Kuwait to scrap 'thousands' more expat driving licences

Gulf state has already deported thousands of expatriate motorists for traffic violations
Transportation
By Daniel Shane
Sun 16 Jun 2013 10:00 AM

Kuwait said it will cancel “tens of thousands” of driving licences belonging to former students and working housewives as part of the Gulf state’s latest crackdown on expats.

Interior ministry assistant undersecretary for traffic affairs, Major General Abdulfattah Al-Ali, told Al-Anbaa newspaper that expat students who continued to drive after graduation amounted “to an act of forgery”.

Since Ali’s appointment two months ago, hundreds of expats have been deported for minor traffic violations such as jumping red lights.

It is estimated that 12,000 foreigners in total have been ejected from the country over the last two years over driving misdemeanours and KD24m worth of fines issued.

Kuwait earlier this year announced the Gulf state would cut the number of foreigners, who make up about two-thirds of the population, by 1m over ten years.

The country also is implementing segregation in public health services, banning expats from attending public hospitals in the morning unless it is an emergency. The first hospital implemented the change on Sunday.

Lawmakers also have called for large subsidies for services such as water, electricity and gas to be scrapped for expats, which could push up monthly bills beyond the average salary.

Kuwait was named as one of the world's least friendly countries towards tourists in a global travel and tourism competitiveness survey by the World Economic Forum released this week.

It was ranked 137 out of 140 countries for friendliness.

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