Kuwait Flag
Country Description: Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy with a modern economy. Day-to-day life has returned to normal after the 1991 Gulf War, and facilities for travelers are widely available. The workweek in Kuwait is Saturday through Wednesday.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: Passports and visas are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Kuwait. For more information concerning entry requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of Kuwait at 2940 Tilden St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 966-0702, or the Kuwaiti Consulate in New York City, telephone (212) 973-4318.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Travel to and near the Iraq-Kuwait border is very hazardous. U.S. citizens having legitimate work-related business near the border may receive updated information from the U.S. Embassy, and may also wish to consult with their employer's security personnel. Unexploded bombs, mines, booby traps, and other items remain in open areas and beaches throughout Kuwait. U.S. Embassy personnel have been forbidden to travel off paved surfaces outside Kuwait City.

Medical Facilities: The health care delivery system continues to rebuild, with many medical facilities, both government and private, available in Kuwait. Medical care at government-run clinics and hospitals is generally provided free of charge or at low cost to residents of Kuwait, while private physicians and hospitals charge a fee for services. Non-residents have found that private doctors, hospitals and clinics expect immediate cash payment for their services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Medevac insurance, for emergencies requiring treatment outside Kuwait, and supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage have proven useful. Additional information on health matters can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline, telephone (404) 332-4559 or visit the CDC Home Page on the Internet at http://www.cdc.gov.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: The crime rate in Kuwait is moderate. However, weapons left over from the 1991 Gulf War remain in the hands of the populace, and shooting incidents have occurred, Both physical and verbal harassment of women is a continuing problem. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported immediately to local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Useful information on safeguarding valuables, protecting personal security, and other matters while traveling abroad is provided in the Department of State pamphlets, "A Safe Trip Abroad" and "Tips for Travelers to the Middle East and North Africa." They are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Currency Regulations: Travelers checks and credit cards are widely acceptable. Kuwaiti currency is readily convertible to U.S. dollars.

Drug and Crime Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Alcohol, pork products, and pornography are illegal in Kuwait. Penalties for importation, possession, use, manufacture or sale of illegal drugs, alcohol, or pornography are severe, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines. Religious proselytizing is not permitted.

Terrorist Activities: Americans in Kuwait should be alert to their surroundings and take prudent security precautions. U.S. citizens may wish to consult the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy for updated information.

Child Custody: In Kuwait, child custody decisions are based on Islamic law. It is extremely difficult for an American woman, even a Muslim, to obtain custody of her children through a Kuwaiti court decision. Regardless of their parents' marital status, minor children of a Kuwaiti father may not leave Kuwait without the father's permission.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: Driving in Kuwait can be hazardous. Although Kuwait has an extensive and modern system of well-lighted roads, excessive speeding on both primary and secondary roads, coupled with lax enforcement of traffic regulations, lead to frequent and often fatal accidents.

Embassy Location and Registration: U.S. citizens are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy and to enroll in the Embassy's emergency alert network, and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Kuwait. The U.S. Embassy in Kuwait is located at Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa Street, Plot 14, Block 14, Bayan, Kuwait. The mailing address is P.O. Box 77, Safat 13001, Kuwait; telephone (965) 242-4151 through 9.

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