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COVID-19 CRISIS BITES

Mass exodus of expat workers hits Kuwait property market

KUWAIT CITY, July 4, 2020

With thousands of expatriates along with families leaving Kuwait over the Covid-19 pandemic and the government's nationalisation policy, the country's real estate sector has become the biggest victim, reported Arab Times.
 
The total number of expatriates who have left the country has so far exceeded 100,000, and this number is continuously increasing. 
 
A major reason for the exodus is the recent government move to amend the demographics to ensure 70:30 ratio, meaning 70 per cent citizens and 30 per cent expatriates, stated the report. 
 
Despite the blessing of many citizens for the firm government approach in this regard, there is a large segment of them who are against this approach, as they stress the need to study this step before rushing to implement it, especially when it comes to the real estate sector.
 
While the airport is crowded with people departing the country and some areas in the country are still under isolation, several real estate buildings are starting to empty. 
 
This has become a familiar scene in recent times due to the government’s keenness to implement its vision for restructuring the population and supporting the policy of Kuwaitisation of local jobs.
 
According to major players in the real estate sector, the is mass exodus is ruining the real estate sector, as these expatriates constituted a huge proportion of their clientele.
 
In addition to relieving most of the expats from their jobs over kuwaitisation policy, the government also took some drastic steps including salary cuts and imposing total isolation of areas that included investment housing properties, reported Arab Times, citing the industry experts.
 
This affected the income of many tenants, which led to failure in the payment processes, they stated. 
 
Some of the expatriates have left the country leaving behind more empty apartments. There has also been a shortage of labor. All of these are factors that directly reflect on the returns and revenues of property owners, they added.



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