DGCA says, be at the airport 3 hours before the flight time
With the entry of the travel season, the General Administration of Civil Aviation called on all people using the Kuwait International Airport, to adhere to the timing and be at the airporty at least three hours before the flight departure time, to complete travel procedures, in order to avoid overcrowding and congestion.
The “Civil Aviation” also called on passengers, in awareness tweets broadcast on its Twitter account, to be present at the departure gate, at the specified boarding time, reports a local Arabic daily..
The Ministry of the Interior stops issuing family and tourist visits
The Ministry of Interior announced that, based on the instructions and directives of the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmed Al-Nawaf, the issuance of entry visas (visits), (family – tourist) has been suspended from today, Monday, until further notice, a local Arabic daily reported
In a statement, the ministry said that stopping the issuance of visit visas comes due to the residency affairs sector preparing a new mechanism with regulations and a regulatory mechanism in the interest of work and its development.
PAM launches service to amend worker data through Ashal
The Public Authority for Manpower has launched a service to amend worker permit data through the “Ashal” electronic service for business owners.
Director of Public Relations at the authority, Aseel Al-Mazyed, told a local Arabic daily that this service enables the employer to modify the worker’s name, educational qualification data and passport data.
Al-Mazyed explained that if the amendment request is accepted, the visa data will be modified through electronic linkage with the Ministry of Interior systems.
She pointed out that one of the conditions of service is that the profession to be modified should be allowed to assess the need, and it is not possible to change the profession of a driver.
Study reveals frightening damage behind sitting for long hours
A study conducted by an international team of researchers revealed the frightening dangers of sitting for long hours. The study, which involved more than 100,000 people in 21 countries, indicated that people in poorer parts of the world suffer worse effects from long days sitting in one place.
While prolonged periods of sitting were associated with an increased risk of death and cardiovascular disease in all the populations examined in the study, the relationship was more pronounced in low-income countries, such as Bangladesh, India and Zimbabwe, reports a local Arabic daily.
The study warned that sitting from 6 to 8 hours a day, whether it’s at work, in the car or in front of the TV at night before going to bed, carries a relative risk of heart disease and early death by about 12 to 13 percent, compared to people who sit less at 4 hours a day.
In the case of sitting for 16 continuous hours or more, the relative risks fluctuate to a staggering 20 percent, according to the study published in the scientific journal ‘Gamma Cardiology’.
When the data is broken down into different economic categories, sitting for more than 8 hours a day in low- and lower-middle-income countries could lead to a jump in deaths and heart disease by just under 30 percent.
On the other hand, the new international study shows how widespread the problem of low physical activity is behind prolonged sitting, but the most serious impact is the role that poverty plays in determining the final impact of each additional hour of sitting on the body.
While not all types of sitting are alike, the study authors found evidence to support claims that physical exercise has a strong mitigating effect on mortality and the prevalence of cardiovascular disease.
Surprisingly, the study authors found that sitting and being inactive accounted for a slightly lower percentage of deaths than caused by smoking.
Interior may ban visas for 10 countries
The Ministry of the Interior is currently studying a proposal to prevent all types of visas for about 10 countries, the majority of which are from Africa, including Madagascar, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Mali and Congo, and 3 other countries that are not from the African Continent.
A local Arabic daily quoting well-informed security sources said the reason for this trend is due to the absence of embassies of most of those countries in Kuwait, despite Kuwait hosting the nationals of these countries in thousands and makes the deportation of the citizens of these countries difficult and time consuming especially when they are caught doing drugs, alcohol use and immoral acts
The sources pointed out that what complicates the process of deporting the violators of those countries is that some of them deliberately hide, destroy or dispose of their passports, which put the security services in a state of confusion because the authorities have to resort to their embassies in Saudi Arabic or the UAE to issue them travel documents.
Another thorn in the process of deportation is that a majority of these countries do not have direct flights or even via transit which makes deportation complicated.
‘Quick deportation for residence violators’ – Bid to avoid overcrowding in jails
KUWAIT CITY : The Ministry of Interior is making every effort to work on deporting residency violators as soon as possible in order to avoid overcrowding in police stations and deportation prisons, with the aim of ensuring security and eliminating marginalized and violating workers, reports Al-Rai daily. The ministry carried out intensive campaigns to apprehend violators in the past few days based on instructions from the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf, and the Undersecretary of the ministry Lieutenant General Anwar Al- Barjas, and the follow-up and supervision of the Undersecretary of the Public Security Sector in the ministry Major General Farraj Al-Zoubi.
According to sources in the ministry, the recent security campaigns achieved public satisfaction in Kuwait, especially since residency violators and criminal record holders represent a source of danger to citizens and residents. They affirmed that all violators are dealt with in accordance with the law and regulations, and they are referred to the General Administration of Deportation in preparation for their deportation to their country, which include taking their fingerprints so that they are unable to return to the country.
The sources highlighted the existence of security coordination among the various sectors of the Ministry of Interior in order to ensure the success of the security plan set by the ministry to cordon off some of the previously monitored sites, stressing that no violator will escape under the eyes of the police. They indicated a tendency to immediately deport the expatriates who have their passports, adding, “In case the passports are with the sponsors or employers, they will be contacted to surrender them. Those who do not have passports, the relevant authorities will coordinate with the embassies to obtain a temporary travel document in the event of delays in obtaining the violator’s passport”.
The sources revealed that the number of detainees in the deportation center is 1,500 (950 men and 550 women). They explained that, despite the deportation of about 12,500 expatriates since the beginning of the current year, the General Administration of Deportation is doing its best with its limited capabilities. It deports about 200 people per day, but the number of those being arrested could reach about 400.
The deportation center is a detention center where they wait for their deportation process to be completed. The police in the General Administration of Deportation are exerting great efforts to care for the deportees. This is based on instructions from their director to deal humanely with the deportees and to help some of them by giving them money so that they can return to their countries.
The Talha deportation center was the former Talha Prison in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh area. According to statistics issued by the Public Security Sector, 653 violators were arrested at security checkpoints in just six days. The number of criminals arrested was 18, absconding expatriates 222, residency violators 432, and those without identification 294.
Also, 43 wanted vehicles were impounded. In addition, 52 people were arrested for drug abuse, and 15 for liquor possession. The reports from the governorates reached 2,263. A total of 1,976 traffic citations were issued, four violating vehicles were seized, and 826 assistance reports were issued.
The number of traffic accidents was 692. No traffic violations were recorded with regard to parking lots for disabled people. The number of people detained in police stations reached 501. The sources highlighted that this security activity happens through the presence of public security patrols and their deployment in all governorates of the country, as well as the distribution of foot patrol teams and the implementation of impromptu campaigns during the dawn period, which came as a great blow on those who are on the wrong side of the law.
‘Domestic labor recruitment office should shoulder ticket cost’
MoCI resolves controversy over who should bear cost of ticket
KUWAIT CITY, June : The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has resolved the controversy over who must shoulder the cost of the ticket when recruiting domestic workers by setting the recruitment fee at KD890, reports Al-Jarida daily quoting sources. Sources clarified that with this recruitment fee, the domestic labor recruitment office shall shoulder the ticket cost for domestic labor recruitment requests submitted after April 19, 2022.
Sources confirmed the recommendation to include the ticket cost in the recruitment fee was presented after the ministry’s meeting with the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM). Sources said this is in response to complaints about the confusion on who should bear the ticket cost – whether the employer or the recruitment office. Sources added the ministry has stressed the need for recruitment offices to abide by Ministerial Resolution number 33 of 2021, which specifies the recruitment fees.
Sources warned the ministry will not hesitate in taking legal action against those proven to have violated the resolution or those who claim that domestic workers are not available. Sources said this could lead to immediate withdrawal of the commercial license in order to protect the rights of all concerned parties.
Recruitment agencies must pay for domestic workers’ tickets -
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has resolved the controversy over who bears the cost of the ticket for recruiting domestic workers, after setting the recruitment price at 890 dinars, by confirming that the office will bear the ticket price for requests submitted after April 19, 2022.
Informed sources told local Arabic daily recommendations were issued after officials from the Commerce Ministry met with officials from the Public Authority for Manpower that the recruitment cost should include the ticket for requests submitted after April 19, in the face of complaints and controversy as to who should bear the cost in requests made before that date.
According to the sources, the ministry stressed the recruitment offices must abide by Ministerial Resolution No. 33 of 2021 setting recruitment prices, stressing that it will not hesitate to play its legal role and take measures against violators of the decision or those who don’t entertain requests for workers, which may result in immediate withdrawal of the commercial license to protect the rights of consumers.
The sources stated the ministry has called on consumers not to hesitate to file complaints when they are exposed to such practices, noting that the ministry will take immediate action.
‘65% of deaths in Kuwait caused by chronic non-communicable diseases’
KUWAIT CITY, June : The Prevention and Response to Chronic Non-communicable Diseases Department of the Ministry of Health held a workshop under the title ‘Infl uence and Behavior Change’, by Dr. Dana Al-Tarrah, Assistant Professor at the College of Public Health at Kuwait University, within the framework of the national strategy for the prevention and response to chronic non-communicable diseases to build capacity and develop the skills of workers in the field of non-communicable chronic diseases, within the continuing medical education program, reports Al-Rai daily.
Dr. Dana Al-Tarrah touched on the importance of understanding the behaviors of society when preparing programs, and designing interventions to influence and change the behavior of individuals towards healthy patterns. She also explained the most important theories of behavior change and influence and ways to apply them.
A number of departments and concerned authorities in the Ministry of Health, with interest in raising awareness and combating chronic non-communicable diseases, participated in the workshop. Dr. Hammoud Al-Zoubi, Director of the Department of Prevention and Response to Chronic Non-communicable Diseases, explained the importance of combating chronic non-communicable diseases, which cause about 65 percent of deaths in Kuwait, and touched on the objectives of the future plan, the most important interventions and initiatives, and performance indicators, reports a local Arabic daily
Ground prepared for jobs – ‘Young Kuwaitis must go for private sector’
KUWAIT CITY, June : The Director of the Public Authority for Youth Dr. Mishaal Al-Rabee revealed the ongoing preparations to launch a Kuwaiti youth employment platform that will bring together the private and government sectors to prepare young people to work in the private sector, reports Al-Anba daily He indicated that Kuwaiti youths joining the fields of employment they desire and with rewarding salaries would encourage young people to engage in the private sector’s labor market.
On the sidelines of a meeting organized by the authority with the participation of a number of government agencies concerned with employment in the steering committee for the management of the work-makers project, and representatives of a number of Kuwaiti banks, the World Bank and the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Al-Rabee said, “We are trying to secure jobs for our youth with rewarding salaries that are higher than those in government agencies. We believe that the certificate in itself will not enable young people to achieve their ambitions and their future, because skill, craft and profession have become the most important. With the cooperation of the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Planning Dr. Khaled Mahdi, we were able to identify career paths to start providing jobs”.
On the other hand, the acting Undersecretary of the Civil Service Commission Abeer Al-Duaij revealed that, “The head of CSC Maryam Al-Aqeel is in the process of addressing CSC to request an increase in the trial period for Kuwaiti youth wishing to work in the private sector from 92 days to six months, while retaining their position in the central employment system if they wish to be nominated to work in government agencies”.
9 days holiday declared for Eid Al Adha
The Council of Ministers decided to suspend work in all ministries, government agencies, public bodies and institutions, from Sunday, July 10, until Thursday, July 14, on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha.
The official account of the Government Communications Center on the social networking site (Twitter) stated today, Monday, that official working hours will resume on Sunday, July 17.
Today, the Cabinet met under the chairmanship of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled.
Sponsors of ‘truant’ visitors likely to face penalties
‘Around 150,000 illegals in country’
KUWAIT CITY, June : The Ministry of Interior is planning to impose penalties on some foreign sponsors because the people they brought into the country on visit visas have not left, reports Al-Anba daily. The daily added, as a punishment, these sponsors will not be issued any kind of visas, including family visas for a period of two years.
A source stated that these procedures are being studied by the Ministry of Interior based on instructions from the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lieutenant-General (Retd) Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf.
This came after reports were submitted to him by the Residence Affairs Sector, headed by Brigadier General Walid Al-Tarawa, which disclosed that 14,653 expatriates entered on visit visas during the past three years until the first of May 2022 and did not leave.
The sources stated that the ministry is considering giving the residence law violators who numbered 149,195 until the first of May a new deadline to leave the country without paying the fines, with the possibility of returning to the country with new visas.
The sources added, their names will not be blacklisted if they avail the opportunity and leave the country voluntarily. The sources said that this deadline may be the last, and after the deadline expires, the ministry will launch extensive campaigns and take additional measures against those who shelter them.
Price cuts from 10-20% seen possible – ‘Duties … fees’
KUWAIT CITY, June : According to an official source the government is able to reduce food, consumer and construction prices in the country by 10 to 20 percent through many means, reports Al-Qabas daily. The same source said this can be done by working to reduce or temporarily waive the customs duties charged by the General Administration of Customs; cessation of handling fees, flooring fees and others on the main importers of basic materials and local manufacturers; providing storage facilities for local companies and importers, especially that their cost is high and therefore it has a great bearing on the final price of the commodity sold to the consumers.
The source pointed out that this proposal was discussed by the Council of Ministers after what was proposed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry through an advisory team affiliated with the Minister’s office, but ended up in the drawers to collect dust. In addition, Al-Qabas learned that in 95 percent of the cases of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s records of seizures (artificially raising prices) during the past two years, which were registered against companies, suppliers, or commercial stores and referred to the Public Prosecution have reportedly ended up in calling the suspects innocent.
Informed sources said that the defendants, whether they were food, consumer, or construction materials merchants, most of them proved to the investigation authorities that their raising of prices came based on economic feasibility, as their failure to raise the price would end up incurring significant financial losses, citing the reasons for raising the prices of their products and goods and claimed the rise in prices was due to the price in the rise of commodity in the country of origin, whether in terms of the fully imported product or raw materials used in manufacturing.
This is in addition to the high cost of shipping, which in the past two years has witnessed a significant increase, sometimes reaching 200 percent, over the prices that were before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. The sources said that one of the reasons for the rise in commodity prices in Kuwait is due to several reasons, including the fact that most companies pay customs duties, and the high cost of storage, especially that the price of a refrigerated rental meter ranges between 7 to 8 dinars, in addition to the scarcity of storage spaces, especially airconditioned locally, and this is not consistent with the nature of the local market, which imports 95 percent of its consumer products from abroad.
The sources pointed out that this suffering of suppliers from the scarcity of stores was evident during the Corona crisis, as they had no problem in securing a strategic stock for the goods they were importing, but rather faced a problem in the process of finding additional storage spaces for goods, which forced them to resort to government agencies to request storage spaces, which were unable to meet their requests.
Two dead bodies found in plane
The bodies of two men were found in the hold of an Air Algerie plane at Algiers International Airport on Saturday, Algerian police said.
“Two lifeless male bodies aged between 20 and 23 years were discovered on Saturday at 5:00 am (0400 GMT) in the hold of an Air Algerie plane which was parked at Algiers airport,” the police said in a statement.
It did not specify where the plane came from or where it was going, but said an investigation had been opened.According to Algeria media, the two victims were Algerians seeking to reach Europe clandestinely.In March, a 16-year-old managed to get into the baggage hold of an Air Algerie plane at Constantine airport and safely reached France, Algerian media reported.
Earthquake reported in Kuwait
KUWAIT CITY, Jun 4: Many areas in Kuwait witnessed tremors in the early hours of Saturday. Tremors lasted for a few seconds, according to the report published by the Seismological Center at Sultan Qaboos University earthquake at 5 Richter scale occurred. According to Meteorologist Adel Al-Saadoun
it is considered as light where intensity is considered.
The KFSD stated that there were no reports of damages from earthquake which occurred today morning, only reports were there to inquire about the earthquake
Parliament speaker discusses Schengen visa exemption with European parliament chairperson
National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim, along with his accompanying delegation, held talks on Friday with European Parliament Chairperson Roberta Metsola. “Al-Dustoor” news network, tongue of the Kuwaiti parliament, said in a statement the discussions focused on relieving Kuwaiti citizens of the Schengen visa.
It indicated that there had been some headways in this regard, also noting that there would be voting on the exemption at the European Parliament, later.
The Kuwaiti side replied to some questions and queries regarding the Schengen file and the two sides touched on some other topics, namely women empowerment and Kuwait’s foreign policy toward a large number of issues.
“Al-Dustoor” indicated that the European side expressed admiration of Kuwait’s moderate external policies and its positive role for boosting regional and international peace and concord.
The meeting was attended by undersecretary of the parliamentary caucus, MP Obaid Al-Mutairi, the caucus secretary, MP Dr. Hamad Al-Matar, the State of Kuwait Ambassador tothe Kingdom of Belgium, head of the mission to the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Ambassador Jassem Al-Bedaiwi.
Al-Ghanim is leading a delegation of lawmakers for talks in Brussels with European Union(EU) counterparts for working out an agreement, allowing Kuwaitis visa-free travel to Schengen countries.
MOI launches e-service to issue police clearance
The Ministry of Interior, represented by the General Department of Criminal Evidence, in cooperation with the General Department of Information Systems at the Ministry, launched Wednesday, the service to issue criminal status electronically on the ‘Sahel’ application which is fortified with security QR code for use inside and outside the country.
The General Department of Public Relations and Security Media at the ministry said in a press statement this service comes based on the directives of the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, retired Lieutenant-General Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and under the follow-up of the Undersecretary of the Ministry, Lieutenant-General Anwar Al-Barjas, reports a local Arabic daily.
The department stressed the ministry’s keenness to launch this new service to effectively contribute to the success of the country’s efforts in digital transformation to save effort and time for all citizens and residents and complete their transactions with ease.
The department added that this also comes in line with the ministry’s strategy aimed at automating all services provided to the public in line with the technical and technological leap that the security establishment sectors are witnessing to save time and effort on the auditors and speed up the completion of their transactions.
‘Pay end of service gratuity to expats’
KUWAIT CITY : The head of the Civil Service Commission, Maryam Al-Aqeel, has issued a circular canceling the ‘departure notice requirement’ to pay the end of service indemnities for expatriate employees in the government sector, reports Al-Qabas daily.
Al-Aqeel’s circular to government agencies stated that the CSC decision to cancel the requirement to produce a notice to leave the country came in implementation of the ruling of the Constitutional Court, whereby the end of service was paid to non-Kuwaiti employees as soon as the service ended. Al-Aqeel called on government agencies to initiate settlement procedures and pay the end of service gratuity, taking into account the decision CSC.
Price hikes started a few hours before the holy month of Ramadan
KUWAIT CITY : The series of price hikes started a few hours before the holy month of Ramadan — the price of a six-kilogram pack of tomatoes increased to KD 3.300 fils, while the price of per box of tomatoes ranges from KD 4 to KD 5; adding to the price hikes the country has been witnessing due to the the Russian-Ukrainian war, reports Al-Qabas daily. A number of tweeters have posted that price hikes have become a norm during Ramadan — the month of fasting and rituals
PAM to raise minimum wage ceiling for domestic workers
‘Need to take legal measures if payment is delayed’
KUWAIT CITY : Interacting with what was published by Al-Jarida daily in its publication issued, under the title ‘Variation of salaries for domestic workers according to nationality, harms the recruitment’, sources in the Public Authority for Manpower revealed that the authority is currently working to raise the minimum wage for domestic workers to 75 dinars instead of the current minimum 60 dinars per month.
The sources indicated that according to Law No. 68 of 2015, issued on domestic workers, and its executive regulations issued by the Minister of Interior at the time through the Ministerial Resolution 2194/2016, “the basic wage received by the domestic worker and the like shall be no less than 60 dinars per month (200 dollars).
Emphasizing that out of the authority’s keenness to preserve the rights of these workers, it seeks to raise the minimum wage and equalize them with their peers working in the private sector covered by Law 6/2010 and its amendments. On the role of the relevant government agencies in general, and PAM in particular, in fixing the defect in determining the salaries and wages of these workers according to nationality, and trying to equalize all female workers residing in Kuwait, it indicated that the responsibility of the concerned government agencies is to implement the text of Article 19 of the aforementioned law means the basic wage that the domestic worker receives as specified in the work contract between the two parties, provided that it is not less than the minimum wage making sure that the worker receives his monthly salary without interruption, and taking legal measures in case the employer delays the payment.
The sources added as for the monthly wage, it is what is agreed upon in the work contract signed between the two parties (the worker and the employer), especially since the contract is the law of contractors, provided that the aforementioned minimum wage is not violated.
PACI introduces two new services
KUWAIT CITY : The official spokesman for the unified government application for electronic services “Sahel” Yousef Kazem announced the addition of two new services of the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) in the list of services provided by PACI to the users of the application, reports Al-Rai daily. Kazem explained that PACI has included the services of “add and update phone number” and “add and update email”.
This allows Kuwaitis and expats to add or update directly through the Sahel application, and enhances the accessibility of the application users to the services offered by the government and its easy use. The new service is useful in the event that the individual changes his phone number and needs to update it with another phone number, as well as the email address to which he receives any documents or notifications from the authorities from which he requests services.
‘Law same for all’; MoI wins praise for ‘security & safety’ – Install cameras in all areas
KUWAIT CITY, March : First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lieutenant- General (Rtd.) Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah assured the leaders of the Interior Ministry the necessity of applying the law with a single rule for all. This came according to a press statement by the Ministry of Interior on Sunday while Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf chaired a security meeting to discuss the work mechanism and the level of coordination and readiness among the security sectors.
First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah while presiding over a security meeting to discuss the work mechanism and the level of coordination between the security sectors.
The statement said that Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf welcomed the attendees at the beginning of the meeting and conveyed to them the greetings of the supreme political leadership, stressing its appreciation for the efforts made by the Interior Ministry to impose security and safety in the country. The meeting reviewed the current and future work plans and the stages of development in technological applications in all sectors, stressing the continuation of work to modernize the security system. The security surveillance camera system and its distribution in the country were also discussed, while the Minister of Interior recommended the necessity of covering all areas in the governorates.
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf also discussed issues of education at the Saad Al-Abdullah Academy for Security Sciences, developing the training and education mechanism, strengthening the curricula and scientific and practical security skills, and harnessing all possibilities to raise students’ capabilities. He also issued directives to intensify security campaigns and efforts to apprehend outlaws and violators, stressing that “the current stage requires caution and vigilance.” He directed the need to find urgent solutions to all outstanding issues in various sectors. The meeting was attended by the Undersecretary of the Ministry, Lieutenant- General Anwar Al-Barjas, the Ministry’s assistant undersecretaries and the specialized general managers.
Ramadan working hours timings set at 9:30 to 2 pm
KUWAIT CITY, March : The Civil Service Commission has set the official working hours for the month of Ramadan in 22 government institutions from 9:30 in the morning until two in the afternoon, reports Al-Qabas daily. These institutions are the ministries of Commerce, Awqaf, justice, works, higher education, Communications, education, media, the Public Authority for Housing Welfare, the Public Ports Authority, the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources, the Public Authority for Youth, the Public Authority for Sports, and the Environment Public Authority, Public Authority for Industry, Public Authority for Minors Affairs, General Administration of Customs, Fire Department, Credit Bank, Zakat House, Kuwait Municipality and the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, reports a local Arabic daily.
No cut in ‘60s’ insurance fee; ‘Iqama’ stamping not interrupted
KUWAIT CITY, March : The Public Authority for Manpower has confirmed that the process of renewing the work permits of non-graduate expatriates who are 60 years old and above continues uninterrupted, in accordance with the controls and requirements set forth in the new decision No (156/2022), which has been published in the Official Gazette, reports Al-Jarida daily.
PAM was commenting on the impact of the ruling of the Court of Appeal, issued recently, to cancel the administrative decision (27/2021) regarding the issuance of regulations, rules and procedures for granting work permits, and the resulting implicit cancellation of the decision (34/2022), which introduced an amendment to the text of Article (37) of the regulations.
The sources explained to the daily that Article (37) of the new regulation includes the same old conditions set forth in Resolution (34/2022), which must be met to renew work permits for the above mentioned categories – 250 dinars for residence renewal and an irrevocable comprehensive health insurance policy issued by one of the qualified companies approved by the Insurance Regulatory Unit, noting that there is only one amendment to the renewal procedures, which is that it is not mandatory for the insurance companies to be listed on the stock market to enable them to issue documents.
The sources indicated that the “appeal” ruling was issued against the old regulation that the “manpower” canceled, pointing out that the director of the authority issued on the 13th of this month a new regulation No. (156/2022) that canceled in its second article the decisions (552/2018) and (27/2021), and all decisions and circulars that contravene its provisions. The sources stressed that PAM respects all judicial rulings, especially those that are enforceable and indicated that the authority had not received, until yesterday, the merits of the “appeal” ruling, stressing that upon receiving it, it will study it and take the necessary legal measures, and respond to it in coordination with Fatwa and Legislation Department.
Domestic workers decrease by 140,000 in Kuwait
KUWAIT CITY, March : The number of domestic workers in the country declined to the lowest level in three years – more than 19 percent decrease (140,000 workers), reports Al- Anba daily. The daily got a copy of official statistics, which revealed that the number of domestic workers reached 731,370 in 2019 compared to 591,360 at the end of 2021. The data indicated that the number of domestic workers has been decreasing since the start of the Corona crisis.
Proposal to grant 15 year residence for investors and upto 5 years for residents
The Parliamentary Interior and Defense Committee will discuss the draft law regarding the residence of foreigners tomorrow, and the draft law amending Article (8) of Amiri Decree No. 15 of 1959 regarding the Kuwaiti Nationality Law related to the naturalization of Kuwaiti wives.
The Ministry of Interior has submitted a memorandum containing several amendments to the residency of foreigners, including the managers of hotels and furnished residences intended for rent should inform the competent authority in the Ministry of Interior about the foreigners who stay in their facilities or leave forty-eight-hours before they leave and keep records related to their stay, reports a local Arabic daily.
The employees who are authorized by a decision issued by the Minister of Interior shall have the right to inspect the records, and if necessary, issue violations and refer the violator to the competent authorities. A decision shall be issued by the Minister of Interior defining the procedures related to this matter.
According to the text of the amendments the ministry maintains its right to permit a foreigner to obtain normal residence for a period not exceeding five years, but allows a maximum of ten years residence for children of Kuwaiti women married to foreigners and real estate owners, and the amendments raised the duration of residence to a maximum of fifteen years for investors that will be determined by the Council of Ministers depending on the scope and categories of their investments and the amounts to be invested.
The Ministry kept the same conditions in granting visitor visas for a maximum period of three months, with the obligation to leave after that unless the visitor obtains a residence permit from the Ministry of Interior.
On the other hand, the Ministry of the Interior canceled the condition that was imposed on Kuwaiti woman in order to obtain a residence permit for her foreign husband and children, provided none of them seek work in the governmental or non-governmental entity.
In the same context, the amendments kept the severe penalties for trafficking in residence permits by exploiting the recruitment or facilitation of foreign recruitment under an entry visa or residence permit or renewing it in exchange for sums of money or benefit or a promise to do so for oneself or for others.
The amendments authorize the Minister of Interior to allow any time limit for and if he has a residence permit, if he deems that the visa traffickers expulsion is required in public interest, public security or public morals, provided that there is no legitimate source of earning, and the decision to deport the foreigner includes the members of his family “unless it is proven that they can support themselves.”
The amendments also allow the court to be exempted from the punishment for trafficking in residences with the abolition of the paragraph that states: “If the notification is after the completion of the crime and before the investigation begins and submitting what supports the responsibility of the perpetrators, and he is given a period determined by the Ministry of Interior to transfer his residence to another employer, otherwise he will be deported at the expense of his sponsor or whoever works for him.”
The amendments abolish the exception from the application of the provisions of the law, which was granted to the captains and crews of ships and planes coming to Kuwait and carrying sea or air tickets from their competent authorities.
The memorandum says a foreigner who entered the State of Kuwait for the purpose of a visit may stay for no more than three months and upon expiry of the visa must leave unless he obtains a residence permit from the Ministry of Interior.
A foreigner may be licensed to reside temporarily in the State of Kuwait for a period not exceeding three months, and he must leave the country upon its expiry unless he obtains an authorization for temporary residence permit from the Ministry of Interior. The Minister of Interior determines the conditions in which temporary residence is granted.
A residence permit may be granted for a period not exceeding fifteen years for investors based on a decision issued by the Council of Ministers specifying the scope and categories of their investments and the amounts to be invested.
With the exception of children of Kuwaiti women, owners of real estate and whoever obtained the residency in his capacity as an investor, a foreigner residing in it is not permitted to stay outside the State of Kuwait for a period of more than six months, unless the Ministry of the Interior decides otherwise.
The memorandum contains amendments related to domestic labor: The domestic worker and the like may be granted a normal residence permit in accordance with the Article (13) of this law, within the duration of his recruitment contract.
If the worker has the residency canceled from the date he/she left work, he must leave the State of Kuwait within the period specified for him by the competent authority in the Ministry of Interior unless he is authorized to establish a get new residence before the expiry of this period.
The employer must notify the competent authority at the Ministry of Interior that the domestic worker or the like has left his/her job within two weeks of leaving. In all cases, it is not permissible to transfer the residence of a domestic worker or a similar person without the approval of the employer.
The domestic worker may not stay outside the State of Kuwait for a period of more than four months unless, before the expiry of this period, he obtains permission to do so from the Ministry of Interior.
An employee in a governmental entity or a worker in a non-governmental entity shall obtain a normal residence permit upon the request of the entity in which he will work, provided that he holds a valid passport.
If the employee or worker’s residency period has expired, and he did not obtain approval to renew it or obtain another residence permit from another entity, he must leave the State of Kuwait within the period specified by the Ministry of the Interior within six months from the expiry date of his service.
An employee in a government entity may not be granted a residence permit at another entity without the approval of the authority in which he was working, and a worker in a non-governmental entity may not be granted a residence permit except with the approval of the competent authority.
The governmental or non-governmental entity, as the case may be, shall notify the competent authorities when the service of the employee or worker ends or leaves him to work, within two weeks of the termination or quitting.
The memo added foreign applicants must notify the competent authority at the Ministry of Interior of the expiry of the foreigner’s entry visa or his temporary or regular residence if he does not leave the State of Kuwait.
All fees related to residency and its renewal and all types of entry visas are determined and modified by a decision of the Minister of Interior, and children of Kuwaiti women who have obtained residency permits are exempted from these fees in accordance with the provisions of Article (10 paragraph 1) of this law, and any other provisions of this law.
A foreigner is prohibited from working for others in violation of the requirements of his residence in the State of Kuwait.
It is prohibited for the employer or the foreign recruiter to employ him for a purpose other than his recruitment, or to enable him or facilitate his work for others without a license from the competent authority.
It is prohibited for a third party to harbor or use a foreigner, whether his residence is valid or has expired, and it is also prohibited for him to accommodate him if he does not have a valid residence in the country.
The chapter on the rules of deportation and expulsion of foreigners states: The Minister of Interior may issue a decision to deport any foreigner within a certain period, even if he has a residence permit in the following cases: He has a legitimate source of earning, and the decision to deport the foreigner may include members of his family, the foreigners who are charged with their support, and the foreigner who is issued a decision to deport him may be detained for a period not exceeding thirty days, renewable at the end of the granted period if such detention is necessary to implement the deportation decision.
A foreigner shall be expelled from the State of Kuwait by a decision of the Minister of Interior if he does not have a residence permit or if the permit period has expired, and he may return to the State of Kuwait if he fulfills the conditions for entry in accordance with the terms of entry into force.
The Minister of Interior may exempt a foreigner who has been expelled from the State of Kuwait from all fines resulting from violating the provisions of this law, provided he leaves the State of Kuwait.
A foreigner who has previously been expelled from the State of Kuwait may not return to it without the permission of the Minister of Interior.
In the chapter on penalties, it was stated in the memorandum: Whoever the law shall be punished with a fine of not less than six hundred dinars and not exceeding two thousand dinars, and he shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months and a fine of not more than four hundred dinars or more than four hundred dinars. Whoever violates any of the provisions of Article 9 (paragraph 2) (11) shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine of not less than six hundred dinars and not more than one thousand and two hundred dinars or one of these two penalties.
Whoever obtains an entry visa or a residence permit in return for money or a benefit or a promise to do so shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding one thousand dinars, or by one of these two penalties.
Anyone who among the perpetrators who initiates to inform the competent authorities of the existence of an agreement to commit the crime of trafficking in residence stipulated in Article (18) of this law before the crime was completed by the court, shall be exempted from punishment.
PAM stands by its decision on renewal of work permit for non-graduate 60 years old and above; to look into Appeal verdict
Public Authority for Manpower said the renewal of work permits of non-graduate residents 60 years old and above continues without interruption, in accordance with the controls and requirements set forth in the new decision No (156/2022), which has been published in the Official Gazette.
Public Authority for Manpower was commenting on the impact of the ruling of the Court of Appeal, issued recently, to cancel the administrative decision (27/2021) regarding the issuance of regulations, rules and procedures for granting work permits, and the resulting implicit cancellation of the decision (34/2022), which introduced an amendment to the text of Article (37) of the regulations.
The sources explained to a local Arabic daily that Article (37) of the new regulation includes the same old conditions set forth in Resolution (34/2022), which must be met to renew work permits for the above mentioned categories — 250 dinars for residence renewal and an irrevocable comprehensive health insurance policy issued by one of the qualified companies approved by the Insurance Regulatory Unit, noting that there is only one amendment to the renewal procedures, which is that it us not mandatory for the insurance companies to be listed on the stock market to enable them to issue documents.
The sources indicated that the “appeal” ruling was issued against the old regulation that the “manpower” canceled, pointing out that the director of the authority issued on the 13th of this month a new regulation No. (156/2022) that canceled in its second article the decisions (552/2018) and (27/2021), and all decisions and circulars that contravene its provisions.
The sources stressed that PAM respects all judicial rulings, especially those that are enforceable and indicated that the authority had not received, until yesterday, the merits of the “appeal” ruling, stressing that upon receiving it, it will study it and take the necessary legal measures, and respond to it in coordination with Fatwa and Legislation Department.
Kuwait bans export of scrap iron
KUWAIT CITY, March : Minister of Commerce and Industry Fahd Al-Shariaan has issued a ministerial decision to ban the export of iron scrap for a period of 3 months, reports Al-Qabas daily. The decision stated that it is prohibited to export iron scrap from March 17 to June 17, 2022. No other details are available.
MoE sets up new rules – ‘Transfer principals after 10 years’
KUWAIT CITY, March : The Minister of Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research Dr. Ali Al-Mudhaf has issued a decision regarding the controls for transferring school principals and assistant principals, reports Al-Anba daily. The decision stated the maximum limit for principals and assistant principals to stay in the same school is ten consecutive years from the date they assume their duties, after which they must be transferred to another school, without prejudice to the administrative authority’s right and discretion to transfer or delegate any of its employees in accordance with the requirements of the work and public interest.
Also, the school principals and assistant principals who have reached the maximum number of years of stay in the same school shall be transferred as of September 1 of each academic year. Every principal and assistant principal who completes the maximum number of years of stay in the same school during an academic year shall remain in his work position until the end of that year unless the work interest requires otherwise.
The aforementioned provisions of the decision shall be applied after referring it to the Assistant Undersecretary for Public Education to approve the transfer procedure in accordance with what he deems appropriate in line with the requirements of the work interest. This decision shall be effective from the date of its issuance, and all decisions that contradict it shall be repealed. The competent authorities shall implement this decision and act according to it
New countries for domestic workers’ recruitment eyed
KUWAIT CITY, March : Chairman of Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO) Khaled Al-Dakhnan has confirmed that the union’s demands include opening new countries for the recruitment of domestic workers and lifting the visa ban on various countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. In a statement to the press, Al-Dakhnan disclosed that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ethiopia has been suspended for about two years now without any clarification. He pointed out this MoU would have solved the recruitment crisis, particularly the high cost of hiring domestic workers.
He added the new agreement with the Republic of Sierra Leone was not reported to the union, indicating “we have not seen such agreement”. He asserted that lifting the visa ban on some countries could be an encouraging indication of the need to re-examine certain points and the possibility of reaching an agreement to solve the domestic employment problem. He affirmed the aforementioned measures will lead to reduction of recruitment costs, especially once the number of workers increases and the needs of the domestic labor market are covered.
On the proposal to change the term ‘servant’ to domestic worker in the relevant laws, Al-Dakhnan stressed this is not new as it has been on the discussion table for almost two years now. He called on families to refrain from hiring part-time domestic workers as most of such workers have been reported absconding by their sponsors. He warned that whoever provides shelter to absconders will be punished as per the law, adding that many absconders have been involved in theft and other crimes.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Manpower in Egypt has extended the period for accepting applications from nurses to work in a Kuwaiti medical institution from Sunday to Thursday, stressing that the application conditions are strictly enforced, reports Al-Rai daily.
According to the ministry, the application conditions include completion of Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in three accredited Egyptian universities – Ain Shams, Cairo and Alexandria; at least four years work experience; proficiency in the English language; and two doses of any of the corona vaccines approved by Kuwait. The ministry revealed the monthly salary offered is KD425 or 22,000 Egyptian pounds, in addition to housing allowance and travel tickets. It affirmed that Egypt’s labor representation offices in various countries are exerting tremendous efforts to look for overseas job opportunities for Egyptians. By Fares Al-Abdan Al-Seyassah Staff
Kuwait to implement selective taxation; 10-25% eyed
KUWAIT CITY, : The government has taken practical steps to study the implementation of the idea of a selective taxation which will include tobacco and its derivatives, soft and sweetened drinks, in addition, it will be applied to expensive goods, such as watches, jewelry and precious stones as well as luxury cars and yachts – instead of a value-added tax, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to the study the application of selective taxation, on which the government is working behind the scenes will range from 10 to 25 percent.
Regarding excluding the application of value-added tax, the sources said that this option must be approved through the National Assembly, which is widely rejected by the people and parliament, which means that it is difficult to implement, in addition to the announced inflation in Kuwait of about 3 percent. The tangible amount exceeds 7 percent, that is, if the added tax law is applied, this trend may create further price hikes.
The sources expected that the government, in the event of applying the selective value tax, would earn about 500 million dinars annually, explaining that the application of the selective tax may have a large part of justice in the application, as whoever chooses goods harmful to health must pay more, given that the government spends huge money on the health programs and treatments for cardiovascular diseases, obesity and sugar resulting from smoking, soft drinks, energy and others, in addition to the fact that buying luxuries and luxury goods are not considered among the basics of living and those with money have to pay for enjoying them, as is the case in foreign countries and even Arab and Gulf countries.
The sources added that the Council of Ministers stressed the need for the Ministry of Finance to develop the tax administration in all the main required areas, such as “the journey of taxpayers, partner readiness, human resources and training, communications, operations, and information technology.” According to the Gulf agreement signed by Kuwait in November 2016, the excise tax law will be applied to tobacco products of all kinds and forms, energy drinks at 100 percent, and soft drinks at 50 percent. As for the value-added tax, it has been set at 5%, which is added to the value of the goods at the moment they are sold and collected for the benefit of the state treasury.
The study revealed that there are procedures required to apply and impose the selective tax, which are determining tax readiness through the following dimensions — legal bases, communications, willingness of partners, risk management, public response, operations, systems and program management; prioritizing areas for improvement to meet the expected launch dates for Excise Tax and Value Added Tax; reviewing and updating the legal frameworks and established policies to ensure the development of appropriate mechanisms and flexibility in case the scope of tax implementation expands in the future.
This is in addition to updating the taxpayer strategy and starting its implementation to improve the mechanism for identifying, classifying and participating taxpayers; developing a communication strategy and start implementing it to ensure public awareness among the people, taking into consideration the development of educational materials to include curricula that educate the new generation about the nature of tax, its causes and benefits; defining the partners’ readiness plan and starting its implementation to ensure the integration of data and enforcement mechanisms and developing and starting to implement a risk management strategy to address non-compliance and reduce fraud (such as defining risk standards and upgrading risk analytics and audit capabilities). Also reviewing and improving the organizational structure of the tax department, as well as reviewing employment and training plans; facilitating the administrative processes for taxpayers, such as registration, filing and payment, and ensuring alignment with legal bases and reviewing, completing and implementing the necessary requirements for the information technolog
Banks and Money Exchanges, Suspected in Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
Banking and money exchange sectors are the most probable establishments for money laundering or terrorist financing operations. According to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), they accounted for 98 percent of the alerts in the last 6 years. The duration between 2018 to 2019 saw the highest number of alerts recorded the in the unit’s history.
Statistics prepared by a local Arabic daily based on official figures, indicate that the FIU received 5776 alerts of suspicious activity of money laundering and terrorist financing from 2014 to 2020
During 6 years of observations, the unit received the most alerts on suspicions on money laundering or terrorist financing from banks and money exchange firms. From these two sectors, 63 percent of the alerts (3,541 alerts) were submitted by the banks and the rest came from Money Exchanges (2,120 alerts)
The Gold, jewelry, and precious metals sector witnessed 6 notifications in 6 years and the Finance and Investment sector witnessed 11 notifications during 6 years under the study.
Concerned sources told the daily that the Financial Action Task Force in the Middle East and North Africa (MENAFATV) has scheduled field visits for the mutual evaluation of the processes in the second round of Kuwait from March 6 to 22.
Proposal to Allow Violators to Leave Without Paying Overstay Fines
The Residence Affairs Department has submitted a proposal, to the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, that will allow violators of the residence and labour laws to leave the country without paying the fines.
The proposal includes a clause which says the Ministry has been requested to give this category of residents a grace period to settle their dues.
The source suggested that the proposal is expected to be approved, especially in light of the increase in the number of violators whose number reportedly exceeds 150,000.
Kuwaiti cabinet mulls Ukraine crisis repercussions
The Kuwaiti Cabinet on Tuesday held an extraordinary meeting to follow up on the consequences of the Russia-Ukraine military confrontation on all levels to ensure the country’s security and provision of all necessary needs to citizens and expats.
The Cabinet, chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al- Sabah, listened to a presentation by Foreign Minister, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Acting Defense Minister Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah on the international developments politically.
The minister stressed Kuwait’s firm and principled stance rejecting the use of force or menacing to use it against countries. Kuwait is following, with great concern and regret, the deteriorating situations and growing tension in Ukraine, the minister said.
The State of Kuwait underlined the importance of adhering to the principles of international law and the UN Charter that govern relations amongst states, based on respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and the principles of good neighborliness, and resolving disputes peacefully.
Kuwait asserted the necessity of respecting Ukraine’s independence and affirmed its full support to all international efforts aimed at de-escalation, self-restraint, settling international disputes by peaceful means, and taking necessary measures to protect civilians and ensure their safety, Sheikh Ahmad Nasser said.
He further explained measures taken by the Foreign Ministry to follow up the crisis and take necessary measures to mitigate any possible effects in this regard. Meanwhile, the Cabinet listened to a presentation by Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Investment Abdulwahab Al-Rashid on the measures made by the ministry and Kuwait Investment Authority to assess the effects of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on Kuwait and the measures taken to alleviate its repercussions.
Moreover, the ministers listened to a clarification by Minister of Commerce and Industry Fahd Al- Shariaan on the efforts exerted to face this crisis and its challenges to ensure the provision and stability of prices of all basic food supplies and the strategic stock in Kuwait.
Boeing announces suspension of operational support for Russian airlines
The American aircraft giant, Boeing, announced that it will suspend its operational services to Russian airlines (spare parts, maintenance and technical support), and will stop “major operations” in Moscow, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“We have suspended major operations in Moscow and temporarily closed our office in Kyiv,” a Boeing spokesman said, reports Al-Rai daily quoting AFP.
“We are also suspending spare parts, maintenance and technical support services for Russian airlines. As the conflict continues, our teams are focused on ensuring the safety of our colleagues in the region,” says the report.
MasterCard bans a number of Russian financial institutions from its network
MasterCard has announced that it has blocked a number of financial institutions from the MasterCard payments network, as a result of sanctions orders imposed on Russia for invading Ukraine.
According to Reuters “MasterCard will continue to work with regulators to fully implement its compliance commitments,” reports Al-Rai daily quoting the company statement.
Kuwait lists 2,254 more Covid-19 cases, one death
Kuwait’s Ministry of Health on Saturday said that 2,254 people tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19) and one person died of the virus over the past 24 hours. Today’s figures raised the death toll to 2,519 and the overall infections to 599,038, the Ministry’s Spokesman Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad told KUNA. As many as 5,855 people recovered from the virus, increasing the total recoveries to 555,350, he added.Some 92 patients are hospitalized at ICUs and 41,170 others are receiving treatment at home, in addition to 412 at Covid-19 wards, he stated. Medical swabs conducted over the 24 hours hit 24,223, pushing the total tests to 7,279,467, he made clear.
Plan to open window for family, visit visas
The Ministry of Interior is considering opening family and tourist visas from March, after a hiatus of more than a year and a half.
Security sources told Al-Qabas the Residence Affairs Sector in the Interior Ministry is waiting for a report from the Ministry of Health on the stability of the health situation following the outbreak of the Corona pandemic in the country, before taking a decision, especially in light of the recent decrease in the number of infections and admissions to intensive care units and hospitalization in wards.
The sources added despite the Cabinet’s decision to open all types of visas for expatriates, family and tourist visits are still suspended, and that the Cabinet’s decision was applied only to work visas, commercial visits and family visas.
The sources stated opening of family and tourist visits for children and spouses will contribute to revitalizing the economic movement at various levels, in addition to that it comes from a humanitarian point of view, taking into account the circumstances of the reunification of some families residing in the country.
The sources pointed out that dozens of expatriates on a daily basis apply for family and tourist visits in order to bring their families, especially with the approach of the holy month of Ramadan.
Non-graduate ‘60’ expatriates asked to pay ‘insurance’, ‘renewal fee’ twice
A number of non-graduate expatriates 60 years and above who are covered by Administrative Decision No. 34 of 2022, which allowed them to renew or transfer their work permits within the private sector for one year are taken by surprise because according to the administrative decision they were required to pay 250 dinars for residence renewal and 500 dinars for private health insurance.
What is surprising is they are asked to pay the additional 10 dinars (old residence fee) and another 50 dinars (the regular insurance charges) which literally means this category of expatriates end up paying double residence and health insurance fees.
These extra charges are in addition to the fees approved by the aforementioned resolution, and the decision of the Supreme Committee for the Insurance Regulatory Unit No. (2/2022), regarding the rules for issuing a health insurance policy.
According to the complaints of a large segment of these workers, they were surprised, while they were renewing their work permits, because they are obliged to pay what they called ‘double’ fees.
They told “Al-Jarida” this means they are obliged to pay an annual fee of 10 dinars for renewal, in addition to the fees approved by the Public Authority for Manpower 250 dinars.”
They say how they are obliged to pay the old regular fees in addition to the new fees for the renewal of work permit and health insurance after forcing them to buy private insurance since they will not be allowed to visit government health centers and hospitals?
‘Health’ report to Emergency Committee aims to ease Covid restrictions
The public health team in the Ministry of Health is in the process of preparing a report on easing health requirements which will be submitted to the Higher Ministerial Committee for Corona Emergencies for discussion during the committee’s next meeting.”
The sources suggested that “the report of the Ministry of Health will include a package of measures and decisions to ease restrictions, in light of the improvement in some indicators of the epidemiological situation in the country,”
The positive path in the epidemiological situation continued, with a remarkable improvement recorded in 5 indicators yesterday, in light of the decrease in the number of infections, hospital admissions, and active cases, in contrast to a high recovery rate.
The sources indicated to Al-Rai that the nature of the “Omicron” wave is “the sharpness in the upward curve and also in the decline,” and therefore the rates of improvement are expected to accelerate during the coming days after steep rise in infections, based on reading the epidemiological situation in some countries that witnessed a situation similar to that of South Africa.
The sources expressed optimism about further acceleration of improvement, but at the same time stressed on the importance of taking preventive measures.
Kuwaiti transformation towards clean energy remains lowest among GCC nations
An analysis issued by the Middle East Institute 75 stated that the Gulf Cooperation Council states seem to be applying a common model in their path of transition towards renewable energy in line with global efforts in this field, as each of them has announced their respective goals and the share of future renewable energy in its energy mix, in addition to decarbonization from oil and gas operations to production and refining.
Al-Anba quoting sources said, however, a closer look at what these countries are doing reveals vast differences in how they deploy solar and wind capabilities, as well as space constraints, decarbonization considerations, and other climate-related activities.
As for Kuwait, although it was one of the countries that initiated the production of solar energy in the seventies and eighties of the last century, and although it is logical to seek to replace solar or wind energy instead of imports of liquefied natural gas, Kuwaiti transformation towards clean energy remains the lowest in the Gulf.
Kuwait’s plans in this context are summarized in generating 15% of its total energy mix through clean energy by 2030, compared to 50%, 40% and 20% for Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Qatar, respectively, and 15% for Bahrain by 2035.
The national oil companies and their subsidiaries in the Gulf countries play an important role in estimating the capacity of renewable energy. In Kuwait, for example, we find that the tender put forward by the Kuwait National Petroleum Company in 2018 to build a complex for generating energy from sun and wind with a capacity of 1.5 gigawatts of electricity used by the oil industry in the country was abolished in 2020 due to bureaucracy.
The Petroleum Development Company in the Sultanate of Oman is working to generate more than 1.2 gigawatts of solar and wind energy. In Bahrain, Bapco and Tatweer only control nearly all of the country’s solar and wind capacity. Since the Gulf countries have one of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, and to a lesser degree from wind resources, Kuwait has lagged behind in this process from the rest of the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, while the UAE has assumed the role of a regional leader to a large extent in terms of the ability to install energy renewable projects.
However, renewable energy projects in the UAE will grow more slowly than in Saudi Arabia. For example, according to an estimate from the Arab Petroleum Investments Company, renewable energy will represent 22% of the value of all energy projects in Saudi Arabia between 2021 and 2025 compared to 8% in the UAE, reports Al-Anba daily..
The Institute considered these different pathways of renewable energy generation capacity in the Gulf as a result of differences in the initial and intermediate conditions, including the energy mix, original energy sources, the state’s capacity and ambitions, and the state’s trade relations.
The institute concluded by saying that companies and government-linked institutions are leading the economic development in the Gulf countries, however, it has mobilized and mobilized concerted efforts to achieve economic diversification, a wide scope for the original private companies in the renewable energy sector, and this was demonstrated, for example, in Saudi Arabia, where the sector companies play a bigger role.
PAM extends deadline to transfer ‘commercial visit’ to ‘work’
The Director-General of the Public Authority for Manpower, Ahmed Al-Mousa, announced the issuance of an administrative circular to extend the deadline to transfer commercial visit visas into work permits provided these visas were before November 24, 2021.
Al-Rai quoting Al-Mousa stated that the aforementioned circular is in addition to Circular No. 20 of 2021, which was issued upon directives of the Ministerial Committee for Corona Emergencies
He indicated the current circular allows to transfer commercial visit visas into work visas Article No 18 for those people whose commercial visits issued were issued before 11/24/2021 through the Public Authority for Manpower automated referred to in Circular No. 20 of 2021
Al-Mousa pointed out that the Employment Affairs Sector, its affiliated departments, and the Department of Information Systems Center have been directed to work on extending the procedures for issuing work permits for applicants with an entry visa for commercial visits issued before 11/24/2021 to be effective until 3/31/2022.
Chance for scattered rain during weekend
KUWAIT CITY : The Meteorological Department said that there is a chance for scattered rain, accompanied by thunder, until Saturday, due to the air depression belt with winds blowing from the southwest, accompanied by a warm and humid air mass and chance of low and medium clouds appearing on the horizon, reports Al-Jarida daily. The daily quoting Yasser Al-Balushi, Head of the Marine Forecasting Department, explained the weather today will be warm and clouds will gradually appear, with southeasterly light to moderate winds, active at intervals ranging between 15 and 45 kilometers per hour, causing dust, especially over open areas, and the expected maximum temperatures between 24 and 26 degrees Celsius. The sea will be light to moderate. The waves expected to rise at intervals between 2 and 6 feet high.
In a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Al-Balushi said the weather tonight will be cold, with southeasterly winds fl uctuating from light to moderate speed, active at intervals ranging between 8 and 40 kilometers per hour, with a chance of scattered rain accompanied by thunderstorm at times, with a chance of fog in some areas, and the expected minimum temperature falling to between 12 and 14 degrees Celsius. On Friday, the weather is expected to be warm and partly cloudy, with southeasterly to northwesterly light to moderate winds, active at intervals between 15 and 40 kilometers per hour, causing dust, especially over open areas, with a chance of scattered rain that may be thundery at times.
The expected maximum temperature ranges between 24 and 26 degrees Celsius, the sea will be light to moderate, and the waves will rise at intervals, and their height will be between 2 and 6 feet. Regarding the weather Saturday, Al Balushi said it will be moderate, and the clouds and chances of thunder rain will gradually decrease, and the winds will be northwesterly light to moderate, with speeds ranging between 15 and 45 kilometers per hour, causing dust, especially on open areas, and the expected maximum temperatures between 20 and 22 degrees.
Kuwait needs 50 additional flights in addition to schedule arriving flights
KUWAIT CITY : The head of the Federation of Tourism and Travel Offices, Muhammad Al-Mutairi, announced the air transport market needs at least more than 50 additional flights in addition to the schedule flights arriving at the Kuwait International Airport over the next few days because of the spring vacation which has been extended until early next March, reports Al-Qabas daily. Al-Mutairi said the absence of entertainment facilities in Kuwait and nod from the National Assembly to ease travel restrictions, thousands of citizens and residents took the opportunity to travel abroad which has put pressure on the reservations network in the airline systems.
Kuwait MoH: 3,324 COVID-19 cases, 5,495 recoveries, three deaths
The Ministry of Health announced on Thursday 3,324 COVID-19 infections, 5,495 recoveries, and three deaths in the last 24 hours.
The Ministry’s official spokesman Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad said the tallies for infections and recoveries hit respectively 593,889 and 543,624. Deaths went up to 2,517, said the spokesman, revealing that there were 91 patients in ICU, 473 in COVID-19 wards, and 47,748 active cases. He indicated that swabs hit 7,226,936 with 28,081 new tests carried out in the last 24 hours.
New guidelines issued for travel to India
The government of India on Thursday revised guidelines for international arrivals, removing the category of ‘at risk’ countries – introduced when the Omicron Covid variant emerged – and also recommending self-monitoring of 14 days for symptoms against the current seven days of home quarantine.
The new guidelines will come into effect from Monday, February 14, the Union Health Ministry said.
The ministry stressed the “need to monitor the continuously changing” COVID-19 virus but also acknowledged that “economic activities need to be taken up in an unhindered manner”.
According to the new guidelines, all foreign arrivals must fill a self-declaration form online (available at the Air Suvidha web portal), including a travel history of the past 14 days.
They must also upload a negative RT-PCR test that was conducted within 72 hours of the travel date.
Alternatively, they can also upload a certificate confirming they have received both vaccine doses.
This option, however, is only available for passengers arriving from 72 countries whose vaccination programmes the Indian government recognises as part of a reciprocal programme.
These countries include Canada, Hong Kong, the United States, the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Qatar, Australia, New Zealand, and some European nations.
“Airlines (will) allow boarding (of) only those passengers who have filled in all the information in the self-declaration form… and uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report or COVID-19 vaccination certificate…” the Health Ministry has said.
Only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board, and Covid-appropriate behaviour, including the use of face masks and practicing of social distancing, must be followed during the flight.
On arrival, in addition to thermal screening, passengers selected at random (up to two per cent of total passengers per flight) will be asked to undergo RT-PCR tests.
Passengers will be selected by the airline and must “preferably” be from different countries.
Passengers found to be symptomatic will be immediately quarantined and tested, with contact tracing carried out if they are found to be Covid-positive.
All other passengers must self-monitor for 14 days for any Covid symptoms, the Health Ministry said.
These rules replace those announced in December, when strict restrictions were put in place to prevent the more contagious Omicron variant from spreading.
Despite those rules, however, the Omicron strain found its way into the country and triggered a third wave of cases, with daily cases peaking at nearly 350,000 in the middle of last month.
Daily cases have slowed since, prompting many states and cities, including Mumbai and Delhi, to ease restrictions and try to recover lost economic growth.
Today 67,084 Covid cases were reported in 24 hours – a marginal decrease from the more than 71,000 reported yesterday. India’s active caseload is now at 790,000
17 government institutions reduce spending by more than 400 million dinars
Official figures revealed the most prominent changes in capital spending in various government agencies, as the majority of ministries and agencies witnessed a reduction in financial appropriations during the next fiscal (2022/2023), compared to the current fiscal year.
Al-Anba monitored the volume of capital spending in about 23 government agencies showed that 17 of them witnessed a decline in the estimated appropriations for capital spending with a value exceeding 400 million dinars, the Ministry of Defense alone accounts for about 66% of the value of spending cuts, while about 6 institutions witnessed an increase in the volume of capital spending by 90.114 million dinars.
The Ministry of Defense came at the top of the agencies that reduced capital spending with 264 million dinars, which constitutes 48% of the spending on the purchase of non-current assets in the current fiscal, estimated at 546.65 million dinars, while it will spend next year about 282.8 million dinars.
The Ministry of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy was the second-highest authority to reduce capital spending by about 9%, with a value of 48.3 million dinars, to reach 508 million dinars during the next fiscal year, compared to 556.4 million dinars during the current fiscal year, and the Ministry of Interior recorded the third highest value of capital reduction during the year by about 25 million dinars, 39% of the estimated volume of expenditure in the current budget at 63.6 million dinars, as it will spend 38.5 million dinars next year.
The National Guard came in fourth highest authority to reduce capital spending by 16%, amounting to about 18 million dinars, bringing its expected spending during the next year to about 94.5 million dinars, compared to 112.4 million dinars during the current fiscal year, while the Ministry of Works ranked fifth with 15.7 million dinars, reducing capital spending by only 2% from 791.3 million dinars during the current fiscal year to 775.6 million dinars next year.
The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation reduced its spending by 13%, with a value of 9.8 million dinars, to reach about 65.66 million dinars during the next fiscal year, compared to 75.5 million dinars during the current fiscal for the next year, compared to 24.57 million dinars during the current year.
The Ministry of Communications reduced its capital spending by 22%, with a value of 3.17 million dinars, to reach 11.27 million dinars during the next year, compared to 14.45 million dinars estimated to be spent during the current year, and capital spending in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs decreased by 13%, amounting to 3 million dinars, to reach during the next year 20.21 million dinars compared to 23.24 million dinars during the current year.
In terms of increasing the volume of capital spending, the Ministry of Finance (Public Administration) came at the top of the list of entities that increased the volume of capital spending with an increase of 963%, amounting to 61 million dinars, as the volume of its spending during the next year will reach 67.29 million dinars, compared to 6.32 million estimated spending during the year current financial.
The Council of Ministers came in second place with a rate of 198%, with a value of 19.39 million dinars, bringing the volume of capital spending during the next year to about 29.2 million dinars, compared to 9.8 million estimated to be spent during the current fiscal year. And thirdly, the Ministry of Health, whose capital spending increased by 3.66%, with a value of 8.17 Millions of dinars, bringing the volume of expenditures during the next year to 230.9 million dinars, compared to 222.78 million dinars during the current fiscal year.
The Fatwa and Legislation Department ranked fourth, whose expenditure increased by a value of 821 thousand dinars, or 173%, bringing the volume of its capital expenditures during 2022/2023 to about 1.29 million dinars, compared to 474 thousand dinars during the current year, and ranked fifth by the Ministry of Justice, with an increase of 8.3%, with a value of 387 thousand dinars to 5.01 million dinars next year, compared to 4.6 million dinars during the current year, while the Ministry of Trade and Industry ranked sixth with an increase of 24.4%, with a value of 380 thousand dinars, bringing the volume of its expenditures during the next year to 1.9 million dinars, compared to 1.557 million during the year current financial.
Parliament cancels PCR requirement for incoming citizens; second dose considered fully vaccinated
The National Assembly during its extraordinary session approved in the first and second deliberations, a project to amend some provisions of the Health Precautions Law to prevent communicable diseases, including the application of the law against violators of the health protocol and setting 50 dinars fine for violators, in addition to granting the Ministry of Health employees the right to arrest violators.
Al-Jarida said the National Assembly also approved the parliamentary recommendations regarding easing the Corona restrictions for those who are not vaccinated which were submitted to the parliament for deliberations after discussing government measures in dealing with the virus during the current session.
Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said the Minister of Health apologized for not attending the session because he had an angioplasty, adding, “I spoke to him about these recommendations and he promised me to take them into consideration.”
The most prominent recommendations are to lift the immediate restrictions on non-vaccinated children, allow travel to countries that receive unvaccinated people, suffice with the second dose to consider the person fully immunized, and not differentiate between vaccinated children and others, in addition to not requiring a PCR test for citizens coming to Kuwait, and being satisfied with measures taken upon arrival, so as not to be a reason to detain them in the country from which they come.
MOH clarifies booster dose vaccination mechanism
The Ministry of Health clarified in a statement today, Thursday, that the “booster dose” of the Corona vaccine is given to the age group of 16 years and above, and it is given 6 months after the second dose.
Al-Qabas quoting health sources also said, “Citizens and residents in the age group of 40 years and above do not require a prior appointment to receive the booster dose at all vaccination centers and sites. However, those under 40 years of age need to register on the vaccination platform.
Occupancy rates in Kuwait hotels expected to slightly increase in 2022
Colliers, a company specialized in hotel research and occupancy rates, feels hotels in Kuwait City would record an increase in occupancy rates by 16% to reach 31% during 2022.
Al-Anba quoting a report issued by the company yesterday said, according to, that occupancy rates in Dubai will record the highest rate in the Middle East and the Gulf region at 79%, compared to 74% in Doha and 44% in Muscat, and 48% and 40% in Oman and Beirut, respectively.
The company attributed the slow recovery in hotel occupancy rates in Kuwait to strict laws and travel restrictions in the face of the Coronavirus, while occupancy rates in the cities of the UAE range between 79% and 61% and Saudi Arabia between 65% and 38%, while the estimated percentage for Bahrain reached 49%.
In the report, which covers 24 cities and regional markets, the company stated that as the world entered 2022, we began to notice that many markets in the region are pinning hopes on achieving the desired recovery in their performance, and said that it will be for continuous monitoring of the repercussions of the Corona epidemic by government agencies and relevant parties. The relationship and other key stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality sector have a major impact on how the markets perform with the first quarter of 2022.
Although travel restrictions in key markets have recently been relaxed, consumer confidence in hotel performance is still under pressure due to the outbreak of the new wave of Corona mutations. A systematic and consistent approach to recovery and growth is a major improvement in the performance of the hospitality sector in the short and medium-term.
The report pointed out that the methodology of expectations and estimates related to any future activity must be subject to a degree of uncertainty, especially since the Corona epidemic has cast a dark shadow of uncertainty on the hospitality and hotel industry.
Colliers’ monthly report said that its forecasts for 2022 include at least 5 years of seasonality and market trends for each city or country and that it applies a special model to determine potential trends for the coming year, and then this is balanced against major anticipated developments or events, as well as intervention.
Given the potential impact of the Corona pandemic on hotel performance, this publication was prepared by Colliers, including its forecasts in 2022 for hotel occupancy in 24 sub-markets in the main hospitality markets in the Middle East and North Africa, as the major cities in these markets suffered from continued travel restrictions.
All car sheds violate law, no licenses issued, renewed since 2014
Ayed Al-Qahtani, head of the Violations Removal Department in the Hawalli Municipality Branch, said “all existing car sheds are against the law, and that licenses had been suspended since 2014, and there will be no renewal of licenses in future.
Al-Qahtani told Al-Rai the department, over a period of months, carried out extensive field tours to monitor car sheds built on state property and the team was able to significantly reduce the number of violating sheds in the Hawally governorate areas by issuing warnings, compiling a report of the violation, and then dismantling it. He explained the department is combing all areas in the governorate according to specific stages (place and time), and now “we are working on a daily basis in the Salmiya area.”
He pointed out “some people violate the law and endanger their lives, specifically those who build sheds along the fences of power transformers, in addition to infringing on government property that obstructs the work of the employees of the Ministry of Electricity and Water in the event of an emergency, noting that “it is assumed in general the cars must be parked away from power transformers by at least 4 meters.”
Al-Qahtani added that “Among the widespread violations in the governorate, some shop owners and others dared to put chains or iron barriers to prevent cars from parking in front of their stores, on the pretext that the area belongs to them, and this is an incorrect concept.
Department opens doors for Article 17 passport applicants from Sunday
The General Department of Kuwaiti Nationality and Travel Documents said it will receive from next Sunday those who apply for Article 17 passports (temporary passports) issued to the stateless persons (bedoun) in Kuwait for international travel, reports Al-Rai daily.
Al-Rai quoting sources said the applicants must book appointments through the approved government electronic platforms, be in compliance with the decisions of the Council of Ministers, and must adhere to health protocols.
Calls for DGCA to allow additional flights to beat the ‘incoming rush’
The head of the Federation of Tourism and Travel Offices, Muhammad Al-Mutairi, said the air transport market will see a sharp rise in the cost of return airfares if at least more than 50 additional flights are not introduced.
Al-Qabas quoting Al-Mutairi said this is in addition to the scheduled flights that will be landing at the Kuwait International Airport over the next few days because the spring vacation extension until early next March has put tremendous pressure on the airlines’ reservation network.
Al-Mutairi added, most people took advantage of the situation to travel abroad to spend their holidays in the absence of entertainment facilities in Kuwait, and the National Assembly gave a nod to ease travel restrictions.
He continued saying, “The great demand led to a crazy rise in the prices of travel tickets at the time of the holiday,” and called on the airlines to demand an increase in additional flights with approval from the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation.
He indicated that there will be a huge rush of holidaymakers arriving and the prices will shoot up considerably if additional flights are not given permission.
Booster dose set for those over 40 years
KUWAIT CITY, (Agencies): Health sources said the booster dose will be administered to those 40 years and above from Wednesday, and that this age group does not require a prior appointment date issued by the vaccination center, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to sources, the number of people who received the third dose until noon Tuesday, was more than 749,822 citizens and residents, indicating that the vaccinations will be given in primary care centers in a number of health areas, stressing their importance in achieving the required community immunity soon.
The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation announced that a passenger can travel and return with the same ‘PCR’ certificate issued by Kuwait if the person returns within 72 hours, reports Al-Qabas daily. The DGCA clarified on its Twitter account that the 72-hour travel period should be from the time the sample was taken to the date of registration on the flight. The Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday 3,463 COVID-19 infections, 5,203 recoveries, and one death in the last 24 hours.
The Ministry’s official spokesman Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad said the tallies for infections and recoveries hit respectively 590,565 and 538,129. Deaths went up to 2,514, said the spokesman, revealing that there were 94 patients in ICU, 474 in COVID-19 wards, and 49,922 active cases. He indicated that swabs hit 7,198,855 with 27,947 new tests carried out in the last 24 hours.
Kuwait to completely replace expats in Govt jobs by August
KUWAIT CITY, : A related decision made by the Civil Service Commission, the country’s employment agency, will be completed by August in government institutions except those of teachers, doctors and service jobs, Al Anba said, citing close government sources. In September 2017, the commission issued the decision to different government agencies to gradually reduce their numbers of non-Kuwaiti employees and complete the citizens’ employment or what is dubbed as “Kuwaitization” in five years. Foreigners account for nearly 3.5 million of Kuwait’s overall population of 4.6 million. In recent months, voices have raised in the Gulf country demanding limiting the employment of foreigners amid economic fallout from COVID-19. Kuwait has recently stepped up raids on illegal foreign residents after giving them repeated grace periods to modify their status. Around 18,000 foreigners were deported from Kuwait in various cases in 2021, according to the Interior Ministry’s figures. (gulfnews.com)
Demand for tickets shoots up; Little seats for return, rates to rise
KUWAIT CITY, : The air transport market witnessed a remarkable increase in demand for tickets to various countries after the issuance of a decision to extend the mid-year break of schools from Feb 13 to March 5, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting sources from the tourism and travel sector. Sources told the daily that the demand for tickets to Cairo, Turkey and Dubai has increased, especially among teachers.
Sources disclosed the above-mentioned decision caused confusion regarding the previous reservations; as travel agencies started receiving calls from many travelers requesting for the amendment of their reservations. Sources affirmed ticket prices are still reasonable, but there is extreme pressure in terms of the return tickets as the number of available seats is very limited. Sources said ticket prices are expected to increase remarkably on March 3, 4 and 5 when the return tickets for certain destinations, particularly Cairo, will reach KD 300.
Sources revealed some airlines have submitted a request to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to allow them to schedule additional flights during the days before the second semester starts in order to accommodate the expected volume of passengers returning to the country. Also, sources praised the intention of agencies operating at Kuwait International Airport to cancel the PCR test and corona vaccine booster dose requirements for those entering the country. Sources pointed out these requirements are additional burdens for families who spend their vacation abroad, indicating the agencies will settle for requiring arriving passengers to undergo PCR test once they are in the country rather than obligating them to obtain negative PCR test result 72 hours prior to arrival.
LuLu Hypermarket launches ‘LuLu Hala February’ promotions
LuLu Hypermarket, the retail-leader in the region, launched its annual LuLu Hala February celebrations on 1 February, with all outlets of the hypermarket decked-up in glittering lights, decorative arches, buntings and Kuwait flags.
As the month-long Hala festival coincides with celebrations to mark the National and Liberation Days during the last week of February, the artistic themes and backdrop images center around these two commemorative days.
Small and large national flags flutter everywhere, while color combinations of the flag form the tone for many of the decorations visible around the hypermarket’s outlets. Large cut-outs of iconic structures and colorful images of buildings and places in Kuwait further add to the festive ambiance.
A slew of promotions will be held throughout the month of February, starting with the ‘Voucher’ promotion on 3rd February. During this promotion, every purchase worth KD5 will enter the shopper in a draw with the chance of winning 131 gift vouchers worth a total of KD15,000.
Each week of the LuLu Hala February festival will be made even more exciting with a ‘Brand of the Week’ promotion, offering amazing discounts on products from that specific brand. In addition, there will be a ‘Product of the Day’ promotion on each day of the month-long festival, during which one specific product labeled ‘Special Deal of the Day’ will be on offer at a very special price.
From 16 February, LuLu Hypermarket outlets will feature a ‘Proudly from Kuwait’ promotion highlighting special products produced in Kuwait, including farm-fresh fruits and vegetables offered at attractive prices.
Additionally, to mark Kuwait’s 61st anniversary of National Day on 25 February, 61 exciting offers will be available right from 23 February. Also, for six days from 23 to 28 February, 600 trolley-load of purchases will be available totally free to the lucky winners of this promotion.
In addition, during the entire festival period beginning from 2 February, special discount sales will be held on select product categories, including on fashionwear, footwear, ladies bags, eye-wear, toys and accessories for babies.
The month-long LuLu Hala February festival is a continuation of the brand’s commitment to making shopping at any LuLu Hypermarket outlet an exciting and enjoyable experience throughout the year for customers.
Crown Prince urges officials to develop sporting movement in Kuwait
His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah urged Wednesday, state officials in charge of sporting activities and youth to put forth visions contributing to the development of the sporting scene and to translate such visions into a tangible reality.
This came in a speech given by His Highness the Crown Prince at Bayan Palace when receiving Minister of Public Works and State Minister for Youth Affairs Ali Al-Mosa, Deputy Director of Public Authority of Sports Sheikh Humoud Mubarak Al-Sabah, and Head of Kuwaiti Football Union Sheikh Ahmad Al-Yousef Al-Sabah.
His Highness the Crown Prince was presented with the three winning teams of His Highness’s the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Championship, with Kuwait Sporting Club at the top, Al-Qadsia Sporting Club second, followed by Al-Araby Sporting Club third.
His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah conveyed in his speech His Highness Amir’s greetings and congratulations for the three winning teams, affirming Kuwait’s leadership keenness on improving sports and aspiring to compete at regional and international levels. He further illustrated that good planning and monitoring, in all ministries and government bodies are key to attaining more achievements.
The Crown Prince also willed athletes to have honorable morals and principles, as an athlete is first a role model of ethics Attending the meeting are also Minister of Amiri Diwan Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al- Mubarak Al-Sabah, Amiri Diwan Secretary and Head of His Highness the Amir office Ambassador Ahmad Fahad Al-Fahad, and head of the Crown Prince’s office Jamal Al- Theyab.
WHO launches USD 23 billion global initiative to end COVID-19 pandemic
World leaders launched a call to end the pandemic as a global emergency in 2022 by funding the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator by USD 23 billion, a partnership of leading agencies, providing low and middle-income countries with tests, treatments, vaccines, and personal protective equipment.
The initiative, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to help countries where people are unable to receive vaccinations, PCR tests, or proper medical care when infected with the coronavirus. The initiative said that USD 16 billion out of the 23 billion are needed to support these countries, according to a release issued by the initiative.
The ACT-Accelerator called for the support of higher-income countries, at a time when vast global disparities in access to COVID-19 tools exist. It added that over 4.7 billion COVID-19 tests have been administered around the world since the beginning of the pandemic.
However, only about 22 million tests have been administered in low-income countries, comprising only 0.4 percent of the global total. ACT noted that only ten percent of people in low-income countries have received at least one vaccine dose. This massive inequity not only costs lives, but it also hurts economies and risks the appearance of new and more dangerous variants.
The ACT-Accelerator Facilitation Council آ’s Finance and Resource Mobilization Working Group, comprised of countries across income groups and chaired by Norway, has agreed on a new financing framework to help overcome this inequity. The framework sets out guidance on the آ‘fair share آ’ of financing that richer countries should each contribute to the ACTAccelerator’s global response. ‘Fair shares’ are calculated based on the size of their national economy and what they would gain from a faster recovery of the global economy and trade.
Supporting the rollout of tools to fight COVID-19 globally will help to limit virus transmission, break the cycle of variants, relieve overburdened health workers and systems, as well as saving lives. With every month of delay, the global economy stands to lose almost four times the investment the ACT-Accelerator needs, the statement added.
Recommendation to do away with PCR upon arrival
With the Omicron cases receding, the eye is now on the travel restrictions that are expected to be eased. In this context, an informed source at Kuwait International Airport said, a recommendation was recently submitted to the Ministerial Emergency Committee for Corona to cancel the negative PCR test certificate for incoming passengers.
Al-Qabas daily learned from sources explained that the recommendation includes imposing a one-week home quarantine on passengers who have taken the vaccines, arrivals, with the possibility of ending it after conducting a PCR test upon arrival that the person is infection-free, while imposing home quarantine on unvaccinated arrivals between 7 to 10 days, and the quarantine period ending after submitting a negative PCR test on the last day of quarantine period.
The source stated the proposal will be discussed by Corona Emergency Ministerial Committee and results submitted to the Council of Ministers for discussion and approval.
Asked if there is a tendency to cancel the requirement to obtain the third booster dose before traveling, the source stated that this proposal is also presented to the Corona Emergency Committee, but the initial indications confirm that it will not be adopted during the current period.
On the other hand, the source revealed that there has been a gradual increase in travel traffic during the past month, saying that the total arrivals and departures from the beginning of January to February 5 was about 780,000 passengers, including 400,000 arrivals and 380,000 departures.
Central Bank of Kuwait receives applications to establish fully digital banks
The Central Bank of Kuwait announced today that it start receiving applications for the establishment of new banks that provide their services completely digitally through a public banking license.
Al-Rai quoting the Director of the Office of Supervision Department at the Central Bank of Kuwait, Muhammad Al-Khamis, said that the deadline for receiving applications for establishing digital banks continues until June 30, and by the end of 2022 will announce the names of applicants that meet the conditions.
Al-Khamis in a video broadcast by the Central Bank of Kuwait on YouTube confirmed the bank has finished setting up a framework for digital banking “with the aim of stimulating innovation.”
He pointed out that this framework allows the provision of digital banking services according to three models of digital banking work, the first of which is digital services provided by existing banks through a banking unit within the bank.
The second model is “Banking as a Service”, a model based on a partnership between an existing bank and a digital institution that forms the front end in terms of customer relationship management and marketing activities, while the responsibilities of operations fall on the bank itself.
The third model is the fully independent digital banking model.
Kuwait cabinet okay frontliner incentives given within a month
Kuwait’s cabinet at a session on Monday agreed to hand out financial incentives to over 50,000 COVID-19 frontliners, including 1,370 illegal residents, within a month. This decision comes after the list of those entitled to the handouts, as per the directions of the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, was completed by relevant authorities. The move is currently being monitored by both His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah.
The sums will initially be distributed to the Ministry of Health followed by the Ministry of Interior, then other government bodies who were part of the endeavor, Health Minister Dr Khaled Al- Saeed told fellow ministers. Minister Al-Saeed went on to outline the country’s current COVID-19 status, describing it as “unstable” due to the rise in infections, hospitalisations and intensive care unit occupancy.
He said that the vaccination campaign for 5-11 year-olds, which started earlier this week, will initially target those vulnerable before others, going on to underline the safety and efficacy of the jabs administered by the ministry.
In their discussion of regional political affairs, the ministers expressed Kuwait’s strong condemnation and denunciation of the Houthi militia’s terrorist attack on the United Arab Emirates, after the group fired a ballistic missile at the Gulf Arab country.
Kuwait supports the UAE in any measures it takes to protect its security and stability, the ministers reiterated.
They also condemned the missile attack on Iraq’s Baghdad International Airport, expressing their rejection of all forms of violence and fundamentalism and their support of Baghdad in steps taken to ensure safety and stability.
Ministers were also briefed by Foreign Minister and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Dr Ahmad Naser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah on the results of the concluded Arab League ministerial talks in Kuwait and his recent visits to Beirut, Brussels and Washington.
Minister Sheikh Dr Ahmad’s efforts received praise from the cabinet, particularly his recent tour, which they agreed outlined Kuwait’s intention to strengthen partnerships and friendly ties with the international community, support mediation and spread peace and tolerance globally.
They also congratulated Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah, after he passed a vote of confidence following a parliamentary interpellation raised by lawmaker Hamdan Al-Azmi at the National Assembly. The talks also shed light on a Public Authority of Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources report regarding entertainment zones in the areas of Abdali in the north and Wafra in the south.
Al-Subaie files case to block ‘Netflix’ in Kuwait
Attorney Abdulaziz Al-Subaie has filed a lawsuit with the Criminal Court against the ministries of Information and Communications and Information Technology Regulatory Authority demanding to block the “Netflix” platform in Kuwait.
Al-Anba said the administrative circuit of the court has set May 25, 2022, to look into the case papers.
The plaintiff, Attorney Al-Subaie in his case papers says the platform recently produced and showed an Arab film that provoked a wave of public anger due to its call for moral decadence through several scenes, explaining that this work addresses the Arab family directly.
Al-Subaie indicated that the platform attracts young people and adolescents and aims to promote vice in the Arab world in violation of the teachings of Islam.
PCR test compulsory for arrivals; Kuwaitis can travel within 9 mnts after second dose
KUWAIT CITY, Jan : The Directorate General of Civil Aviation reiterated on its twitter account that PCR test is required for all arriving passengers, regardless of vaccination, also for Kuwaiti citizens who have been vaccinated with 2 doses can travel within 9 months after the second dose.
MOH reduces PCR test prices
KUWAIT CITY, Jan 26: The Ministry of Health approved reducing PCR examination prices for the Covid-19 test to maximum of 6 Kuwaiti dinars from Sunday 30th Jan
PAM settles for 250 dinars for renewal of residence, 500 for comprehensive health insurance
After a crisis that lasted for more than two years amid a stalemate and an exchange of responsibilities between the relevant government agencies, the Public Authority for Manpower Board of Directors, headed by Minister of Justice and Minister of State for Integrity Promotion Jamal Al-Jalawi, resolved the crisis of the non-graduate expatriates 60 years old and above by approving renewal of their work permits for a fee of 250 dinars, and comprehensive, irrevocable health insurance, issued by one of the companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, amid a welcome cooperation and consensus between Al-Jalawi and the Authority’s Director, Ahmed Al-Mousa.
Based on what was published by ‘Al-Rai’ on Dec 2, 2021 sources at the Kuwait Insurance Federation reiterated that the proposed health insurance policy required for this segment of residents will not be changed at that the annual premium per person will be 500 dinars, which means the cost of renewal of work permit for this category of people will be 750 dinars.
The insurance cover throughout the year that the person is insured is 10,000 dinars. Al-Rai learned from relevant sources that the decision will become effective as Al-Jalawi approves the decision of the Manpower Board of Directors and the issuance of work permits is likely to resume within days.
The decision excluded 3 categories: husbands and children of Kuwaiti women, foreign wives of Kuwaitis, and Palestinians who hold Palestinian documents. Al-Jalawi confirmed the decision will be reviewed after one year depending on the conditions of the labor market.
The sources revealed to Al-Rai that this category of expatriates who have private insurance in their companies do not need to issue a new health insurance, provided that the insurance company is listed on the stock exchange market. The law does not apply to domestic workers – servants, drivers or others.
The sources confirmed that the decision is limited to those currently reside in Kuwait meaning it is not applicable to those expatriates who have left the country and are willing to re-enter on a new work permit.
Kuwait removed from Spanish safe list for ‘Corona’
People traveling from Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay will not face stricter restrictions when they arrive in Spain, as these countries have been removed from the ‘safe countries list’, according to the SchengenVisaInfo.com website.
Al-Qabas quoting the website said the decision was announced by the Spanish Ministry of Health saying the new rules against these seven countries became effective Monday.
Previously, travelers who arrived in Spain from one of these seven countries were allowed to enter without the need to provide proof of vaccination or a recent PCR test.
Since Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay are no longer part of the safe list, travelers from these areas now need to present a valid vaccination certificate.
Regarding the validity of vaccination permits, travelers should note that from February 1, Spain will only recognize certificates indicating that the holder has been fully vaccinated against the virus within the last 270 days.
The official tourism website of Spain Travel Safe confirmed that “From February 1, 2022, keep in mind that you will need at least 14 days from your last dose, and no more than 270 days, since the last dose was given. From that moment on, your vaccination certificate must show the administration of the booster dose.”
This means that all those who received their last dose more than 270 days ago will have to receive an additional dose for their entry permit to be considered valid upon arrival in Spain.
In addition to the requirement to present a certificate of vaccination, everyone over the age of 12 must fill out a health control form before entering Spain. Once the form is filled out, travelers will receive a QR code, which can then be presented to the responsible authorities upon arrival.
Non-graduate 60-year-old expatriates say ‘Thank you, Kuwait of Humanity’
As soon as the Minister of Justice, Minister of State for Integrity Enhancement, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Public Authority for Manpower, Counselor Jamal Al-Jalawi, announced his decision to allow the renewal of work permits for non-graduate expatriates sixty years and above there was great joy and satisfaction among this category of workers.
Al-Qabas quoting sources said this step is not alien to the ‘Kuwait of humanity’, and pointed out many expatriates who will benefit from this decision are those who work in handicrafts, technical and mechanical workshops, in addition to industrial and other works, and it was not easy for them to leave the good land of Kuwait, where they have lived for many years, many of whom said they have lived most of their lives in Kuwait and contributed to its construction, stressing that the amendment of the decision was pleasing to hear because it gives them a sense of reassurance and stability.
The Director of the Public Relations Department, the official spokeswoman for the Public Authority for Manpower, Aseel Al-Mazeed, interacted with journalists’ questions about the date for implementing the new decision and its mechanism. She confirmed PAM will announce the date for receiving renewal requests and the mechanism to be followed in this regard.
Meanwhile, the sources said the decision will contribute to the stability of the labor market, benefit from the expertise of craftsmen and similar professions; improve Kuwait’s humanitarian image; many families will be reunited; give a boost to the national economy, and serve a lot of small businesses and projects.
Minister of Justice and Minister of State for Integrity Affairs, Counselor Jamal Al-Jalawi, resolved the issue in just one week after transferring the affiliation of the Public Authority for Manpower to his ministerial portfolio on January 18; after the issue rode a bumpy ride during the tenure of four ministers.
During the meeting of the board of directors of the authority yesterday headed by Al-Jalawi, there was satisfaction among the members who voted on the decision in the new formula approved by the minister and announced 250 dinars fee for annual renewal in addition to health insurance.
Health Insurance for expats from 2023 will be KD 130
KUWAIT CITY, : The Health Assurance Company is on its way to complete setting up its first hospital, the construction of the system is currently underway and it is expected to complete at the end of this year.
Once the operation process is completed, the Ministry of Interior will announce and raise the health insurance for expats during residence renewal to KD 130, reports Al Rai. According to the fees specified through the bid from the beginning of 2023.
Covid-19: India extends suspension on international flights till February 28
The Office of India’s Director-General of Civil Aviation has confirmed that the country will extend its suspension of international flights till February 28. “The authority has decided to extend the suspension of Scheduled International commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hrs IST of 28th February 2022,” reads an official letter. However, cargo flights and flights under air bubble arrangements will not be affected by the suspension.
Kuwait to allow entry of infected people who ended quarantine
The Directorate General of the Civil Aviation (DGCA) of Kuwait has issued a new circular to all airlines about new measures to allow the entry of arrivals who were infected outside Kuwait and ended their isolation period.
In its circular, the DGCA stipulated that vaccinated passengers have to submit a positive PCR test result certificate between a period of (7 to 28 days) prior to the date of the arrival. Meanwhile, unvaccinated passengers (only Kuwaitis) have to submit a positive PCR test result certificate between a period of (10 to 28 days) prior to the date of the arrival, it added.
The DGCA announced that the new measures will be effective as of Wednesday 00:01 am Kuwait local time with due consideration to the previous cabinet decisions regarding identifying people who are allowed to enter the country
Vaccines for children due in Kuwait very soon – Official
Vaccines against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for persons aged between five and 11 are expected to arrive in Kuwait in the coming few weeks, an official of the Ministry of Health announced on Monday.
Dr. Mustafa Redha, the MoH Undersecretary, said the department had made contracts with vaccination-producing companies to secure the doses for the age categories between five and 11 years.
He was addressing the media at Seif Palace after the weekly Cabinet session. These vaccines, accredited by international medical organizations, are expected in Kuwait in the coming few weeks, he affirmed.
Despite increasing number of infections, no desire to close airport and ports
Despite the big jump in the number of corona infections in the country from 1,482 to 2,246 in just 24 hours — the highest number since the outbreak of the ‘pandemic’, government sources said the epidemiological situation in Kuwait is good, and that an increase in infections is expected in light of the spread which is witnessed all over the world.
The sources told Al-Qabas that the decisive factor in the seriousness of the epidemic lies in the high number of deaths and intensive care cases, which are at the normal level in Kuwait. The sources explained the activity of the virus locally indicates the possibility of a continuing escalation of daily rates of infection until the beginning of next February, after which it will begin to decline gradually.
The sources added, the symptoms so far are mild, and sometimes without noticeable, and confirmed at the moment there is no desire to slap curfews or lockdowns, or closing the airport and ports.
The sources explained the increasing number of infections does not call for panic, because the occupancy in hospitals is still stable. However, if the number of people infected with the virus increases needing hospitalization, new government measures will be taken, most notably the ‘distancing’ among worshippers in mosques, distance learning and tightening the application of health protocols in closed places.
Nonetheless, the sources indicated the government is currently in the midst of accelerating the pace of giving booster dose and to vaccinate children between 5 and 11 years, which is expected to begin at the end of this month, as soon as the vaccines arrive.
The sources stressed the government will implement any recommendations that may be submitted the Corona Emergency Committee in order to control the outbreak of the epidemic in the country; while at the same time stressed the government inspection teams are determined to close any facility in case of violation of the health laws as well as ‘punish’ social media rumor mongers.
The following are expected precautionary recommendations:
Banning hookah in cafés
Applying social distancing in mosques
Back to online study
Reducing government shifts
Kuwait Municipality inspects shops to ensure implementation of health requirements
Kuwait Municipality, on Wednesday, launched its intensive campaign in various governorates to inspection the implementation of health regulation aimed at controlling the spread of coronavirus.
In the presence of Security Director in Salmiya Command, Major General Abdullah Al-Ali, health teams started their intensive tours to make sure that all shopping malls and shops were committed to health requirements imposed lately, said Head of Hawally emergency team Ibrahim Al-Saba’an in a press statement.
In Kuwait City, Head of the Violations Removal Department, at the Municipality (Capital branch), Abdullah Jaber told (KUNA) that field teams in various governorates began intensive tours to ensure the adherence to health requirements to limit the spread of the Corona virus (Covid-19). Fixed and mobile teams will be working around the clock in various malls, markets, major commercial complexes, and Souk Al Mubarakiya, he explained.
The teams will check the compliance of the shops, complexes and parallel markets with the health requirements that were issued previous decisions.
These requirements include the non-entry of unvaccinated people to major complexes, temperature measurement, wearing masks, physical distancing, and other requirements to ensure the safety of people, he noted.
He said that the checking will be according to (Immune) or (Kuwait Mobile ID) applications, to identify the status of vaccination and only allow vaccinated persons, in case of discovering the existence of non-vaccinated cases inside the complex, legal measures will be taken.
On Tuesday, administrative decision 43/2022, issued by Director-General of Kuwait Municipality Ahmed Al-Manfouhi stated that all social events in closed places would be suspended from January ninth, until February 28th in implementation of the decisions of the Council of Ministers in this regard.
PACI adds quarantine status to ‘My Mobile ID’ app
Kuwait’s Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) added an entry showing a person’s home quarantine status to their vaccination data on “My Mobile ID” ( or Hawiyati) app.
The new entry will be labelled in mauve, a PACI statement said on Monday. The move, being made in collaboration with the Ministry of Heath, falls in the framework of the relevant Cabinet decision.
During a recent emergency session, the Cabinet decided to subject new arrivals to preventive measures, including having vaccination against coronavirus (Covid-19), carrying a negative PCR test no more than 48 hours before arriving, and going into home quarantine for 10 days or having a new negative PCR after at least 72 hours from arriving.
Booster shot mandatory for travel for Kuwaiti citizens vaccinated 9 months ago
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation declared on Thursday that taking the third booster jab of the anti-coronavirus vaccination has become a condition for allowing citizens who had been vaccinated nine months ago to travel, effective January 2nd.
The directorate said in a statement addressed to airways companies operating at Kuwait International Airport that according to the Cabinet resolution and after assessing the global epidemiological status, nationals who had been vaccinated nine month ago would no longer be allowed to travel if they had not taken the booster shot.
As to travelers coming to Kuwait, no passenger will be allowed into the country unless he (she) present a PCR certificate valid for 48 hours since the examination abroad.
Arrivals are compelled to be quarantined for ten days however they are to be relieved of the isolation if they take a PCR test at least 72 hours after coming to the country proving that they are not infected.
Immunization for arrivals must be substantiated via “immunity” and “hawaiti” applications.
IDs of domestic workers to have built-in chip
The Public Authority for Civil Information announced today, Sunday, the civil ID for Article 20 residence permit holders (domestic workers) will be equipped with an electronic chip.
In a press statement PACI said the current civil ID of Article 20 visa holders do not have an electronic chip. However, the chip will be added to the IDs upon renewal of these IDs. This category of workers will continue to carry old IDs until their work permits expire.
MOI to put on hold decision to suspend expats licence transactions
MP Abdulla Al Tarji has tweeted that MOI will put on hold a decision taken to suspend expats driving licence transaction until a proper study has been conducted.
The MP said that the Minister of Interior has assured him that the decision has been put on hold until further notice.
Earlier the MOI had formed a technical committee under the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, Lieutenant-General Faisal Al-Nawaf, to place a ‘block’ on all driving licenses to prevent renewal or replacement for lost license for all residents which is what it makes those whose licenses expired vulnerable to violation and legal problems in case of a traffic accident.
The expatriates would have to wait for the procedures to be adopted as the committee looked into the issue of driving licenses to sort out who are eligible to have the license and who are not,
Moreover, the issue was linked electronically with the concerned government agencies, a crisis that would have restricted expatriates, especially those whose licenses have expired to have access to driving licenses, in addition to making them prone to legal problems.
Informed sources have warned that “the decision would cause a new crisis or rather complete paralysis and will affect all sectors including the hospitals and clinics, project engineers in charge of projects and technicians working on government projects in addition to causing huge financial losses and economic paralysis at the private and civil sector levels especially since a majority of workers had obtained driving licenses according to conditions set by the Ministry of Interior, which needs immediate treatment and a quick decision to remedy the risks resulting from taking such instructions.
The sources pointed out that “the instructions issued to the directors of traffic departments in the governorates stipulate to start withdrawing licenses from expatriates who obtained them illegally, starting from the 26th of this month, after the completion of the automated link between the Manpower and Residence Affairs Authority and the information systems in the Ministry of Interior.
The sources said, “The committee was continuing to address the defect and end the problem of traffic congestion in the country, by reorganizing the granting of driving licenses to those who meet the conditions. Those who do not meet the conditions will have a block placed on the license and withdrawn, and violators will be expelled from the country.”
The sources stated “this decision, which was taken to control traffic congestion and to tighten the issue of driving licenses, has faced a lot of criticism, as it is illogical to implement a regulatory decision that causes harm to expatriates and some citizens who have drivers at home who drive children to schools.”
Ministerial Resolution No. 5598/2014 issued on Nov 25, 2014 states that a non-Kuwaiti applicant for a private or public driving license:
1 – Must have obtained a legal residence permit in the country for at least two years.
2 – His monthly salary should not be less than 600 dinars.
3 – Must have a university degree.
Exception for all conditions
1 – The Kuwaiti wife and his foreign widow or his foreign divorcee and has children from him.
2 – The husbands of Kuwaiti women and their children who are foreigners.
3 – Illegal residents holding valid security cards.
4 – Students enrolled in a university or an applied institute inside Kuwait.
5 – Members of diplomatic corps.
6 – Professional players in sports clubs and federations in government agencies.
7 – Drivers and delegates (general delegate, passports and affairs delegate) and they have valid licenses.
8 – Servant, working for the sponsor for a period of no less than 5 years, provided that the profession is changed to a driver.
9 – Technicians specialized in oil fields in oil companies.
10 – Pilots, captains and their assistants.
11 – Nurses, physiotherapists and technicians of medical professions.
12 – Washers of the dead.
13 – Housewives if they have children and their spouses from the following categories — the judiciary, members of the Public Prosecution Office, advisors and experts; faculty members in universities and institutes; doctors and pharmacists; general managers and their assistants.”
7 categories excluded from ‘residence’ and ‘salary cap’
1 – Judges, members of the Public Prosecution Office and advisors
2 – Faculty members in universities and applied institutes.
3 – Journalists and media professionals.
4 – Doctors and pharmacists.
5- Researchers of all their names, jurists, translators, librarians and imams of mosques working in government agencies.
6 – Teachers, social workers and engineers.
7 – Sports coaches working in sports federations and clubs in government agencies.
However, the driver’s or representative’s license is canceled when residence permit expires or change in profession. A new license is not granted until after two years and with new procedures.
The license is canceled when changing the profession to a profession not covered by the decision.
All driving licenses issued to non-Kuwaitis are valid according to the length of stay.
Sixty-year-olds on temporary residency will forfeit right to return if they leave
The Ministry of Interior grants temporary work permits of one to three months to non-graduate expatriates 60 years and above until a solution is found to the ‘issue’.
Security sources told Al-Rai the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) continues to reject requests for renewal of work permits from this category of expatriates until the government finds a solution.
The sources pointed out instructions have been issued by the Minister of Interior and his Undersecretary to grant temporary residence permits for this category of workforce on humanitarian considerations until the government finds a solution.
The sources cautioned those holding temporary residence permits not to travel saying they will be barred entry if they leave.
Travel reservations making strong comeback despite Omicron, openness has reached 70%
Travel plans for Christmas and New Year holidays appear unperturbed even in the face of the new variant of the Covid-19 mutant Omicron as the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has confirmed there are no new restrictions on travel and said, what he called, ‘openness’ has reached 70 percent.
Sources told Al-Jarida that the tourism and travel market has absorbed the risks of ‘Omicron’, and there is no need to worry, especially in light of the measures taken by the government and health authorities and Kuwait acquiring vast experience in dealing with the virus.
With reduced fears about the danger of ‘Omicron’, the pace of travel reservations for the Christmas and New Year holidays has returned to its previous levels, say specialists in the tourism and travel sector, adding people continue to book for travel and have shown almost zero desire for cancellations. The travel sources said more than 10 days have passed, and it appears people have absorbed the fears with government authorities sounding no cause for alarm.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Travel and Tourism Offices, Muhammad Al-Mutairi, said that the last three days saw an increase in reservations, stressing that things are going for the better and have become almost normal.
Al-Mutairi added the ticket prices are moderate, and travelers have begun to book their vacations, expecting that things will be fine during the coming period.
Reliable sources told the daily the most preferred holiday destinations are London, Turkey, Riyadh, Jeddah and Dubai.
Licenses renewal on; Ban violated
KUWAIT CITY, Dec : Despite the Municipal Council’s demand to implement Shops Regulation Article No. 8 of 2015 to stop the activity of offices and shops selling, displaying and renting cars in investment and commercial areas, the Kuwait Municipality tours discovered the Ministry of Commerce continues to renew the licenses, reports Al-Jarida daily. The Municipality added the head of the emergency team department of its Hawalli branch Ibrahim Al-Saba’an administratively closed 6 such offices, and issued 13 violations for various reasons in the Salmiya and Hawalli districts over the past week.
Al-Saba’an told the several violations were issued for exploiting shops for purposes other than the purpose for which licenses are given. He indicated some shops which buy, sell and rent cars in the investment areas do not have the license to carry out the business. The license they hold, although is renewed and valid, is issued for a different activity. Meanwhile, the Kuwait Oil Company has announced 15 diploma holders Kuwaitis have been hired as part of the announcement made by the company to employ this category of national workers in the technical fields, reports Al-Anba daily
Low airfares to and from Kuwait
The prices of airline tickets to and from Kuwait have relatively stabilized following calm on the ‘Omicron’ front in this part of the world.
The cost of tickets, especially for the incoming flights almost doubled last week over fears the Covid-19 mutant Omicron may force the authorities to close the airport to prevent the virus from entering Kuwait,
The director of one of the travel offices told the daily with the beginning of this week, the prices of tickets have relatively stabilized.
No curfews, flight bans, but vigilance raised against Omicron
Health and security authorities at Kuwait International Airport (KIA) are taking full precautionary measures to ensure that all inbound passengers landing at the airport are free of COVID-19 virus or any of its variants.
The extra wariness follows instructions issued by the Council of Ministers during its extraordinary meeting last Monday to take all necessary steps to reduce the risk of reemergence of the coronavirus or its mutant forms in the country.
Meanwhile, the Director of Ahmadi Health District, Dr. Ahmed Al-Shatti, said that though the situation in the country is reassuring and there are currently no plans on imposing curfews or travel bans, people still needed to adhere to all precautionary measures recommended by the health authorities. He added there was also the need to exert extra vigilance and initiate preventive measures at the country’s land border crossings, as well as at sea and air ports.
As part of precautionary measures, Kuwait has banned all commercial flights from nine African countries, while new precautionary and preventive steps at the health and logistical levels have been initiated at all entry points to Kuwait. The aim is to prevent the entry of anyone infected with COVID-19 virus in general, and the mutant strain ‘Omicron’ in particular.
Additionally, the General Administration of Residency Affairs at Ministry of Interior is said to be studying the possibility of stopping the issuance of entry and tourist visas to people from countries where the Omicron variant has been detected.
A health official said maintaining this situation is the biggest challenge, since the World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested that border closures are not the best option to contain the new mutant. The WHO recommended that preventive measures are currently sufficient, especially in countries where the vaccination rate has increased to about 80 percent, such as in Kuwait.
The official reiterated that the intensification of health control at the entry points would prevent the emergence of the mutant strain in Kuwait. Pointing out that demand for a third booster dose from residents and citizens has increased significantly in recent days, the official said a third dose would enhance societal immunity against the emerging strains.
Health authorities are also said to be contemplating reducing the time needed for a third booster dose from the current six months to just three months. The third dose is especially important to certain categories of adults, such as those with chronic diseases, immunodeficiency patients, and adults in general.
Pressure on the health system has decreased significantly in recent weeks, as hospital wards are currently devoid of COVID-19 cases, and ‘zero deaths’ have become the norm each day. However, December could be a real test in view of the emergence of the ‘Omicron ‘ variant, which is currently being screened for by using a standard PCR test.
Airport authorities have also banned entry to expatriates coming from some African countries,whether they arrive directly or through other countries, unless they spend at least 14 days in a third country.
These WhatsApp features are available only on Apple iPhones
WhatsApp rolls out updates with new features and bug fixes regularly for its app on various platforms. Although the app works in quite a similar manner on iOS, Android and Windows users, there are a few features that are only available to Apple iPhone users. However it can not be said that these features will remain exclusive to iOS only. For those who are unaware, we have compiled a list of features that are only available to iPhone users.
*Message preview without sending read receipts
Apple iPhone users can see preview of a message received from any user or a group. Users just have to tap and hold on the conversation to see the preview. With this feature, users can see the message without sending receipts even when it has been removed from the notification panel.
*Keep images, videos and GIFs in phone’s gallery that other people deleted for everyone
When any other WhatsApp user deletes a message for everyone, the media file that is attached with the message is also deleted even if it is saved in the gallery. But if an iPhone user has downloaded a media file from a message, deleting the message doesn't remove the file from the phone.
*Blur images using the drawing editor
Before sending an image to someone, iPhone users can blur the whole image or a limited section of the image that they don't want to reveal. The blur effect can be added in the drawing editor that appears before sending any media file.
*Play voice notes without triggering played receipts
Apple iPhone users can play voice notes without sending the blue ticks if it's turned on. Users can play the voice note directly from the notification. Once the user long presses on the message in the notification panel, the option to play the voice note appears.
*Cropping videos before sharing
Before sending a video to someone, iPhone users can crop or resize the video after uploading it from the iPhone’s gallery.
Omicron: Kuwait rules out curfew
Kuwait is not considering imposing a total or partial curfew amid growing global concerns over the spread of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, a senior official was quoted as saying.
“It is necessary to continue complying with health and preventive measures to maintain the stable epidemiological situation in Kuwait,” the ministerial source added, according to Al Rai newspaper.
So far, Kuwaiti authorities have said that the new strain has not been detected in the country, and have suspended flights from nine African nations.
The health scene is stable in Kuwait, the government spokesman Tareq Al Mazrem said Wednesday evening.
He added that all people in the country can get a booster shot against COVID-19 without prior appointments provided that six months have elapsed since they obtained the second dose of vaccination.
“This step is important to boost immunity and get better protection against infection,” he said in media remarks.
The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry this week urged citizens against travelling abroad unless necessary. In recent months, Kuwait has seen a marked decline in virus infection rates attributed to quick-paced mass vaccination.
Omicron ‘confuses’ New Year travel plans in Kuwait
The announcement of the new Covid-19 mutant “Omicron” on Nov 28, has so far forced about 20% of the residents of Kuwait to either change or cancel altogether their New Year travel plans to all destinations citing uncertainty how the Kuwaiti authorities will react to fears of this virus spreading.
As for the new travel reservations for the New Year holidays, Al-Rai daily quoting sources indicated the demand for travel to Turkey is very weak and the same can be said of Cairo, while high ticket prices to Dubai are dampening the appetite of travelers.
In a related context, the sources said the tourism and travel offices in Kuwait reported a rise in the sales of about 115 percent from January to September 2021, compared to the same period in 2020, which was KD 101 million.
The sources confirmed the trend of sales was upward from January to September 2021 due to the easing of travel restrictions and the start of a gradual return to normalcy to the pre-Corona period although the sales are comparatively weak compared to corresponding period in 2019 which was 308 million dinars.
The tourism sources indicated the market began to regain its activity and recover from the effects of “Corona”, with travelers adapting to the new requirements imposed by the pandemic expecting sales figures to return to what they were before “Corona” in 2023 but ‘Omicron’ has put a dent in all expectations.
The number of travel offices in Kuwait has reached 430 and the monthly losses during the height of “Corona” from sales were approximately KD 34 million.
Nonetheless, sources say “Omicron” has so far not yet affected the travel sector in Kuwait, as there are strict procedures, and a majority of the people in Kuwait have been vaccinated, travel almost all over the world has been restricted to those who have not taken the jabs and PCR test has been made mandatory.
No curfews planned yet – ‘No omicron in Kuwait’
KUWAIT CITY, Dec , (Agencies): Coinciding with the increased level of health preparedness based on the accumulated experience in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, Kuwait is moving towards closing the first gate to prevent the infiltration of the Omicron variant, following its arrival in neighboring countries, by imposing restrictions on granting of tourist visas, especially for those coming from some of the countries where this variant has been detected, reports Al-Rai daily. According to a senior ministerial source, there is currently no plan to impose a ban – either total or partial – in the country.
Director of the Ahmadi Health Zone Dr. Ahmed Al-Shatti stressed the need to continue adhering to health requirements, preventive measures, and scrutiny of land, air and sea entries. At the same time, he highlighted that the situation is reassuring, and that the numbers convey a message of safety and reassurance.
In statements to KUNA following a meeting of the ministerial coronavirus emergency committee, Head of the Center for Government Communication and the Government Spokesperson Tareq Al-Mezrem urged citizens and residents to take the booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine and to abide by the relevant health requirements. He added that the coronavirus committee would continue its meetings to follow up and reassess the situation after reports about the detection of the Omicron variant in the region and the world.
At the advent of the meeting, Minister of Health Sheikh Dr. Basel Al- Sabah updated the committee about the coronavirus situation in Kuwait, Al- Mezrem said. Dr. Basel assured the committee that the situation is stable thanks to the efforts exerted by the Health ministry and all government ministries and bodies to implement the cabinet decisions and recommendations to counter the coronavirus spread. Al-Mezrem pointed out that the committee also reviewed the reports from other government bodies about their views of the situation and assessment of the public abidance by health measures.
The government spokesperson called on all citizens and residents to abide by coronavirus preventive measures, especially wearing facemasks and taking the vaccine. He pointed out that fully vaccinated people can get the booster shot at the vaccination centers without prior appointments. This is an important step for increasing people protection from the virus and retaining the stability of the health situation in the country, he concluded. Field teams of departments partaking in the combat against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will re-examine adherence to warranted procedures at various facilities in line with the approach to safeguard Kuwait’s health status, an official announced on Thursday.
Ahmad al-Manfouhi, the deputy chairperson of the main committee for overseeing implementation of the COVID-19 related conditions and Kuwait Municipality Director General, said in a statement to KUNA that the higher commission is following up on reports and declarations from regional and foreign countries about developments related to the new coronavirus strain, Omicron.
According to informed security sources, the Ministry of Interior issued only about 1,200 tourist visas in a week. The maximum daily requests have been set at 600 only. Entitled The majority of these visa holders are passport holders of the 53 countries from which citizens are entitled to enter the country via a tourist visa, as well as some residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in specific professions.
The sources said, “After the emergence of the Omicron mutant, the General Department for Residency Affairs has been studying the need for strictness in granting tourist visas to citizens of some countries where infections with the Omicron variant were detected.”
Saudi Arabia had announced earlier this week that it had detected the first case of the Omicron variant in a citizen who arrived from a North African country. In this regard, health sources stressed the need to avoid panicking in light of several reassuring data, most notably the fact that the rate of vaccination with two doses reached more than 80 percent in the country. His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al- Hamad Al-Sabah on Thursday assured the people of Kuwait that the health situation in the country is stable with no spillover of the new coronavirus strain, Omicron.
The health condition in the State of Kuwait is stable “however we have been following up with utter concern (on developments concerning) the new variant that preoccupied the world over the past days and spilled over to some Gulf states,” His Highness the prime minister said. He was speaking to reporters during a visit he paid to Al- Udaire’ army base. There has been not a single case of Omicron in Kuwait, he affirmed, noting that the situation is being closely monitored by the Ministry of Health and the Supreme Emergency Committee of the Coronavirus.
Precautions in place prevent any nonvaccinated person from entering the country, he said, noting that PCR tests have proven effective to stem spillover of the virus to the country. The pandemic situation in the Kuwait is stable, the government affirmed Monday, but urged the public to remain vigilant after the emergence of new coronavirus variant, known as Omicron, in several countries.
No plans of imposing total or partial curfew in Kuwait
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 1: A senior ministry source stated that there are no plans of implementing partial or total curfew in Kuwait related to Omicron coronavirus mutant, reports Al Rai. The sources stated to continue adhering to health requirement and take preventive measures to maintain stability of epidemiological situation in Kuwait
Government working on ‘dealing’ with miners of virtual currencies
Devices said being operated in abandoned homes
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 1: Regarding the government’s recent moves to deal with the issue of mining the digital currency “Bitcoin” and besieging encrypted virtual currencies locally in the absence of a law preventing or criminalizing them, informed sources revealed that a governmental study prepared in this regard concluded that there is a major scenario that the “miners” resort to in Kuwait, which is operating their devices in abandoned homes, especially in some areas of private housing due to the low value of the electric tariff, reports Al- Rai daily.
The sources said, “Users of coin-mining devices disconnect some of the cooling devices in the house in order not to draw attention to the unusually high consumption of electrical energy, and to use the amount of current saved from turning off the air-conditioning devices, which is also known to consume high amounts of electricity. According to the government’s understanding in this regard, the Ministry of Electricity and Water is due to work on increasing control over consumption indicators, especially in areas where there are abandoned homes. In the event of any warnings indicating that electricity consumption from these homes may be a cause for concern, those in charge will inform the concerned officials in the Ministry of Interior to take appropriate measures, to deal with the seized devices if any, and refer them to the Public Prosecution with those responsible for the property”.
The sources revealed that the Ministry of Electricity and Water, few months ago, had worked on tracking some of the rental properties where electricity was used to mine digital currencies, adding that the ministry cut off the power to one of the houses after discovering an unjustified rise in consumption and the existence of manipulation in the extensions that supply the high consumption trading devices without reflecting it in the electricity meters. In another development, while the competent authorities in the Ministry of Education are keen on solving the school cleaners crisis by recruiting 2,100 cleaning workers under the fixed salary contract; the ministry encountered another problem as the recruitment conditions have not been met although more than 3,500 individuals have applied so far, reports Al-Jarida daily quoting sources. Sources disclosed most of the applicants hold high school certificates or higher, but the requirement for this job is an average degree or lower, which means the committee tasked to evaluate applicants will not accept them. Sources said only 350 applicants met the conditions so far; so the ministry has not recruited the required number of cleaners until now, unless an exception is applied.
Saudi Arabia confirms first case of Omicron variant coming from North Africa
The new Covid variant carries a ‘very high’ risk of infection surges and has triggered global alarm with border closures.
Saudi Arabia confirmed its first case of the Omicron Covid-19 variant coming from a north African country, SPA reported on Wednesday.
SPA, quoting a statement from the kingdom’s health ministry, said authorities had isolated the person and people who were in contact with them.
It is the first Omicron variant case reported in the Middle East and North Africa. The ministry said the person was a Saudi national who had travelled from a North African country, without giving further details.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday that the heavily mutated Omicron coronavirus variant was likely to spread internationally and poses a very high risk of infection surges that could have “severe consequences” in some places.
‘Calm down, no need to change dates’
Return tickets to Kuwait go down
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 30: The prices of return tickets to Kuwait finally absorbed the shock of the emergence of the African Coronavirus variant ‘Omicron’, as the prices have started to go down to the KD200 level as a result of the government’s reassurance that it does not intend to close the airport or the borders, reports Al-Anba daily quoting sources from the travel and tourism sector. Sources told the daily that ticket prices began to decrease for those traveling in the next few days, but these prices remain relatively high compared to the prices before the announcement of the emergence of the ‘Omicron’ variant. Sources disclosed the prices of tickets for those coming from Cairo, Egypt are as follows depending on the day of travel: KD181 for Tuesday, KD158 for Wednesday, KD116 for Thursday, KD107 for Friday and KD97 for Saturday — almost 50 percent decrease in five days.
Movement at the Kuwait International Airport remains unchanged despite the news of new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’. Outgoing and incoming traffic continues. It seems like the price of tickets has withstood the shock of emergence of the African variant.
Sources expect the prices to continue to decline during the coming period until they return to the normal level in accordance with the law on supply and demand. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Tourism and Travel Offices Muhammad Al-Mutairi said the emergence of any new variant of the virus should not be met with closures; as it happened in the past, especially since all countries including Kuwait, already acquired vast experience in dealing with the crisis for a period of two years.
Al-Mutairi indicated that the statement of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali regarding the closure and movement at the airport is a message of reassurance and a clear government announcement that dealing with any of the Corona variants will be according to a strategy which takes into account all health and economic dimensions. He called on all citizens and expatriates to calm down and refrain from rushing to change their travel dates or make new reservations — earlier than the date of return so the demand for travel does not increase within a certain period as this usually leads to ticket price hikes.
KD 15 fine for not carrying driving license?
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 30: The General Traffic Department (GTD) in the Interior Ministry had earlier announced that presenting the digital driving license in the ‘My Identity’ application without the original license is a violation of the law, reports Al-Rai daily. The GTD also pointed out that those who do not carry their license while driving are fined KD15.
However, the Public Relations and Security Media General Department later retracted the above mentioned announcement; affirming “the electronic driving license has been approved and it is considered a driving license issued by GTD. This is within the framework of realizing the e-government vision and implementation of the decision of the Council of Ministers to adopt the ‘My Identity’ application. GTD fully supports all electronic procedures aimed at easing the online processing of transactions for citizens and expatriates.”
Kuwait Foreign Ministry urges citizens to comply with procedures due to new variant
Kuwait Foreign Ministry Tuesday called on citizens to abide by Cabinetآ‘s decision related to the mutated COVID19 virus (Omicron). The ministry urged the nationals to avoid travel except for necessity in order to preserve their safety to confront new mutant Omicron virus.
It also called on Kuwaitis abroad to fully comply with health requirements and the measures taken by countries to confront the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. The ministry also called upon those abroad to communicate with the Kuwaiti diplomatic missions for any assistance.
Kuwait applies strict health measures for inbound passengers
The Kuwait International Airport resembled a beehive with all concerned authorities not leaving anything for chance and taking all precautionary health measures to ensure all inbound passengers arriving from all countries are free of any kind of Covid-19 variant.
This comes in implementation of the instructions issued by the Council of Ministers during its extraordinary meeting Monday.
As the country has slapped a ban on commercial flights from 9 African countries, the airport, and other land and sea ports are adopting new steps at the health and logistical levels, to prevent the entry of anyone infected with Corona virus in general, and with the mutant “Omicron” in particular.
A health official said maintaining this situation is the biggest challenge when the World Health Organization confirmed that closure is not the best solution to contain the new mutant, but said preventive measures are currently sufficient, especially in countries where the vaccination rate has increased to about 80%, such as Kuwait.
The official reiterated that the intensification of health control at the entry points would prevent the emergence of mutants in Kuwait, pointing out that the demand of citizens and residents for the third booster dose increased significantly during the past days, which enhances the societal immunity against the emerging strains.
He stated that the pressure on the health system decreased a lot, as hospital wards are devoid of Corona cases, and “zero deaths”, considering that next December is the real test against “Omicron”, indicating that the PCR examination is sufficient at the moment to detect infections.
The government has confirmed that the health conditions in the country are reassuring, and that Kuwait is so far safe from the mutant “Omicron”.
The source told Al-Qabas that the airport’s agencies continue to implement the decision to prevent entry to non-Kuwaitis coming from some African countries, whether they come directly or through other countries unless they reside outside those countries for at least 14 days.
He pointed out that the sectors have raised the degree of their health and logistical preparations to follow up the movement of arrivals to the country, explaining that there is round-the-clock communication with the health authorities to monitor the repercussions of the mutated “Omicron”.
Precautionary health measures continue to be taken to confront the mutated “Omicron”, amid regional alert and rapid spread, and the suspension of some commercial flights from some countries.
He pointed out that increasing health awareness among large segments of society plays an important role in avoiding infection by the virus saying the third dose at this time is of paramount importance for some segments, such as those with chronic diseases, immunodeficiency patients, and adults in general.
The source indicated that, according to recently published reports on the mutant, the increase in hospital admission rates in some countries in which “Omicron” appeared may be due to the increase in the total number of people infected with the virus there, and not necessarily due to the mutant, stressing the importance of continuing the PCR examinations at the outlets to detect any new infections coming to the country and take preventive measures towards them.
One-way air ticket prices to Kuwait decline gradually after short-live travel ‘uncertainty’
The return ticket to Kuwait prices which initially shot up following the emergence of the African Corona virus mutation ‘Omicron’, gradually decreased after government sources reassured the travelers that it does not intend to close the airport or the land borders.
Sources in the travel and tourism sector told Al-Anba the prices have begun to gradually decrease for the next few days, but they remain relatively high compared to the prices that were available before the announcement of ‘Omicron’.
The sources indicated the prices of tickets for one-way Cairo-Kuwait in particular ranged between 181 dinars on Tuesday, 158 dinars on Wednesday, 116 dinars on Thursday, and 107 dinars on Friday, and 97 dinars last Saturday, witnessing a systematic decrease over the past 5 days.
The sources expect the cost of ticket to continue to decline over the next few days and return to their normal face.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Tourism and Travel Offices, Muhammad Al-Mutairi, said the emergence of any new mutant of the Corona virus should not be met with closures, as happened in the past, especially since all countries of the world, including Kuwait, have had enough experience from what they have experienced over the two years course, which qualifies them to deal with any developments.
Al-Mutairi called on the travelers not to panic and not to change their travel plans saying the statement issued by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali regarding the movement at the airport is a message of reassurance and a clear government announcement that dealing with any of the Corona variables will be according to a strategy that takes into account all health and economic dimensions at the same time.
MOI retracts earlier decision on ‘My Identity’ driving license
The Public Relations and Security Media Department of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) has retracted its announcement on the issue of carrying the driving license on the ‘My Identity’ application.
Earlier the ministry had said not carrying the original driver’s license and merely presenting the ‘digital’ vehicle driving license on ‘My Identity’ application was a violation of the law and the motorist was liable to pay KD 15 fine.
The officer at the Traffic Information and Awareness Department, Major Abdullah Abu Hassan, had said during an interview on Kuwait TV last Thursday that there is confusion among citizens about carrying the driver’s license on the ‘My ID’ application was a violation punishable by law under Article 36 (Paragraph 4) with a fine of KD 1.
He has said failure to carry a driver’s license was a traffic violation as well as an obstruction to the procedures of the security officer in the event of a violation that requires the withdrawal of the driver’s license, and therefore the (paper) driving license must be carried.
In a statement issued Sunday, the Public Relations and Security Media Department at the Ministry of Interior stated that “in the framework of achieving the future vision of the e-government and in implementation of the Cabinet’s decision to adopt My Identity application, the electronic driving license is valid and is treated as a driver’s license issued by the General Traffic Department that supports all electronic procedures that make it easier for citizens and residents to complete their transactions electronically.
‘Omicron’ ignites ticket to Kuwait; Expats on holiday scramble for return
KUWAIT CITY, Nov : The emergence of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron has ignited the cost of return tickets to Kuwait by almost double on Saturday, November 27 (equivalent to 190 percent) from KD 100 and less for a full return trip during the past days, reports Al-Anba daily. According to sources familiar with the developments of the travel and tourism market, there is an increasing demand by expatriates to reschedule their tickets to closer dates in order to return to Kuwait, specifically on the flights available in the coming few days of this month and the beginning of next month. Many expatriates have decided to shorten their annual vacations and return to Kuwait for fear of the repercussions of any precautionary measures that might be taken by the health authorities that would limit their ability to enter Kuwait again, like what happened during the early days of the pandemic last year.
The prices of flight tickets from Kuwait to all the destinations from Kuwait International Airport are still at their normal rates, which start from KD 25 for a ticket in economy class. However, the prices of direct return tickets have increased by more than 180 percent especially from the countries from where most expatriates return such as Egypt. In this regard, the Director General of Bash Travel and Tourism Agency Muhammad Al-Bashir said, “The news circulating in the last several hours concerning the Omicron variant have prompted many countries around the world to suspend their flights to and from the countries where this variant has emerged. This has angered many people. Expatriates, for fear of a repeat of the suspension of commercial flights and their prevention from entering the country, have started changing their travel dates to return to Kuwait before any measures are taken in the face of this new variant of COVID-19. Many travel and tourism offices in Kuwait have started receiving requests from their customers, who had booked earlier, for changing their return dates to make it at an earlier date and opportunity. This has created a high demand for flight schedules for the remaining days of this month, raising the price of the return trip from the average KD 69 to more than KD 200 for a ticket.”
Al-Bashir indicated that flights from Kuwait to all destinations are still available at normal prices. He said, “If Kuwait takes any new measures or imposes travel restrictions that will affect return prices from destinations other than the destinations from where residents come, it will change the behavior of travelers again, and may raise the prices of return tickets from all destinations from where they are coming.” Meanwhile, informed sources from the aviation, and travel and tourism sectors said they expect an increase in the demand for early travel to Kuwait during the next few days, especially if there is an increase in the infection rates and the precautionary measures followed globally due to the new COVID-19 variant. They revealed that a number of expatriates affirmed that they have already started changing their return schedule to Kuwait out of fear of four main aspects:
1- Previous experience: Kuwait was one among the strictest countries in its precautionary health measures which included the ban on the entry of expatriates for a long time.
2- Maintaining jobs: Many expatriates are trying to return quickly and join their work again in order to hold on to their jobs and continue their income.
3- Transit: Many expatriates do not want a repeat of the experience of staying in transit countries for 14 days, which may turn out to be longer, as seen previously.
4- The high cost: Many expatriates believe that it is better to bear the high cost of the travel tickets in the coming days instead of bearing a higher cost in case the same precautionary measures of the past are taken.
In such a case, the cost would become much higher, and they may not be able to afford it at the time, especially with the increased chances of their income being cut off.
PCR tests effective in detection of ‘Omicron’: WHO
The World Health Organization has announced that PCR tests are still effective in detecting the new mutant of the Corona virus ‘Omicron’ saying studies are underway to measure the effectiveness of other tools in use to detect infection with the disease. However, the Al-Rai daily quoting sources said, no new mutant has caused such concern around the world, since the emergence of the mutant ‘Delta’. The World Health Organization does not yet know whether the Omicron is more easily transmitted than other mutants.
15 more countries recognise India’s vaccination certificate: MEA
As many as fifteen more countries have recognised India’s Covid-19 vaccination certificate, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed late on Thursday.
“Mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccination certificates continues! Fifteen more recognitions for India’s vaccination certificate,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.
“Mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccination certificates with India: Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Palestine, Philippines, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine,” MEA said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had said that nearly 100 countries have agreed to the Mutual Acceptance of vaccination certificates of India’s Covid vaccines and vaccination process.
India’s Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had said the government is in communication with the rest of the world so that beneficiaries of the world’s largest Covid vaccination program gets accepted and recognized, thereby easing travel for education, business and tourism purposes.
The Health Ministry along with the MEA is in continuous communication with all countries for mutual recognition of vaccine certificates, and WHO and nationally approved vaccines to facilitate hassle-free international travel across countries.
United Nations voices concern about Kuwait’s ban on renewing work permits of ‘60s’
The United Nations Committee in Kuwait recommended the necessity of increasing the inspection capacity to monitor working conditions within companies to ensure the effective implementation of the sanctions imposed on perpetrators of violations against labor rights.
The Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations Committee has expressed its concern about the administrative decision recently issued by the Public Authority for Manpower to ban the issuance of work permits to those aged 60 years and above who hold high school diplomas or below and its equivalent.
The committee also expressed concern about the continued violation of the rights of expatriate workers, in addition to continuing to punish absconding workers, which exposes them to abuse and forced labor.
During its concluding observations on Kuwait’s third periodic report, a copy of which was obtained by the Al-Jarida daily, the committee recommended the need to repeal the aforementioned decision (banning the renewal of residence permits for people of 60 years), in addition to taking the necessary legislative measures to abolish the punishment for ‘absconders’ and ensure their economic, social and cultural rights are protected.
It also recommended the need to raise the inspection capacity to monitor working conditions within companies to ensure the effective implementation of sanctions imposed on perpetrators of violations against labor rights and facilitate their access to courts, the judiciary and other dispute settlement institutions.
With regard to domestic workers, the Committee expressed its concern about the continued exploitation and abuse by business owners (sponsors) of these workers, as well as the failure to protect them with the purpose for which they were set, recommending the need to take the necessary measures to ensure the protection of the rights of migrant domestic workers and the imposition of deterrent penalties on business owners who violate the regulating legislation and inflicting effective deterrent penalties against them, in addition to the need to remove obstacles and barriers for such workers to access courts and judicial bodies, and to raise awareness among the public in general and employment of the articles of Law (68/2015) regarding domestic workers, and to ensure the effective regulation of the work of recruitment and employment agencies and monitoring them to prevent the exploitation of labor, as well as harmonizing the laws of domestic workers and work in the private sector with regard to working hours, salaries and sick leaves, and ratifying the International Labor Organization Convention on Domestic Workers No. 189/2011.
The Committee recommended that Kuwait reconsider ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
Non-discrimination should ensure that no one is left behind, as well as encourage the involvement of NGOs and other members of civil society in follow-up to concluding observations and in the national consultation process prior to the submission of their next periodic report.
In accordance with the procedures for following up on concluding observations adopted by the Committee, Kuwait is required to provide, within 24 months, of the adoption of these observations, information on the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations, as well as submit its next periodic report in accordance with Article 16 of the Covenant by the end of October 2024, unless it is notified otherwise due to a change in the review cycle, and in accordance with General Assembly resolution 68/268.
Will Kuwait close its borders?
Kuwait City: Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al Ali Al Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Chairman of the Corona Emergency Committee, has assured that Kuwait will not close the international airport or any of the country's borders. He made the remarks after a meeting of the Corona Emergency Committee. After this he responded .. At present the health condition of the country is much better. Hamad Jaber Al Ali Al Sabah added that this is due to the efforts of our heroes in the Ministry of Health.
Omicron variant detected in more countries as scientists race to find answers
Thirteen cases found in Netherlands, couple arrested
S.African doctor says Omicron patients have ‘very mild’ symptoms
Israel announces it is barring foreigners for two weeks
Fauci says Americans must be prepared to fight spread
Biden due to give update on U.S. response on Monday
The Omicron coronavirus variant spread around the world on Sunday, with new cases found in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia even as more countries imposed travel restriction to try to seal themselves off.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was not yet clear whether Omicron, first detected in Southern Africa, is more transmissible than other variants, or if it causes more severe disease.
“Preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of specific infection,” WHO said.
It said understanding the level of severity of Omicron “will take days to several weeks”.
The detection of Omicron triggered global alarm as governments around the world scrambled to impose new travel curbs and financial markets sold-off, fearing the variant could resist vaccinations and upend a nascent economic reopening after a two-year global pandemic.
In its statement, the WHO said it was working with technical experts to understand the potential impact of the variant on existing countermeasures against COVID-19, including vaccines. Britain said it will convene an urgent meeting of G7 health ministers on Monday to discuss the developments.
Dutch health authorities said 13 cases of the variant were found among people on two flights that arrived in Amsterdam from South Africa on Friday. Authorities had tested all of the more than 600 passengers on the flights and found 61 coronavirus cases, going on to test those for Omicron.
“This could possibly be the tip of the iceberg,” Health Minister Hugo de Jonge told reporters.
Dutch military police said they arrested a married couple who left a hotel where they were in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, and were attempting to flee the country. read more
Omicron, dubbed a “variant of concern” last week by the WHO that is potentially more contagious than previous variants, has now been detected in Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Canada and South Africa.
Many countries have imposed travel bans or curbs on Southern Africa to try to stem the spread. Financial markets dived on Friday, and oil prices tumbled.
A South African doctor who was one of the first to suspect a different coronavirus strain said on Sunday that symptoms of Omicron were so far mild and could be treated at home.
Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of South African Medical Association, told Reuters that unlike with Delta, so far patients have not reported loss of smell or taste and there has been no major drop in oxygen levels with the new variant.
In the most far-reaching effort to keep the variant at bay, Israel announced late on Saturday it would ban the entry of all foreigners and reintroduce counter-terrorism phone-tracking technology to contain the spread of the variant.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the ban, pending government approval, would last 14 days. Officials hope that within that period there will be more information on how effective vaccines are against Omicron. read more
The top U.S. infectious disease official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told President Joe Biden on Sunday it will take about two weeks to have more definitive information about the transmissibility and other characteristics of Omicron, the White House said in a statement, adding that Fauci believes existing vaccines “are likely to provide a degree of protection against severe cases of COVID”.
Biden will give an update on the new variant and the U.S. response on Monday, the White House said.
In Britain, the government has announced measures including stricter testing rules for people arriving in the country and requiring mask wearing in some settings.
More countries announced new travel curbs on southern African nations on Sunday, including Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
South Africa has denounced the measures as unfair and potentially harmful to its economy, saying it is being punished for its scientific ability to identify coronavirus variants early.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday that his government was considering imposing compulsory COVID-19 shots for people in certain places and activities, and he slammed rich Western countries for what he called their knee-jerk imposition of travel bans.
“The prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant,” Ramaphosa said. “The only thing (it) … will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to … the pandemic.”
Omicron has emerged as many countries in Europe are already battling a surge in COVID-19 infections, with some reintroducing restrictions on social activity to try to stop the spread.
The new variant has also thrown a spotlight on huge disparities in vaccination rates around the globe. Even as many developed countries are giving third-dose boosters, less than 7% of people in poorer countries have received their first COVID-19 shot, according to medical and human rights groups.
Philippine Embassy outsources passport renewal services
The Philippine ambassador to Kuwait, Mohamed Noureddine Lomendot, said the embassy has outsourced consular services – passports renewal services.
This has come in light of the resentment of some residents of Block 1 Salwa, where the current main embassy building is located since visitors park their vehicles in front and at the back of the building creating a kind of congestion.
In a statement to Al-Rai, the Philippine ambassador said that the contract with VFS Global, located in the United Market, UTC Building, Al-Sour Street, was signed at the end of last September. The visitors are received from Sunday to Thursday, from 09:00 in the morning until 5:00 pm.
He added all holders of Philippine electronic passports can now renew their passports at the center, which assists in filling out the passport renewal form application, in addition to courier services, so the renewed passports are delivered directly at the time and place determined by the applicant, as well as SMS alerts are available to inform customers on demand status.
Government acts to control the movement of ‘Bitcoin’
The Communications and Information Technology Regulatory Authority is “leading an extensive monitoring movement towards 5 government agencies, in an effort to develop regulatory and legal frameworks to deal with what it called unbridled control in Kuwait on encrypted electronic currencies, foremost of which is Bitcoin, the most traded and famous globally.”
Informed sources told Al-Rai “the Communications Authority is preparing to elicit the views of the Ministries of Interior, Electricity and Water, in addition to the Central Bank of Kuwait, the Fatwa and Legislation Department of the Council of Ministers and the General Administration of Customs on the perceptions presented by each party, paving the way for setting up a specific mechanism for state institutions to deal legally with trading in encrypted currency, and its miners inside Kuwait.”
The sources stated that “what gives this government coordination its momentum is the seizure of technical devices that were seized by the Customs Administration last week, which were of high specifications and power, and it was later revealed after the Communications Authority revealed that it includes Bitcoin mining.”
The sources indicated that “the absence of clear special laws regarding dealing with cryptocurrencies locally puts the concerned authorities in the face of a dilemma, either releasing devices that can be used in mining cryptocurrencies, and exposing them to the risks of using them for a purpose other than their stated purpose, or seizing them, and then facing a judicial problem with importers of cryptocurrencies devices.
The sources pointed out that “among other problems, some banks note the transfer of large sums to their clients’ accounts, and inform them that the source is the sale of bitcoins and their profits. At a time when such investments are not recognized in Kuwait, but at the same time they are not legally punishable, which is what puts the regulators in a deficit when dealing with their investors and dealers.”
Kuwait halts flights from 9 African countries due to new variant
Kuwait’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced on Saturday the suspension of direct commercial flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zambia and Malawi. The decision was taken based on the Kuwaiti health authorities’ instructions due to the spread of a new mutated strain of the novel coronavirus (covid-19), the DGCA told
The suspension doesn’t include freight aircraft, a DGCA statement noted. There will be a 7-day constitutional quarantine for the Kuwaiti nationals who are coming from these countries, it added.
It noted that they should show a PCR test when they arrive in the country and make another test in the 6th day of their arrival.
Meanwhile, non-Kuwaiti citizens should spend at least 14 days in another country, as a condition, to enter the country, it pointed out.
The directorate called on citizens to avoid travelling at present, if not necessary, especially to the countries facing a new mutated strain of the virus, it made clear.
Kuwait may ban entry of incoming passengers from Africa
The Corona Committee in the next few hours will hold a meeting with senior officials from the ministries of Health, Interior and Civil Aviation authorities to discuss the epidemiological situation in some countries.
The Government sources told Al-Qabas the authorities may issue a decision to ban the entry of incoming passengers from African countries where the new mutant has spread.
The sources indicated a special team from the Corona Committee has been closely following up the developments since the emergence of the new mutated virus and that the situation in some countries is being closely monitored.
The sources stressed that if this mutant is detected in the country, and the health requirements are not adhered to, the health authorities will be hard pressed to take decisions without hesitation, especially since Kuwait has so far succeeded in bringing down infection cases with the second dose.
The sources pointed out that the Corona Emergency Committee will stress on the need to take the booster dose as and when the situation requires to ensure the safety of everyone and the continued improvement and stability of the epidemiological health situation.
The sources said the competent authorities, especially at the airport, will stress on the need to ensure the safety of inbound passengers and enforce the PCR tests to ensure they are free of any virus.
The sources reiterated that the epidemiological situation in Kuwait is still reassuring, and no case of the new mutant has been detected.
Issuing of new work visas through online soon..
KUWAIT CITY, Nov : The Public Authority for Manpower stated that the procedures for issuing new work permits will be done online. Currently applications for issuing work permits are submitted manually. Automation will be expected from the beginning of next year.
Meanwhile sources stated that work permit transfer of workers from one company to another, from family visa to company, transfer of workers within the same sponsor (article 24), Transfer from students to work visa (article 23) can be done online through the Public Authority Manpower website reports Al Anba.
Ministry of Interior begins issuing tourist visa ‘online’ for citizens of 53 nations
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic – Tourist visas … ‘Online’
The Ministry of Interior has started issuing tourist visas via its website, after a hiatus of about two years. The visas were stopped following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic
The sources said this type of visa was granted at the airport upon arrival to citizens of 53 countries, but now available the visa can be applied “online” and must be obtained before arriving in the country.
The sources told Al-Rai the application must be accompanied by the vaccination certificate, and if approved the applicant must pay the fees and then register on the “My Immunity” application, which will allow the traveler to enter immediately, provided a PCR certificate is acquired 72 hours before travel.
The 53 countries are Spain – Germany – Andorra – Ukraine – Ireland – Iceland – Australia – Estonia – Portugal – Czech Republic – Denmark – Sweden – Vatican – the United Kingdom – Norway – Austria – the United States of America – Japan – Greece – Italy – Belgium – Bulgaria – Bhutan – Brunei – Poland – Turkey – People’s Republic of China – Hong Kong – Republic of Hungary – Georgia – Romania – San Marino – Slovakia – Slovenia – Singapore – Switzerland – Serbia – France – Finland – Cyprus – Croatia – Cambodia – Canada – South Korea – Latvia – Laos – Lithuania – Luxembourg – Liechtenstein – Malta – Malaysia – Monaco – New Zealand and Holland.
The Public Relations and Security Media Department at the Ministry of Interior announced the electronic visa system (E-Visa), has now been updated on the Ministry of Interior website for the 53 countries, in addition to some residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries whose professions are stipulated in the Ministerial Resolution No. 220/2008.
They include doctors and pharmacists, lawyers, engineers, consultants, judges and members of the public prosecution, university professors, journalists and media professionals, pilots, systems analysts, computer programmers, managers, businessmen, members of the diplomatic corps, owners and directors and representatives of companies and commercial establishments as well as holders of Saudi Premium Residency.
New registration for stranded Indians
KUWAIT CITY, Nov : The Indian Embassy in Kuwait announced the launch of a new ‘Registration Drive’ for stranded Indian nationals who have not been able to return to Kuwait after taking Covaxin as their Covid-19 vaccine, says a press release issued by the embassy.
Please note this is a new registration drive and the purpose is to gather updated information on the affected nationals for necessary coordination and follow-up with the concerned authorities in the State of Kuwait to appropriately address the issues. All those who registered during the earlier drive and are facing this issue may also register for this drive by filling in the google form online: https://forms.gle/ce3b9ETGJAeTJZku9 Any official update on this issue will be shared by the embassy on its website and social media handles. Please continue to follow the embassy’s website (www. indembkwt.gov.in) and social media account (Twitter: @indembkwt, Facebook: @indianembassykuwait) handles for updates on the above subject.
Online renewal of visa to continue for expats outside Kuwait until further notice
KUWAIT CITY, Nov : The Residency affair department said that there is no new laws regarding stopping of renewal of residence for those expats who are outside Kuwait. Which means that residence will continue to be renewed for those who are residing outside Kuwait provided they have a valid passport.
Any new law implementation will be given enough time before it is implemented. There have been rumors about those who are outside Kuwait for more than 6 months will need to obtain permission on this the Ministry of Interior stated that revocation of residence for those who are outside Kuwait for more than 6 months is non applicable at this period of time and no new law has been implemented.
Most of those who are outside Kuwait are holders of Article 22 (Family Visa) and most of them are registered under sponsors. Enough time and opportunity will be given before anything new in this regard is implemented, reports Al Qabas. There are number of expats who are vaccinated with unapproved vaccines as getting additional dose for them requires certain period of time.
Regarding opening of family visas immigration department grants family visas for those who meet required condition specially KD 500 salary. Visit visas are currently issued for commercial, investors and family visit visas.
Government eyes 15-year residence for foreign investors
The Kuwait government is on the threshold of amending the residence system and work permits to promote openness and support economic diversification, by granting residence permits of between 5 to 15 years to expatriate investors, owners of companies and commercial projects, and CEOs in some businesses similar to residence permit regulations in force in some neighboring countries.
Reliable sources told Al-Qabas: “The government is moving to amend the residence system and work permits and diversify the forms of residency in the country, without the need for the sponsorship system, for some expatriates who serve the national economy.”
The source explained that these steps began in a practical manner, finally, with the concerned authorities identifying some aspects of the beneficiaries of the new residency system, which targets investment owners wishing to implement projects within the country or owners of existing projects, who hold residence permits according to the current system (Article 18), and will be granted “state-guaranteed” residence permits of up to 15 years.
While the source says “this step is tantamount to ‘doing away’ with the current sponsorship system it will strengthen the plan to attract investments to the country and grant freedom of movement to company owners, according to regulations and legal procedures that will be approved soon.”
He pointed out that “the amendment will also strengthen the mechanism of self sponsorship by facilitating procedures for those who wish, especially those who have resided in the country for a long period, provided great services, or worked in the government apparatus and had the financial ability to manage their affairs without the need to work,” noting that “this trend is still under discussion in the relevant authorities, especially the Ministry of Interior and the Public Authority for Manpower.”
Ethiopian Embassy opens temporary section for passports in Kuwait
KUWAIT, Nov : The Ethiopian Embassy in Kuwait will open a temporary consular section to deliver renewed passports to Ethiopian nationals effective Monday and for a week, the Consular Department at Kuwait Foreign Ministry said on Sunday. The passports’ handover will be at Al-Yarmouk Sports Club in Mishref from 8 a.m. until noon time (12 o’clock) and from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. The personnel will hand over the new passport to the Ethiopian citizen or his (her) sponsor provided that the old passport or a receipt are presented.
Airfares drop after KIA resumes full operation
Airfares into and out of Kuwait International Airport (KIA) have dropped substantially following the resumption of full activities at the airport on 24 October. Price drops ranging from 50 to 200 percent were being offered to some destinations by travel agencies in the country.
Fayez Al-Enezi, Head of the Kuwaiti Airways Media and Public Relations Department, said that the corporation increased flights after the cabinet decided to resume full-capacity operations at KIA. He also expressed hope that the air travel would be restored to the pre-coronavirus levels, affirming that the Kuwait Airways is fully geared to service a large number of passengers at Terminal-4.
For his part, Nassib Adnan, the deputy director of a travel agency, said the decision by the Cabinet to resume full operations at the airport contributed to cutting the airfares by more than 50 percent to some destinations such as Turkey, Egypt, France, and Germany. However, the costs for traveling to other destinations including the UAE, Britain, India, and the Philippines have remained high as compared to the airfares before the pandemic.
Airfares are largely affected by demand and supply, as well as costs of operation costs of airlines. Though entry and exit restrictions have been eased in many airports, full restoration of activities to pre-pandemic level has yet to begin in full swing. Recent surge in infections in Europe and elsewhere have dented travel enthusiasm among many people. Obligatory quarantines and PCR tests imposed in many places have also reduced interest in travel.
Full recovery of the travel and tourism sectors is now forecast to happen only by the first or second quarter of 2022, and remains conditional on vaccinations being able to quell the spread of infections and an easing of restrictions.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts a decline in travel sector spending of nearly USD 52 billion in 2021 and USD12 billion in 2022. The new estimates are far lower compared to the USD138 billion that the industry suffered in 2020, when the COVID-19 crisis led to travel restrictions, closure of airports and air navigations in most places around the world.
US CDC recommends booster doses of Covid-19 vaccine for all adults
Vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted unanimously on Friday to recommend booster doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for all adults in the United States.
The eleven members of Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices agreed that everyone 18 and older could take the booster doses six months after they finish their first two doses.
They also voted on a second question, strengthening the recommendation to say that people 50 and older should get a booster dose of vaccine.
The votes follow the US Food and Drug Administration’s decision earlier Friday to authorize boosters of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for all adults.
Boosters can officially be administered to all adults after CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signs off on a recommendation. Previously, boosters had been authorized for anyone 65 and older who was vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at least six months ago and for certain adults at high risk of infection or of severe disease
Minister sends 60 years back to ‘Fatwa and Legislation’ again
Minister of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Abdullah Al-Salman has submitted a letter to the Fatwa and Legislation Department of the Council of Ministers to seek its opinion on the legality of collecting the 500 dinars fee to renew the residence permit of non-graduate expatriates 60 years and above asking if it is possible to reconsider it.
The Minister has submitted three queries to ‘Fatwa’ — the extent of the legality of collecting 500 dinars fee for the renewal of a work permit for a non-graduate expatriate 60 years and above; the legality of excluding some categories from the decision, such as those born in the State of Kuwait or those with Palestinian nationality or documents.
The Al-Qabas daily has learned from sources the recent ruling of the High Court which has nullified the decision of the Public Authority for Manpower can be an appropriate legal way out for the issuance of the new “sixty” decision.
The sources expect the Fatwa and Legislation Department to end the controversy over the decision and come out with its opinion within the next two weeks, and accordingly the decision regarding the 60-year-olds would be issued, or it might see the need for this decision for a new law for it not be invalidated by the court, thus returning to square one and return to work with the old law.
Last week, the High Court had ruled to cancel the contested decision No. 27 of 2021 issued by the PAM Director-General by issuing a list of rules and procedures for granting work permits.
Moreover, informed sources hinted at the possibility of canceling the 500 dinars fee, which was decided by the PAM Board of Directors at the beginning of this month to issue a work permit to non-graduate sixty and above expatriates, saying raising the fee for an “existing” service is not permissible in this manner unless there is a new legislation to cover this increase.
The sources explained the “500 dinars” fee may violate Law No. 79 of 1995 regarding fees and financial costs in exchange for the use of public facilities and services, whose first article states that “it is not permissible, except by law, to increase fees and financial costs that must be paid in exchange for the use of public facilities and services provided by the state.
Article No. 2: The provisions of the previous article do not apply to the prices that are paid in exchange for services and goods provided by public bodies and public institutions with attached and independent budgets, nor do they apply to usufruct fees and fees established in accordance with international agreements.
It is noteworthy to mention there are 53,000 expatriates who fall under the “60 Resolution” category and if the “500 dinars” fee is applied annually to each work permit, the fees collected will reach only 26.5 million dinars.
The sources pointed out that the law on raising fees for government services that the executive authority is to submit to the National Assembly may solve this problem and enable the decision-issuing authority to raise the special fee for its services and transactions without the need for legislation from the National Assembly, which may mean that the “60 Resolution” is possible.
It shall continue to be suspended until it is resolved by Parliament. It is worth mentioning that there is a government desire to submit 18 draft laws to the National Assembly during the coming period, which are classified as a government priority, including the draft law on increasing fees for government services.
Legal sources asked if it is logical the 500 dinars fees voted on by the Manpower Board of Directors to renew the residence, in addition to health insurance, which will range between 500 to 700 dinars, while the maximum fine the government can collect from residence law violator is no more than 600 dinars.
A previous fatwa issued by the Fatwa and Legislation Department confirms that “it is established in jurisprudence that the fee is mostly paid for administrative services that are dominated by the public benefit, in addition to the private benefit that accrues to the payer of the fee, while the price is paid for goods and services that are dominated by the private benefit, which they provide.
On the other hand, the fee differs from the general price in that the fee is estimated on the basis of production costs or less than them, while the price is often taken into account to obtain more than the production costs.
Also, the fee differs from the general price in that the fee is paid forcibly , that is, by the unilateral will of the public authority, while the public price is paid voluntarily by the will of the purchaser of the commodity or service produced by the commercial or industrial project, and finally the fee is imposed by law or based on a law and the public authority is independent to determine it without interference from individuals, while the general price is imposed by an administrative decision issued by the authority that manages the project, and the price is determined according to the economic conditions prevailing in the market.”
Proposal to cut working hours or working days to 4 per week
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 16: MP Muhammad Al-Huwaila has submitted a proposal to reduce the working hours or working days to four per week for public sector employees. He said the proposed working period reduction should not affect the salaries and allowances of employees, as well as the quality of services provided to citizens.
He argued the whole world is gearing towards such reduction to lessen the stress of employees in rushing to report for work on time. He added this will help employees improve their performance and have more achievements rather than being concerned about losing the excellent job performance bonus due to tardiness. He also wants to take into consideration the request of employees to work part time based on the manpower needs of every institution.
Local banks do not prefer cloning ‘K-Net’ in new payments company
The Central Bank of Kuwait has asked the banks to conduct the economic feasibility study before establishing a joint stock company specialized in the field of electronic payment, in order to develop and operate the company’s retail payment systems, Arabic daily Al Rai reported
The Central Bank has stressed on the need for banks to attract highly qualified personnel to manage and operate retail payment systems efficiently and effectively in accordance with security standards, in addition to its keenness to keep abreast with the latest global technological developments to meet market requirements and customer needs characterized by high flexibility.
The sources pointed out that some banks have recommended modifying the proposed company’s business model, indicating that they do not object to the new company being independent of the shared automated banking services company ‘K-Net’, and that it be entrusted with the basic business task of developing and operating retail payment systems, but they do not prefer the new company to be services cloned on K-Net pattern.
The Central Bank has told the banks that after reviewing the proposed timetable to establish the company, operate it, and carry out its work, the company must be established according to the initial plan that has been submitted, taking into account the following:
— Submit a monthly report on the developments.
— Presenting the results of the economic feasibility study for the establishment of the company, before the procedures for incorporation
— Presenting a proposal for the governance of the retail payments systems
— Ensure that the project schedule includes an assessment of security systems and products before releasing them to the public, based on the cyber security strategic framework for the banking sector in Kuwait.
— Presenting the policies and work procedures related to teaching the electronic payment of funds before starting the procedures for registering the company as a practitioner.
New company’s business will include
Automated clearing system to provide retail payment transfer services, which are characterized by a large number of low-value operations, resulting from bill payments, government services, salary payments, etc.
The clearing system for payments via smart devices: one of the fast payment systems and allow continuous provision of the service to customers through immediate payment and the settlement of participants’ payments automatically with the automated clearing system.
The electronic system for displaying and paying bills and offering several options to the beneficiaries, by sending the bills to the users and then settling them with the automated clearing system.
Financial Claims Management System — to create and exchange dispute cases over payments between banks, in addition to managing the case from beginning to end in a secure and flexible manner.
Reporting and follow-up system — to display data in an illustrated form such as charts, graphs, and summary figures to facilitate monitoring, analysis and preparing reports for decision makers.
MoI asks banks to close the accounts of the deportees
Informed sources revealed to Al-Rai that officials of the Ministry of Interior began coordinating with bank officials aimed at freezing bank accounts that could be used in illegal activities.
The sources indicated that the senior officials from the interior ministry asked bank officials to close the accounts of the deportees when they leave the country, explaining that the lack of clear procedures to do so may lead to the exploitation of these accounts in ways that violate the law, and that this is not necessarily done through the owners of these accounts. .
They explained that the risks of having open bank accounts for the deportees necessitated coordination between the General Administration of Residency Affairs and the banks to develop solutions and find a mechanism to ensure that these accounts are not used in illegal activities.
However, banking sources made it clear to Al-Rai that it is not easy to apply this mechanism to the accounts of all deportees immediately, explaining that this may be acceptable for holders of regular bank accounts, which are not required to be credited or that have no savings, but it is difficult to close the accounts of the deportees immediately if they still had credit installments, or they were entitled to business returns that do not require their presence in Kuwait, or they had specific expected job benefits, indicating that closing this type of account requires an appropriate period to settle the situation of their owners, especially if the customer has a deposit linked to his bank account Where the deposit must be stopped first
Issue of 60s work permits renewal lingers on
Those who are 60 years and above and do not hold graduation certificates continue to live in the world of uncertainty although the High Court has canceled the entire “list of rules and procedures for granting work permits,” and the Fatwa and Legislation Department of the Council of Ministers giving its opinion of the issue.
Fifteen months on and the crisis continues to roll on without a decision in sight at the time when the government seems to live in a world of confusion.
In this regard, informed sources told Al-Rai that the approval given by the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) at its last meeting to renew the work permit for this segment for a fee of 500 dinars fee and private health insurance, this approval remains just ink on paper.
The sources indicated while the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Abdullah Al-Salman, is waiting for the union of insurance companies to submit a document that suits the capabilities of this segment, there are regulatory measures that precede the issuance of the decision, foremost of which is the convening of the meeting of PAM board of directors and the approval of the minutes of its previous meeting.
The sources say in light of the government resignation it does not appear PAM will meet to solve the issue in the near future especially since there were divisions over the 500 dinars fee issue and private health insurance and this means there is a possibility of the issue lingering on.
At least 6 out of 9 members had suggested during the last meeting that the minister present the decision to the political leadership before ratification, which makes it likely that it will be difficult to hold a meeting soon before forming the new government and determining its directions.
It is noteworthy to mention the Chairman of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muhammad Al-Saqr, had recently said the new “sixty-year decision” was unfair, expressing the hope that the political leadership would have a final say in this decision to bring matters back to their scientific and objective path in the light of Kuwait’s interest.
PACI adds new updates to Mobile ID application
The Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) Sunday launched a new update for (Kuwait Mobile ID) application to include many important modifications and services.
In a statement, PACI Director General Musaed Al-Asousi said several features have been added to the new application 1.9.0 version, namely integrated e-wallet for various government identities and documents, driver’s license and birth certificate as a first stage.
The e-wallet allows adding any identity or government document in an easy way and linking it with the various government agencies that issue these documents such as Ministries of Interior, Health and others, Al-Asousi said.
The wallet also provides an interactive way to verify the validity of the document through the QR Code, in addition to liveness detection feature for the registration process, which increases the security and privacy factors during registration, he added.
Forget password feature has also been added to the application, which allows resetting the password through liveness detection feature in addition to COVID-19 vaccine third dose data, he said.
This update is a reflection of the cooperation of the Ministries of Interior and Health, in line with directives of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah for promoting digital transformation
‘New law banning bikers hurts home-delivery business badly’
Many small restaurants face closure threat
KUWAIT CITY, : The recent decision to ban motorcycle home delivery from plying on highways, motorways, ring roads and main roads has thrown the home delivery service, particularly the food delivery service in turmoil, reports Al-Qabas daily. Although the delivery companies have opted to change their pattern of work to fall in line with the new situation, reports show the delivery companies and the restaurant sector suffers to a great extent. The delivery companies’ sources told the daily it will take a long time for them to adapt to the decision. One of the company representatives said the situation is not easy as it appears because it is very difficult to get driving licenses for their employees because of the tough rules and regulations of the General Traffic Department.
The sources pointed out the delivery companies have thousands of restaurants registered with them and suddenly they feel they are unable to satisfy customers. On the other hand, the sources said the issue of security and safety is one of the things that delivery companies care about and focus on while at the same time saying the use of motorcycle is the fastest means to reach the customer in the world of delivery service. However, in spite of the ban on ‘service’ motorcycles road accidents will continue to occur at their normal rate. The sources pointed out that small restaurants with one branch are considered the most affected by the decision, because they depend in their work on delivery to various regions of the country, and therefore this may lead to their closure.
The sources suggested that motorcyclists be allowed to ride in a specific lane, for example in the right lane only in specified main roads. Following are the repercussions of the decision – motorcyclists will lose their jobs, increased congestion on the roads as people in their cars will be out on the roads to buy their own meals and this will lead to congestion on the roads, increase the burden of delivery companies and their work team, and redrawing the map of roads and networks for delivery operations, closure of many small restaurants that do not have branches, the inability to meet the demands of the local market in a short time.
Possibility seen to do away with PCR test
The third Covid-19 booster dose is an urgent necessity to fight the possibility to keep in check people from being infected with the virus especially since the immunity of many of those who have been vaccinated is on the decline.
The official said Kuwait continues to take all precautionary measures and positive steps which in the past have helped Kuwait to contain the epidemiological situation in Kuwait
The source told Al-Qabas daily the Ministry of Health will vaccinate those who were vaccinated 5 or 6 months ago with the second dose, saying at the same time is possible to cancel the PCR test for inbound passengers who are vaccinated with the vaccines approved by Kuwait.
The source pointed the return to normal working hours in schools as it was before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic is being evaluated since the epidemiological conditions have fully ended, and health requirements cannot be written off especially since a majority of countries in the world did not cancel the PCR and have yet to open schools to the pre-pandemic level.
The source pointed out that a comprehensive report is currently being prepared for the adoption of a mechanism to immunize children 5 to 12 years old, saying the Ministry of Health will launch a new digital mechanism for the results of blood tests and radiology, which will appear on the health application in a quick time.
5 domestic labor offices request PAM to cancel their licenses for unknown reasons
Five domestic workers recruiting offices have requested the Recruitment of Domestic Department at the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) to cancel their licenses for unknown reasons.
Statistics issued by PAM administration last October shows 27 complaints were filed by sponsors against domestic workers and 152 domestic workers had filed complaints against their employers, reports Al-Qabas daily.
The PAM administration referred 52 labor complaints to the judiciary and of the other 218 complaints 65 were related to holding travel documents by the employer, 29 complaints filed by employers against workers and 124 complaints were resolved amicably between the parties.
The PAM administration has collected 10,635 dinars for the benefit of the workers, and suspended the license of one office for violating PAM laws and regulations. Of the 420 domestic labor recruitment offices 41 have renewed their licenses.
Sharp decline in domestic workers in one month
The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) announced a decrease in the number of domestic workers by about 30,000 within a month.
The authority disclosed the domestic workers numbered 636,525 in September but dropped to 606,364 in October.
The Al-Jarida daily said statistics published by the authority, on its website yesterday, showed that the total number of new workers registered with the 420 recruitment offices was 1,533.
‘Workers qualifications must match their job descriptions’ – E-system slashes visa trade
KUWAIT CITY,: Director of the Capital Governorate Labor Department, at the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM), Fahad Al-Ajmi, says after the authority approved the classification of professions in all sectors according to the unified Gulf guide, technical labor will not be recruited from abroad if their qualifications do not match the professions they are recruited for, reports Al-Jarida daily.
Al-Ajmi said this is to ensure the highest productivity and work efficiency and that the administrative circular issued recently on the mechanism of issuing work permits for those recruited on commercial entry visa; the transfer will only be allowed on the same company in whose name the commercial visa was issued. He pointed out that one of the transfer requirements is to produce the worker’s police clearance certificate (PCC) status and a copy of the entry visa, if any, as well as the requirements of the profession.
He stressed the process of converting a commercial visit into a work visa in the private sector (Article 18) will be regarded as a new permit and not an internal transfer, and will be deducted from the estimate of the total need of expatriate workers for the company. Al-Ajmi indicated that all the procedures at the authority are currently completed through the automated service, and do not require the personal presence of the employer. He pointed out that there are some procedures related to other relevant government agencies that need to be reviewed, including opening a file for the first time due to the lack of data for the person concerned.
However, this automated expansion has succeeded, to a large extent, in eliminating the visa trade operations, in light of the accurate automated linkage and the decline of human intervention, and the recording of all procedures through the system. He added, PAM is keen to expand the use of the mechanization system, and to transform all procedures from paper form to automated system, through the extensive cooperation that took place between the authority and other relevant government agencies, especially the ministries of health, interior, trade, justice, the Public Authority for Civil Information, and others.
Al-Ajmi confirmed the authority has issued directives to bring in expatriate workers from abroad, in accordance with the administrative circular (18/2021) issued by the PAM Director. He said, “All companies wishing to obtain permits to bring in migrant workers from abroad must submit an application through the automated service (Ashal) and follow the steps including the approval of the vaccination certificate against the Corona virus from the Ministry of Health, provided that the vaccination is approved by the Kuwait Ministry of Health.
Visas for wife and children only; Visas for others may take longer
KUWAIT CITY: The Interior Ministry has announced that entry visas to Kuwait will be re-issued, but the current proposal does not include a tourist visa for expatriates. Vaccine certificates with the code must be submitted with the visa application, as well as e-visas for commercial visit visas and government visits for citizens of 53 countries. At the same time, the Public Authority for Manpower has made it clear that entry visas and work permits will be reissued through the Authority's electronic service portals, making it clear that there will be more waiting for the resumption of visit visas for other categories.
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Big demand for winter vaccinations
In conjunction with the improvement in the epidemiological situation of the Corona virus in the country, a Ministry of Health official said there is a big demand from citizens and residents to receive winter vaccinations, which includes vaccination against seasonal influenza and bacterial pneumonia (nemococal), especially after opening door for registration door for people 50 years old and above, saying this reflects the increasing health awareness among large segments of society, especially in the face of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic almost 18 months ago.
The official told Al-Qabas the campaign is currently being implemented through 58 health centers, which kicked off on October 7 and will run through until December, pointing out that the aim of the campaign is to reduce infectious diseases in winter, mortality rates and complications resulting from such illnesses, especially among people who are most vulnerable to infection and complications.
The official indicated the turnout so far is expected to be acceptable, as daily vaccination rates vary from one center to another, and that 7 centers in the Ahmadi Health District receive about 100 visitors per day at each center, to receive influenza and pneumonia vaccinations.
Government planning to do away with face masks
The Council of Ministers, in its weekly meeting scheduled for Monday, will study a report on the return to normal life, including a package of decisions related to the opening of some closed activities.
The Government sources told Al-Qabas that “One of the most prominent activities that are expected to open are the wedding halls and events of all kinds, and allow gatherings, in addition to closing ‘rows’ for worshippers in mosques, as well as allowing people to move freely in open places without wearing masks which had become mandatory during the Covid-19 pandemic and continues until date.
The sources indicated “the report will include a report on the Corona epidemic in Kuwait, such as the decrease in infections and deaths, and the rate of admission to intensive care,” in addition to a report on cases of infections in schools and of transmission indicators. The figures confirm that they are no longer a source of concern, in the event that any health decisions are taken in the country. In this regard the sources said, “There is no fear.”
The sources concluded saying “The government’s motto has been to wait since the beginning of the pandemic; therefore, the decisions have two options — either resume the activities only for those who the vaccinated, or to everyone,” stressing that the health safety which can be fully acquired with the increasing rates of community immunization against ‘Covid 19’.
Kuwait reports 32 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths
Kuwait said Thursday it registered 37 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. Ministry of health spokesman Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad, speaking to KUNA, said registered infections reached 412,228 and deaths topped 2,455. He added that 53 people recovered from the virus in the past 24 hours to reach 409,178, saying percentage of recovery was 99.26 percent.
Bill seeks remittance tax on expats
KUWAIT CITY, Oct : MP Osama Al-Menawer has submitted a bill to impose tax on the remittances of expatriates. The bill mandates banks and financial institutions processing the remittances of expatriates to collect tax on money transferred to other countries.
The Ministry of Finance shall specify the tax amount, which will not be lower than five percent if the transferred amount exceeds 50 percent of the annual income of the expatriate worker. The annual income is calculated by including all the money deposited in the bank account of the expatriate worker within one year. The tax amount will be calculated by the end of every year and the collected tax will be added to the public treasury. Expatriates whose salaries are lower than KD350 per month are exempted from this provision.
In another development, Al- Menawer forwarded queries to Minister of State for Municipality and Housing Affairs and Urban Development Shaya Abdulrahman Al-Shaya about the decision issued by former Minister of State for Housing Affairs Rana Al-Fares in 2020 to terminate the contracts of expatriate consultants who are above 60 years old. He asked if it is true that one of the terminated consultants has been reappointed with a salary of KD3,000 even if he is already above 70 years old. He requested for copies of the decision on re-appointing expatriate consultants who were terminated and correspondences with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in this regard; as well as the names, qualifications, experience, salaries and allowances of expatriate consultants at the Ministry of State for Housing Affairs.
In addition, MP Fayez Al- Homhour submitted a proposal to amend Kuwait Army Law number 32/1967 by replacing Article Five with the following: Entry to Kuwait Army through conscription, volunteering or recruitment is exclusive to males; and subject to the relevant laws, decisions and decrees. Furthermore, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim recently received in his office Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza. They discussed regional and international issues, and ways to strengthen relations between Kuwait and Venezuela. Al-Ghanim also met Undersecretary- General of the United Nations (UN) and Commissioner- General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Philippe Lazzarini and his accompanying delegation. They talked about the humanitarian conditions of Palestinian refugees; as well as ways to alleviate the suffering of these refugees and provide them jobs. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff
Thousands leave Kuwait voluntarily – Visas open … if it’s food
KUWAIT CITY, Oct : The Deputy Director-General for Employment Affairs at the Public Authority for Manpower, Abdullah Al-Mutatah, said 59,000 expatriate workers have left the country voluntarily following the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, due to several reasons, reports Al-Rai daily. Al-Mutatah said, in a television interview, “It is necessary to differentiate between the departing individuals and those who were unable to enter Kuwait,” noting that “those who left voluntarily (59,000) are unlike those who were deported from the country with the help of the Ministry of Interior after placing in government shelters prior to their departure. They were the residence and labor law violators and those reported absconding by their respective sponsors.
He added, according to statistics, from Jan 1 to Sept 30, this year 666,000 renewal transactions were complete (online), 146,000 residence transfers, in addition to 28,000 work permit cancellation. The Ministry of Education, in cooperation with its interior counterpart, issued about 700 entry visas for stranded teachers and a number of them have already arrived in the country, reports Al-Anba daily quoting sources. Sources said these teachers are required to undergo medical checkup before they start working. Sources clarified that based on the medical report from the Ministry of Health, the employment contracts of those whose medical test results indicate ‘unfit’ or ‘infected with the C virus’ will be terminated, they will be paid their dues and they will be asked to leave the country.
The labor departments of the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) are entertaining business owners and will issue them commercial entry visas if they wish to recruit laborers from abroad following the approval given by the Supreme Ministerial Committee for Corona Emergencies in the Council of Ministers to grant work permits and commercial entry visas for all activities related to food security including producers, manufacturers and suppliers, reports Al-Jarida daily quoting reliable sources.
According to PAM sources business owners whose companies are registered with the authority can complete their transactions and will be granted permits after completion of procedures following which decisions will be issued to regulate recruitment mechanisms. The sources said the labor departments are entrusted with issuing permits directly, without the need for the approval of the ‘Corona Emergency Committee’ — a step that will facilitate business owners, especially since this service is currently not available through the authority’s automated system. The six activities approved by the Ministerial Committee are farm labor, restaurants, food supplies and bakeries, hunting and selling fish, livestock and poultry breeders, dairy producers, factories and food suppliers and their shopping centers, and water and beverage bottling companies. The sources expect to add new activities soon, especially the factories, to fill the severe shortage of workers, which the market is currently suffering from.
Travelers sent back from the airport – Vaccination certificates don’t match passport
KUWAIT CITY, Oct : New crisis has surfaced recently with Kuwaiti citizens and expats after discovering on airport that the names mentioned on their vaccination certificates did not match their names as written on the passport or civil ID, the names were either misspelled or missing between the Ministry of Health and the Public Authority for Civil Information.
The problems appeared in the number of passengers departing to London, for security reasons alerts were raised for those who are vaccinated with approved vaccines to be exempted from quarantine. Many passengers travelling to Britain were forced to return from the airport as they were denied boarding the planes due to differences in Latin names on their passports and vaccination certificates did not match. The passengers were in crisis as visa names and PCR certificates matched exactly to the passport.
Among the main errors on vaccination certificates was the absence of the first name of the holder or the old data update mismatched the names that took place a few years back between the Ministry of Interior and the Public Authority for Civil Information,reports Al Rai. The grieving passengers stated that they lost a large sum of money on air ticket, hotel, PCR and taxis after their flight departed. They were wondering why the MOH does not have an office at the airport or why the MOH system is not linked to correct the errors instead of facing such costly expenses by the travelers. Now they have to go to the Mishref Vaccination center for correction of the names.
The Ministry of Health stated that there is a link between the Vaccination Certificate system and PACI as during registration for vaccination civil id number and serial number is entered and names automatically appear on the registration site system. The data can be modified by visiting the Vaccination Center in Mishrief by providing relevant personal documents as identification proof either Civil ID or Passport.
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Comprehensive health insurance, affordable fees to renew work permits for ‘sixties’
The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Abdullah Al-Salman, during a briefing to the Council of Ministers on the latest developments of the issue of non-graduate expatriates who are 60 years and above and were barred from renewing their work permits said the Fatwa and Legislation Department of the Council of Ministers has ruled the Resolution “No. 520 of 2020” issued by Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) in August 2020 and implemented on January 1, 2021, illegal.
In this context, informed sources revealed to Al-Seyassah that the PAM board of directors will meet over the next few days to decide on canceling the decision issued by the Director of the authority.
The meeting will also decide on the comprehensive health insurance fee, in addition to raising the fees for renewing the work permit to what he called “a little more” than the normal renewal fee which a 60 years and above worker can afford.
The sources quoting the minister said the comprehensive health insurance would be a solution to this problem, noting that it will procedurally not allow the renewal of work permits for the ‘sixty’ segment according to the automated system. Before the meeting of the Board of Directors and its official approval, the authority may cancel the decision, after which the ‘system’ will be opened for renewal.
Group of companies barred from participating in tenders due to labor violations
The Central Agency for Public Tenders has rejected grievances from a group of companies that are barred from participating in tenders floated by the Ministry of Social Affairs, despite the Public Authority for Manpower lifting the suspension on its files which were slapped due to labor violations.
In response to the grievances submitted by the companies, the CAPT confirmed the decision to bar these companies from participation was correct, saying PAM had suspended the files of these companies before the contracts were awarded.
However, responsible PAM sources told Al-Qabas there was coordination CAPT on the necessity government contracts can be awarded based on a ‘To Whom It May Concern certificate issued by the authority stating there is no moratorium on the tender file concerning one of the violations mentioned in Article 10 of Law No. 6 of 2010 regarding work in the private sector.
Regarding the tender for the mechanization of the social welfare sector of the Ministry of Social Affairs within the development plan, the sources said that the ministry had requested awarding the tender to the fifth-lowest bidder provide the bidder conforms to the conditions and technical specifications, forb286,000 dinars, while the decision on the ministry’s request was postponed until a mechanism for calculating the estimated cost was presented.