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Major reduction in expat population likely in Kuwait

A major reduction of expatriate population is likely in Kuwait over the next decade, agreed 54% of voters in an online poll by Arab Times.

The respondents to the poll felt that the un-friendly attitude towards expats in Kuwait, and considering them to be job-stealers and hollowing them out of the social services in the country, will compel the expatriates to leave the country. Further, with the discovery of massive oil reserves in the United States, one of the major importers of Middle East oil, Kuwait may face revenue shortages too, thereby affecting job opportunities for expatriates.

Few others said that the expat population in the Middle East will be impacted by developments happening in South East Asian countries like India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as these countries may see huge growths and the reverse migration process may increase.

About 10 percent of voters were of the opinion that with oil losing its value, the scenario during pre-oil era may be replayed, with nationals in the region, moving out to other parts of the world in search of new job opportunities.

Nearly 11 percent of voters expressed concern about the failing health standards in Kuwait. They said that by the year 2020, the number of restaurants in Kuwait would have gone up, and also the obesity levels.

Respondents further said that with the prevailing levels of childhood obesity and diabetes in the country, Kuwait may become the world capital of these diseases. This may further impact the economy in the country in such a manner that the youngsters in their productive years may be handicapped due to these epidemics and may not be able to perform well.

However, few other respondents beg to differ. They said that there is increased awareness now among people about such diseases, and with the intervention of NGOs and other health-related organizations, these numbers may be brought under control. Apart from this, Kuwait may expand more into its deserts, becoming a bigger and more vibrant city, say 10 percent of voters.

There will be more roads and bridges and with the development plans that are currently underway, the country will re-gain its former glory, and get to the top of the region, they said. Kuwait has sufficient space and wealth to accommodate several folds of its current population.

With the discovery of oil in the US, there may be a price war, although the demand for oil would continue. A small minority of voters felt that tourism in the country would develop in a manner so as to diversify the economy.

About 2 percent of voters felt that there will be more investments from Kuwait to South Asia with economies in these region gaining momentum.

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