Living and working in Kuwait

Discussion in 'Jobs (Discussion)' started by DISCOS, Jul 4, 2006.

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  1. Gents, I have just been offered a job in sunny Kuwait, would appreciate any info from anyone who is currently there or has been there recently in an expat role, I know its sunny, sandy, has a few arabs and dry (officially) but would like a heads up for a single 25 year old with no current contacts there. Any info appreciated.


  2. I wouldn't mention it on your CV when you've finished there.
  3. Why?
  4. Very few of the ex-pats (of whatever nationality) struck me as being very bright. Most of the ones I met were lazy misfits and had little practical experience or common sense.

    The Arabs seem to employ westerners as a status symbol, though more as bling than quality. The work gets done by asians, so unless you speak several asian languages, you'll be more of a figurehead than anything else.

    Obviously, I'll qualify my opinion with the statement that there are doubtless many worthy ex-pats there, it's just that I didn't meet many of them.
  5. Fair enough, you’re entitled to your opinion but having worked abroad for the last three years I would say you were wrong and you will find that the majority of Asians speak better English than they do in Bradford/Birmingham. Which country did you form this opinion in?

    Anyway back onto the original thread, any info on my first post would be most appreciated.


  6. The supervisory asians speak english, but those actually doing the work often don't. The supervisor is therefore the bloke who can make or break his western boss (and he knows it - he also speaks arabic, so can really drop you in it with the big boss).

    Which country?? You asked about Kuwait, therefore Kuwait. A similar situation occurs in UAE, though the western ex-pats seem to pull their weight rather a lot more and from what I've seen, do actually work for a living.

    Having worked in Kuwait/Iraq, UAE, China, Hong Kong, Spain, Germany, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Ascension, I've found ex-pats to generally be of poor ability. There have been some exceptions, but very few. Most appear to be working abroad because they are below the standard acceptable in their home countries.
  7. Right puttee, if your saying like that do you mean that you are of poor ability? If you have worked in Kuwait would it be so hard to add any comments to my original post or are you just slagging off expats? As for the speaking English it depends which line of work you are in, I have supervised a HSE crew of Phlips, Pakistanis Indians and Thai’s, and have had Afghans working with and for me in telecoms projects all of whom spoke very good English.
    If you have decided that your going to slag expats off which you yourself seem to be or have been yourself then start your own thread, If not reply to my earlier question or don’t, feck!!

    Anyone else, please don’t let puttee hijack my thread, any answers to my original thread most welcome


  8. FFS, Discos, if you don't want me to reply, why do you keep asking me questions? It's hardly hijacking when you ask:
    Now, I'll reply to your latest questions. I won't ask you any. If you ask me a question, I'll reply. If you don't, I won't. Simple.

    All of my overseas experience (less Iraq/Kuwait) has been a result of my firm sending me - I didn't go because I couldn't get a job elsewhere.

    I was sent on the first overseas job because nobody else in the firm wanted to spend any length of time away from home. I didn't have a clue, the job was beyond my experience and I didn't get chucked out as a result of screwing up - if this had been a criteria for being sacked, there would have been nobody working there!

    Other jobs abroad have been within my fields of knowledge and I have had first-hand experience of the cluelessness of supposedly highly qualified professionals. In Beijing, despite me warning the very clever bloke in charge, the to$$er insisted on totally impractical practices with the result that 6 months later, the entire thing collapsed. Without going into much detail, he was designing for earthquakes yet a 10 degree drop in air temperature wrecked the place. Spain - the ex-pat client had no experience of the material we were working with, the contractor was equally inexperienced, yet both had resumes that suggested they were the world's experts. Again, neither took advice and again, what went up ended up coming off. Hong Kong - same situation again, though I eventually got more backing from a higher level - but it meant that a 3 week job took 5 months!

    I'm not slagging off ex-pats for the sake of it. I've had experience that you apparently haven't.

    You asked about what it was like in Kuwait. I was involved with Kuwaiti contractors working on both sides of the Kuwait/Iraq border. ONE ex-pat was reasonably efficient (though his techniques were not what were asked for and ultimately caused damage and delay) - I wouldn't have trusted another TWELVE with Lego. As I stated earlier, the asians that were doing the grafting spoke NO english. Their asian supervisors did, but would tell you what they thought you wanted to hear. They would also cover their own mistakes by laying the blame on somebody else. Don't forget, if these blokes don't please their bosses, they don't just lose out financially, they also suffer physically, so you can understand their attitude.

    So to clarify my initial response to your opening request, if somebody came to me looking for a job and said that they'd had X years experience in Kuwait, it's unlikely that I'd be impressed. Other non-bluffers that I've worked with abroad (and yes, there are a few), of several different nationalities, have voiced the same opinion.
  9. OK, OK cant be arrsed getting into handbags just wanted some info, and thank you for yours.
    Someone has PM'd me some info that I will follow up.


  10. Ex pats are a mixed bunch, some hired because they are in country or allready in the region. I would not agree with Puttees though, is the UK the land of perfection? the NHS anyone? If expats are poor performers then I would point the finger at the idiot who hired them.

    I have met expats who are excellent in what they do, it all depends upon the sector they operate in. Some however will do anything and work in any organisation to stay where they are and hold on to attrative packages. The quality of life is far in excess than what they may achieve back home and some find that hard to give this up. Some very clever ones take a very good offer, relocate and are quite rightly big fish in a small pond. Lets not forget that in somewhere like the gulf there are also Lebanese, egyptians etc some are shocking and some are excellent. There is a snob value in having Brits with your company as many other nationalities show absolutley no initiative at all.

    Just because Puttees met some cretins does not mean they are all the same. I should know, I have to deal with many currently in the region and those who want to come out here. The quality is excellent to "could not shoot them fast enough"
  11. Have worked with a lad who did force protection tasks in Kuwait in 03-04 so this is all second hand knowledge.

    Lets talk about the biggest issue: It is dry but he tells me there is quite a rampant and rich ex-pat community which mingles a lot with the wealthy, trendy arab communities, again being white does seem to go a long way. As a white ex-pat you would belong to this bunch as he did, and he was just a force protection bod.

    From what i've heard, nice villas and shared swimming pools, loads of underground drunken parties which the authorities didnt realy seem to mind that much (out of sight). Probably have a whale of a time mate, make sure your company puts you up somewhere nice, get to know a few westerners, oil company brats are supposed to be quite permisquis :), and before you know it you'll be drinking and shag*ing with the best of the local community, and not doing much work I shoud'nt have thought.

    Gota give it a shot eh!? Was thinking about doing that myself for a 6 monther.
  12. Thanks for the last two posts, signed and sealed, flying out tomorrow night.
    Money is to good to turn down, put up in a hotel, only for a thirty dayer, telecom surveys and stuff, could lead to a 3 year contract.
    Will keep my eye and other bits out for the extra activities!!
    Again cheers guys
    Kuwait here I come, it has to be better than Kabul!!!

  13. Well done mate, keep us posted as to how it goes.
  14. To add to the comments of Vonshot and Puttees, I can say that in my just finished eight expat years I have come across a range of types - and that was working in SE Asia, S.America and the Middle East (did Saudi 1998-00 but only spent a week in Kuwait so can't give up-to-date info.). If I found a general rule regarding expats it was that you find the best, the worst and not much in between. Of course I was bl***y brilliant....
  15. Can anyone get me a job abroad out of this s******? As long as money is okay pepared to wipe the Sheikhs arse for good money!