Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 9 January 2020, 16:38 NZDT
  • Still current at: 24 February 2020

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Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in Kuwait due to the threat of terrorism and potential for civil unrest. 

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On 3 January 2020, an Iranian military commander and Iraqi paramilitary leaders were killed in a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad International Airport.

The security situation in the Middle East region is unpredictable and may become increasingly volatile.

Terrorism is an ongoing threat in Kuwait. There is a continued threat of attacks in the Gulf region, including on Western interests, residential compounds, military, oil, transport and aviation interests. Places of worship have been attacked in the past. Further attacks are possible and could be indiscriminate.

New Zealanders in Kuwait are advised to maintain a high level of personal security awareness, particularly in public places known to be frequented by foreigners.

Civil unrest
Demonstrations occasionally take place in Kuwait. New Zealanders in Kuwait are advised to avoid demonstrations as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent. We recommend monitoring events through local media and following any instructions issued by the local authorities.

While violent crime towards foreigners is rare, New Zealanders are advised to take care in areas like Jahra and Jleeb Al Shuyoukh. Walking alone or travelling in these areas after dark is not recommended. We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times and take steps to safeguard and secure their personal belongings.

Unexploded landmines and munitions are a hazard in Kuwait. We advise staying on well-used roads and paths as mined areas are often unmarked. People have been injured after touching suspicious unfamiliar objects.

Maritime travel
There is a threat of piracy in the Persian Gulf. Mariners are advised to be vigilant and take appropriate precautionary measures in the area.

Many marine areas are sensitive in relation to security and territorial claims. Exercise caution in the northern area of the Persian Gulf and around the Abu Musa and Tunbs islands in the southern area. Vessels entering these areas have been detained and inspected. Mariners are advised to take appropriate security measures in these waters, and to make thorough enquiries with local authorities before considering port stop-overs. For more information view the International Maritime Bureau's piracy report.

Land borders
Only use authorised road border crossing points into Saudi Arabia, and make sure you have the correct documentation. Any other crossings are considered illegal by Kuwaiti officials. Armed guards patrol border areas and there have been exchanges of gunfire in the past.

General travel advice
New Zealanders in Kuwait are advised to carry a passport or a Kuwait civil identification card at all times.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.

New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Kuwait to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Kuwait should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Kuwait are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is accredited to Kuwait

Street Address Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Postal Address PO Box 94 397, Riyadh, 11693, Saudi Arabia Telephone +966 1 1 4887735 Fax +966 1 488 7912 Email Web Site Hours Sun - Thurs 0800 - 1200hrs, 1230 -1500hrs Note

See our regional advice for the Middle East

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy Saudi Arabia

Street Address
Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Telephone: +966 1 1 4887735

Fax: +966 1 488 7912



Hours: Sun - Thurs 0800 - 1200hrs, 1230 -1500hrs

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