Saturday, September 18, 2021

Kuwait | Introduction

AsiaKuwaitKuwait | Introduction
  • Population: 3,806,616 (as of the June 2012 census), includes about 2 million non-Kuwaitis.
  • Kuwaitis make up 45 percent of the population; other Arabs make up 35 percent, with Egyptians predominating; South Asians make up 9 percent; Iranians make up 4 percent; and others make up 7 percent.
  • Religion: Kuwait is one of the most religiously tolerant Gulf countries. While Islam is the official religion, with nearly 85 percent of the people following the Muslim faith (split into Sunni 70% and Shia 30%), others like as Christians, Hindus, and Parsis make up 15% of the population.
  • Electrical current is 220 volts alternating current, and plugs are either conventional British, Europlugs (2 prong diamond-shaped), or German Schuko. Adapters are easily accessible.
  • 112 is the emergency phone number (police, fire, and ambulance).
  • Kuwait International Airport (IATA: KWI), Latitude/Longitude: 29.240116/47.971252
  • The country is split into governorates, which are further subdivided into regions, which are further subdivided into blocks. Because street numbers may be duplicated across various blocks in the same region, knowing the area and block is essential. Because area names do not recur throughout the nation, mentioning the governorate after the region would be uncommon.

Tourism

Tourism contributes 1.5 percent of GDP. The tourist sector produced almost $500 million in income in 2015. The majority of visitors are from GCC nations. Yachting is a popular pastime in Kuwait, which has the Gulf region’s biggest recreational boat market. The low amount of tourism is due in part to stringent visa requirements and an alcohol prohibition.

The annual “Hala Febrayer” festival, which includes music concerts, parades, and carnivals, draws a large number of visitors from surrounding GCC nations. The event, which runs from February 1 to February 28, is a month-long celebration of Kuwait’s freedom.

Geography

Kuwait, located in the north-east corner of the Arabian Peninsula, is one of the world’s smallest nations in terms of land area. Kuwait is located between the latitudes of 28° and 31° N, and the longitudes of 46° and 49° E. The Arabian Desert, which is flat and sandy, covers the majority of Kuwait. Kuwait is mostly flat, with the highest point being 306 meters (1,004 feet) above sea level.

Kuwait contains nine islands, all of which are deserted save for Failaka Island. The biggest island in Kuwait, with an area of 860 km2 (330 sq mi), is linked to the rest of the nation by a 2,380 m (7,808 ft) long bridge. Kuwait’s land area is deemed arable at 0.6 percent, with scant vegetation found along its 499-kilometer (310-mile) long coastline. Kuwait City is built on Kuwait Bay, which is a natural deep-water port.

The Burgan field in Kuwait has a confirmed oil reserve capacity of about 70 billion barrels (1.11010 m3). During the 1991 Kuwaiti oil fires, about 500 oil lakes were formed, spanning a total surface area of approximately 35.7 km2 (13.8 sq mi). The resultant soil pollution from oil and soot buildup has rendered areas of Kuwait uninhabitable in the east and south-east. Large areas of the Kuwaiti desert have been converted to semi-asphalt surfaces owing to sand and oil residue. The oil leaks during the Gulf War also had a significant impact on Kuwait’s maritime resources.

Climate

March is a warm month with a chance of thunderstorms. The northwest winds are chilly in the winter and scorching in the summer. Between July and October, southeasterly moist breezes appear. In the spring and early summer, south breezes are hot and dry. The shamal, a northwesterly wind that is frequent in June and July, produces violent sandstorms. Summers in Kuwait are among the warmest in the planet. The highest temperature ever recorded was 54.4 °C (129.9 °F), which is also the highest temperature ever recorded in Asia. Because to its northern location between Iraq and Iran, Kuwait suffers harsher winters than the other GCC nations.

National parks

The IUCN now recognizes five protected areas in Kuwait. As a result of Kuwait being the 169th party to the Ramsar Convention, the Mubarak al-Kabeer reserve on Bubyan island was recognized as the country’s first Wetland of International Importance. The 50,948-hectare reserve is made up of tiny lagoons and shallow salt marshes and serves as a rest point for migratory birds on two migration routes. The reserve is home to the world’s biggest crab-plover breeding colony.

Biodiversity

More than 363 bird species have been documented in Kuwait, with 18 of them breeding in the nation. Kuwait is located at the intersection of many main bird migratory routes, through which between 2 and 3 million birds travel each year. The wetlands in northern Kuwait and Jahra have grown in importance as a sanctuary for transit migrants. Kuwaiti islands are critical nesting grounds for four tern species and the Socotra cormorant.

The majority of Kuwait’s biodiversity is found in its maritime and littoral habitats. Kuwait has 28 mammal species, including gazelles, desert rabbits, and hedgehogs, which are abundant in the wild. Large carnivores like the wolf, caracal, and jackal are becoming more uncommon. The red fox and wild cat are two endangered animal species. Extinction of animals is caused by habitat degradation and unrestricted hunting. During the Gulf War, Kuwait’s environment was also severely damaged. There are forty reptile species documented, however none are indigenous to Kuwait.

Water and sanitation

There are no permanent rivers in Kuwait. It does contain wadis, the most famous of which is Wadi al Batin, which serves as the boundary between Kuwait and Iraq.

Water desalination is Kuwait’s main source of fresh water for drinking and household use. There are presently around six desalination facilities in operation. Kuwait was the first country in the world to utilize desalination to provide household water on a big scale. The first distillation plant in Kuwait was commissioned in 1951, marking the beginning of the country’s desalination history.

The Kuwaiti government commissioned the Swedish engineering firm VBB (Sweco) in 1965 to design and build a new water-supply system for Kuwait City. Sune Lindström, the company’s main architect, constructed five sets of water towers, totaling thirty one, which were dubbed “the mushroom towers.” The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed, desired a more magnificent design for a sixth location. The Kuwait Towers group consists of three towers, two of which also function as water towers. Water is pumped up to the tower from the desalination plant. The normal capacity of the thirty-three towers is 102,000 cubic meters of water. The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was given to “The Water Towers” (Kuwait Tower and Kuwait Water Towers) (1980 Cycle).

Groundwater, desalinated saltwater, and treated wastewater effluents are Kuwait’s only sources of fresh water. Three large municipal wastewater treatment facilities exist. The majority of water demand is now met by saltwater desalination facilities. Sewage disposal is managed through a nationwide sewage network that encompasses 98 percent of the country’s facilities.

Demographics

Kuwait’s population in 2014 was 4.1 million, including 1.2 million Kuwaitis, 1.1 million Arabs, 1.4 million Asian expats, and 76,698 Africans.

Ethnic groups

Expatriates make about 70% of Kuwait’s total population. Arabs make about 60% of Kuwait’s total population (including Arab expats). The biggest expat communities are Indians and Egyptians.

Religion

Kuwaiti society is multicultural and accepting. The majority of Kuwait’s population is Sunni Muslim, with a sizable Shia Muslim minority. The nation has a native Christian population, which is believed to number between 259 and 400 Christian Kuwaitis. Aside from Bahrain, Kuwait is the only GCC nation with a native Christian community that has citizenship. There are a few Bahá’ Kuwaiti citizens as well. According to 2007 estimates, Kuwait also has a sizable expatriate Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh population.

Economy

Kuwait’s economy is built on petroleum, and petroleum is the country’s primary export commodity. The Kuwaiti dinar is the world’s most valuable monetary unit. Kuwait is the world’s fourth wealthiest nation per capita, according to the World Bank. Kuwait is the second-richest GCC nation in terms of per capita income (after Qatar). Petroleum contributes approximately half of GDP and 90% of government revenue. Financial services are an example of a non-petroleum industry.

In Kuwait, there has been a substantial increase in entrepreneurship and small company start-ups during the last five years. The informal sector is also growing, owing mostly to the popularity of Instagram companies.

Kuwait is a significant provider of foreign economic aid to other countries via the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, a self-governing state organization established in 1961 on the model of international development agencies. The fund’s lending mission was extended to cover all developing nations worldwide in 1974.

Petroleum

Kuwait has proven crude oil reserves of 104 billion barrels, which are believed to represent 10% of global reserves. All natural resources in the nation are state property, according to the constitution. Kuwait presently pumps 2.9 million bpd, with a full output capability of little more than 3 million bpd.

Finance

The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) is the country’s sovereign wealth fund that focuses on international investment. The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) is the world’s oldest sovereign wealth fund. The Kuwaiti government has focused investments into Europe, the United States, and Asia Pacific since 1953. The holdings were worth $592 billion in assets as of 2015. It is the world’s fifth biggest sovereign wealth fund.

Kuwait leads the GCC financial business; the chasm that divides Kuwait from its Gulf neighbors in terms of tourism, transportation, and other diversification initiatives does not exist in the financial sector. The Emir has advocated for Kuwait to concentrate its economic growth efforts on the banking sector.

Kuwait’s historical dominance in banking (among the Gulf monarchs) goes back to the establishment of the National Bank of Kuwait in 1952. The bank was the Gulf’s first publicly listed business. The Souk Al-Manakh, an alternative stock market in Kuwait, developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, dealing in shares of Gulf businesses. At its height, its market capitalization ranked third in the globe, behind only the United States and Japan and ahead of the United Kingdom and France.

Kuwait has a significant wealth-management sector that is unique in the area. Kuwaiti investment firms manage more assets than any other GCC nation save Saudi Arabia, which is considerably bigger. In a preliminary calculation, the Kuwait Financial Centre estimated that Kuwaiti companies accounted for more than one-third of all assets under management in the GCC. Kuwait’s relative strength in the banking sector extends to the stock market. For many years, the total worth of all businesses listed on the Kuwaiti market considerably exceeded that of any other GCC bourse, with the exception of Saudi Arabia. In 2011, financial and banking businesses accounted for more than half of the Kuwaiti bourse’s market capitalisation; among all Gulf nations, Kuwaiti financial-sector firms trailed only Saudi Arabia in overall market capitalization.

In recent years, Kuwaiti investment firms have spent a significant portion of their assets overseas, and their international assets have become much bigger than their domestic holdings.