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Kuwait_map_527x286px Kuwait+flag Emir+Sheikh+Sabah+al-Ahmad+al-Jaber+al-Sabah
Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah

Kuwait country datafile
Country overview
Government contacts

Country data

Kuwait 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015f
Nominal GDP ($bn) 106.0 115.4 154.1 174.1 175.8 179.3* 181.0
GDP per capita ($) 30,410 32,223 41,853 45,997 45,189 44,850* 44,032
Real GDP growth (annual change, %) -7.1 -2.4 10.2 8.3 -0.4 1.4* 1.8
Government revenue (% of GDP) 69.0 70.2 73.8 74.7 73.6 73.6* 73.0
Government total expenditure (% of GDP) 42.2 44.8 39.1 38.7 41.4 44.8* 46.7
General government debt (gross, % of GDP) 11.0 11.3 8.5 6.8 6.2 5.9* 5.7
Current account balance (% of GDP) 26.7 32.0 43.6 45.5 40.5 40.8* 38.6
Inflation (%) 4.6 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4.0* 4.1
Population (millions) 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4.0* 4.1
Unemployment (%) 1.6 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1* 2.1
Click to see full economic data (2005 - 2019 forecast)
Source: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database;
Last updated: February 2015; *=Estimate

Doing business in...

Doing Business in Kuwait

MEED’s guide to doing business in Kuwait

4 November 2012

For many business people, Kuwait is one of the region’s sleeping giants

Public Authority for Housing Welfare, Kuwait Subscription

17 June 2013

Kuwait’s Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) is playing an increasingly important role in facilitating housing and public-private partnership projects

Banks and services in Kuwait Subscription

4 November 2012

Bank and services listings for Kuwait

Information providers in Kuwait Subscription

4 November 2012

A round up of media that reports on Kuwait

Ministries and state bodies in Kuwait Subscription

31 October 2012

Contact details for Kuwait ministries and organisations

Kuwait airport

Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Kuwait Subscription

31 October 2012

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is in charge of the regulation of Kuwaiti airspace and the management and maintenance of Kuwait International Airport, the emirate’s single civil international hub

Kuwait University

Kuwait University Subscription

31 October 2012

In 2011, Kuwait University became the country’s biggest single client for construction services, awarding $1bn in construction deals. By September 2012, the university had already awarded five contracts worth $733m since January. According to regional projects tracker MEED Projects, a further $1.4bn of construction contracts are expected in 2013.

Kuwait Petroleum Corporation Subscription

29 October 2012

In a country that is dependent on oil production and export, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) is a major cog in the economic machinery. Formed in 1980, it acts as a holding company for all Kuwait’s major oil, gas, and petrochemical assets, the most important of which are state oil and gas firm Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Company ...

Oversee: The Partnerships Technical Bureau aims to ensure new projects are viable and legally watertight

Partnerships Technical Bureau, Kuwait Subscription

29 October 2012

In 2008, Kuwait’s government established the Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) to oversee a number of public-private projects

Healthcare in Kuwait Subscription

29 October 2012

The standard of healthcare, particularly private care, is relatively high in Kuwait, but the system is under pressure

Kuwait City: The emirate was less affected by the regional real estate boom than other Gulf countries

Property in Kuwait Subscription

28 October 2012

Kuwait’s property sector did not suffer the dramatic price falls seen in other GCC markets following the onset of the 2008 financial crisis

Private education: Kuwait's leading schools often have long waiting lists

Education in Kuwait Subscription

28 October 2012

The Gulf states typically offer a good standard of private education for the children of expatriates, and Kuwait is no exception

State carrier: Currently being privatised, Kuwait Airways serves about 40 destinations

Transport in Kuwait Subscription

28 October 2012

The best way to get around Kuwait City and the wider emirate is by car, either a rental, lease or taxi

Public-private partnerships in Kuwait Subscription

23 October 2012

Joss Dare of Ashurst Middle East explains how the private sector can work with the government

Employment law in Kuwait Subscription

23 October 2012

Kashif Syed and Mary Ann Sharp of law firm SNR Denton outline employers’ rights and obligations

Sharia in Kuwait Subscription

23 October 2012

Sharia is a form of law derived from Islamic principles

Setting up a company in Kuwait Subscription

23 October 2012

Sonia Salah, Ramy Shabana and Alex Saleh from law firm Al Tamimi & Company outline the legal issues foreigners face when establishing a business in Kuwait

Kuwait City

Ministry of Public Works, Kuwait Subscription

22 October 2012

Kuwait’s Ministry of Public Works (MPW) is in charge of the construction and maintenance of public buildings and key infrastructure, from roads and bridges to hospitals and sewage networks

Taxes in Kuwait Subscription

17 October 2012

Mary Ann Sharp of SNR Denton’s Kuwait office answers key questions about the Gulf state’s tax regime

Ministry of Health in Kuwait Subscription

17 October 2012

Kuwait is faced with a growing population and a lack of hospital space. The situation has been complicated by the rising prevalence of chronic diseases among the local population. Obesity has become a significant problem in the emirate, with 88 per cent of Kuwaitis classed as medically overweight, and a third of the population suffering from obesity. Currently, the state spends upwards of $1bn a year on sending citizens abroad for treatment, a bill that is likely to increase alongside ...

Ministry of Electricity and Water in Kuwait Subscription

17 October 2012

Kuwait has long struggled to meet rising domestic demand for electricity

Kuwait Ports Authority Subscription

16 October 2012

Kuwait has long planned to improve its status as a logistics and shipment hub

Burgan field: Sheikh Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah oversees Kuwait's first crude oil shipment on 30 June 1946

History of Kuwait Subscription

16 October 2012

The origins of Kuwait lie in the early 18th century, when clans of the Anaiza tribe migrated north from Qatar and the centre of the Arabian peninsula and came to populate the region

People and Culture in Kuwait Subscription

16 October 2012

Arabic is the official language of Kuwait, although English is commonly spoken

Map of Kuwait

Basic information on Kuwait Subscription

15 October 2012

The total area of Kuwait is 17,820 square kilometres

Kuwait trends

Projects due for award in next 12 months

Projects market loses its momentum Subscription

12 May 2015 | By

While essential schemes are still likely to move forwards, the drop in oil prices means projects that are more speculative could be put on hold

Top 10 contractors and EPC spend by country

Oil price drop reshapes top 10 contractors Subscription

11 May 2015 | By

The decline in oil prices has led to a slowdown in project spending in the region, meaning MEED’s annual contractor survey has seen a big shake up this year

Divided Zone: Some analysts believe the Saudi Arabia-Kuwait dispute could degenerate into more serious problems

Trouble in the Divided Zone Subscription

28 April 2015 | By

Oil production in the zone is expected to halt as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait fail to find common ground

Middle East contracts March 2015

Middle East contracts awarded: March 2015 Subscription

15 April 2015

Over $6bn of contracts awarded in March in the Middle East

Estimated Hydrocarbons production of top three producers

US remained world’s top oil and gas producer in 2014 Subscription

9 April 2015 | By

America is also top petroleum liquids producer after overtaking Saudi Arabia in 2013

Grand Mosque

Kuwait Small Project of the Year Subscription

24 March 2015

Structural renovation of the Grand Mosque


Hyder Consulting Transport Project of the Year - Kuwait Subscription

24 March 2015

Construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, storm water drainage, sewerage and other services for Subiyah Highway package 3

Petrochemicals EPC contract awards by country

Kuwait ripe for expansion Subscription

19 March 2015 | By

Progress on refinery megaprojects means the country can go ahead with plans to integrate petrochemicals facilities

Gulf projects index

Middle East contracts awarded: February 2015 Subscription

1 March 2015

Over $8bn of contracts awarded in February in the Middle East

Filter Kuwait analysis by sector

MEED comment


Divided Zone dispute likely to be costly for Kuwait Subscription

19 May 2015 | By

Dispute with Saudi Arabia has caused reputational damage

Water desalination plant

Kuwait makes fresh start with PPP programme Subscription

19 May 2015 | By

New economic climate of lower oil prices has raised the importance of private sector partnerships

If Kuwait and Saudi Arabia fail to improve their coordination over Divided Zone projects, the future cost could be high, especially for Kuwait

Divided Zone differences Subscription

28 April 2015 | By

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait need to increase cooperation on shared projects

Kuwait’s peak electricity demand is growing at 8 per cent a year

Kuwait independent power market to return Subscription

28 April 2015 | By

Reforms mean progress is expected, but not without teething problems


Kuwait’s Al-Zour refinery negotiations at a critical juncture Subscription

31 March 2015 | By Wil Crisp

KNPC to decide on possible re-tender


Kuwait's Al-Zour refinery in danger of stalling Subscription

11 March 2015 | By

Any new delays to the refinery project must be avoided

The majority of the labourers working on the GCC’s construction sites come from India and other subcontinent countries

GCC contractors consider bumper Indian budget Subscription

5 March 2015 | By

Competition may subside, but labour costs could increase

Kuwait needs to move fast if its plans are to be taken seriously

Second time lucky for Kuwait Subscription

24 February 2015 | By

New five-year development plan includes many old projects

More MEED commentary

Special reports

Optimism grows in Kuwait projects market

Kuwait: Optimism grows in projects market Subscription

23 February 2015

Kuwait’s approval of a new spending plan and recent amendments to investment laws will mean projects will continue to move ahead

Opec secretary-general Abdullah al-Badri

Opec sets the tone for 2015

15 December 2014 | By

Regional producers are not about to cut oil production and the assumptions that have underpinned forecasting in recent years have to be revisited


Kuwait stock exchange in need of reforms Subscription

15 October 2014

The bourse needs new regulations that will make it more appealing to investors

Kuwait City

Kuwait: Projects sector builds on recent progress Subscription

12 June 2014

Kuwait has sustained the momentum of its projects sectors build up from progress made last year, but how long will it last?

More Kuwait special reports

Market presentations

Middle East Outlook 2013

A region in transition: Middle East outlook 2013 and beyond Subscription

18 August 2013

Insight and analysis on the economic and projects outlook for the Middle East

Project Finance

Webinar: Middle East project finance outlook Subscription

17 June 2013

Market constraints to continue, with deals flowing to most stable markets in the region

After the Uprisings webinar

After the Uprisings: The outlook for business in the Middle East in 2013 and beyond Subscription

4 March 2013

A webinar on the region’s business environment, providing current data and exclusive expert analysis drawn from MEED’s team of experts

Top 10 projects

Rank Project Name Sector Contract value ($m)
1 Clean Fuels Project 2020: MAA Package Oil 4,900
2 Clean Fuels Project 2020: MAB (Package 1) Oil 3,700
3 Clean Fuels Project 2020: MAB (Package 2) Oil 3,400
4 Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah Causeway (Subiya Causeway) Transport 2,600
5 Al Zour North IWPP: Phase 1: Power Plant Power 1,363
6 Jaber Ahmed al-Jabber al-Sabah Hospital Construction 1,087
7 Al-Jahra Road Upgrade Transport 956
8 EW Treatment and Injection Plant (NK) Oil 946
9 Eight Hospitals Expansion: Al Farwaniya Hospital Expansion Construction 941
10 Booster Station 171 Gas 900
Click through to the full data table on Kuwait's biggest projects in construction
Click through to MEED's Q4 2014 Top 100 Projects report
Source: MEED Projects; Data compiled: April 2015; All projects are in execution

Project awards

Power station

Indian company wins Kuwait substation contract Subscription

20 May 2015 | By

New facility will supply the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery

The scope includes a storage tank

UK company wins design contract in Kuwait Subscription

13 May 2015 | By

Project estimated to be worth $500m

Tecnicas Reunidas wins $1.45bn Mina al-Ahmadi gas contract

Kuwait awards $1.45bn Mina al-Ahmadi gas contract Subscription

3 May 2015 | By

Spanish company to build fifth gas train at Kuwaiti refinery

Oil refinery

Mina al-Ahmadi gas contract to be awarded Subscription

31 March 2015 | By

Kuwait decides on refinery’s fifth gas fractionation train

Oil refinery

Kuwait signs energy deals with South Korea Subscription

3 March 2015 | By

Officials discuss increased oil and gas cooperation


Kuwait University awards contract Subscription

26 February 2015 | By

Kuwaiti authorities award construction contract to Indian firm for college buildings

Oil pipelines

Kuwait awards a $30.5m contract Subscription

3 February 2015 | By

Contract to Mushrif Trading comes one week after winning a $12.2m Clean Fuels Project contract

Kuwait oil company contract awards 2014

Kuwait Oil Company awards $8.6bn in 2014 Subscription

2 February 2015 | By

Contract awards see a 95 per cent increase

Kuwait awards $4.3bn deal to Petrofac

Kuwait awards $4.3bn deal to Petrofac Subscription

11 January 2015 | By

UK firm wins Lower Fars heavy oil development project contract

Kuwait awards Wafra substation deal

Kuwait approves Wafra substation deal Subscription

6 January 2015 | By

Siemens Electronics & Electrical Services Company submitted low bid

Projects trends

Gulf projects index

Saudi Arabia leads Gulf index recovery Subscription

18 May 2015

All countries record gains to bring projects market up by 0.7 per cent

Gulf projects index

Impact of GCC slowdown takes hold Subscription

12 May 2015

Bahrain makes the biggest gain, while Saudi Arabia’s market continues to fall

Gulf projects index

Iran jump struggles to lift Gulf index Subscription

4 May 2015

GCC slowdown cancels out gains in Islamic Republic

More Gulf Projects index

All companies


Agility Subscription

Kuwait based, Agility is a global logistics leader with two main lines of business: commercial logistics and a portfolio of logistics-related businesses.

Alghanim International Subscription

Alghanim International are a civil and electromechanical engineering and contracting company active across power projects

See all Kuwait company profiles


Ayad al-Homoud Subscription

1 April 2015

Ayad al-Homoud is Chairman of the Kuwait Society of Engineers

Bob Hope Subscription

25 January 2015

Bob Hope is CEO of SSH

Mohammad Ghazi al-Mutairi Subscription

22 January 2015

Mohammad Ghazi al-Mutairi is CEO, Kuwait National Petroleum Company

Rashid al-Nafisi Subscription

22 September 2014

Rashid al-Nafisi is chairman of the Al-Mazaya Holding Company

Salwa Nabil Malhas Subscription

16 September 2014

Salwa Nabil Malhas is chief business development and marketing officer at Al-Mazaya Holding

Ibrahim Abdul Rahman al-Saqabi Subscription

16 September 2014

Ibrahim Abdul Rahman al-Saqabi is CEO at Al-Mazaya Holding Company

See all Kuwait biographies

Latest Kuwait news


Al-Zour North 1 starts generation Subscription

24 May 2015 | By

New capacity will cover summer demand peaks

Temporary offices

Clean Fuels construction to start before the end of July Subscription

21 May 2015 | By

Preliminary works for the Kuwaiti megaproject are ongoing


Al-Zour refinery bidders asked to renew bonds Subscription

21 May 2015 | By

Budget increase for the three process packages is yet to be approved

Oil storage

Bidders on Al-Zour package four prepare to submit new bids Subscription

21 May 2015 | By

All four have picked up the new tender documents


Work ramps up on Kuwait’s Lower Fars field development Subscription

21 May 2015 | By

Surveys are under way and construction is due to start in the first quarter of 2016

Oil well

Kuwait manifold contract expected to be awarded in June Subscription

21 May 2015 | By

UK-based company is low-bidder on the project

Oil storage

Gathering Centre construction to start in October Subscription

20 May 2015 | By

Preliminary works on the Kuwait Oil Company project are ongoing

Power station

Indian company wins Kuwait substation contract Subscription

20 May 2015 | By

New facility will supply the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery

Kuwait tweaks oil production strategy

Kuwait tweaks oil production strategy Subscription

19 May 2015 | By

Kuwait Oil Company looking to compensate for Divided Zone shutdown

Kuwait power market

Kuwait reignites PPP programme Subscription

18 May 2015 | By

Public-private partnership programme has faced significant delays

Filter Kuwait news by sector

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MEED events

Kuwait Projects 2014

Kuwait Projects 2015

15 June 2014

23 - 25 November 2015 | Exploring project opportunities in the Kuwait Market

More MEED events