Kuwait is a small, oil-rich country nestled in the north-east of the Persian Gulf. With an arid desert climate, the country can experience extremely hot weather in the summer and cool, inviting winters.
In this post, we will talk you through what to expect throughout the year, both in terms of climate in Kuwait, holidays and major events.
From late October through to April, day time temperatures are mild to warm, whilst May through to October day time temperatures can be exceedingly hot, reaching their peak in July & August.
How hot does Kuwait get in the summer?
Peak summer temperatures in Kuwait can reach 46.9c (117F). The heat is prolonged and overnight temperature tend to stay over 30c (86F).
You will find there is quite a dry heat at the start of summer, changing to hot and humid through August and September. Relief from the heat arrives by mid-October.
Note that sea temperatures will be high as well. You can expect ocean temperatures to rise as high as 34c (92F) (check your hotel has a temperature-controlled pool!)
What’s the hottest Kuwait has ever been?
The hottest day ever recorded was at the Mitribah weather station, clocking in at 53.9c (129F) on 21 July 2016. Temperatures in summer regularly reach over 50c in Kuwait.
How cold does Kuwait get in the winter?
Kuwait is a beautiful destination to visit in the cooler winter months, from the end of October onwards through until April. It tends to get slightly colder in winter than some of it’s Gulf neighbours. Day time average highs in January are 19.5c (67F) and overnight lows of around 8.5c (47F) – though it can even creep as low as freezing (32F) overnight.
Sea temperatures in winter drop to a rather chilly average of 16.5c (62F).
You will definitely want jeans and a pullover in the coolest winter months.
Does it rain in Kuwait?
You are unlikely to need to pack a coat and umbrella, but do be mindful that when it rains, it can pour and flash flooding is likely. This can cause traffic havoc and the closure of schools and businesses. You’re best staying put in your accommodation if rain does occur.
Does Kuwait get dust storms?
Kuwait is susceptible to the Shamal – a northwesterly wind that blows over Iraq and the Persian Gulf states in the summer. There is also the winter shamal experienced between December and February, these storms may last 3 to 5 days and may affect visibility and flight schedules.
Those with respiratory conditions such as asthma should keep abreast of the AQI if it’s dusty out.
Public and school holidays in Kuwait
Although the country follows the Gregorian calendar (January through December), the Hijri calendar is observed for religious occasions.
Religious holidays in Kuwait
The main observances are:
- Isra’a Wal Miraj (the Prophet’s Ascension)
- The holy month of Ramadan
- Eid al-Fitr
- Arafat Day
- Eid al-Adha
- Hijri New Year (1 Muharram)
- Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif (the Prophet’s birthday)
These dates move forward on the Gregorian calendar approximately 10 days each year.
You can convert the Gregorian Calendar to the estimated Hijri calendar here (do note though that the exact date of religious holidays are officially announced by the moon sighting committee).
Kuwait also celebrates:
- New Year’s Day on 1 January
- National Day & Liberation Day 25, 26 & 27 February
Note that the weekend is Friday/Saturday in Kuwait making these days much busier than during the week Sunday through Thursday.
School holidays in Kuwait
Most schools in Kuwait run on a three-term calendar. They will have a winter term (Term 1), take a few weeks off over mid-December to early January. Term 2 then runs through until late March. There is a spring break late March/early April (only a coincidence if it’s at Easter) then Term 3 runs until early July before a long summer break over July and August.
Check out this bumper list of ideas of family things to do in Kuwait here
What to expect in Kuwait during Ramadan
It’s important to note as a visitor when the Holy Month of Ramadan will occur as there are slight modifications in behaviour required. The 9th month in the Hijri calendar is a period of deep religious reflection for Muslims and is strictly observed.
Ramadan in 2020 will start approximately 23 April and end 23 May.
The most important thing to observe is fasting with no eating or drinking in public permitted during the Holy Month – those caught can be punished with up to a KD 100 fine and/or one month in jail. There should also be no public displays of affection and ensure you are dressed modestly – more so than usual.
The other thing you may observe is that many businesses and attractions are closed during the day and only open in the evening, or operate modified trading hours. Businesses in the private sector are restricted to a 6-hour working day through the Holy Month.
There is no reason not to visit Kuwait during Ramadan . It can be a great time to enjoy the local culture, join in with a traditional Iftar (the evening breaking of the fast), Suhoor (final meal before fasting begins) and overnight festivities that last well into the night, especially on weekends.
Read more about visiting Kuwait & the Middle East:
- Complete Kuwait with Kids guide
- How should I dress in Kuwait?
- Best things to do with kids in Kuwait (coming soon!)
- Middle East Capital Cities
- Saudi Arabia Tourism; What should you expect now tourist visas are available?