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Low-income workers move to partitioned spaces to beat high rentals in Kuwait

13 November 2023

High rentals in Kuwait are increasingly causing a burden on low-income foreign workers, as house rent constitutes 30 percent of the overall income on an average.

About 62 percent of foreign workers in Kuwait earn less than KD125 per month, while 33 percent receive salaries in the range KD325 to KD400.

This being the case, limited-income workers, particularly single expats, shift to cheaper housing, and opt for smaller spaces, where at least five people will have to sometimes share a room, and thereby the rent. Several others live in partitioned spaces in apartments in various parts of Kuwait.

Apartments with three or two rooms and a hall are rented as partitioned spaces, which provides high profits for the lessor, and serves as inexpensive housing for majority of expats.

The rent value depends on the area where apartments and the partitioned space are located. A housing partition can range from 4 to 10 square metres, defined by temporary barriers within an apartment, where one or two persons live at most.

Several Asian families share apartments divided by temporary partitions aiming to cut the cost of rent.

Expatriates constitute 3.2 million of the total 4.6 million population in Kuwait, according to latest Kuwaiti census. Most of the expats in Kuwait reside in Salmya area, which has 2,911 apartment buildings, followed by the coastal city Hawally with 1811 buildings, and Jleeb Al Shuyoukh with 1,181, revealed the Kuwaiti Real Estate Union.

Recently, there has been many calls in Kuwait to stop foreign employment, alongside accusations such as the migrant workers have strained the country’s infrastructure facilities amidst economic repercussions following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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