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Business etiquette, language & culture

Overview

The weekend is Friday and Saturday in Kuwait.

The official language of Kuwait is Arabic, but English is widely spoken. However, all official correspondence with government ministries and bodies must be in Arabic.

All contracts are written in Arabic. If there is both an English and Arabic version, the Arabic will be the one followed.

Initial contacts with a Kuwaiti firm may be conducted with an expatriate or a non-Kuwaiti Arab, or a trusted Indian or Pakistani office manager. In most Kuwaiti companies, you will have to work your way up before meeting a decision-maker. Displays of impatience will reach senior management.

Aggressive, hard sell methods do not appeal to Kuwaitis. Patience, small talk, low-key presentation with video, product samples and attractive company brochures are an essential part of business behaviour.

Kuwait is a Muslim country. You should respect and be aware of local traditions and sensitivities and always behave and dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites.

 

Kuwait public holidays

2018

Date:

Holiday details:

Wednesday 16th May

Ramadan begins

Friday 15th June

Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)

Sunday 17th June

Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) 

Tuesday 21st August

Arafat Day

Wednesday 22nd August

Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) begins 

Friday 24th August

Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) ends

Wednesday 12th September

Muharram/Islamic New Year

Wednesday 21st November

Milad un Nabi (The Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday)


2019

Date:

Holiday details:

Tuesday 1st January 

New Year’s Day

Monday 25th February

National Day Kuwait

Tuesday 26th February

Liberation Day Kuwait

Wednesday 3rd April

The Prophet’s Ascension

Sunday 5th May

Ramadan begins

Tuesday 4th June

Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)

Thursday 6th June

Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)

Saturday 10th August

Arafat Day

Sunday 11th August

Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) begins

Saturday 31st August

Muharram/Islamic New Year 

Saturday 9th November

Milad un Nabi (The Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday)

(NB some dates subject to change)


 

 

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