Spending by expatriates and citizens of Kuwait last year surged to a record total of over KD45 billion (Dh537.4 billion), up 8.5 per cent against the previous year, according to Central Bank of Kuwait.
The overall spending in the country of around 4.6 million people rose by KD3.6 billion from January to December 2023 to hit 45.8 billion, the figures have shown. The spending was mainly spurred by a rise in expenses via e-payment methods and online purchases.
The bank data noted that spending of Kuwaitis and expatriates in the country amounted to KD43.2 billion in 2023, against KD39.7 billion the previous year.
Meanwhile, their spending while abroad rose by 13.2 per cent or KD325 million to reach KD2.6 billion against KD2.4 billion in 2022.
E-spending last year in the country showed a marked increase of 18.9% or KD2.7 billion to reach KD17.5 billion by the end of 2023 compared to KD14.7 billion the previous year, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anba reported.
Foreigners currently constitute approximately 3.2 million of Kuwait’s population, according to a recent census.
Kuwait boasts a public sector workforce of around 483,200, with foreigners making up 23% of this total – the highest proportion among the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Kuwait’s Public Authority for Civil Information data from last February 2024 puts the combined government and private sector workforce at 1.9 million, with 75% employed in the private sector.
In recent years, Kuwait has intensified efforts to create jobs for its citizens, replace foreign employees, and address the demographic imbalance in the country.
Kuwaiti authorities have, meanwhile, toughened measures against illegal foreign residents and warned that any expatriate covering up an unlawful resident will be deported too.
Last year, Kuwait deported record 42,000 expatriates due to violations of its residency and labour laws as well as for involvement in crimes, Al Qabas newspaper has recently reported.