on the driver’s visa, at the customer’s cost. When you arrive at Kuwait International Airport, the vehicle rental businesses will be on your left when you leave the baggage claim area. International businesses like as Avis and Budget, among others, may be found.

It should be mentioned, however, that driving in Kuwait, particularly if you are new to the country, may be very chaotic and scary. Turn signals and lane divides are essentially optional, speeding and aggressive driving are widespread, and traffic rules are seldom actively enforced. A legislation prohibiting the use of mobile phones while driving was just enacted (including but not limited to voice calls and text messaging or SMS.) If you’re driving, stay clear of the left-hand “fast” lane unless you don’t mind big 4-wheel drive cars following you.

If you are involved in an automobile accident, do not try to move your vehicle until the police have arrived and filed a report, otherwise you will be arrested.