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Kuwait through the year 2018
December 29, 2018, 2:32 pm

The year gone by witnessed many significant events taking place in Kuwait, here we look at some of the major ones.

Jan. 8: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sponsored and attended the inauguration of the 11th meeting of Chairpersons and Speakers of GCC National Assemblies, and Shura and Representatives Councils.

Jan. 29: His Highness the Amir patronized and attended the flag-hoisting ceremony over Bayan Palace, on the 12th anniversary of his assumption of office, the 57th anniversary of National Day and the 27th anniversary of Liberation Day.

Feb. 5: His Highness the Amir patronized and attended the ceremony of inaugurating Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Center. The Centre is one of the world’s largest cultural complexes housing a total of 22 galleries with over 1,100 exhibits. The complex offers a Natural History Museum, Science and Technology Museum, a Fine Arts Centre, Arabic Islamic Science Museum, Space Museum, and Theatre.

Feb. 14: His Highness the Amir inaugurated Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq. During the conference international donors pledged $30 billion, mostly in credit facilities and investment to rebuilding Iraq’s economy and infrastructure devastated by conflicts over the years.

March 28: His Highness the Amir sponsored and attended the opening Kuwait Motor Town. The state-of-the-art site holds seven different race tracks, including an FIA grade one main race circuit of 5.61km, and also features facilities for drag racing, karting, motocross, rally and dune racing.

July 2: His Highness the Amir patronized and attended opening of Al-Jahra Medical City. The KD360 million project executed by the Diwan Amiri is part of Kuwait’s plans to improve national healthcare and raise the capacity of hospitals by 60 percent.

July 4: His Highness the Amir patronized and attended opening of Kuwait International Airport’s Terminal Four (T4). The new Terminal 4 has been designated a dedicated terminal for Kuwait’s national carrier Kuwait Airways. The terminal will be operated by the South Korean Incheon International Airport Corporation that operates the Incheon International Airport in Seoul and which was named the world’s best airport in the Airport Service Quality assessment by Airport Council International for 12 consecutive years.

July 7: His Highness the Amir arrived in China on an official visit aimed at further cementing relations and cooperation. During the visit, His Highness the Amir addressed Arab-China Cooperation Forum and said cooperation between Arab countries and China would contribute to regional and global security and stability.    

Sept. 30: His Highness the Amir received at Bayan Palace Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz. During the visit, Prince Salman met His Highness the Crown Prince and held bilateral talks.

Nov. 7: His Highness the Amir patronized and attended a ceremony marking exporting of shipment of light crude oil. Light crude oil which currently is 180,000 barrels per day is expected to increase to 250,000 bpd in a few years.

Nov. 28: His Highness the Amir attended opening of Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital. The 1,162-bed hospital built at a cost of over KD300 billion is a cutting-edge medical facility with 36 operation rooms, a medical center, a helipad, and a parking lot accommodating some 5,000 vehicles.

Dec. 9: His Highness the Amir participated in the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Jan. 7: National Assembly’s financial and economic affairs committee approved a bill allowing the government to raise the borrowing ceiling to KD25 billion, within a 30-year period, and to sign public loans as well as carry out financing operations from local and international financial markets.

Feb. 13: The parliament approved a draft law allowing non-Kuwaitis to join the Kuwait Army.    

March 4: The parliament’s defense and interior affairs committee agreed to amend the army’s law and rejected a proposal to equate Gulf and stateless military personnel with their Kuwaiti counterparts.

March 6: National Assembly okayed amendments of the law of the National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises.

March 19: Parliament’s legal and legislative affairs committee agreed on the public prosecution’s requests to lift immunity of MPs Waleed Al-Tabtabaie and Safaa Al-Hashem.    

April 4: The parliament adopts a commercial law that incriminates data meddling and allows Ministry of Commerce and Industry employees to assume a judicial policing role.

May 15: The parliament passes a law allowing early retirement for men after 30 years of employment and 25 years for women.

May 16: The parliament adopts the 2016-17 financial budget.    

June 25: The parliament adopts a law for Kuwait’s contribution in the China-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

July 8: The Court of Cassation amended an appeal ruling in the National Assembly case by handing three-and-a-half year sentences to 13 suspects and two years to another three. It also rejected handing verdicts to 30 and acquits others.

Oct. 30: The National Assembly voted against revoking memberships of Waleed Al-Tabtabae and Jamaan Al-Herbesh, and ended a grilling against Minister of State for parliament Adel Al-Kharafi without filing a no-confidence motion.

Nov. 11: Speaker Al-Ghanim announced Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf would prepare a mechanism to compensate people affected by heavy rain.

July 23: The Cabinet adopted proposals for Offset, an obligation required from foreign entities that sign supply contracts with the government.

Sept. 17: The Cabinet assigned the Municipality with transferring the ownership of the Shuwaikh Free Trade Zone to the Finance Ministry.

Sept. 26: Representing His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister delivers Kuwait’s speech at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.

Oct. 8: The government, acting upon instructions of His Highness the Amir, provided USD two million for victims of an earthquake in Indonesia.

Nov. 6: The government sacked Ahmad Al-Hassan, Director General of the Public Authority for Roads and Transportation. Heavy rains over several days in the early part of November inundated several areas of Kuwait leading to widespread damage and destruction of residential and commercial properties. One person was reported to have been killed by flooding waters.

Dec. 24: The cabinet accepted the resignations of four ministers, conducting a reshuffle and assigning new ministers.

During 2018, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development provided nearly KD350 million in loans, grants and financial aid to a number of countries in Africa, Asia, Middle-East and South America.

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