Kuwait International Airport (IATA: KWI) is Kuwait’s sole airport and is serviced by many international airlines, with direct flights to the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and North America.
Kuwait Airways, the national airline, serves Frankfurt, Geneva, Rome, Kuala Lumpur, London, New York City, and Paris, as well as several other European, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern destinations, but it is best avoided: a flag carrier with a bad reputation, its planes are old, delays are common, and customer service is poor. However, if you are flying from JFK, you must utilize Kuwait Airways.
As part of its liberalisation program, the Kuwaiti government supported two new airlines in 2005: premium airline Wataniya Airways ceased operations without notice in March 2011, leaving many customers around the world stranded, while semi-low-cost carrier Jazeera Airways is a popular alternative for regional flights.
International airlines serving Kuwait include British Airways from London, Lufthansa from Frankfurt, KLM from Amsterdam, Singapore Airlines from Singapore, and Turkish Airlines from Istanbul, as well as connections through other major Gulf hubs (Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, and so on) via Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airlines, Gulf Air, and many other airlines. Codeshare agreements with other members of many international airline alliances often result in lower flight prices than the carrier serving the route to and from Kuwait.
If you need a visa upon arrival, do not go to Arrivals; instead, seek for the “Visa Issuing” kiosks near the Dasman Lounge. Join the crowd (there will be no waiting) to get your passport duplicated, pick up a queue ticket, fill out a visa entrance form, and wait for your number to be called. (Be aware that you will only have 2 or 3 seconds to reply before being skipped.) Payment is exclusively accepted in Kuwaiti Dinar; there are many bureau de change in the arrivals area, with the best prices seeming to be for US dollars, Australian dollars, and Euros. You’ll also be given an A4-sized document completely in Arabic, which you must retain since it serves as your visa. You may now go right through immigration without having to wait in line; just present your visa paperwork at any counter and they will allow you through. Pass through the open gate for flight crew and present your visa to the guard immediately beyond passport check.
Taxis are available outside arrivals, with most destinations in the city costing no more than KD 5. Most hotels can arrange a transport for the same fee, if not free of charge, which may be a safer and more pleasant alternative, particularly for lone ladies. When the service is operational, you may also utilize the “limousine” service, which is situated to the right of the KD 6 outdoor exit. These have a reputation for having considerably safer drivers than airport taxis (which are typically operated by Kuwaiti nationals who do not adhere to set speed restrictions and would even drive on the verge/shoulder at 140kmph). It is unlawful for a normal cab to pick up arriving passengers at the airport, therefore most will reject due to the risk of heavy penalties, jail, or deportation. Regular taxis are a poorer option in most instances, since they are driven by chronically underpaid expatriates from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan and are generally in bad condition. Regular taxi drivers are often clueless about where they are going, speak little or no English, and have little or no sense of personal cleanliness.
Kuwait’s borders are shared by just two countries: Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Because the political situation in Iraq is unpredictable at the moment, it is best not to go that path. Long-distance bus services to Dammam and other locations in Saudi Arabia are available, but you must have a valid Saudi visa.
Kuwait has three bus companies: KPTC, City Bus, and KGL. KPTC, or Kuwait Public Transportation Company, operates solely inside Kuwait and is mostly utilized by impoverished expatriates working in low-wage professions. Buses are often badly maintained, un-airconditioned (and therefore dangerous in the heat), and should be avoided.
KGL is the only one of the three that offers flights to other GCC nations, although non-GCC nationals would most likely face visa issues.
Kuwait-Iran Shipping Company, phone +965 2410498, fax +965 2429508, handles scheduled ships to and from Iran. The ferries run three times a week from Kuwait’s Ash Shuwayk to Iran’s Bushehr. One-way tickets start at KD37.
In Bahrain, speedboats travel between Ash Shuwayk and Manama. A single ticket costs KD45.