Tim's Encyclopedia
Kuwait (دولة الكويت) Travel Tips

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Kuwait City at nightKuwait City at night
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Towers_in_Kuwait#mediaviewer/File:Kuwait_city_at_night.jpg
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Kuwait (دولة الكويت) is a small country in the Middle East. It occupies the northwestern shore of the Persian Gulf in Western Asia, bordered by Iraq to the northeast and Saudi Arabia to the south. It covers 17,820 sq km (6,880 sq mi) and has a population of 2.7 million people.

Kuwait is today a constitutional hereditary emirate headed by an emir with a prime minister heading the government. The official currency is the Kuwaiti dinar (KWD). Kuwait is three hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+3). Traffic is driven on the right here. The phone IDD code is +965. The electricity is 240V/50Hz using UK plugs.

Major Towns in Kuwait

  1. Kuwait City - capital
  2. Ahmadi
  3. Farwaniyah
  4. Hawalli
  5. Jahrah
  6. Mubarak Al Kaber

Avenues Mall, KuwaitAvenues Mall, Kuwait
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Shopping_mall_interiors_in_Kuwait#mediaviewer/File:The_Avenues_Kuwait.jpg
authorshipSteve & Jem Copley
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Kuwait has the highest human development index in the Arab world. Its oil reserves is the fifth largest in the world, and petroleum exports account for 95% of the explore revenues and 80% of the government income. In 2010, Kuwait had an estimated nominal GDP of $135.062 billion, equivalent to a per capita nominal GDP of $37,451. The per capita GDP at purchasing power parity stood at $38,984.

Kuwait is a low-lying country. The Arabian Desert covers much of it. The winters here are cold while the summers are extremely hot. The hottest month is July, when the average high temperature of the day may hit 46°C (115°F). Between June and September, average high temperature often exceed 43°C (109°F). The coldest months are January and February, when the average low may reach 2°C (36°F). January is also the wettest month, with 25.4mm (1 in) of precipitation.

Antiquities on Failaka Island, KuwaitAntiquities on Failaka Island, Kuwait
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Islands_of_Kuwait#mediaviewer/File:Antiquities_of_Failaka_island_02.JPG
authorshipآثار جزيرة فيلكا
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The history of Kuwait goes back to the 4th century BC, when the ancient Greeks colonized an island off its show. The region was ruled by the Parthian Empire around 123 BC. It was part of the Islamic caliphate in the 14th century. The state of Kuwait was established only in the 18th century, with the first Emir of Kuwait elected in 1756.

Kuwait was under British protection from 1899 until its independence in 1913, when the Anglo-Ottoman Convention recognized the Emir of Kuwait, Mubarak Al-Sabah, as the ruler. However, Britain invalidated the convention at the start of World War I, making Kuwait an independent principality under its protection.

The discovery of oil in Kuwait in the late 1930's fueled its explosive economic development, transforming it into one of the richest countries in the Arabian Peninsula. Kuwait finally gained full independence from Britain on 19 June, 1961.

Kuwait National Petroleum Company headquartersKuwait National Petroleum Company headquarters
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kuwait_National_Petroleum_Company_(KNPC)_headquarter.jpg
authorshipradiant guy
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During the Iran-Iraq War, Kuwait heavily funded Iraq. After the war, however, Kuwait refused to waive the US$65 billion debt incurred by Iraq. To repair its economy due to the war, Kuwait increased its oil production. This caused a glut that deflated the price of oil, causing further tension with Iraq, another major producer.

On 2 August, 1990, Iraqi forces invaded and annexed Kuwait as part of Iraq. This sparked the Gulf War with Iraq forcefully ejected out of Kuwait. Kuwait paid the coalition forces US$17 billion for restoring its sovereignty.

Kuwait has today fully recovered from the devastation of the Gulf War. The political scene in Kuwait has however been volatile since the Emir return to power. On the whole, there has been an erosion in the emir's power in favor of the people, with the increase in voter eligibility, women's suffrage, and Kuwaiti citizenship.
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