Kuwait Law: How does a non-Kuwaiti become a Kuwaiti?

Post by Fajer Ahmed

According to the Kuwaiti government, in 2008 Kuwait’s population consisted of 3.3 million people, 2.3 million of which are foreigners. That’s double the number of Kuwaitis so I can understand why the Kuwaiti government would want to protect the Kuwaiti citizenship, and therefore making the procedures/requirements for getting a Kuwaiti citizenship tougher than other countries. But how tough are they?

Before I get into that, I have to explain the unique situation of the citizenship law that states how a non-Kuwaiti may become a Kuwaiti:

1) It was one of the first laws in Kuwait, even before the constitution and before Kuwait was officially recognized as a country. The citizenship law was promulgated (published) in 1959, via an Amiri decree. (Kuwait didn’t have a parliament then)

2) The law has been edited and re-edited, written and rewritten, promulgated and un-promuglated over and over throughout the years; 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2000…

3) Under article 1(e) of the Administrative Court Legislation, the courts do not have jurisdiction over issues pertaining to the issuance of a citizenship. Basically what it means is the court can’t deal, handle or look into any issues that has to do with the citizenship.

How can a non-kuwaiti can be considered for the Kuwaiti citizenship?

First of all you need to have fulfilled the three requirements below:

Then you need one of the below:

So let’s say you have all the requirements, let’s say for example Mark (he is Arab and has a decent job) becomes Muslim for 5 years or his family has been in Kuwait since 1965 or the government really thinks that 248am.com is making significant contributions to the country. So what does mark have to do to get the Kuwaiti nationality? First thing Mark has to do is apply to citizenship department (All paper requirements found here) then:

I have deliberately missed out some points regarding the issuance of citizenship’s because I did not want to complicate things. If you require any further clarifications please let me know, also if you have any stories you want to share feel free to do so.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.

Picture on top by zDistrict

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Kuwait’s booming Instagram business

Post by Mark

Popular blogger Kottke as well as The Atlantic Wire both recently featured articles on Kuwait’s booming Instagram business model. The way Instagram businesses have exploded in Kuwait kinda reminds me of the US e-commerce boom back in the 90s. For example I met a person last week who has 3 physical stores for his brand as well as an Instagram account. He’s now closing down two of his stores because his Instagram account is bringing in more business. Check out the two articles on the following links [Kottke] [The Atlantic Wire]

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Help find a girls birth father

Post by Mark

I got an email a few days ago from an adopted American girl who recently found out her birth father was a Kuwaiti. She asked me if I could help her try and find him but she doesn’t have much information other than the below:

My birth mother was American and my birth father was Kuwaiti. My birth mother was in Kuwait for about 7 months in 1979, and she had a relationship with a Kuwaiti man and became pregnant. She came back to the US, gave birth and gave me up for adoption.

I have just recently learned that he was from Kuwait. I had met my birth mother about 13 years ago, but she lied to me about the father, so I never knew the truth until now.

I’m looking for some advice on how to locate or figure out who he was.

My mum is now deceased, so I have no way to find out more info from her. And I know nothing about him. All I know is she stayed at the Sheraton Kuwait, had an affair with a man, and came home pregnant.

I’ve learned that if an American got pregnant by a Kuwaiti man, they would have to marry if he wasn’t married. But I think he was married already. In that case, wouldn’t it be true that if anyone found out they’d both be jailed? The story is that she came back from Kuwait abruptly. I’m assuming its because she found out she was pregnant. I don’t even know if the man knew. One story is that he did know, but she told him it wasn’t his. I’ve also been told that he was here at some point. One person said that he is the one who brought her back. She also told the attorney that handled the adoption that the man was in the hotel business.

I don’t think there is much to go by, but I figured I would see if anyone here might have an idea of where to start.

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Best Airports in the Middle East

Post by Mark

1 – Abu Dhabi International Airport
2 – Dubai International Airport
3 – Bahrain International Airport
4 – Doha International Airport
5 – Muscat International Airport
6 – Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport
7 – Kuwait International Airport
8 – Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport
9 – Riyadh King Khalid International Airport
10 – Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport

I love Qatar Airways but their Doha airport is just depressingly cramped and crowded all the time. I’d even go as far as saying I prefer Kuwaits Airport. For the list of best airports around the world click [Here]

Note: Image above is of the Kuwait Airport when first constructed. More pictures can be seen [Here] For pictures of the new Kuwait Airport that will hopefully be built one day click [Here]

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Kuwait 3rd largest consumer of gasoline in the world

Post by Mark

According to Al-Qabbas newspaper Kuwait is the third largest consumer of gasoline in the world per capita after Canada and the United States. The average per capita consumption in Kuwait is 0.9 gallons while in Canada it’s 0.93 and the United States 1.22. Keep in mind both Canada and the US are advanced industrial nations so the fact we came third is just insane. [Link]

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Kuwait the 9th most emerging retail market

Post by Mark

Kuwait: Continuing its slow climb. Kuwait (9th) rises three spots as its economy grows steadily and outlook remains favorable amid increasing consumer spending and a greater presence of international retailers.

In line with an optimistic economic outlook for 2013, the retail sector is expanding and demand for retail space is growing despite expensive real estate. The country’s largest mall, The Avenues, opened its phase-three extension in 2012, and other developments, such as the Gate Mall, are opening their doors in 2013. The country’s mostly urban and suburban population has high levels of disposable income, and Kuwaitis are drawn to luxury products and high-end concepts. The Avenues’ new extension includes a street area of high-end standalone shops to cater to this luxury demand.

Kuwait is typically the second MENA location (after the UAE) for international brands. International retailers Cheesecake Factory, Victoria’s Secret, and COS entered in 2012 with franchise agreements with Kuwaiti retailer M.H. Alshaya Co. Prada opened its second Kuwait store at The Avenues in early 2013.

While the luxury market remains bright, Kuwait is a difficult environment in sectors with slim margins. In grocery, for example, large and well-established retailers (such as Sultan Center, City Centre, and Casino), expensive retail estate, and limited space for expansion pose obstacles for entry by foreign grocery retailers.

It’s all very interesting but I’m more interested to know where this Casino is located please. [Link]

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Kuwaiti Business: Sebs Cheer Apparel

Post by Mark

A few days ago I found out one of my friends (Abdulwahab Alansari) has the strangest/coolest/wtf/successful/creative local business which I thought would be amazing to share as an example of how local businesses don’t have to be all about cupcakes and burgers.

My friend manufactures cheer leading outfits in Kuwait for the UK market.

I thought he was pulling my leg at first but turns out it’s true. Back when he was in university in Liverpool he used to coach their gymnastics and cheerleading team and he was really good at it helping them go from an average team to a team that would come in first place in two out of the three annual competitions. Cheerleading kits in the UK were very over priced and of low quality so he did some research and decided to manufacture his own kits so he could help out his team. Ironically though, his team only placed an order for kits just 8 months back… after supplying over 5,000 kits over a period of 2 years to other universities and private clubs. In fact his small Kuwait based business now supplies 30-50% of UK universities and well over 30 private clubs. His clients include all the universities in Liverpool as well as the big ivy league unis in the UK like Oxford University.

Sebs Cheer Apparel don’t design outfits although they do help teams with elements of their design. Their main focus is manufacturing the outfits with the fabrics ordered from suppliers in LA, China and sometimes Kuwait. The outfits are all manufactured locally and then shipped to the various teams in the UK.

The name “Seb” was Wahabs alter ego and what most people in the “cheer world” knew him as. It’s that recognition that got him his first 10 clients since coaches and athletes he worked with respected him as an athlete and knew he would do a good job of getting efficient kits out. The business started off small with him supplying people he knew but soon word of mouth spread and more and more universities wanted to do business with him.

So there you have it, an interesting and successful small Kuwaiti business that doesn’t involve cupcakes. If you want to find out more about his business you can check out the following links:


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On their way to die

Post by Mark

The Daily Mail has photos and an article about the two executions that were carried out yesterday. Their article also has over 900 comments so far with the majority of the commentators praising the executions. Here are some of the “Best Rated” comments on the article:

Well – THEY won’t be raping and killing again… what a concept!
– John

Nice one Kuwait …… hanging is the ‘green option’…. hardly any carbon footprint.
– Captain Calamity

Rape a child, you need to die. Period.
– farsideoftheworld

People may say that it’s inhuman and barbaric, but crimes like these are very rare in Kuwait due to the death penalty. Sadly in this Country of ours, there are no deterrents for any crime!
– UK was great

Now why can’t we do the same here in Britain.
– david

Check out the photos, article and all the comments [Here]

Thanks Kashif

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Undercover Cops

Post by Mark

Two days ago I was parked at the traffic light on the Gulf Road before KFC heading to Kuwait City when a cop in a tracksuit walked out onto the road towards a Ford Mustang that was a couple of cars in front of me. I recognized he was a cop because he was wearing a fluorescent orange vest with the words “POLICE” printed on it plus it looked like he was wearing his badge on a necklace.

Last night I was dropping a friend off near Holiday Inn Salmiya when I noticed a checkpoint on the opposite side of the road with cops again dressed in casual civilian clothing with the same fluorescent orange vest and badges hanging around their necks.

Not sure why they’re in civilian clothing but my guess is it’s connected to the recent crackdown. I’ve been hearing a lot of stories recently in regards to the crackdowns and it’s hard to tell what is real and what is just a rumor. Fajer has been trying to find out more in regards to that but she’s been facing difficulty as well.

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In Pictures: Kuwait’s people ‘without’

Post by Mark

Al Jazeera is featuring some great black and white photos of the bidoon community in Kuwait with all the photos taken by award winning photographer, Greg Constantine. Check them out [Here]

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