Stock Kuwait skyline city
Kuwait city skyline. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: More than 18,000 expatriates have been deported from Kuwait in the past six months due to different violations, including traffic infringements, a Kuwaiti official has said.

Chief of Traffic Awareness Department Brig. Nawaf Al Hayan said 18,486 have been deported from March to August, adding that the deportees included hundreds of traffic violators.

He told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai that these infringements included high speed, driving past the red traffic signal, involvement in a road race, illegal transportation of passengers, driving in the opposite direction or without a licence.

Kuwaiti authorities withdrew driving licences from 34,751 expatriates for being ineligible to hold them during the January-August period, according to the official, who did not say if those foreigners were among the deportees.

He disclosed that a total of 2.6 million traffic infringements were recorded in Kuwait over the last eight months.

Foreigners make up nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s overall population of 4.6 million.

Expatriates are now required to pay their outstanding traffic fines as well as communication bills before leaving Kuwait.

As of September 1, Kuwait also began implementing a decree requiring all expatriates to pay their electricity and water bills before leaving the country.

In recent months, there have been increasing calls in Kuwait for curbing foreigners’ employment along accusations that migrant workers have strained the country’s infrastructure facilities amid economic repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country is seeking to redress its demographic imbalance and replace foreign workers with its citizens as part of an employment policy dubbed “Kuwaitisation”.