Your Highness the Prime Minister, why are people fleeing from Kuwait?

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YOUR Highness the Prime Minister, with each holiday, the airport gets crowded with passengers exiting the country, as if like a great migration. With the advent of Eid Al-Adha, we beg to ask: “What is the reason behind this exodus abroad?”

This question is based on the fact that during the last Eid Al-Fitr holiday, about 350,000 citizens and expatriates traveled for tourism. It is expected that this coming Eid Al-Adha, the number will be much bigger.

Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Based on reports issued by official bodies, Kuwaitis and those residing abroad spend billions every year on vacations simply because they fall under baseless restrictions.

The previously approved laws were intended to close the country because the same sources — whether parliamentarians or influential people — made the country a repellant to everything.

This happened through the so-called negative phenomena committee, coeducation ban or the prohibition of concerts and festivals, and even cafés whose operating hours are restricted, in addition to other ministerial and legislative decisions that killed the spirit of Kuwait which, decades ago, was called ‘Paris of the Gulf’ and ‘Pearl of Creativity and the Arts.’

People flee from the country during holidays due to the lack of any outlet that can compensate them for traveling in order to entertain themselves. Even the gardens have become like old groves, dominated by desolation and neglect, beaches are closed either by chalets or fenced off for influential people. Also, they do not have services that could entice people to go to them as their only outlet and could generate money for the State; that is, if there is a realistic vision to invest in all of this in order to develop domestic tourism on one hand, and on the other hand, bring more visitors from abroad through entertainment projects.

Indeed, the country is closed as a result of all of the aforementioned scenarios, and even the partial opening was under difficult conditions which, not all people could bear. Meanwhile, in other Gulf countries, the visitor obtains the visa within 10 minutes electronically and does not even need a sponsor, but for us, that seems impossible.

Even our islands are forbidden from being accessed. Since 2018, Kuwaitis have been waiting for the start of the Failaka development project, which has been dormant for a long time. They were optimistic about the recent demolition of some buildings there; but as typical of the Kuwaiti bureaucracy, implementation will not be quick.

Your Highness the Prime Minister, last year, Kuwaitis spent $14.3 billion on tourism abroad. Most of the neighboring Gulf countries that paid a lot of attention to the tourism sector benefited from a large portion of such expenditure. Some of them even made it a source of diversifying sources of income and enhancing the national product.

It is true that the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior took some measures to open the country; but they are not sufficient because they do not meet the aspirations, as they contain conditions and legislation enacted by backward people in previous parliaments, and now need immediate amendment.

People do not want to incur losses in order to entertain themselves and their families. Therefore, the obstacle to development has been removed due to the measures taken by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Today, it is the mission of the Council of Ministers, which has legislative capacity as well, to amend the ‘lockdown’ laws, work rapidly to regulate domestic tourism, and open the country to be on par with the rest of the Gulf countries and the world.

If you compare the contribution of tourism in Kuwait to its gross domestic product — which is 1.5 percent, to the tourism in other Gulf countries, you will realize how much we have lost in the past years as a result of the country’s closure and how much more we will lose if the situation continues.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

This news has been read 2630 times!

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