Geographic and Governmental Profile of Kuwait

Background
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. The AL-SABAH family has ruled since returning to power in 1991 and reestablished an elected legislature that in recent years has become increasingly assertive. The country witnessed the historic election in May 2009 of four women to its National Assembly. Amid the 2010-11 uprisings and protests across the Arab world, stateless Arabs, known as bidoon, staged small protests in February and March 2011 demanding citizenship, jobs, and other benefits available to Kuwaiti nationals. Youth activist groups - supported by opposition legislators and the prime minister's rivals within the ruling family - rallied in March 2011 for an end to corruption and the ouster of the prime minister and his cabinet. Similar protests continued sporadically throughout April and May. In late September 2011 government inquiries of widespread corruption drew more public anger and renewed calls for the prime minister's removal.
Location
Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates
29 30 N, 45 45 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Middle East
Area
total:
17,818 sq km
rank:
158
land:
17,818 sq km
water:
0 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries
total:
462 km
border countries:
Iraq 240 km, Saudi Arabia 222 km
Coastline
499 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
Climate
dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters
Terrain
flat to slightly undulating desert plain
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point:
unnamed elevation 306 m
Natural resources
petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas
Land use
arable land:
0.84%
permanent crops:
0.17%
other:
98.99% (2005)
Get Chart Code
Get Chart Code
Irrigated land
100 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
0.02 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.44 cu km/yr (45%/2%/52%)
per capita:
164 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
sudden cloudbursts are common from October to April and bring heavy rain, which can damage roads and houses; sandstorms and dust storms occur throughout the year but are most common between March and August
Environment - current issues
limited natural freshwater resources; some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified:
Marine Dumping
Geography - note
strategic location at head of Persian Gulf
Country name
conventional long form:
State of Kuwait
conventional short form:
Kuwait
local long form:
Dawlat al Kuwayt
local short form:
Al Kuwayt
Government type
constitutional emirate
Capital
name:
Kuwait City
geographic coordinates:
29 22 N, 47 58 E
time difference:
UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
6 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al 'Asimah, Al Farwaniyah, Al Jahra', Hawalli, Mubarak al Kabir
Independence
19 June 1961 (from the UK)
Constitution
approved and promulgated 11 November 1962
Legal system
mixed legal system consisting of English common law, French civil law, and Islamic religious law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage
21 years of age; universal; note - males in the military or police are by law not allowed to vote; all voters must have been citizens for 20 years
Executive branch
chief of state:
Amir SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 29 January 2006); Crown Prince NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (born 25 June 1937)
head of government:
Prime Minister JABIR AL-MUBARAK al-Hamad al-Sabah (since 30 November 2011); First Deputy Prime Minister AHMAD al-Hamud al-Jabir al-Sabah; Deputy Prime Ministers AHMAD AL-KHALID al-Hamad al-Sabah, SABAH AL-KHALID al-Hamad al-Sabah, Mustafa al-Jassim al-SHAMALI
cabinet:
Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by the amir; new cabinet formed in February 2012
elections:
none; the amir is hereditary; the amir appoints the prime minister and deputy prime ministers
Legislative branch
unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (66 seats - 50 members elected by popular vote plus 16 cabinet ministers appointed by the prime minister as ex officio voting members; elected members serve four-year terms); note - the National Assembly was dissolved on 20 June 2012, the fifth time in six years
elections:
last held on 2 February 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
election results:
percent of vote by bloc - NA; seats by bloc - Sunni Islamists 13, Popular Action bloc 13, Shia 7, pro-government Sunni 5, Hadas 4, Islamic Salafi Alliance 4, liberals 2, independents 2
Judicial branch
High Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders
none; formation of political parties is in practice illegal but is not forbidden by law
Political pressure groups and leaders
other:
Islamists; merchants; political groups; secular liberals and pro-governmental deputies; Shia activists; tribal groups
International organization participation
ABEDA, AfDB (nonregional member), AFESD, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, Paris Club (associate), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador SALIM al-Abdallah al-Jabir al-Sabah
chancery:
2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 966-0702
FAX:
[1] (202) 364-2868
consulate(s) general:
Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Matthew H. TUELLER
embassy:
Bayan 36302, Block 13, Al-Masjed Al-Aqsa Street (near the Bayan palace), Kuwait City
mailing address:
P. O. Box 77 Safat 13001 Kuwait; or PSC 1280 APO AE 09880-9000
telephone:
[965] 2259-1001
FAX:
[965] 2538-0282
Flag description
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side; colors and design are based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I; green represents fertile fields, white stands for purity, red denotes blood on Kuwaiti swords, black signifies the defeat of the enemy
National symbol(s)
golden falcon
National anthem
name:
"Al-Nasheed Al-Watani" (National Anthem)
lyrics/music:
Ahmad MUSHARI al-Adwani/Ibrahim Nasir al-SOULA
adopted 1978; the anthem is only used on formal occasions
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

Comments are closed.