Kuwait cracks down on expat renters

Gulf state to kick foreign workers out of dwellings as part of ongoing war on expats

Authorities in Kuwait have begun evicting expat tenants from private accommodation owned by citizens of the Gulf state, it was reported, in the latest example of the country’s war on foreign workers.

According to the English language Kuwait Times, municipal authorities have started searching houses and villas owned by Kuwaitis that have been rented out to expats.

Sources at the municipality told the newspaper that officials were seeking to evict those in dwellings designated as ‘private housing’, but were actually being rented out to multiple occupants.

According to the newspaper, residential buildings that are rented out expats must be classified as ‘investment accommodation’. The sources said many of the private dwellings in question were being occupied by single expats and often included partitioned rooms.

Five months ago Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Thekra Al Rasheedi revealed Kuwait would cut expat numbers by 100,000 each year over the next decade in order to reduce the total number from about 2.6m – two-thirds of the total population - to 1.6m.

Expatriates that commit repeat traffic offences also are being deported in a targeted crackdown.

Oil-rich but infrastructure-poor Kuwait is home to a huge number of blue collar workers, mostly from the Indian Subcontinent and other Arab countries. They mainly occupy menial positions, such as taxi drivers and builders.

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Posted by: Non-Muslim

So did I get this right: it's illegal in Kuwait to use Skype (but using other Microsoft products is ok), and renting a Kuwaiti-owned (what else??) flat is a crime, and both for themselves qualify an expat for deportation?

Posted by: Richard Hall

'war on foreign workers' seems to be an unfortunate turn of phrase.

Not sure that you can describe it as a war.

Posted by: Zab

I see a very dark future for Kuwait. They will not find a single friend in whole world. What is their worth? They would know that soon.

Posted by: musso

How long will the money last ? They are running out of oil... they have no plans or have not planned anything for future and now they are scarred.

I do hope and wish that all Expats turn their BACK when they need us again

Posted by: AAA

As long as they have the money there are no worries

Posted by: Doug

Surely they should be punishing the Kuwaitis for illegally renting out their property?

Oh wait, that would make sense....

Posted by: mick

What about the westerners that helped to give Kuwait freedom? Boot them also?

Posted by: AppalledByYourWords

@Ray, yes I agreed indeed. These are most dangerous crimes and threaten the social fabric of Kuwait. I will go further, they are an existential threat to Kuwait.

People committing such heinous crimes should be prosecuted by the International Court of Justice at the very least.

Imagine if everybody where to use Skype, or share accommodation, or drive illegal taxis... that would be anarchy.

So yes, Kuwaities can prosecute and deport them, hey they can even execute them. That is what being a sovereign state means. But them the rest of us can look at them in contempt, they have their rights and I have mine.

Posted by: Ray

You cant blame them to be fair. Most westerners in Kuwait are there to work and have a good life with their families. While many, not all, of the other expats commit all sorts of crimes like illegal taxis, illegal sharing of housing, using banned software like Skype, and so on. Kuwaitis have every right to clamp down on those who abuse their status and commit crimes.

Posted by: Xpat

That will never happen! The westerners are treated as gods here. Its only the Asian expats that are being attacked and thrown out.

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