Geography of Kuwait


Terrain shapes and bedrock

According to COUNTRYAAH, Kuwait’s land area is low and flat with a slight general rise from the coast along the Persian Gulf towards the border to the west. The easternmost part of Saudi Arabia’s plateau country with the Musanna Mountains extends here into Kuwait with the highest point of ash-Shaqaya (290 m asl), close to the border with Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

The majority of Kuwait is a 75-90 km wide desert of lowland nature, mainly in the north-northwest-south-southeast. The landscape is faintly wavy with smaller streams, playas, which after the rainy season are often water-filled and used as watering places for camel herds. The slopes from the higher area in the west to the plain are marred by eroded dry valleys, wadier. They also occur in many parts of the country, especially in the lowland area in the north.

The coast is predominantly flat with a straight coastline. The Gulf of Kuwait forms the only major cut in the coastline, about 50 km long. The bay’s northern coastline rises 145 m above sea level in Zawr, while the capital of Kuwait City lies on the southern coast in lieu of a cape and has a natural harbor. In the extension of the inner part of the Gulf of Kuwait, the Jahra oasis is spreading. In the coastal area there are large stretches of salt marshland.

The bedrock consists of young sedimentary rocks containing very large oil reserves. Among the many islands are particularly noticeable Bubiyan in the north, which is the largest, and Faylaka outside the inlet to the Gulf of Kuwait.

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In Kuwait, desert climate dominates with very hot summers and cool winters. During April to September the temperature during the daytime reaches 44 ° C, temporarily up to 54 ° C. The winter temperature is around 16 ° C. Precipitation falls during the winter period, November – March, and yields 25-180 mm per year, as a result of cyclones entering the west from an area that is otherwise dominated by the northeast passage. Strong winds are common, during June – July they appear as violent sandstorms.

Plant-and animal life

Kuwait Wildlife

Coherent vegetation is found only in irrigated agricultural areas, mainly around Kuwait City. The country is otherwise desert-rich, and the vegetation consists mostly of low-lying shrubs. In spring, the years when sufficient rainfall falls, grasses and annual herbs sprout. Salt marshes, especially along the coast, contain salt-tolerant vegetation. Along the coast there is a local mangrove.

Wildlife on land is very poor, due to both desert conditions and hard hunting; The hunt has hit, among other things. dorkas gazelle, half-ash and cheetah, which were previously in the area. In stark contrast stands the very rich wildlife associated with the sea. Here you will find rich coral reefs and islands with large colonies of terns. lesser tern (Steʹrna bengaleʹnsis), gray-backed tern (S. anaetheʹtus) and white-tailed tern (S. repreʹssa). The coasts are important resting places for birds on migration between Africa and northern Eurasia.

Nature conservation

Kuwait had a national park in 2010, the sand desert Jal az-Zor within the Gulf of Kuwait, and 14 nature reserves.

Economic conditions

The prosperous Kuwaiti economy, which had already suffered profoundly from the repercussions of the war between Iran and Iraq, experienced a more severe period of recession in the years immediately following the Gulf War. However, already in the mid-1990s it showed that it had overcome the crisis, material and financial, following the Iraqi occupation, and the economic indicators were returning positive. At the beginning of the 21st century. the country’s economic and financial situation has consolidated even more, even if Kuwait, who in the past supported one of the most generous social and health care policies in the world, was forced to reduce subsidies and take the liberalization and privatization. In addition, the government’s economic policy has stepped up efforts to diversify productive activities as much as possible, with the aim of liberating the country. from the exclusive oil monopoly, which always and in any case represents the greatest national wealth: it contributes about 50% to the formation of GDP and just over 90% to the value of exports. The extraction takes place in about 700 wells, connected by oil pipelines to the coastal terminals and to the refining plants. The industrial sector revolves around oil processing, which covers 68% of the entire manufacturing sector, but there is no shortage of construction materials and chemical industries, as well as fertilizers.

In the last years of the 20th century, following the production diversification project, service activities and above all investments abroad, mostly linked to oil extraction (but there are also those carried out in the industry), especially in the United States, Western Europe and Japan.