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New Year rush at airports, borders to travel abroad

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 1: The land borders and airport of Kuwait were congested with people travelling overseas to spend the New Year holidays abroad, reports Al- Kuwaitiah daily. According to the statistics, Saudi Arabia topped the list of destinations for travelers who passed through Nuwaiseeb and Salmi borders, while eight out of ten air travelers went to Dubai. Statistics further revealed that Kuwaitis spent about $1.1 billion through KNet outlets within eight days from Dec 24-31. About four million withdrawals or purchases through the outlets were made daily.

The rise in withdrawals began after payment of salaries by Dec 24 and 25 when people carried out about 600,000 transactions worth KD 50 million. Average value of the transactions within the period was KD 40 million. It indicated that people spent about 50 percent of withdrawals, which is almost $550 million, on travel expenses abroad.

They paid for expenses in restaurants, shopping malls and recreation spots, which boosts economies of those countries. Turkey and London are other destinations that attracted large number of Kuwaiti tourists, while relatively low number of tourists went to Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. Meanwhile, most government offices were quiet and almost empty as customers trickled in to complete their transactions in the Ministries Complex on Tuesday morning, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting sources.

Sources revealed only 56 percent of the employees reported for work on that day since many took sick leaves and several others chose to be absent from work without taking permission. Sources said the officials will submit a list of employees with unauthorized absences before and after the holidays to the Legal Affairs Department in order to take the necessary measures against them.

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