A map of Kuwait The small, oil-rich country of Kuwait lies at the head of the Persian Gulf. Here, a deep, natural harbour, Kuwait Bay, extends 40 kilometres (25 miles) inland to the port of Kuwait City. For centuries, the natural protection of this harbour has made Kuwait an important centre of trade. Inland, most of the country is covered by sandy desert, while at the coast the land is greener, fringed by salt marshes. Offshore is the large island of Bubiyan, which is used as farmland. Kuwait has a semi-desert climate with long, hot summers and cool, sometimes rainy winters. In spring, huge dust storms sweep in from the desert, darkening the skies and bringing the city to a standstill.
Nearly all Kuwaitis live in modern villas and apartments in the city of Kuwait and its suburbs. As in many oil-producing nations in the Middle East, around half of the population is made up of foreign workers. Many are from Asian countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. Although Arabic is the official language of Kuwait, a lot of people speak English to one another, especially in business.
Kuwait City skyline
Kuwait’s name comes from the Arabic “al-kuwayt” meaning “a fortress protected by water”.
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