Considering the stricter regulations imposed on expats in the country, in line with the government’s nationalisation scheme, Kuwait has become one of the least preferred destinations for work among skilled expats.
Considering this, it’s not surprising to note that even expats already in the country are leaving in large groups, vacating posts both in the public and private sector. And while this does not directly affect domestic workers, the trend is expected to discourage even those looking to work in the domestic service industry.
As Expats Leave Kuwait, Apartment Vacancies on the Rise
According to the Central Statistics Department, the number of Filipinos, Indians and Egyptians in Kuwait has dropped sharply in recent months. The number of Filipinos in Kuwait declined from 243,400 to 216,200 – 27,000 Filipinos left the country in the last nine months (almost 12 percent of the total). The Filipino community ranks fourth in expat population in the country. At the top sit Indians with 889,000, followed by Egyptians at 484,000 and Bangladeshis at 271,000, as shared in a report by the Kuwait Times.
As per experts, a significant rise in the cost of living has most likely been the main factor that led to a slump in the real estate sector.
For his part, Secretary-General of the Real Estate Union Qais Al-Ghanim noted in his recent report that the real estate investment sector will continue to take a hit in the coming months, with an increasing number of expatriates leaving Kuwait, resulting in more vacant apartments in expat neighborhoods.
Al-Ghanim explained that the increasing burden on expatriates on a daily basis due to the rise in fees and the cost of living, on top of the state’s tendency to terminate their services from public sector jobs, have pressured many to leave, notably during the past few months. All this had a negative effect on the consumer situation in the country in general and on the investment property sector in particular.
In line with this, some property owners, in order to avoid apartments being vacant in their buildings, have resorted to housing singles – up to 12 people in one apartment, which in turn puts great pressure on water and electricity services, in addition to the inconvenience they cause to other tenants in the building.
Furthermore, Ghanim pointed out that investment properties witnessed a drop in rent costs by up to 20 percent during the last period.
These are just some of the adjustments the Kuwaiti society has to deal with in line with their national programme, which aims to level the number of expats to nationals in five years’ time.