kuwait city

man wearing blue hard hat and sunglasses

introduction

The following pictures and information are provided to help employees who are considering an assignment with Saudi Arabian Chevron (SAC) to see what it's like to work and live in Kuwait. Employees on a Chevron network may view this video about life in Kuwait.
Kuwait is located at the northern end of the Arabian Gulf and is bordered by Iraq to the north and west, Saudi Arabia to the south-west and south, and the Arabian Gulf to the east.
Kuwait's summer climate can be extreme. It can reach in excess of 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). Winters can be cold with temperatures of 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day, dropping to single digits at night. Rain between October and April can result in occasionally severe, but quite localized flooding.
Several major airlines currently fly into the Kuwait City Airport (airport code is KWI). The Kuwait City Airport is fully developed and offers flights to several destinations around the world. Saudi Arabian Chevron also provides a travel counselor on site (Mina Saud location) to coordinate all business and personal travel needs, if desired.
Upon arrival for a pre-assignment visit, a company driver will greet new expatriates and escort them to their accommodation. The pre-assignment trip finalizes the job offer process and allows the potential residents to familiarize themselves with the environment and see what is available locally to help prepare for shipment planning.

work environment

Saudi Arabian Chevron (SAC) has two office facilities: the main SAC office facility is located in the SAC Camp at Mina Saud while the other facility is located at our Joint Operations center (JOC) in Wafra. The JOC is about a 45-minute commute from the SAC Camp. The main SAC office facilities are comprised of several buildings that house Administration, Technology, Training and Engineering. The office facilities at the Wafra Joint Operations Center provide direct support to the operations asset. The buildings are single and multi-level structures.
The amenities of the SAC offices include kitchenettes that are manned by contract staff and offer tea, coffee and filtered water as well as access to microwaves and refrigerators. Employees can bring bags lunches or order lunches through the in-house catering service. Meeting rooms are available at both office facilities and most meeting rooms are equipped with audio/video aids.
The general atmosphere in the SAC offices is busy, friendly and open with a mixture of cubicles and offices. The standard office hours are Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The dress code is smart business attire during the week and smart casual dress on Thursdays.

housing

SAC camp

The majority of expatriates live on the SAC camp in Mina Saud which is about 100 km (approximately 60 miles) from downtown Kuwait. The houses, most of which are beachfront, are situated on a point of land which extends into the Gulf.

There are 70 older villas, which are predominately three bedrooms, two and a half baths and 50 new villas. The new villas have four bedrooms and five bathrooms. The camp offers an additional 10 single-bedroom homes for single employees, located in the central part of the camp. There are guest rooms located near the Administration building. New arrivals are housed in one of the above type homes.

The accommodation type and location where expatriates will be housed is based on availability, with final determinations are made by the Management Housing Committee. Some families may be placed in temporary housing until a villa becomes available.

Basic furniture and large appliances are provided. Expatriates are welcome to bring furniture items as long as they stay within their shipment requirements. Power is reliable, but there are occasional surges and power interruptions. The campus villas are wired for 220 volt for the three-prong, UK-type plugs.

In addition to the residential area, the camp includes the SAC administrative office and workshops, an oil storage facility and the infrastructure to pump oil for offshore loading, two beaches, recreational facilities, a clinic and a small grocery store. The camp population is multinational.

education

There are many English-speaking schools in Kuwait. SAC expatriate families currently use approved schools that the company will pay for. Transportation is provided for camp residents to both day and after school activities. The school year runs from September to June.

Below is the contact information and links to the websites for approved schools.

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view slideshows about mina saud so you can know what to expect in the following categories:

support services

In camp, there is a small version of the popular Kuwait grocery chain, Sultan Center.
A mail room is located on camp and serves as the Post Office. Mail service is available through Chevron pouch mail service and takes on average three to four weeks to arrive. Other items can be sent through DHL service at the resident's own risk and cost.
There is a large recreation center with basketball, badminton and volleyball courts, just outside the camp. SAC's caterers have a kitchen there and provide ice for ice chests when needed.
The beaches are one of the best amenities in Kuwait. The white sand and the calm water offer snorkeling, swimming and walking. One can also look for shells and sand dollars.
Families residing in the camp may enjoy playgrounds on each side of the facility. They cater to children of all ages.
Kuwait is largely a cash economy, so most commerce is done in Kuwaiti Dinar. There are several ATM machines throughout Kuwait and one in Al-Zour where expatriates can use their credit or debit cards to obtain Kuwait Dinar or U.S. dollars. Most Chevron expatriates use the ATM machine at the Gulf bank right outside the camp compound. There are many banks in Kuwait, but it is recommended that employees continue to do as much banking as possible online, through ATMs or at their point of origin.
Kuwait is a safe and secure place to live. The biggest threat to safety and security is traffic related. This risk is mitigated through trained company drivers providing transportation in a variety of Mina Saud and Joint Operations vehicles. Kuwait expatriate residents are allowed to drive. Spouses of employees are not allowed to drive company vehicles. However, if the family purchases their own vehicle, the spouse may drive anywhere in Kuwait after securing the proper authorizations.
  • Clinic: The Saudi Arabian Chevron Clinic, located outside the camp gate, is a fully staffed medical clinic with an ambulance. In addition to general practitioner doctors, the clinic currently has on staff two dentists, a pediatrician, lab doctor, X-ray, pharmacy and a female gynecologist. The clinic is open during the day on weekdays with an emergency clinic open 24 hours, seven days a week.
  • Hospitals: There are many hospitals in Kuwait City for more care than the SAC Clinic can provide. Kuwait has both government and private hospitals. Government hospitals have emergency/casualty care departments whereas private ones generally do not.
  • Emergencies: Medical evacuations by plane to the closest appropriate location are arranged for serious medical emergencies. SAC Medical Services will work with Human Resources and ISOS to ensure that employees and families get appropriate medical care in case of emergency.

shopping

For major grocery shopping trips, including fresh meats and bakery items, there are Sultan Center stores and Lulu Hypermarkets at various places throughout Kuwait. There is also a Carrefour Market store located in Eqaila, as well as a Saveco store in Al Rai area. In addition to food items, these stores sell clothing, appliances, dishes, toys etc. Most all of the Sultan Centers, Lulu Hypermarket and Carrefour have fresh bread, a meat department and a deli department.
Kuwait has several large and modern malls with many international brands, including European and American brands. Almost all the malls have jewelry, shoes, makeup, pharmacies, sporting goods, restaurants, and more. Some of the more popular malls are 360 Mall (6th Ring), The Avenues (5th Ring), Marina Mall (Gulf Road – Salmiya), Sharq Mall (Gulf Road-Sharq), Gate Mall, Discovery Mall, and many more.
There are hardware stores such as Ace Hardware and True Value. You will also find hardware in many local shops around the city. Ikea has a store in Kuwait City. There are smaller furniture stores such as Abyat Shop and Banta Furniture with quality furniture.
Kuwait also has Arabic-style shopping areas referred to as “souks.” Most popular are the Al Mubarakiya souk, fabric souks, gold souks and for treasured items such as Persian rugs, the Heritage souks.

transportation

SAC provides expatriates with a company vehicle that can also be used for personal use. Spouses of employees are not allowed to drive the company vehicles but are allowed to drive in Kuwait after securing the proper authorization. Expatriates can purchase or lease cars in Kuwait for their families. For all expatriates and camp residents, there is a fleet of cars and SUVs that are available to employees and their families per company policy. Expatriates rely heavily on cars because the SAC camp is 40 minutes from the nearest town and more than one hour to downtown Kuwait City.

recreation and entertainment

The camp has a 25-meter swimming pool which is heated in the winter and cooled in the summer. There is a diving board and swim lanes for laps. There is also a children's pool, hot tub and a large barbeque area. Inside the recreation center, there is a well-equipped gym with free weights and various cardio equipment. Showers and a steam sauna are available, as well.
Across from the recreation center is a community center which houses a library and a pool table. There is a small kitchen area, tables, chairs and bathrooms, for residents to host parties.
There are three lighted tennis courts for use year-round. A tennis instructor is available to provide lessons to residents. The courts are open to all residents. The tennis club is available for adults, teens and younger children.

Various types of entertainment are available in the city, including:

There is a growing list of good restaurants with many different types of food available such as Italian, American, Mexican, Indian, Japanese and other Asian foods. Food delivery applications such as Talabat, Carriage and Deliveroo are available 24-hours a day.

additional information

Arabic is spoken in Kuwait and many Kuwait and Saudi nationals living in Kuwait speak English.
Dress for expatriates and their families in Kuwait is typically Western-style clothing. Those moving to Kuwait need to bring clothing and outerwear for long hot summers.
There are many volunteer opportunities in Kuwait local communities. Inside the camp there is always an opportunity to help out with one of the many pre-assignment visits, special events or regular activities. 

For more information about local information check out this article on volunteer opportunities in Kuwait.