Info for iPad users in Kuwait

Post by Mark

For those of you considering getting an iPad here in Kuwait here is a helpful tip. The App Store, one of the most crucial parts of the iPad experience doesn’t work with your Kuwaiti credit card. There isn’t a Kuwait iPad store yet just a US one and you won’t be able to access the US one from your iPad unless you have a US account.

If you’re like me and don’t have a US based credit card then you need to do the following:

Open iTunes on your computer. By default it should load the Kuwait store. Scroll down to the bottom of the store and click the Kuwait flag on the right. Then choose the US flag on the next screen, that will take you to the US store. Now you need to create a new US iTunes account. For your address enter a US mailing address like your Shop&Ship address. When they ask you for credit card choose none. This will allow you to download free apps from the US app store without a problem. If you want to purchase apps from the US app store then you need to purchase an iTunes gift card from [Here]. They will mail you the code instantly. Once you get the code go to the US iTunes store and choose to redeem your gift card. Again for credit card choose none. You will now end up creating a US iTunes account with some cash in it. (Check step by step instructions below)

On your iPad when you launch the App Store it will automatically take you to the Kuwait store and then quit giving you an error that the Kuwait store doesn’t exist. What you need to do is log in to your US iTunes account which you just created above. To do that go to Settings and then Store and log in from there. Once logged in you will get a message saying you can only use this account to purchase apps from the US store. Click ok, then exit to the main screen and click on App Store and it should launch now without any issue and log you in directly to the US store.

With the above trick I was able to purchase and download apps and books from the App Store including for example the My Blackboard app pictured above.

The only thing I wasn’t able to do was stream TV shows from the ABC App but that can easily be solved with a VPN (completely different story). If you have any questions post it below and I’ll try my best to answer it.

Update: Here is a step by step walk-through…

1) Go to and purchase an iTunes card
2) Open up iTunes and go to the iTunes store
3) Make sure you’re not signed in to your Kuwait account
4) Scroll to the bottom of the store and make sure the US flag is showing on the bottom right. If its not click the flag and choose US.
5) On the bottom of the iTunes store you will find a bunch of text links
6) Click on “Redeem”
7) Copy and paste the code Maximus Cards emailed you
8) Then choose create new account and follow the instructions (enter a US address)
9) When it comes to payment options there should now be an option called “none”, click that
10) Continue till the end and you should end up with a US account without having to use a credit card

When you run out of credits in your account you need to follow steps 1 to 7 and then for step 8 sign in the account you previously created. Below are screenshots showing the steps above.

Now if you aren’t interested in purchasing anything from the US app store but instead just want to download free apps that aren’t available in the Kuwait store (like CNN, Amazon and eBay) you can follow the steps below:

1) Make sure you’re not signed in to your Kuwait account
2) Scroll to the bottom of the store and make sure the US flag is showing on the bottom right. If its not click the flag and choose US.
3) Buy any free iPhone or iPad app from the US store
4) When you are asked to login create a new account
5) Enter a US address and choose “None” for payment method

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79 comments, add your own...

  1. salah says:

    “With the above trick…”

    those words are more than enough to explain how life will suck with ipad!

  2. salah says:

    I’m sorry, let me be more precise with picking the words:

    “With the above trick I was able to purchase and download apps and books from the App Store.”

    ipad sucks!

  3. wi-fi says:

    whats the best vpn to use in kuwait ?

  4. Frankom says:

    wordpress please give it a try and let us know

  5. wi-fi says:

    thanks .. will try it now and try to access hulu .

  6. farah says:

    Hey Mark, are those itunes cards legit? i usually order the physical cards and have them shipped.

  7. Atif says:

    Well, I have a Kuwait based credit card, and I have purchased apps for IPhone on App Store without any problem.

  8. Mark says:

    Atif: Then you’ve been purchasing apps from the Kuwait app store not US. With the iPad there is no kuwait app store just a US so you will have to perform the trick I posted above.

  9. N says:

    Ya, managed to stream Netflix and ABC video to the iPad. worked via VPN

  10. Tareq8 says:

    In itunes go to Kuwait Store and search iPad
    all ipad apps will show and u can use your kuwait credit card (Kuwaiti itunes account)

  11. Mark says:

    Tareq8: Unless you’ve tried this on an iPad please don’t confuse readers here. As I clearly stated above, the actual iPad App store is only US based. I am not talking about the regular itunes app store, the iPad has its own specific store. That store you can only access it and download apps from it if you have a US account. You can’t even enter the Kuwait store from the iPad, it will just quit with an error saying there is no Kuwait iPad store.

  12. Tareq8 says:

    For VPN i used to use witopia but its slow max 120KB/s , and now HULU doesn’t work with witopia.

    Last week i subscribed with strongvpn its little bit expensive $55 (pptp) but
    its faster and everything works.

  13. Tareq8 says:

    Mark Sorry for that i meant u can buy ipad apps from Kuwait store on iTunes for mac and Windows

  14. Mark says:

    Tareq: Which vpn service did you use with witopia, the $39.99 a year of 59.99? When I was using witopia they only had one price and hulu used to work, then I stopped using them once they increased their prices but was going to sign up to the 59.99 one. supposedly it has more gateways which should mean faster speed. will check out strongvpn now.

  15. Mark says:

    Tareq: I will try and see if I can purchase iPad apps on my computer from the regular iPad store and then sync it. It could work but you won’t have access to books or the App store on the ipad.

  16. Mark says:

    Tareq: I just checked out strongvpn, does the pptn work on your computer as well as the iphone?

  17. Tareq8 says:

    $39.99 a year PPTP my account expired 2 weeks ago.
    So i checked strongvpn and they have this offer for PPTP $55 a year

    Gateway Cities Available: San Francisco, New York, London, Livingston, Manchester, Rugby , and 25 PPTP

    u have 5 switches a month and u can test the server speed u want to use
    So its a good deal

  18. Tareq8 says:

    i use it on my iphone ( 3G wataniya and wifi , Pandora radio works great)
    and my mac .

  19. Atif says:

    For the VPN I am using vpnod. It is free promotion as a startup. To apply for VPN On Demand private beta account, kindly send an email to with subject vpnod.
    It is PPTP. I am using it on my computer.

  20. 3azeez says:

    Would you buy it?

  21. Mark says:

    Yes I would but not for KD300 since I am not in a rush.

  22. N says:

    Mark: Loved your answer :)

  23. Mrs F says:

    I am so jealous!!! I want one!!

  24. wi-fi says:

    back ..

    just finished setting it up ..

    its seems everying is working soo fine expect hulu .. Tareq you should mention that along time ago .

    its ok mark i can access to anything i want with this .. its soo smooth that i dont want leave my laptop .

    cant wait for the 3G ipad to test it i bet it will be magnificent .

  25. Good that i have american credit card .. and for the users dont have any american credit card they can purchase american itune card.

  26. Doora says:

    How to u make Internet calls from ur phone?

    I know this q has nothing to do with the post, so I apologize in advance :)

  27. Mark says:

    You can use Skype on the iPhone. Its a free app.

  28. Jens says:

    have you tried this with the account recently? I did it like 6 weeks back for a friend but last week i tried again a new account and the no payment option was not there anymore…

  29. Mark says:

    no i havent but other people have

  30. Nomaddia says:

    Mark,can you do any work on it? Will it replace a Laptop?

  31. Mark says:

    Define what kind of work. the iPad won’t replace a laptop or computer or phone. It’s not meant to replace any of those. It’s also not a giant iPhone and as soon as you launch any app you would realize that.

    I am honestly not sure what I will use the iPad for. Its a bit too early to tell. Most probably to play some games and read magazines and newspapers. When I travel I could pack my laptop in my main luggage and use the iPad instead to surf the web at airports. I think for me it kills the netbook.

    I used to use the netbook mostly for surfing the web while traveling, now I can see myself getting entertained more with the iPad. But, like I said, I would always have my laptop packed in my luggage close by.

  32. wi-fi says:

    update ..

    hule is working .

  33. lima says:

    I need help on how to set VPN on Mac ..

  34. Doora says:

    I know about Skype… but the problem is that the site doesn’t really open with qualityNet.

    Do u have any solutions? I would love to work with skype, coz it’s actually available on the iPhone and the nokia :)

    And thank u soo much for the quick reply :)

  35. Naffolaa says:

    as for me i have a kuwait based credit card, and – almost- each time i tyr to by apps for my iphone through app store i get this msg : you can only use this account to purchse app from the kuwait store!!!!!
    I mean what is it, this msg really bothers me!!!
    Can i get your tip in this regard???

  36. Burhan says:

    The only problem with the ipad is that unlike the iphone, you cannot charge it via USB from your laptop since it draws more power than most laptops can provide. This means that you will constantly be tethered to a wall socket. Amazingly (yeah right), macbook pro machines can charge the ipad properly.

    For people traveling this could be a problem.

    Mark: any comments on the battery life?

  37. 6on6on says:


    What is VPN? what does it do? do i need to download it for the ipad

  38. Osama Dakhil says:

    ok what if i restore a backup from iphone or in other words sync the apps that i allready purchased from kuwait store before to ipad … will it work on the ipad ???

  39. Hadi says:

    Mark, I have one question, can I apply your way of getting into the US iTunes/App Store on my iphone?
    I find the Kuwaiti app store very limited.

  40. Mark says:

    Burhan: I was charging the iPad from my MacBook usb and it seems to be working fine. Not sure though if using the ipad with full brightness while connected to the macbook actually charges the battery or keeps it stable. It was 30% when i plugged it in and it stayed around 30% the whole evening.

    With my Archos 7 if its being used while connected with USB it doesn’t charge cuz it consumes more battery then its getting power from the socket. the only way to charge the archos when being used is via power socket. I am guessing it could be the same with the iPad. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone releases a dongle like the hard drive ones where you can connect the ipad to two usb ports to get power.

  41. Mark says:

    Hadi: yeah you can, i have two accounts for that reason. cnn app for example is only available in US store

  42. does it support arabic and have arabic keyboard ?

  43. Kuwait says:

    Hey Mark, can you please drop it on hard floor? I’d like to see if its shock-proof.

    Also if you have the time, would love it if you could do a water-proof test.

  44. Nofers says:

    A few questions:
    1. there are a few kids.. wifi, wifi+3 ? what’s the diffrence
    2. Can you ptint from the ipad?

  45. Burhan says:


    1. There are two kinds of iPads. One comes only with WiFi, the other comes with WiFi and 3G (so you can put a SIM card and browse the Internet). It doesn’t make phone calls, so you can think of it as the 3G ipad has a built-in “e-go” modem, you just need the SIM. The 3G ipads are not shipping yet.

    2. No. Everything the ipad can do, there must be an app for it. You cannot connect a printer (it doesn’t have USB). You cannot use the bluetooth to print (it doesn’t support it).

  46. Mark says:

    Just an important note. It uses a micro sim card, not available in this region yet.

  47. Nofers says:

    Burhan, Thanks a lot !
    Does it support Arabic letters ?

  48. Nofers says:

    Oh yeay, and would you recomment the 3g? Would it work with the zain mifi line ?

  49. Mark says:

    I gave the iPad back this morning so wasn’t able to try the Arabic.

  50. twaif says:

    are they going to open the Ibook for Iphone users?

  51. Khaled says:

    Makes sense really. we can’t access Hulu and other services.

    by the way I noticed a lot of iPad apps in the Saudi Arabia iTunes store:

  52. Abdullah says:

    The device is much cheaper on apple’s website around 150kd for the 16gb.The easy way to get it is to open an account with to have a US P.o.Box they will ship it to Kuwait via Dhl and by that way you can save almost half the amount paid. Hope this helps good luck :)

  53. John says:

    Device looks great, probably wait for the sceond version to buy though.

    ..and what were they thinking when they named it iPad??

    nowadays you think that you would consider slang meanings when naming something.

  54. Shaymaa says:

    Yes, you can view Arabic websites on the iPad, but no Arabic keyboard (input) support.

  55. N says:

    Qurtuba: No Arabic keyboard but it reads Arabic text.

  56. Bobby G says:

    Witopia gives you openVPN, PPTP and IPsec (official release in next few days..I am a beta tester) and access to all cities (no crazy switching BS and extra charges like with strongvpn) for only 69.99 a year or you openVPN for 59.99 a year. much better and more secure than pptp. all media sites work great but you should write them for special setup.

  57. Nayef says:

    Can it charge through the belkin USB socket in the car ?

  58. Nasser says:

    Mark I don’t know why I get the feeling you’re holding up the word SUCKS just like if alghanim recruited u as double agent

  59. Mark says:

    Nasser: Get whatever feeling you want, I’m really tired or explaining myself every time someone comes up with a conspiracy theory.

  60. meenakon says:

    وااو شكلة وايد حلو وخفيف

    يبيلة واحد والله

  61. Ayman says:

    Hi Mark,

    Great blog, this is the first time I write…

    I know you mentioned it above but I just want to confirm:

    1. If I use the “trick” above, will I be able to download books via the Ibooks application?

    2. How is the reading experience on the Ipad? Does it strain the eyes?

    3. How wide is the selection of books currently?

    Thanks for the input!


  62. Mark says:

    1) yes
    2) i didn’t have any issues except when I was really tired and reading in the dark i found the screen brightness too much and lowered the backlight (very easy to do within ibooks)
    3) not sure

  63. Bash says:

    did anyone verified his account in paypal? what is the Routing number?

  64. Mark says:

    I’ve got a verified paypal account

  65. Bash says:

    so Routing number?

    where can i find the number?

  66. mint_girl says:

    I have a question, will the 3g version of the ipad be LOCKED in kuwait like the iphone initially was?

  67. ahmad says:

    credit card is required ,there is no way to say none!

  68. Mark says:

    You’re doing it wrong. Make sure you have a voucher and you’re in the US store and then follow my steps.

  69. the boudoir. says:

    u have just saved my ipad from some severe beating! finally it worked thanks to u! ur a genius! r u goin to have a post explaining the vpn?

  70. Mark says:

    I’ve updated the post with proper step by step instructions

  71. amani says:

    I know you got asked alot about this
    But from where i get a US address?
    I dont have one .. not even in shop&ship

    Any ideas?

  72. Omar says:

    I would want to ask the same question as mint_girl did

    my frends travelling to US for 2 weeks and If the unlock issue isn’t there with iPad, please advice me to get myself one frm there.

    Anxiously waiting as my friend leaves Sunday !!

  73. Nowall hassan says:

    Does the ipad 3G work in Kuwait if purchased in the USA? I would like to buy one while I am in the USA. I know the microsim needs to be used for the 3G network.

  74. amal says:

    hi mark i have purchased a strongvpn and than i did the configuration than i presses the on button than a box come out that requires the name and password what should i write here and thanks

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