Kuwait is one of the smallest countries in the world. It’s a small fish in a big pond: the Middle East. It must be hard to keep a low profile in the Middle East, everybody’s up to something. Kuwait hasn’t had it easy either, but things have got much better since the 80s. While the rest of the world was preoccupied with new wave and hairspray, Kuwait was busy lending money to Iraq and then being invaded by it.
There’s gratitude for you. But Kuwait had the last laugh. Since the fall Saddam Hussein, confidence, private investment and activity have returned to the Kuwaiti economy with veritable vigour, now foreign investors are highly interested in starting a business within the country. Kuwaiti businesses are very involved in the re-emerging Iraqi market, and they are keen to join with UK companies in the opportunism now available. Kuwait’s geographical locality acts as a natural gateway to this market.
Kuwait has nine islands, all of which, with the exception of Failaka Island, are uninhabited. Oil and soot accumulation has contaminated the soil and has made eastern and south-eastern parts of Kuwait inhospitable.
Kuwait is divided into six governorates; Al Ahmadi, Al Farwaniyah, Al Asimah, Al Jahra, Hawalli, ans Mubarak Al-Kabeer; and these governorates are subdivided into districts. The major cities are the capital, Kuwait City, and Jahrah. The main residential and business areas are Salmiya and Hawalli and the main industrial area is Shuwaikh within the Al Asimah Governorate. You are required to carry ID documents while you are in Kuwait as it is common for labour officials to carry out spot checks on businesses to check that there are no workers employed illegally. Kuwaiti law permits foreign persons or entities to establish a permanent presence in Kuwait by forming and investing in the following companies:
- Limited Liability Company (WLL )
- A Closed Joint Stock Company
- Branch Office