Cruising to Kuwait


Britain oversaw foreign relations and defense for the ruling Kuwaiti AL-SABAH dynasty from 1899 until independence in 1961. Kuwait was attacked and overrun by Iraq on 2 August 1990. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a US-led, UN coalition began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that liberated Kuwait in four days. Kuwait spent more than $5 billion to repair oil infrastructure damaged during 1990-91.


Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates: 29 30 N, 45 45 E
Map references: Middle East
Area: total: 17,820 sq km


499 km

Maritime claims

Territorial sea: 12 nm


Dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters


Flat to slightly undulating desert plain

Elevation extremes

Lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
Highest point: unnamed location 306 m


Kuwait is a small, rich, relatively open economy with self-reported crude oil reserves of about 96 billion barrels - 10% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 95% of export revenues, and 80% of government income. Kuwait's climate limits agricultural development.

Consequently, with the exception of fish, it depends almost wholly on food imports. About 75% of potable water must be distilled or imported. Kuwait continues its discussions with foreign oil companies to develop fields in the northern part of the country.


Airports: 7 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 4
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 3
Heliports: 4 (2005)
Pipelines: gas 169 km; oil 540 km; refined products 57 km (2004)
Roadways: total: 4,450 km

Merchant marine

Total: 38 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,294,233 GRT/3,730,776 DWT
By type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 1, container 6, liquefied gas 5, livestock carrier 4, petroleum tanker 20
Foreign-owned: 1 (Iran 1)
Registered in other countries: 29 (Bahrain 3, Comoros 1, Liberia 1, Libya 1, Panama 2, Qatar 7, Saudi Arabia 6, UAE 8) (2005)

Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals

Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Az Zawr (Mina' Sa'ud), Mina' 'Abd Allah, Mina' al Ahmadi


Kuwait and Saudi Arabia continue negotiating a joint maritime boundary with Iran; no maritime boundary exists with Iraq in the Persian Gulf

Other Sailing Destinations in the Region

Bahrain - Christmas Islands - Cocos Keeling - Comoros - Djibouti - Eritrea - India - Jordan - Kenya - Kuwait - Madagascar - Maldives - Mauritius - Mayotte - Mozambique - Oman - Pakistan - Qatar - Reunion Island - Saudi Arabia - Seychelles - Somalia - Sri Lanka - Sudan - Tanzania - United Arab Emirates - Yemen

Further Reading

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