KUWAIT: According to official statistics, Kuwaitis’ total spending on travel increased by 17.6 percent in 2018, where they spent KD 4.03 billion ($13.9 billion), compared to only KD 3.43 billion ($11.31 billion) in 2017. The statistics also showed revenues from tourism have retreated by 10.6 percent as the tourism sector only made KD 378 million compared to KD 423 million in 2017. A World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) study had pointed out Kuwaitis annually spend 11 percent of their income on tourism, travelling and recreation – the highest in GCC states – followed by Saudis, who spend 7 percent of their income on tourism, Qataris 5.7 percent, Omanis 3.3 percent and Bahrainis 2.1 percent.
Minister of social affairs Saad Al-Kharraz stressed that the ministry is closely monitoring consumer goods prices in various co-ops during Ramadan to prevent any unjustified price hikes accompanying the high demand during the holy month. Speaking on the sidelines of an iftar with residents of social care homes, Kharraz said special teams had been formed in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies and the Public Authority for Manpower to tour and inspect various co-ops and fine violators.
High school graduates
Kuwait University is scheduled to hold a meeting within a few days with various educational facilities including private universities and the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) to discuss the admission of high school graduates for the next academic year (2019-2020), said informed sources. The sources added that this meeting is held on an annual basis to set the arrangements to open local and overseas scholarships according to budgets, capacities and labor market needs.
The Manpower and Government Restructuring Program (MGRP) recently asked the Ministry of Education to provide it with information concerning the academic sequence and the validity of degrees obtained by around 40 of its employees, as it launched an investigation into suspicions that some of them could have fake degrees.
South Khaitan project
Head of the South Khaitan housing project’s committee Bader Al-Mutairi predicted that if everything goes according to schedule without any obstacles, construction orders will be distributed to beneficiaries by the end of 2020. Mutairi added committee members recently met the Public Authority for Roads and Transportation’s deputy director Soha Ashkanani, who told them that receiving bids for the tender of building the project’s infrastructure will be completed on May 26, then the offers will be studied.
Well-informed source at Kuwait Municipality said the municipality’s executive body is fully committed to studying cleaning bids within a month after receiving them from the Central Agency for Public Tenders. “We received the offers on March 11 and sent our reply on April 11, which means there is no delay on our side,” the sources stressed. The sources added that the municipality suggested conditioning that contractors only take one project each in order to create competitiveness amongst them and help reduce costs, which has already happened as new contracts cost 55.65 percent less than the previous ones.
By A Saleh and Meshaal Al-Enezi