Kuwait to ban expatriates aged over 50

Kuwait to ban expatriates aged over 50
2 min read
21 December, 2015
In March, the Gulf state will expel foreign workers aged over 50 who work in the public sector or in jobs Kuwaitis can replace them.
File Photo: Many Kuwaits feel swamped by their foreign workforce [AFP]

Kuwait will ban expatriates aged over 50 from working in the Gulf state early next year.

Those foreign workers inside the country will also be forced to leave, according to Kuwait daily al-Anba.

The ban, to begin after 1 March, will apply to expatriates working in the public sector or in jobs where they can be replaced with Kuwaitis.

Kuwait has introduced a number of laws in recent years targeting expatriates and aimed at reducing the country's reliance on foreign workers.

Many Kuwaitis are also afraid that the country's culture is being lost by foreign influences.

Expatriates make up around two thirds of Kuwait's population.

Kuwait was one of the first countries in the Gulf region to use its oil wealth to develop the country.

Many of these early expatriates were Palestinian and Egyptians who took roles in teaching, management and civil service.

The liberation of Kuwait after occupying Iraqi forces were expelled in 1991 led to a mass exodus of Palestinians from the country.

Many were accused of collaborating with the Iraqi occupiers, and were expelled or pressured to leave when Kuwait retained its independence.

In 2013, Kuwait introduced a law that aimed at cutting the country's foreign workforce in half by 2020.

In December 2014, a bill was passed that would prevent some expats from bringing their families to the country.

Expatriate forum InterNations named Kuwait as the worst country in the world for expatriates after a poll was conducted with 14,000 foreign workers across the world.

The lastest law attracted a mixed response from exptriates and other social media users: