Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Traffic woes

Kuwait is situated at the western head of the Persian (or Arabian) Gulf. Its area is estimated at about 17,820 sq km (6,880 sq mi). Comparatively, the area occupied by Kuwait is slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey. Kuwait extends 205 km (127 mi) SE – NW and 176 km (109 mi) NE – SW .

Getting around Kuwait as you see is easy since there is not much to go about! Yet the traffic woes are a galore! A trip which in normal traffic takes barely 15 minutes can go to more than an hour during the peak hours. Compared to say Emirates, most roads in Kuwait are beautiful, wider and smoother. Driving on it can be a pleasure for anyone who loves to do so. To make it even more pleasurable, every luxury vehicle has made it’s presence and loans are readily for the Kuwaitees to indulge in their favourite past time. Every Kuwaitee in an house could be driving a vehicle too! Moreover, traffic rules don’t seem to bother majority of the Kuwaitees. Hence, should one blame them if they now want the whole road to themselves :) And as they say, only Kuwait can get away with it too.

Yesterday the local newspapers carried an interesting news.

KUWAIT: Kuwait is mulling limiting the validity of foreigners' driving licenses to two years and making drivers take a driving test every time they apply for a renewal. Under the new regulations, an expatriate's driving license will be renewed alongside the residence permit, valid for two years. However, the license will be renewed only if the foreigner submits evidence of a high salary and a university degree and successfully passes a new driving test, informed sources told Kuwait Times.

Getting a driving license here in Kuwait is not easy since it is common knowledge that the authorities have been appointed only to fail the expatriates. We have heard of “tough” ones trying this system but failing miserably several times. Hence the easy way for most is it to bribe. So, there is truth if one says that most (?) of the licence that was issued was not through “proper’ ways. It is not as though all the applicants are not good drivers, but the system is such. Now one can imagine why the above news is giving nightmares to the expatriates.

Hopefully this rule will not come to pass but if it does then the only hope for the expatriate would be the following:

Source: Kuwait Times


  1. That is so unfair! I can imagine how worried the expatriates must be at this news. It is sad, isn't it that two sets of rules apply?

  2. I do not have much idea about the traffic rules in Dubai but have heard people saying that Police officials are not as corroupted as in India.

  3. All over...it's getting tough for the expatriates... but restrictions in owning vehicles are good..Public transportations should be encouraged

  4. Smitha: Glad to see u and hope u shall soon post on ur blog..

    Yes.. 2 sets of rules does apply out here...

    Abhi: Yes the Dubai police are polite and we got a shock of our life when he spoke in Malayalam to our son while going through the Dubai Airport.. such things may never happen here in Kuwait!

    Jon: Public transportation is a better option..but then the restrictions are only for the expatriate which is not fair by any means.

  5. Its unfair and frankly appalling ..the criteria being demanded is ridiculous!

    Why give citizenship if you cant ensure equality?

  6. We think ex-pats have it all made and yet you face so many different kinds of things - its a tough world out there too!

  7. How can they even think about such a crap rule.Never though Kuwait is this crowded

  8. Indyeah: There is no offer of citizenship. The system is different, although citizenship is given to the landless or the bedouin.. mostly from the neighbouring gulf countries.. but if a foreigner has a European or US Passport, then some of these rules may not apply at all :)

    but things are changing.. for the better or worse only time can tell..

    Kallu: Things r not that easy as it seems.. but then every country has its plus and minus and I guess it is upto each one of us to take it or leave it..

    Anish: maybe they will not go for it, unless they are hoping to increase revenue.. or maybe they have reached a stage where they feel that it is time to manage their country on their own :)

  9. remember my short stay there - ours were the only car on the five or six ring roads, but i can imagine the woes now!!

  10. Anish: :) Kuwait is crowded.. nd more expatriates than Kuwaitees too!

    Maddy: it is all changed.. nd with more roads and flyovers the traffic may ease soon...


Blog Archive