Kuwait dream destination now an expat nightmare

Kuwait dream destination now an expat nightmare

Kuwait dream destination now an expat nightmare

Notwithstanding the financial opportunities offered in the past to expatriates relocating to Kuwait, the emirate’s soaring cost of living is causing many to struggle to cope.

The dream of financial freedom via a well-paid job in Kuwait is fading fast, especially where expat families are concerned, as the overall costs of parenthood are increasing day by day. Some expats are attempting to cope by downsizing accommodation needs and moving to smaller apartments; others are sharing condos with friends and an increasing number of expats are sending their families or at least their children back to relatives in the home country.

Kuwait’s inflation is at an all-time high, with rising housing costs as well as utility charges meaning even the highest paid are spending far more of their salaries on necessities than was normal several years ago. Across the emirate, new apartments stand empty awaiting non-existent renters and buyers, and a few enterprising caretakers are offering a free months’ rent to potential takers. Companies are struggling to stay in business and fees imposed on expats are increasing fast, resulting in many deciding to up and leave as the good times aren’t likely to return any day soon.

Expat heathcare costs recently came under fire from the emirate’s government, resulting in price hikes for operations, medications, hospital stays and outpatient treatments. New fees for expats now apply at public hospitals as well as private clinics, and other core living essentials such as schooling and transportation fees are now far more expensive. Companies feeling the cold wind of recession are cutting back on expat staff at all levels, laying off experienced expats in order to save on salaries.

One expat forced to send his family back to Canada told local media everything’s changed since he first arrived. He’s been forced to downsize from a three-bedroomed apartment to one with two bedrooms, and eventually had to rent a one-bedroomed condo simply to keep himself and his family together. Finally, he gave up due to skyrocketing medical and schooling costs, sending his wife and children back to the home country. Others are enduring loneliness for a short while, then leaving to join their families in their countries of birth. For many who’re staying, the expat dream is now a nightmare.

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