Kuwait — Transportation
Kuwait Taxis and Car Rental
Taxi travel in Kuwait is variable in quality and comfort and comes in two forms, shared and individual. Kuwaiti taxis are identified by their orange license plates and are not metered, with fares needing to be agreed upon before the start of the journey. Cabs can be rented for the day or by the hour, also for a fixed price. Visitors are advised to pre-book their taxis by phone rather than hailing one roadside or getting one from a hotel stand, as those are generally more expensive. Al-Ebrahim Taxi (+965-2-400-0013) and American Taxi (+965-2-562-5116) are reputable companies.
Self-drive is the most efficient way to get around Kuwait, and gives visitors the freedom to explore at will. Car rental is easily available at the airport and in Kuwait City, with a choice of international companies such as Budget and Avis. A driver’s permit is necessary to obtain a temporary local license, and insurance with either Kuwait Insurance Company or Gulf Insurance Company is charged as a mandatory extra. Although roads here are in good condition, local drivers’ impatience makes full comprehensive insurance the best idea.
Kuwait Water Taxis
Ferries run from Kuwait City to the offshore islands and dhows can be hired for trips along the coast.
Kuwait Trains and Buses
There is no rail service in Kuwait, but city-link buses are modern, fast and comfortable. Three companies, Kuwait Public Transportation Company, KGL and CityBus provide efficient, frequent services to areas on air-conditioned buses. Long distance services run regularly between the capital and Kuwait’s other conurbations and are a reasonably economical way to travel.
The center of Kuwait City has over 50 bus routes fanning out from the downtown district and flat-fare travel within the city, but suburban residential areas have few lines as most Kuwaitis have cars. Female visitors are advised to avoid bus travel after sunset, as there have been reports of youths gangs causing trouble. Taking a cab is the safer option, especially as few Kuwaiti women use buses as their main form of transportation.