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Kuwait: the emirate of oil and natural gas

Kuwait (Dawlat al-Kuwait) is an emirate situated in the north-east of the Arabian peninsula, which borders to the north and north-west with Iraq and to the south with Saudi Arabia. While to the east it is washed by the Persian Gulf. Its capital is the modern city of al-Kuwait.

The territory of Kuwait, consists of a flat desert area, dry and sandy part of the Arabian desert, the highest point in the country reaches 306 meters above sea level. The state of Kuwait includes the islands of Bubiyan (863 sq km), Warbah (37 sq km), Failaka (20 sq. km) and other smaller islands, located in the Persian Gulf.

The economy of the country is mainly based on the exploitation of oil and natural gas fields. Agriculture produces cereals, dates and vegetables. A certain importance is played by fishing which is practiced in the waters of the Persian Gulf. The industry is mainly linked to oil refining and construction.

HISTORY

In the seventeenth century the town was the starting point of a network of commercial routes that united the Persian Gulf with the Mediterranean. In 1792 the British established their commercial branch in Kuwait. Kuwait became a sheikhdom and in the 19th century a British protectorate. This remained until 1961, when it became an independent emirate.

In August 1990, Iraqi forces invaded the country. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein annexed the country as nineteenth province of Iraq. After a series of failed diplomatic negotiations, the United States led a coalition to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. This war became known as the Gulf War.

  • Area: 17,818 sqkm. (Arable 1%, Pastures 0%, Forests and Woodlands 0%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 99%)
  • Population: 3,100,000 (2006 data) Including immigrants (about 2,000,000 people). (Arabs 57% (Kuwaitian 35%, other Arabs 22%), Asian 39% (Indians, Pakistanis, Filipinos, Bengali))
  • State Capital: al Kuwait.
  • Languages: The official language is Arabic.
  • Religion: Muslim 75% (Sunni 55%, Shi’a 20%), Christian 15%, Hinduism 9%, Buddhism 3%.
  • Currency: Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD)
  • Time: UTC +3 hours.

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