Work and Travel in Kuwait
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN KUWAIT FOR TRAVELLERS
Kuwait, to most people, is the oil-rich nation that formed the focal point of the Gulf War in the 1990s. Today, Kuwait is peaceful and continues to enjoy its oil wealth. It has the most valuable currency in the world, which makes it an incredibly expensive country to visit.
For this reason, backpackers should consider work and travel in Kuwait if they want to extend their stay here and make the most of the country.
This travel guide to Kuwait (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/kuwait) will show you what you need to know about experiencing this Middle Eastern country.
1. Work with Stray Animals in Kuwait
Kuwait has a lot of stray animals on its streets. Believe it or not, Kuwait is much more than the glittering towers of Kuwait City. Shelters across the nation work in rescuing abandoned animals and educating people about how to treat animals and how to fulfil their basic needs.
You could find yourself working in a shelter as you travel in Kuwait. You may also find yourself helping to promote the neutering of animals and protecting those that are stray.
It’s one of the most rewarding volunteering opportunities in Kuwait.
2. Protect Turtles in Kuwait
Kuwait’s position means that its coastline is home to an array of marine life on its coral reefs. Sea turtles are regularly trapped in fishing nets and debris.
Protecting turtles in Kuwait means you’re helping to preserve these animals for future generations. Part of your work will involve installing buoys to keep boats from mooring in certain places. You’ll also be helping to retrieve debris from the sea and even removing sunken vessels.
It helps if you have experience working in the water, but it’s far from necessary.
3. Work with Children’s Hospitals in Kuwait
Another of the volunteer opportunities in Kuwait is working in a children’s hospital. Volunteers are often used to enable children to feel more comfortable in a hospital setting.
This doesn’t require any medical experience. The role typically involves keeping children company when they don’t have visitors and playing games with them. If you have any experience in childcare, you’ll find this is the perfect job for you.
There are six hospitals in Kuwait that you could find yourself working in.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR KUWAIT
You must understand that formalities are a big deal in Kuwait. Work and travel in Kuwait usually requires you to submit more formal applications. This isn’t a country where you can simply arrive and expect to find a role working as a volunteer.
The visa requirements for Kuwait are typically Western-centric. The only countries that don’t require any sort of permit are those who within the Arabian Peninsula. Everyone else either can get a visa-on-arrival (https://www.dgca.gov.kw/en/travellers/traveller-information/arrival-procedures/visa-services) or apply for an e-visa in advance. They’re both essentially the same thing.
Canadians, Americans, the British, the countries of the European Union (EU), Australians, New Zealanders, the Japanese, and South Koreans are all eligible to enter the country either with an e-visa (https://evisa.moi.gov.kw/evisa/home_e.do) or by getting a visa-on-arrival.
Russians, South Africans, and the Chinese should apply for a visa from a Kuwaiti embassy before they travel (https://kuwaitembassy.co.za/).
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN KUWAIT
Seasons in Kuwait can be complex as they do have four seasons, just not the four seasons that Westerners are used to. Spring can be hot and pleasant, yet thunderstorms hit on a semi-regular basis
However, the majority of work in Kuwait is available in spring. You can work with underprivileged youth, work in hospitals, or work in elderly care homes.
There’s little you can’t do in spring.
The summers in Kuwait are hot, dry, and dusty. We recommend that you opt for indoor projects as you travel in Kuwait as it can be unbearable to be outside during the middle of the day. Practically all buildings in Kuwait are well-equipped with air conditioning.
You should refer back to the ‘Spring’ section for further information on some of the indoor projects that are available during summer.
We recommend autumn for most of the conservation projects here. Work in Kuwait in autumn and you’ll be treated to pleasant temperatures without worrying about the hot hours.
Turtle conservation and working with stray animals are your two best options if you visit in autumn. However, due to the formal nature of volunteering here, we recommend that you apply for these positions at least a few months in advance.
You may struggle to believe it since this is the Middle East, but winter in Kuwait does get cold. It’s not uncommon to see frost in the middle of winter. This surprises a lot of travellers who are completely unprepared for it. The winter season is an incredible time to work in Kuwait because practically every option for volunteering is available.
You can go back to the previous sections to find out more information about some of the things you can do in the winter.
But during the middle of winter we would always recommend that you stick to the indoor projects, unless you have the appropriate clothing.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN KUWAIT
Travel in Kuwait and you’ll see that the volunteering culture, outside of Islamic circles, is not a common part of society here. The majority of projects are based around local mosques. They may involve similar types of work, but non-Muslims and non-locals are generally not party to them.
As you work and travel in Kuwait, you should be aware of local Islamic customs to avoid offending anyone. That means both men and women should ensure that the knees and shoulders are covered. For women, it’s best if they use a headscarf to cover their hair.
However, Muslims in the Middle East are friendly and there’s a much lower rate of scams than you would find in countries like Egypt. Generosity towards guests is to be expected, so don’t be surprised if you’re invited to someone's home for dinner.
Kuwait is extremely safe.
Do you want to work in Kuwait this year?
- Edited on Dec 6 2018 by Marichka