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Health & safety

Dangers & annoyances

The many spectacularly twisted bits of metal left by the roadside are testament to the fact that Kuwait has one of the highest road accident rates in the world. Indeed, one third of all deaths in Kuwait are driving- related. The horrifying scenes on TV have not deterred Kuwait’s drivers, despite government efforts to slow the pace down with radar surveillance. As such, it’s hard to recommend driving in Kuwait unless you’re confident of holding your own in the face of sheer lunacy. A police sign at traffic lights speaks volumes: ‘Crossing the red signal leads to death or prison.’

Although the country has now been cleared of mines after the Gulf War, you should still remember not to pick up any unfamiliar object in the desert and to stick to established tracks.

For some reason, smoking appears to be much more prevalent in Kuwait than in neighbouring Gulf countries. While smokers may be glad to enjoy a smoke on buses, in taxis, at the airport, and in restaurants and hotel rooms without fear of vilification, nonsmokers are sure to find the dense atmosphere in public places quite irritating.