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I Live in Salmiya, Voted the Worst City in the World for Expats

This is pretty random but according to the latest InterNations Expat City Ranking 2020, Salmiya was voted the worst out of 66 cities analyzed and described as “a city of unhappy, overworked, and homesick expats”. I mean we do have major issues in Salmiya but no way is it the worst city in the world for expats. I’ve been to Khaitan before, and I’m in Hawalli regularly, and as bad as both those places are I wouldn’t even consider them the worst in the world either.

Welcome to Salmiya, the Kuwait city so unloved by its expat population

Expats in Salmiya say they are unhappy with the local transportation (61st), with their health and the environment (66th), as well as with climate and leisure (66th).

Nearly three in five said they dislike the local leisure options (vs 15 percent worldwide). In the Getting Settled Index (66th), expats do not feel at home and they describe the local population as unfriendly (48 percent vs 17 percent globally), and they are also unhappy with their social life (56 percent vs 24 percent globally). Source

But Salmiya does have issues, a lot of them, which is why over the past 15 years I’ve been half-jokingly asking to be made the mayor of the city. I’d be to Salmiya what Leslie Knope is to Pawnee! It’s hard to imagine anyone is more passionate about the place than I am.

Make me the mayor and I’ll initiate a mass project making Salmiya more pedestrian and bicycle/scooters-friendly by taking back the sidewalk from all the illegal construction, I’d create bike paths that run across the city and turn sandlots into proper parking lots to reduce the cars on the streets. I’d replace all the bins with ones that have lids and I’ll personally lead on a massive beautification project. I’ll also protect old and landmark buildings from demolition and crackdown on all the buildings that have illegally converted their basement to warehouses depriving the building residents of parking. So go out and vote for me in the next election if you want a better Salmiya!

34 replies on “I Live in Salmiya, Voted the Worst City in the World for Expats”

hahahaha… you got my vote..
if you can put a ban of over crowded buildings, and i am not evening talking about areas like block 10-12, where majority of indians and arabs live, where many of them are prone to sharing the accomodation with another family, creating a havoc to the demographics. have you ever considered the number of people per sq.m in block 10-12. but anyways, now the trend is going towards block 3-6 too, with alot of asian people taking up apartments and sharing with so many people. Its crazy.
I infact lived in salmiya for 25+ years. but only post pandemic i left it, mainly because rents arent going down, and landlords would rather give it to people who live in sharing because they find it more economical that give it to families who can actually afford.

Never go their you will waste your money and the hotels their are filled with cigarettes moods on the fridge and the worst service the streets is filled with garbage and the meanest ppl I do never recommend going their you WILL FEEL MISERABLE YOU DO NOT FOT IN AND ITS A WASTE OF TIEM

Its not that bad, i have spent my entire childhood in salmiya, recently moved, and its worse where i live now, ask me the difference, its probably the best place for expats to live in kuwait, with a mix of nationalities ,shopping malls and boulevard for a walking/ jogging track, i feel its a great place, if not the best, people’s opinions may differ!

I think they just used Salmiya as the city to reference Kuwait. Possibly because Salmiya has the highest concentration of expats? Internations is all-expat focused and these surveys in the past have always named Kuwait (not Salmiya specifically) is named as the worst amongst all expat cities.

Either ways, the it is the harsh truth and needs to be addressed.

This is surreal. I lived in Farwaniya for 30 years and I always hung out with friends in Salmiya and wish to move there soon as well. It is the most open minded city in Kuwait in my opinion, there is so many to offer catering to various nationals. I’m appaled by this rating. It’s almost as if these people never seen jleeb or hasawi area…

Yes Abdullah! It is well known that Kuwait is so good at passing laws and implementing them- I mean, look at our government sector- so efficient and advanced. Look at our roads, FLAWLESS. Our parliament is a beacon of modern law. Our people are incredibly educated, smart and hard working. I cant wait until the government forces the private sector to hire employees based strictly on their nationalities.. another forward thinking law passed by our government that will be studied by economists in the next century. God bless delusion!

Welllll, don’t forget the exemption for the 3/4 million domestic workers. Seems like the only job Kuwaitis will need will help with is…raising Kuwaiti children, washing Kuwaiti cars, and raking Kuwaiti leaves. I think it will be fascinating to see Kuwaitis sweeping their own streets and building their own houses, though. How much more than a Bengali will they need to pay a Kuwaiti in a yellow jumpsuit to sweep up trash?


If it is not possible to vote you for Mayor of Salmiya, I propose you set up a General Trading Company with the mandate of improving the overall image and infrastructure of Salmiya.

We can rope in private investors, and if we are lucky (fingers crossed) also get it listed on the KSE.

For the revenue line – we will run campaigns encouraging people to donate heartily for the well being of Salmiya. And also – merch.

The whole task will also be recorded and released in the form of a documentary on Netflix (not OSN, please. Not OSN).

This is just me thinking out loud, but Salmiya probably has a more English speaking expat or more tech savvy population (I’m assuming they would’ve collected data online) compared to places like Hawally, Farwaniya, Khaitan, etc and so they probably got more responses for their questionnaire from residents in Salmiya. Again, don’t attack me, this is just me trying to explain the results.

I’m a Salmiya resident myself and I honestly think Salmiya is better that a lot, if not most, of the other expat areas in Kuwait. We have access to so restaurants, grocery stores (were spoiled for choice during the lockdown compared to other areas), parks (the Boulevard!), walking tracks, malls, etc.

Life as an expat isn’t all that great, but Salmiya definitely isn’t the worse!

Hawalli looking towards Salmiya. That’s the 4th ring road on the right and u can see ASK in the middle opposite the 3 buildings with the orange vertical stripes.

My impression of InterNations in Kuwait is that it is a club of miserable people who love to whinge and bleat on about how bad things are. I don’t think that their “survey” should be taken seriously.

Hi. I am actually going to work in Salmiya in a few days. How about safety for expats? Is it safe? Please reply, I’m a bit worried 🙁

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