Soaring school fees and axed subsidies may start expat exodus from Kuwait

Published:  5 May at 6 PM
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Apart from making expats feel unwanted and unappreciated, the slashing of subsidies on fuel, utilities and local products may spur a mass exodus from the emirate.

The Kuwaiti government’s drafting of laws axing the valuable subsidies comes at a time when rental charges, property prices and international school fees are soaring. A recent survey revealed that 33 per cent of expat respondents believe that their compatriots will feel unwelcome, with 25 per cent believing an expat exodus will be the result of the law being passed.

A further 16 per cent said the law was discriminatory and reflected badly on the emirate’s international reputation as democratic and open. Given that expat employment packages have been trimmed to the bone in recent years, the results of the survey were unsurprising.

In Bahrain, less work visas were issued during the past quarter of 2013 than in previous years, although five per cent more expats are working in the emirate. Terminated visas rose by 40 per cent, and issues of new work visas dropped by 15 per cent.

In Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Education has announced that expats who cannot now afford to send their children to private school may enroll them in public schools, although private schools will withhold reports and vaccination certificates until outstanding bills are paid. Private schools may not now block children from moving to publicly-funded education because tuition fees are still outstanding.
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