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Alcohol in Kuwait

Alcohol and pork are illegal in Kuwait. No restaurants, hotels or any other places are allowed to sell or serve pork. Import of pork and alcohol are prohibited as well. All entry ports of Kuwait has mechanisms implemented to detect the import of alcohol or pork. Being illegal alcohol consumption, keeping the custody or production are prohibited and punishable by law.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is punishable to the extend of 500 KD and up to one year imprisonment

You should avoid bringing or using  alcohol in Kuwait

American university in Kuwait

web_auk_logoThe American University of Kuwait is a private liberal arts institution based on the American model of higher education in Kuwait City, Kuwait. Although established in 2003, the University opened to students, faculty and the general public in September 2004. It is sister colleges with Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. Dr. Winfred Thompson currently serves the office of the President.

The AUK campus is located at the intersection of Salem Al Mubarak Street and Amr Ibn Al ‘As Street, a major intersection in the upscale shopping and residential district of Salmiya. It is located near several major malls, including the famous Marina World and Al Fanar Mall, as well as bordered by the Hotel Mission in Kuwait and Olympic Council of Asia Headquarters.
Formerly a public high school, the campus was completely rehabilitated, renovated and rebuilt. New buildings and facilities were added in order to bring the university up to standards for its September 2004 opening. In 2006, a five-story building for the Liberal Arts was opened.

The design of the university campus is open, with a large square garden enclosed by buildings, housing offices, and classrooms for the Intensive English Program. There is a building that houses the Library and Administrative facilities, a four-story building for the Sciences section, and a five-story building dedicated to the Liberal Arts. A Kuwaiti-style tent located near the main gate on Salem Al Mubarak Street, known as The Hangout, offers students HD televisions, pool tables, and PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles as a place to interact and relax, as well as a high-speed internet connection which can be hired accordingly. Also available is an American-style diner and Starbucks Coffee. Athletic facilities include tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, as well as a soccer field and fitness center. There are also respective prayer rooms for men and women located near The Hangout.

They provide the following courses:

  • B.B.A. in Accounting, Marketing, Finance and Management
  • B.A. in Communication and Media Studies
  • B.A. Economics
  • B.A. in English Language and English Literature
  • B.A. in Graphic Design
  • B.A. in International Studies
  • B.A. in Social and Behavioural Sciences with a concentration in Anthropology
  • B.S. in Computer Science and Information Systems
  • B.E. in Computer Engineering

Museums in Kuwait

Kuwait has various Museums across the country. Some of them are Islamic Museums and others are history Museums related to the country.

Dar al Islamiya

The Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah, (House of Islamic Antiquities), is located inside the Kuwait National Museum complex. This is one of the most comprehensive collections of Islamic art in the world – covering all geographic regions and historic periods from the eighth to the eighteenth century. This extraordinary collection was formed by Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah and his wife, Sheikha Hussa Al-Sabah who started collecting Islamic art in order to bring objects back ‘home’ – near to where they had originally been made. When the Dar Al-Athar Al-Islmaiyyah first exhibited, the collection was comprised of 1,200 objects – but now numbers over 20,000. It also contains a specialised library of several thousand books in different languages on Islamic history and heritage. The collection is a tribute to the patient endeavours of Sheikh Nasser and Sheikha Hussa who have created one of the most spectacular collections of Islamic art in existence. The British Museum has previously staged a major exhibition of Islamic art with a very significant number of works from the Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah collection.

Educational Science Museum

Located downtown Kuwait City near the Liberation Tower, the Educational Science Museum was Kuwait’s first museum, and it contains displays about the history of the petroleum industry in Kuwait, natural history, electronics, space and aviation, and zoology subjects, as well as a planetarium. It also boasts an 18 meter whale skeleton. Tel – 2421268/2466973. Open from 9am to 12am and 4:30-7:30 Saturday to Wednesday.

Kuwait House of National Memorial Museum

There is an entry fee of KD1. Once you go inside you get a personal guide. The museum is divided into various sections, the first section talks about Kuwait’s origins and how they discovered oil and how Kuwait gained its independence. Then they show you images from the last meeting on August 1st 1990 in Jeddah with Saddam Hussain who says that everything is cool and they won’t invade Kuwait, then you move to the next section. The second section is where they talk about the invasion of Kuwait, all done using models and special effects. They have a huge model of Kuwait City and the streets are littered with model tanks, other vehicles and soldiers. This section is a long dark corridor with displays on both sides of the room all in the dark. Then as the story is being narrated through speakers in the room, the different sets light up to show the story. These sets with the models have strategically located lights and smoke machines, very cool stuff plus there were a lot of sound effects of machine gun fire, people shouting and things exploding. They open in the morning and in the evenings. With the KD1 entrance you get a guided tour, 2 movies you watch about the war, and souvenirs which involve posters, a cool brochure with nice pictures, and another brochure on the museum. To find out where exactly they are located and when they are open you can call 4845335 or 4846336. It is located in Shuwaikh near the Arab Fund Building and the Kuwait Red Crescent Society.

Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) Display

The Kuwait Oil Company has an ultra-modern audio-visual museum of Kuwait’s oil industry, past and present. This is a museum devoted to the history of oil, from geological formation through exploration, drilling, and recovery. It was destroyed in the Iraqi invasion in 1990, but has been reconstructed with additional exhibits. These include notably how the Iraqi occupation forces set fire to most of Kuwait’s oil wells, and the subsequent well-capping and fire-fighting operations. In Ahmadi area, it is open by appointment, tel 398 2393 / 398 9111 / 398 1678. KOC can also arrange for groups to tour the oil fields themselves.

Al-Hashemi Maritime Museum

Located at the SAS Hotel, the Al-Hashemi Maritime Museum is housed in the Al Hashemi II, which is the world’s largest wooden Arabic dhow (It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records!). The museum showcases traditional shipbuilding and seafaring in Kuwait and features large models of different traditional dhows, sea tools and accessories highlighting Kuwait’s long maritime and trading traditions. The large dhow also has a Grand Ball Room and several other reception areas that are used for weddings, conferences, dinners, etc. The museum is free.

The National Museum

The National Museum (Tel : 2451195/4) is located on the Gulf Road just south of the Parliament / National Assembly downtown. It was opened in December 1957. Looted and burned by the former Iraqi regime during the invasion, the museum is now restored and has been re-opened to the public – with many, but not all, artifacts having been returned from Iraq. In 1997, Muhallab II, the replacement for (and replica of) the magnificent trading dhow from the 1930s that graced the front yard of the museum before it was burned by the former Iraqi regime, was constructed on site and is now open to visitors.

Qurain Martyr’s House

This destroyed private house (tel 543 0343) was the site of the bloody battle between the Messilah Resistance Group and the Iraqi occupiers. A solemn monument to the martyrs of Kuwait (In Qurain area, on road 208 between Fahaheel and Magreb Expressways – there should be signs).

The Taraq Rajab Museum

(Tel : 5317358) is a private museum located in Jabriya. The museum specializes in Islamic Arts and Crafts and is open daily from 9.00am – 12.00, 4.00pm – 8.00pm, closed Friday afternoons. Open to the public since 1980, the museum houses a host of Islamic art and artefacts, ranging from pottery and glass work, to musical instruments and jewellery. Entrance to the museum is free. It is located in Jabriya (Area 12, Street 5 – down the street from the Iranian School and near the New English School and the Hadi Clinic).

Modern Art Museum (Sharqeya School)

This is a lovely new museum of modern painting and sculpture by Kuwaiti and Arab artists. Originally opened as a boys’ school in 1935, then a girls’ school in 1938, the National Council for Culture Arts and Letters reopened it as a museum in 2003. It is located directly across the Gulf Road from Souq Sharq near a large dhow. It is free and open Saturday to Wednesday 0900-1300 and 1700-2100. Very informed and friendly tour guides who speak English are available. 2468348 / 2468354 / 2468401 ex 105 or 115.

Bedbugs everywhere, in Kuwait too…

Recently, I was told by a friend of mine about the bed bugs he found in his new home. Some other day BBC news talked about the spike in the Bed Bugs in Newyork. It seems the bed bugs are on increase everywhere. In a recent seminar in one of the popular hotels in Kuwait City, I found a bed bug on my table, we had to leave the table immediately.

It will become an epidemic in Kuwait as well just like in Newyork. A recent survey and the recent reports from Newyork has found that there are thousands of bed bugs roaming around the city and that they are invading many types of premise, it is not just limited to residential areas. The pop singer Lauren Hildebrandt is out with word she’s been attacked by the tiny bloodsuckers and it’s no fun.

Wikipedia says “Although bedbugs can live for a year without feeding, they normally try to feed every five to ten days. In cold weather, bedbugs can live for about a year; at temperatures more conducive to activity and feeding, about 5 months”

Bed bugs are being reported in many parts of Kuwait by many people. Does these advertised pest controllers can actually eradicate bed bugs at least from individual houses?

List of Universities in Kuwait

Kuwait offers a lot of options for higher education. There are many universities in Kuwait mostly with western base. The universities in Kuwait offers various streams of education such as the arts and sciences, business and engineering.

Kuwait University

Kuwait University is the oldest higher education university in Kuwait. Established in 1966, Kuwait University is the most known university in Kuwait. There are about 14 affiliated colleges to this university with wide variety of streams of education offers graduate and under-graduate courses to students. Programs offered include studies within the colleges of medicine, law, engineering, education, Islamic studies, the sciences, pharmacy, the arts, business, dentistry and allied health sciences.

Contact Information

Kuwait University
P.O. Box 5969
Safat — 13060, Kuwait
Ph: 965-2498-5205
http://www.kuniv.edu.kw

Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST)

Gulf University for Science and Technology was established in 2002 as a private university with the intentions to make it as a supplement to Kuwait University. As the website say, it started of with the assistance/participation of 47 Kuwait University faculty members. A strategic partnership was established with the University of Missouri at St. Louis (UMSL). The university primarily offers two streams of education: Arts and Science as well as business administration

Contact Information

Gulf University for Science and Technology
P.O. Box 7207
Hawally 32093, Kuwait
Ph: 965-2530-7000
http://www.gust.edu.kw/

American University of Kuwait

AUK is a recent entrant into the Kuwait higher education system is modeled around the American educational mode. They offer education in three primary divisions:

1. business and economics
2. humanities and the arts, and
3. the sciences and engineering

Contact Information

American University of Kuwait
P.O. Box 3323
Safat 13034, Kuwait
Ph: 965-2224-8399
http://www.auk.edu.kw/index.jsp

Arab Open University

Arab Open University is a private university that was founded in Kuwait in 2002. The university has several campus locations across Middle East, which include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Oman. The offer three streams of study: language studies, information technology, and computing and business.

Contact Information

Arab Open University
Al-Khaitan – Block 2
Sharhabeel St. 395
Hawalli P.O Box 32004 Al-Jabria, Kuwait
Ph: 965-2476-7291
http://www.aou.edu.kw/

If I have missed any of the colleges or universities, do let me know thru comments so that I will update this post.

How long it takes to build the six pack?

I have been doing the crunches and other exercises for flat abs for some good time. Though I have been gone down on FAT, I was not seeing the six packs I was working for.  I was like how long I should do it. Then I realized that I can feel the muscles which are developed and it is only that I cannot see it. It is only that the muscles are just covered by excess body FAT. When am I going to see the visible abs; what should I do to get the real six pack and how do I reduce the body fat?

Once the underlying abs muscles are developed, it is only the matter of reducing the fat to have the six pack visible. It is required for a men to reduce the fat levels below 12% to really see the six pack shape on the abs. and it should go below 9% to see them really pop out of the abs. Women who needs flat abs should reduce the fat levels to around 17-19%. These are just approximation for majority of the people. Depending on each individuals body fat distribution one may need to become more lean to have the six packs visible. As per the earlier post, you may not even see the muscles pop out if the body fat requirement and distribution is not in favor for six pack.  Essential fat is 1-3% in men, and 8–12% in women

If you are serious about getting the body fat reduced it is better to get the body fat ratio analysed. This can be achieved by skinfold caliper method or the bio-electrical impedance method. Another method of finding the body fat percentage is using the BMI. These methods are not very accurate, however, it gives an approximation of the body fat percentage.

To calculate the body fat percentage using the BMI method, you may use the following formula. Extracted from Wikipedia

Child Body Fat % = (1.51 x BMI) – (0.70 x Age) – (3.6 x gender) + 1.4

Adult Body Fat % = (1.20 x BMI) + (0.23 x Age) – (10.8 x gender) – 5.4

where male gender= 1, female=0.

I will continue posting my experience and research details here so that you can contribute to it and we can join hands to build a healthy group out here.

LABOUR LAWS, DISPUTES & CIVIL RIGHTS

There are three main legal codes governing labour conditions in Kuwait. The employment conditions of civil servants are regulated by the Labour Law for Government Employees. Those who work in the oil industry are protected by the Labour Law of the Oil Sector. And the Labour Law of the Private Sector governs employment condittions in private businesses. Persons in domestic service, such as maids and chauffeurs, however are not covered by any particular code and must rely for protection on general principles of law.

PRIVATE SECTOR LABOUR LAW
Labour regulations in the private sector are enforced by the Ministry of Social Affairs & Labour (MSA&L). The points discussed below are neither complete nor authoritative.

As well as domestic servants, persons on temporary contracts of less than six months are excluded from the scope of the private sector labour law. Where an employer’s head office is outside Kuwait, the labour law of the country where the employer has its head office, governs expatriates working in Kuwait, unless the employer has a branch in Kuwait which concluded the contract with the employee in which case Kuwaiti law applies.

HINTS FOR EXPATS

* Keep photocopies of all documents so that they will be easier to replace if lost.
* The work permit (idah amal), which is issued to process a residency application, also needs to be shown at various government offices for differing purposes, such as the traffic department when applying for a driving licence. Only two copies are issued. One is given to the Immigration Department when obtaining residency and one is kept by the sponsoring company. If the latter is lost, the Labour Department will not issue another copy. Therefore always make sure that a photocopy is obtained and guard it carefully.

Contract of Employment
An employee’s terms of service are contained in his employment contract, which may be for a fixed time or it may be indefinite. A fixed time may not exceed five years.

The labour law specifies minimum limits below which terms of service may not fall, and if a clause in his contract gives an employee a lesser benefit than his right under the law, he is entitled to the minimum specified by law for that particular term.

An employment contract may be verbal or in writing. In either case, it must show at least (a) the remuneration payable, (b) a description of the nature of the job, (c) the date of appointment, and (d) its duration (if fixed). Where a contract is verbal then, in the event of a dispute, either side can use circumsta-ntial evidence to prove what is in it.
If the contract is in writing, it must be in Arabic. A translation into another language may be attached but the Arabic version is authoritative.

An employee may be hired on probation for a 100 days at most. During this time he may be terminated without notice, though accrued indemnity but not holiday pay must be paid. An employee may not be put on probation more than once by the same employer.

Remuneration & Deductions
Remuneration includes basic pay, incentives, commissions, obligatory bonuses, gratuities from third parties and allowances from which the employee benefits (such as housing allowance), but excludes allowances on account of expenses and profit shares. Payment of a bonus is obligatory if it is stipulated in the contract of employment or in the by-laws of the firm or it has been paid in the same amount regularly every year.

An employee’s total remuneration must be used when calculating terminal indemnity or compensation on account of injury. Where an employee is paid on a time basis the last salary payable is used, but if he is paid on a piece-work basis then the average wage paid to him for his actual work during the previous three months is used.

There is no minimum wage. Salaried employees must be paid at least once a month. Piece-workers and those on hourly or weekly wages must be paid every two weeks.

Persons working for a subcontractor, who has failed to pay their salaries, may demand payment from their employer’s superior contractor to the extent that the latter owes their employer money for work done. When an employer goes bankrupt, the outstanding salaries and termination benefits of his employees must be paid before his other creditors.

An employee may not be obliged to buy products made by his employer. If he owes his employer money then not more than 10% of his salary may be deducted to pay off his debt and he may not be charged interest. Where an employee’s salary is attached on account of debts to third parties, the deduction is limited to 25% of his salary.

Working Hours
The working hours of an adult are limited to 8 hours a day and 48 hours a week. A rest break of at least one hour must be allowed after 5 consecutive hours of work. Rest periods are not included in the calculation of working hours. These standard hours may be increased or decreased by the MSA&L in certain cases, such as hotel workers.

Holidays
An employee is entitled to one full day off without pay a week. The traditional day off is Friday, but this is not a legal requirement in Kuwait.

An employee has a right to eight public holidays a year with full pay as follows: one day on Hijri New Year’s Day, one day on Ascension Day, two days each for Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, one day for the Prophet Mohamed’s Birthday, and one day for National Day. Liberation Day is not yet a statutory holiday in the private sector.

An employee is entitled to 14 days leave a year on full pay, provided he has completed one year of service, and 21 days after more than 5 years of continuous service. Official holidays and days of sick leave may not be counted as part of annual leave. The employer has the right to fix the date of leave. An employee must be given his holiday pay before he goes on leave and the last salary payable before the holidays must be used to calculate the amount due. If an employee’s services are tertminated then he is entitled to a cash payment in lieu of accumulated leave, irrespective of the number of years of leave due, and payment for the accumulated leave must be calculated on the basis of the last salary payable on the date of termination.

Sick Leave
Subject to a satisfactory medical report, an employee is entitled to sick leave for (a) the first six days of illness on full pay, (b) the next six days on 3/4 Pay, (c) the next six days on 1/2 Pay, (d) the next six days on 1/4 Pay, and (e) the next six days without Pay. This entitlement is the total entitlement in one year and not per period of sickness.

Overtime
An employee may be required to work overtime provided it is necessary and the employer’s order is in writing. Overtime rates are (a) 1.25 times the basic hourly rate for excess hours worked on ordinary days, (b) 1.50 times the basic hourly rate for all hours worked on the weekly day off, and (c) twice the basic hourly rate for all hours worked on public holidays.

Overtime may only be worked on 90 days in a year and is limited to 2 hours a day, 6 hours a week, and 180 hours a year. An employee has the right to refuse to work overtime.

Female Employees
A woman performing the same work as a man must be paid equal remuneration. The standard working hours for women are the same as for men.

But women may not work at night (8pm to 7am) except in clinics, pharmacies, hotels, nursery schools, homes for the handicapped, airline and tourist offices, theatres and Entertainment City. They may work up to midnight in cooperative societies and public utilities, restaurants, beauty salons, tailoring shops, banks and offices. Night time working hours may be extended by the MSA&L during Ramadan, and on Eids and public holidays. Employers are obliged to arrange transport for women working at night.

Maternity Leave
A woman is entitled to maternity leave to a maximum of 30 days prior to delivery and 40 days after delivery on full pay. Thereafter she may be absent from work without pay for up to 100 consecutive or non-consecutive days, provided she presents a medical certificate stating that she is ill as a result of gestation and parturition. The annual leave entitlements of a woman who makes use of her maternity leave privileges in any year are forfeit on a day-per-day basis until her annual leave entitlement for that year is extinguished.

Termination Benefits
When the employment is terminated, an employee is entitled to a lump sum payment called termination indemnity.
For those paid monthly, termination indemnity is 15 days remuneration for each complete year of service for the first 5 years and 30 days for each complete year beyond 5 years, but the total indemnity is limited to one and a half year’s remuneration. For piece-rate workers and those paid on an hourly, daily or weekly basis, the indemnity is 10 days remuneration for each complete year of service for the first 5 years, and 15 days tpay for each complete year beyond 5 years, subject to a limit of one year’s remuneration. In both cases part years are calculated pro-rata.

Pay per day is calculated by dividing the monthly salary in the final year of employment by 26. The monthly salary used to calculate daily pay must include the elements mentioned under ‘remuneration’ above.

An employee who resigns with less than five years service is not entitled to indemnity. One who resigns with five years or more of service is entitled to 50% indemnity. But employees who are made redundant (irrespective of length of service), who reach retirement age, who are disabled at work, or who die are entitled to full indemnity. And a woman who marries while she is an employee and who resigns within six months of marriage is entitled to full indemnity.

Disciplinary Notices & Penalties
All employee related regulations must be issued as circulars or bulletins written in Arabic.
Miscreant employees may be penalised provided the employer issues regulations specifying the acts that are punishable. Penalties must be progressive and are limited as follows:

ü only one punishment may be inflicted for each act of misbehaviour.
ü a penalty cannot be imposed for an act committed outside the work place unless it was related to work.
ü a pay deduction cannot exceed 5 days pay a month.
ü a suspension from duty cannot exceed 10 days a month.
ü a penalty cannot be imposed for any act once 15 days have elapsed since the act was proved or since the usual date for the payment of wages.

Termination
Where an employment contract is for a fixed period, it terminates automatically at the end of the period, but if both parties then continue to implement it, it is deemed to be renewed indefinitely under the same terms and conditions. If either party terminates the contract before the end of the fixed period (and there is no clause in the contract to cover this) then the party terminating the contract must compensate the other. Where termination is made by the employer, compensation is limited to the wage the employee would have earned from the day of termination to the expiry of his contract. Where it is the employee who quits, compensation is limited to the employer’s actual loss.

Where an employment contract is for an unlimited period, either party may terminate it by notifying the other in writing at least 15 days prior to termination (where the employee is paid monthly) or 7 days before termination (where the employee is paid more frequently). Either party may pay the other 15 or 7 days salary, as appropriate, in lieu of notice.

An employer has the right to terminate an employee without notice, and without paying indemnity and compensation, if the employee:

* commits a wrongful act resulting in serious loss to the employer,
* repeatedly disobeys the instructions of the employer,
* disobeys the employer’s instructions concerning safety at work on a single occasion,
* has been absent from work for more than seven consecutive days without due cause,
* has been convicted of a crime affecting honour, honesty or morality,
* commits an act against public morality in the work place,
* assaults a fellow employee, the employer or his agent at work or on account of work,
* fails to carry out his obligations under the terms of his contract or the labour law,
* has used fraud to obtain work, or
* reveals any secrets relating to his employment.

An employee has the right to quit without notice before the expiry of his contract, and to collect his indemnity and not pay compensation, if:
* his employer fails to abide by the provisions of his contract or the labour law,
* the employee has been assaulted by the employer or his agent, or
* to continue in work would endanger his health.
An employee’s contract is terminated if he dies. It may be terminated if he fails (without fault) to perform his work or he exhausts his entitlement to sick leave. In all these cases his indemnity must be paid.

An employee’s contract is automati-cally terminated if his firm goes into liquidation or merges with another, or there is a lockout, or the firm is sold or inherited, and in all cases the employee is entitled to his termination indemnity. Where the firm is sold or inherited, the new owner must settle the indemnity, though the employee may continue in service with the new owner while reserving his right to indemnity for his previous service.

Health & Safety
Employers are obliged to take precautions to protect their employees against physical hazards and occupational diseases at work. They are also required to ensure that places of work are clean, well ventilated, adequately lit and in sanitary condition. Employers must supply first aid kits containing medicines, antiseptics and bandages, and place them visibly within reach of employees. Detailed standards in these matters are contained in resolutions issued by the MSA&L in consultation with the Ministry of Public Health.

Employees who work in areas not serviced by public transport must be provided with suitable transport. If they work in localities far from populated areas, the employer must provide suitable accommodation, potable water and the means to obtain supplies.

Accidents
If an employee is injured at work, the employer must report the matter to the local police station and the MSA&L. The injured employee has the right to treatment, at the employer’s expense, in any government hospital or private clinic as the employer deems suitable. A doctor’s report, stating the period of treatment required, any disability arising from the accident and the employee’s fitness to continue in work, must be obtained.

During treatment, an injured employee is entitled to full pay for the first six months and, thereafter, half pay until he dies, or recovers, or is proved to be permanently disabled.

Compensation
An employee has the right to compensation for work-related injuries without having to prove that the employer was at fault, provided he did not injure himself intentionally or was not guilty of gross malpractice (such as expressly contravening safety regulations). But where his injuries have made him more than 25% disabled or he has died of them, he (or his family) will be entitled to compensation even if he was guilty of gross malpractice.

Compensation varies with the severity of the injury. Where death has occurred, it is the greater of (a) 1500 days pay or (b) the legal blood money (currently KD10,000). For total permanent disability, it is the greater of (a) 2000 days pay or (b) one and one-third times the legal blood money. For partial permane-nt disability, compensation is calculated as a percentage of what would be due for total permanent disability.

DISPUTES & CIVIL RIGHTS

Expatriates who are finding it difficult to get their legal rights in a work-related or other dispute may find the following organisations helpful:
Labour Departments at the Ministry of Social Affairs & Labour

The MSA&L has five Labour Departments, one in each governorate. Labour disputes should be referred to one of these departments, along with documents to substantiate a claim. The Department will give advice on the merits of a case.

HINTS FOR EXPATS

* Ensure that an employment contract is in writing.
* Check that the salary shown in the work permit reflects the salary shown in the employment contract as in the event of a dispute, the MS&L may rely on the work permit.
* Check that total remuneration is shown in the employment contract.
* Keep records of salary and other payments.
* Note that the time limit for filing cases in the Labour Court is one-year from the date employment is terminated.
* It is illegal for a foreigner to work in Kuwait except on a work visa and for their own sponsor. Part-time work requires special permission
* An employer cannot cancel an employee’s residence unless all dues and indemnities have been paid in full.
* An employer cannot give notice of termination during an employee’s sickness or injury.
* In case of dispute, always seek legal advice.

Kuwait Trade Union Federation
The federation has a special interest in preventing the abuse of expatriate labourers. It provides legal advice to labourers free of charge and also helps them to take action against their employers.

Human Rights Committee (HRC) at the National Assembly
Complaints on any matter, whether related to employment or other issues, can be sent to the HRC by letter or by fax, or can be discussed on the telephone or by visiting the National Assembly building in person. Persons who are refused entry to the National Assembly building should call the Committee directly. The HRC are particularly interested in expatriates who are having difficulty in obtaining their passports from their employers, and such persons are asked to fax a signed letter in Arabic stating the facts of their case, their civil ID and passport numbers, country of origin, and the name of their employer to the Committee who will treat the matter in strict confidence.

MSA&L Labour Departments
Kuwait City Tel 2406139 Fax 2406140
Hawalli Tel 2660228 Fax 2660227
Farwaniya Tel 4343871 Fax 4332456
Jahra Tel 4580055 Fax 4583821
Ahmadi Tel 3982178 Fax 3980986
Kuwait Trade Union Federation
General Secretary:
Tel 5616053 Fax 5627159
The HRC at the National Assembly
Tel 2458368 Fax 2455806

Complaints on any matter, whether related to employment or other issues, can be sent to the HRC by letter or by fax, or can be discussed on the telephone or by visiting the National Assembly building in person. Persons who are refused entry to the National Assembly building should call the Committee directly. The HRC are particularly interested in expatriates who are having difficulty in obtaining their passports from their employers, and such persons are asked to fax a signed letter in Arabic stating the facts of their case, their civil ID and passport numbers, country of origin, and the name of their employer to the Committee who will treat the matter in strict confidence.

Source – Kuwait Pocket Guide

Gulf’s expats are living the high life

Though this news is not refering to expats in Kuwait, it is interesting to see how expats are bringing in monies to thier countries

Russia, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are home to the wealthiest expats, with Eurozone countries falling behind when it comes to paying for foreign expertise, according to a new survey of expats.

The third annual report commissioned by HSBC Bank International found finances among expats were generally positive with two-thirds, or 66 per cent, saying they have more disposable income to save and invest since moving abroad.

But the survey found expats in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Singapore enjoyed the greatest wealth overall, having higher salaries, more disposable income and more luxury items such as swimming pools, properties and yachts.

Expats in Russia topped the list for the second consecutive years with a third, or 36 per cent, reporting earnings of more than $250,000 a year – compared to two-thirds, or 62 per cent, of expats in Spain earning below $60,000.

HSBC spokeswoman Lisa Wood said the survey, conducted by research company GfK, showed the wealth gap was widening between the east and west, with expats in emerging economies leaving their counterparts in the Eurozone behind.

“The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies have fared well over the last year and as a result we’ve seen that these expat locations are particularly strong when it comes to expat finances,” Wood said.

“Eurozone countries were the worst-performing when looking at purely financial criteria and all featured in the bottom quartile of our table.”

The Expat Economic survey, part of HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey of 4,100 expats from 100 countries, ranked 25 countries on scores linked to annual income, monthly disposable income and a measure of defined luxuries.

When it came to salaries, Russia topped this table followed by Singapore and Bermuda. The UAE was eighth.