/ 24 November 2005

Foreigners in Kuwait need a degree to drive

Foreigners in oil-rich Kuwait must be university graduates and draw a salary of not less than $1 370 a month in order to obtain a driver’s licence, the interior ministry said on Thursday.

The new rules, which are effective immediately, are designed to reduce the number of vehicles on roads in the Gulf state which have recently seen serious bottlenecks and accidents.

The state will also require that expatriates seeking a licence must have legally lived in the emirate for at least two years, according to a ministerial decree.

A number of professionals like doctors, teachers, judges and accountants are exempt from some of the conditions.

Previously, expatriates with a monthly salary of about $850 were allowed to apply for a driver’s licence.

Kuwait, with a population of 2,8-million, including slightly more than 1,8-million foreigners, has more than 1,1-million vehicles on roads that have not been developed for a quarter of a century.

The cash-rich emirate plans to pump billions of dollars into building new roads and expanding existing ones over the next few years. – AFP