What is the cost of living in Kuwait?

cost of living in Kuwait

Thinking about the cost of living in Kuwait? It’s a pretty important topic for anyone planning to move or already living there. Kuwait is a place where you can enjoy a good lifestyle, thanks to its strong economy. But like anywhere else, living here comes with its own set of costs, whether it’s for a cozy apartment, your daily meals, or just getting around.

Let’s look into what you might expect to spend on the basics in Kuwait without getting into the complex terms.

Cost of Living in Kuwait

Kuwait, a country known for its oil wealth, offers a unique living experience that blends modern amenities with traditional Gulf culture.

When considering the cost of living in Kuwait, there’s a lot to think about beyond the sand and skyscrapers. From the cost of your morning coffee to your monthly utilities.

Cost of Living in Kuwait

Housing in Kuwait

When you’re mapping out the cost of living in Kuwait, housing is the cornerstone. It’s not just about having a roof over your head; it’s about finding a space that fits your lifestyle and your budget.

Renting Across the Board

For those who prefer a compact and convenient living space:

One-bedroom apartment in the city’s heartRanges from 250 to 600 KWD per month
One-bedroom apartment in suburban areaRanges from 200 to 450 KWD per month

As needs and families grow, so does the need for space:

A two-bedroom apartment in the city’s heartRanges from 350 to 750 KWD per month
A two-bedroom apartment in the suburban areaRanges from 280 to 600 KWD per month

For those needing even more rooms:

A three-bedroom apartment in the city’s heartRanges from 550 to 1000+ KWD per month
A three-bedroom apartment in the suburban areaRanges from 400 to 850 KWD per month

Thinking of Buying?

Some people might want to buy a place. If that’s you, here’s the scoop: buying property in the city center will cost more per square meter compared to areas outside the center. It’s a classic city vs. suburbs scenario.

Food Expenses in Kuwait

When you’re living in Kuwait, navigating the food scene is a flavorful journey that can have a considerable impact on your cost of living in Kuwait. Here’s a closer look at what you can expect when it comes to feeding yourself in this Middle Eastern nation.


For day-to-day eating, most residents turn to local supermarkets and markets. The cost of groceries will depend on your dietary habits and preference for local versus imported goods.

A single person’s monthly grocery bill50 to 150 KWD

Dining Out

Eating out is a popular pastime in Kuwait, with options ranging from affordable street food to high-end restaurants.

A single meal in an inexpensive restaurantCost about 3 KWD
A three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurantCost about 20 KWD

International cuisines are widely available but expect to pay a premium for these meals.

Fast Food and Convenience

Fast food chains, both international and local, offer meals at prices similar to those in Western countries.

A combo meal 2-3 KWD

Beverages: From Coffee to Cocktails

Alcohol is generally not available due to local laws, which also means you won’t have that particular expense to account for. While,

A regular cappuccino1.5 KWD
Non-alcoholic cocktails2-4 KWD

Cooking at Home

Preparing meals at home will always be more economical. With a variety of local and international ingredients available, cooking at home can be a delicious and budget-friendly option.

Transportation in Kuwait

Transportation in Kuwait is a vital aspect of daily life, with personal vehicles being the most common mode of getting around due to the country’s subsidized fuel prices. Here’s what you need to know about transportation costs.

Personal Vehicles

With petrol prices being relatively low around 0.25 KWD per liter, driving is an affordable option. However, this doesn’t account for the initial cost of purchasing a car, maintenance, insurance, and the occasional traffic jam. On Average,

A small to medium-sized carCosts 20 to 50 KWD

Public Transportation

Public transportation in Kuwait is limited but is slowly improving. Buses are usually reliable and can be a cost-effective option for those looking to save on the expenses of maintaining a personal vehicle.

A monthly pass for the bus systemCosts around 12.5 to 20 KWD

Taxis and Ride-Sharing

For those without a car, taxis and ride-sharing services are available. They offer a more personalized travel experience at a higher price. Typically,

A typical taxi ride start with a fare of about 1 KWD and go upwards based on distance.

Traveling Beyond Borders

For international or regional travel, Kuwait has a well-connected airport with flights to numerous destinations. While not a daily cost, it’s worth considering for those who plan to travel frequently for leisure or business.

Transportation in Kuwait

Healthcare in Kuwait

Healthcare in Kuwait is a mix of public and private systems. The country provides free or low-cost healthcare to its citizens, but expatriates need to navigate a different landscape.

Public Healthcare

For Kuwaiti nationals, the public healthcare system offers comprehensive services at nominal fees. Expatriates working in Kuwait are entitled to health insurance through their employer, which grants them access to public healthcare services for a nominal fee. This fee is usually deducted from their salary and is quite minimal, often not more than a few Kuwaiti Dinars per month.

Private Healthcare

Expatriates often prefer private healthcare due to shorter waiting times and a perceived higher standard of care. The cost of private healthcare can vary widely.

A general doctor’s visit20 to 35 KWD
Specialists can charge 50 KWD
Private health insurance plans can range from 150 to 300 KWD annually for basic coverage.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all expatriates in Kuwait. Many employers offer health insurance as part of the employment package.

However, those who need to purchase it independently should budget for this essential expense. Basic health insurance typically covers general consultations, emergency services, and sometimes even dental and optical care.

Emergency Services

Emergency medical services in Kuwait are efficient and accessible. Ambulance services are free for everyone, and emergency treatment in public hospitals is also free or provided at a very low cost to residents and expatriates alike.

Education in Kuwait

Education in Kuwait offers a range of options, from public schools to private international institutions. For expatriates, understanding the education landscape is key to managing costs.

Public Schools

Education in public schools is free for Kuwaiti citizens, with the government covering everything from tuition to textbooks. The medium of instruction is Arabic, and the education system focuses on traditional learning methods.

Private and International Schools

Expatriates tend to lean towards private or international schools that offer curricula from their home countries or international baccalaureate programs. The fees for these institutions,

FeesVary widely, from 1,000 to over 6,000 KWD per academic year

University Education

Higher education also presents options between public and private universities. Kuwait University, a public institution, offers free education to Kuwaiti nationals and charges modest fees for expatriates.

Private universitiesUpwards of 3,000 KWD

Early Education Costs

Nurseries and kindergartens also come with their set of expenses, with monthly fees ranging from 150 to 500 KWD, influenced by the institution’s facilities and reputation.

Early Education Costs150 to 500 KWD

Utilities in Kuwait

In Kuwait, where temperatures can soar, utilities are not just about basic comfort they’re essential for everyday life. Here’s a breakdown of the typical utility costs you can expect.

Electricity and Water

Utility costs in Kuwait are heavily subsidized by the government, making them relatively affordable compared to many other countries. During the summer months, when air conditioning is a must, bills can spike due to increased electricity consumption.

Electricity and Water20 KWD to over 70 KWD


Cooking gas, used by some for stoves and ovens, is also subsidized and thus is a smaller expense. Households typically use gas cylinders, which are inexpensive and widely available, costing around

Gas2 KWD per cylinder

Internet and Telecommunications

The cost of staying connected in Kuwait is in line with international rates. Internet services are widely available, with various service providers offering competitive packages.

Mobile phone plans are also quite reasonable. You can expect to pay around 5 to 15 KWD monthly for a plan with a good mix of data, minutes, and texts. Prepaid options are available and popular among expatriates and locals alike.

A standard home internet package10 to 30 KWD
Mobile phone plans5 to 15 KWD
Education in Kuwait

Lifestyle and Entertainment

Kuwait’s lifestyle and entertainment options offer a range of activities that cater to different interests and budgets. Here’s an insight into what you can expect to spend on staying fit and having fun.

Gym Membership Fees

Fitness is a growing trend in Kuwait, and there are numerous gyms to choose from. The cost of a gym membership varies widely depending on the facilities and location.

Budget gymsAround 15 KWD per month
Premium fitness centersUpwards of 50 KWD per month

Cost of Cinema Tickets

For movie enthusiasts, the cinema is a popular choice. A standard movie ticket costs between 3.5 to 5 KWD. Premium experiences like IMAX or VIP seating in theaters can cost around 8 KWD or more per ticket.

A standard movie ticket Costs between 3.5 to 5 KWD
VIP seating in theaters Cost around 8 KWD

Average Cost for Entertainment

Aside from movies, Kuwait has a variety of entertainment options such as bowling, ice skating, and water parks, with prices generally ranging from 3 to 15 KWD for entry.

Average Cost for Entertainment3 to 15 KWD

Clothing and Personal Items

Clothing expenses can differ significantly based on personal style and preference for branded or non-branded items.

Cost of a Pair of Jeans or a Summer Dress from a High-Street Store

High-street fashion brands are widely available in Kuwait, and prices are on par with international rates. A pair of quality jeans or a summer dress can cost anywhere, depending on the brand and current fashion trends.

A pair of quality jeans or a summer dress10 to 30 KWD

Price of a Pair of Running Shoes or Business Shoes

Footwear, like clothing, varies in price. A decent pair of running shoes starts at around 20 KWD and can go up to 50 KWD or more for branded sportswear. Business shoes also have a wide range, with prices starting at 15 KWD for basic models and exceeding 60 KWD for designer brands.

A decent pair of running shoes20 KWD to 50 KWD
Business shoes15 KWD to 60 KWD

Miscellaneous Expenses

Miscellaneous expenses encompass a variety of needs from domestic assistance to personal care.

The Monthly Cost for a Domestic Helper or Nanny

Many families in Kuwait employ domestic helpers or nannies. The cost for these services can vary depending on the duties and hours required.

Domestic Helper or Nanny100 to 250 KWD per month

Personal Care Items and Services Costs

Personal care items such as shampoos, soaps, and other toiletries are reasonably priced and comparable to international averages. Services like haircuts, beauty treatments, and spa visits vary, with a haircut costing around 5 to 15 KWD and beauty treatments starting from 10 KWD upwards.

Haircut costing around5 to 15 KWD
Beauty Treatments10 KWD

The cost of living in Kuwait for a single person could expect to spend roughly 630 to 940 KWD per month, without including additional costs for things like travel, savings, or unexpected expenses. Keep in mind that this is a general estimate and individual costs can vary.



The cost of living in Kuwait offers flexibility to accommodate various budgets, balancing higher accommodation costs with low transportation and subsidized utilities. Lifestyle expenses range from economical to luxurious, providing options for every resident.

By smart budgeting and mindful spending, one can enjoy the cultural richness and modern amenities of Kuwait without financial strain.

Faisal Nazir
Faisal Nazir shares his insights and experiences to help readers discover the hidden gems and vibrant culture of Kuwait.


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