24 Profitable Business Ideas in Kuwait (and Local Tips to Start Them)

Kuwait is a fantastic place for starting a new business, and the best (and most profitable!) Kuwait business ideas range from selling antiques and vintage items to renting out a boat to putting up water and gas refilling stations.

Reading time: 22 minutes

For the ambitious and entrepreneurial, starting a side hustle or small business in Kuwait is a fantastic idea. There are a good number of profitable Kuwait business ideas to consider that are in demand, growing in popularity, and not overly difficult to set up.

One of the richest countries in the world by per capita GDP (and the second richest in the GCC region) with the sixth largest oil reserves, Kuwait is a melting pot of Kuwaitis and immigrants from different nations—such as India, Egypt,  Bangladesh, and the Philippines—and therefore richly steeped in diverse cultures.

In Kuwait, there are plenty of chances for entrepreneurship and many investment opportunities for enthusiastic business owners, thanks to the country’s strong economy, mix of cultures, support from a government that encourages foreign direct investment, and legislation that is making the market more open and fair for everyone. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can join the ranks of these entrepreneurs by reviewing 24 interesting Kuwait business ideas and cool startups that can boost your productivity and bring you that much-desired success. 

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1. Sell antique and vintage items 

One of the best businesses to start in Kuwait is an antiques and vintage items shop. The local scene for collecting antique and vintage curios, furniture, and home accessories is thriving, with antique shops attracting even more customers post-pandemic, after people have been spending a lot more time in their homes (and are keen to redecorate!).

Mohammad Al-Humaidhi, owner of Beit Al-Cedra vintage shop, told the Kuwait Times that there is a “great demand” for antiques in Kuwait. 

“Lots of people love collecting antiques to display in their homes. Some of them don’t even have space in their houses due to the number of antiques they own, and because these items are precious to them, they refuse to sell them,” said Al-Humaidhi, adding that “in Kuwait and GCC countries, you can find many people who buy antiques.”

This demand for antique and vintage items seems to be growing—Al-Humaidhi said many of his customers visit his shop “two to three times a week” to check for updated wares—making it one of the best business ideas in Kuwait for those with an interest in antiques looking to open up shop.

 TOP TIPS!

  • Specializing in certain types of antique or vintage items (e.g., kitchen items, furniture, or decorative home accessories) gives your store a niche and makes it stand out from the rest.
  • If you’re daunted by a brick-and-mortar store, opening up an online shop of antique and vintage items instead could reach a wider customer base and increase sales! 


2. Sell luxury clothing and accessories  

If you’re interested in fashion, you might want to consider one of the most profitable businesses in Kuwait—the US $1.3 billion (KD 400 million) luxury market for designer clothing and accessories. In Kuwait, the affluent and fashion-forward are driving the market with their high purchasing power, buying up global luxury brands and supporting local up-and-coming trendy designers. 

Vogue Business notes that Kuwait’s luxury market—we’re talking designer clothes, shoes, bags, and jewelry—is the third-largest in the GCC region and is still growing, calling the Kuwaiti luxury consumer “savvy, sophisticated, and hyper-local.” 

Patrick Chalhoub of the Chalhoub Group that opened the first Louis Vuitton store in Kuwait in 1983 says that “even back in the day, Kuwaitis were aware, fashion conscious, and always on-trend,” noting that now, “in the age of social media, Kuwaiti influencers are leading the way, inspiring youth to be bold about experimenting with new styles and be creative while proudly upholding their culture.”

It looks like the luxury lifestyle is going nowhere in the Gulf, and launching a luxury clothing and accessories shop is an interesting and lucrative business idea in Kuwait.

 TOP TIPS!

  • If the idea of sourcing luxury items is a challenge, consider partnering up with existing luxury stores and creating an online, e-commerce catalog for customers to purchase from.  
  • To reach a wider market, starting a business of renting out luxury clothing and accessories for special events could be a great Kuwait business idea!

3. Become a fitness trainer

In Kuwait, people don’t just want to look good in fine fashion, they want to feel good and be healthy, too. Arab News reports that during the pandemic, fitness centers had to innovate with online classes and gym equipment rentals to stay afloat, but since then, there has been a rise in fitness activity in Kuwait—gyms, fitness influencers, and Crossfit have all caught on like wildfire. 

If you’ve got a bend toward health and fitness and want to help people, starting a fitness-based business might not be a new business idea in Kuwait, but it’s a great idea that could grow into one of the most profitable businesses in Kuwait, depending on how you market yourself. Social media marketing is everything for this type of business!

As a fitness trainer, you could grow your business on social media like these top fitness influencers in Kuwait, posting workout videos and helpful health tips and hosting online exercise classes and challenges. If you prefer face-to-face interactions, you can instead focus on in-person training with clients, at the gym, or even in their homes. 

 TOP TIPS!

  • While anyone can post fitness tips and exercise videos online, getting certified as a fitness trainer—and choosing a specialization—will give you credibility, knowledge, and will allow you to operate your business safely and successfully. Yoga teachers, pilates instructors, and Crossfit experts are some of the most popular fields you can get certified in. 
  • Partnering up with a local fitness clothing brand can provide extra exposure for both businesses, and you won’t have to worry about buying things to wear!

4. Sell hand-crafted items

Ever since global online marketplace Etsy graced us with its presence, the world has had a new appreciation for beautiful, one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted items from all cultures and ethnic backgrounds. 

A popular business idea in Kuwait, “selling crafts” is something that interested entrepreneurs might want to consider, notes Seth Sadeq, Co-founder and CEO of payments-made-easy app Kem. You might have a talent for the arts that you want to capitalize on—some examples include drawing, painting, crocheting, embroidery, sewing, jewelry-making, and working with wood, metal, or leather—or you might know artists whose work you want to help sell.

Sadeq adds that “the hardest part of starting a business in Kuwait is getting the right paperwork and finding a payment solution,” but “with Kem, you don't have to worry about signing contracts and dealing with payment providers.” With the Kem app, you can sell hand-crafted items and start accepting payments (with easy-to-share QR payment codes) as a business right away!

TOP TIPS!

  • For hand-crafted items, having an online store is fantastic, but you might consider having a pop-up business that you can set-up in different fairs, markets, and events—this will give you a different type of exposure and will allow customers to appreciate the workmanship in person! 
  • Check out the schedules of local fairs, markets, and expos in advance so you can reserve your spot!

5. Rent out your boat

One of the newer business ideas in Kuwait, renting out your boat is a great opportunity for a business and can be quite a profitable venture, raking in up to thousands of dollars a day, depending on the type of boat you own. 

Have a sport fishing boat, a sailboat, or a yacht that you don’t use very often? These are some of the more popular boat choices for rentals in Kuwait. Work smart and make your investment work for you!

Register your boat on sites like getmyboat.com, clickandboat.com, and boatcrowd.com, which are like AirBnB and VRBO for the sea, and make sure you get a professional photographer to take stunning shots of your boat.

TOP TIPS!

  • Besides registering on boat rental sites, think about having your own website for your boat, so that customers can book rentals with you directly, skipping the need for a middleman. 
  • For this Kuwait business idea, partnering up with local travel and tours companies will give you more exposure to tourists as well as locals looking to rent boats.

6. Start an in-home pet care service business

With the pandemic doubling the demand for pets in the country, pet care-related businesses are one of the best business ideas in Kuwait for enterprising pet-lovers-turned-entrepreneurs. These range from dog-walking services to pet-sitting and in-home pet care services, where customers can drop off their beloved fur babies while they go to work or go on holiday. 

The high demand for pet care services comes along with a decline in birth rate in Kuwait, down 5% from 2022, and a rise in pet adoption as more people choose to raise fur babies instead.

Starting an in-home pet care service business is an interesting, low investment Kuwait business idea that could be extremely profitable and fulfilling at the same time—you need a love for animals, a good foundation of knowledge on basic animal care, supplies, and a space that is set-up for animal care (plus an outdoor area where they can run, play, and use the bathroom). Whether you choose to be a daycare or overnight care business is completely up to you.    

TOP TIPS!

  • Consult with a lawyer and make sure you have good contracts that clients have to sign before they leave their pets with you—make it clear that you are not a veterinarian and will not treat any medical issues but are solely a pet-care provider for healthy animals.
  • Partnering up with a local veterinarian who can be on-call for any emergencies is a great way to add extra value to your business, and you can both funnel clients to each other!

7. Start an event management company

For the ultra-organized, an event management company could be a fantastic Kuwait business idea.

Many people don’t relish the thought of planning an event—there’s so much involved and it can be quite a stressful process searching for locations, providers, rental services for equipment, entertainment options, and catering companies.

But as an entrepreneur, you could bridge the gap between customers and providers and help take the stress out of planning big events such as weddings, birthdays, engagement parties, retirement parties, and many more significant moments. 

You can also choose to offer tiered services—such as only providing party equipment to a full-service package of managing the entire event (invitations, location, hosting, food, and more). All this and more should be outlined in your business plan.

TOP TIPS!

  • Consider specializing in certain events only to create a niche in the market—for example, you might want to focus only on baby-related events, such as baby showers and children’s parties.
  • Partnering up with local providers (hosts, catering companies, event spaces, etc.) is a great way to support local businesses!

8. Become a virtual assistant

In the online space, becoming a virtual assistant is one of the most in-demand, work-from-home businesses you can start. It’s a great idea for a small business opportunity that doesn’t require a big investment to get started—someone else has the business. You need to be savvy at administrative tasks and you need a reliable internet connection (and an organized mind!).

This Kuwait business idea allows you to work in the comfort of your own home, and you can choose what type of industry to get involved in. Have a background in finances, law, or in medical care services? You might want to seek virtual assistant jobs in those fields, where your experience can work toward your advantage.


TOP TIPS!

  • The more tech-savvy you are as a virtual assistant, the better. Being familiar with the Google suite of products (plus other popular productivity apps) will give you an edge over other applicants.
  • Taking an online certificate course in a particular field—such as data entry or medical transcription—can add value and specialization to your business. 

9. Put up a cooking gas refilling station

Everyone needs to eat, so with an increasing demand for cooking gas, setting up a refilling station is a great Kuwait business idea that can help you make money quickly and easily. 

A big advantage of this business is that it isn’t complicated to set up, but you do need to consider your location carefully—being close to a residential area is ideal, to give customers ease of access to your business.  


TOP TIPS!

  • Consider asking large petrol stations if you can rent space within their station. Most petrol stations are already located in convenient, high-traffic areas, and you’ll get a lot of free exposure.
  • Think about offering a cooking gas home delivery service as part of the business model—you can deliver full canisters and take away the empties.     

10. Start a photography business

These days, with the incredible technology available to us, anyone can take a beautiful photograph, but professional photography is still a booming industry.  

The surge in social media, photo-sharing, blogging, and e-commerce has paved the way for an easy route to turn your camera and editing skills into cash. From capturing weddings to crafting images for advertising campaigns; freelancing for magazines; photographing babies, pets, or food; and shooting destination photos—the possibilities are endless!

Photographers looking to make their mark in this Kuwait business idea should think about their target audience and pinpoint the type of photography they want to specialize in. Then, it’s time to gear up with top-notch camera equipment and a professional photo-editing software to bring your visions to life.

TOP TIPS!

  • As a photographer, you need a strong social media following to be successful—get people interested in your photography by posting regularly on popular platforms! 
  • If you’re starting out and don’t yet have a portfolio that clients can check out, offer to shoot for friends and contacts for free—it’s great exposure and a fantastic networking opportunity!

11. Become an English language teacher

As the second language in Kuwait, English is widely spoken, but English language teaching remains an attractive option as a Kuwait business idea. 

If all things English are a passion of yours and if you enjoy teaching, this business could be a great fit for you and an opportunity to make some good money. As an English language teacher, you can choose to work remotely for many English teaching companies, work for a language school, or start your own online or in-person business.

While the better-paying online jobs look for teachers to have a university degree (along with the required Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification), some don’t require it! If you’re not a fan of online work, you might consider tutoring students in person. With Kuwait playing home to immigrants from other countries where English may not be as widely spoken, there are opportunities to tutor kids and adults who want sharper English language skills. 


TOP TIPS!

  • For in-person or Skype/Zoom teaching, partnering up with local immigrant groups and organizations could be a great idea to get more students and more exposure. 
  • Boost your credibility and expertise by taking extra TEFL and specialization courses (such as courses on grammar or writing academic papers). 

12. Start a language translation service

If languages are your area of interest and expertise, starting a language translation service could be one of the best business ideas in Kuwait for you to look into.

While AI can be used to translate, it still gets many things wrong, such as nuances in language, emotions, and expressions that only human translators can provide. Many businesses in varied industries—law, marketing, advertising, and education, among others—rely heavily on translators to bridge the gap between one language and another.

You can keep your language translation business online, or if you prefer in-person work, it could be a good opportunity to meet people from different cultures and cover a wide range of topics.


TOP TIPS!

  • Creating a strong online profile as a language translator on freelance sites will get you off the ground and help you connect with clients in no time.
  • Taking online language courses to work on your fluency is a great way to sharpen your skills and expand your work offerings. 

13. Start a home-based child care service

A great Kuwait business idea for people who love children is home-based child care. While the number of women choosing to work is increasing year after year—in the government sector in Kuwait, women make up around 60% of the workforce—so is the demand for responsible, safe, and engaging child care services.

If you’re interested in working with kids, this could be an extremely profitable business idea. As a child care service provider, you need to provide a safe environment for the kids, ample indoor and outdoor spaces for play, plenty of activities to keep the children busy and active, and fantastic reviews.

You don’t have to rent a venue for this if your home can provide the space you need. For this business, careful planning is required, but it could be extremely fulfilling (and lucrative!).


TOP TIPS!

  • Working with a lawyer on contracts and obtaining the proper insurance will keep you legally covered and safe as a business.  
  • If you’ve had previous child-minding experience, ask your former clients to write or record video reviews of your service—these will come in handy, because parents want to see legitimate reviews from other parents who’ve worked with you in the past.

14. Start a car wash business

A small business idea that could potentially be one of the most profitable businesses in Kuwait is a car wash. The country has one of the highest per capita car ownership rates in the world and is known for its love of luxury, high-end vehicles. 

With a constant demand to fill (cars always get dirty and will always need to be washed), a car wash business could be a fantastic Kuwait business idea. 

A good place to start is to research what type of car wash you want to open—there’s self-service (the lowest-cost, easiest set-up), automatic (initial investments into machines and equipment have to be considered), and full service (this means managing employees, too).  

TOP TIPS!

  • Think carefully about your location (highly traveled road, ease of access, a lot of space)—where you set up your car wash business will dictate how many customers you can service and ultimately how much profit you can make. 
  • Consult with a lawyer on zoning and any other relevant legislation—this is crucial, so that you don’t get stuck with fines and other difficulties.   

15. Put up a water refilling station

Another important demand that needs constant supply is drinking water. People need water to live, and a water refilling station can be quite a profitable Kuwait business idea to get into, especially in this climate of long, dry, and hot summers. 

While fairly straightforward to set-up (provided that you have the capital for the necessary  equipment), it’s all about finding the right location—you want to be in a highly visited area and as close to residential areas as possible.  

A water refilling station could provide constant business, as long as you keep service top-notch and stay competitive with other refilling stations with offers such as discount days.

TOP TIPS!

  • Prevent hiccups in the set-up of your business by staying on top of the quality of your water. Get a water analysis test done before the opening date of your store. If the test fails, you can deal with issues before you open and keep your hygiene reputation intact.     
  • Consider adding a delivery arm to your water refilling station—you can deliver full bottles and take away the empties, or (if customers want to keep their bottles) you can empty the water out into their bottles.   

16. Become a freelance graphic designer

With marketing and advertising being fully digital gigs, graphic designers are more in-demand than ever. Businesses are competing for customers’ attention, and companies with compelling brands, memorable logos, and clever campaigns are much easier to remember.

Help customers cut through the noise and push their goods and services with your creative design skills—offer your services on platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, and others. Being a freelance graphic designer means you can work from home and control your own time. It’s a great Kuwait business idea!


TOP TIPS!

  • Partnering up with a local events management company can give you steady business—they find the clients and you create the art and materials for the events (think invitations, announcement posters, etc.).
  • Accept payments from clients easily with the Kem app, which offers an instant and free solution for small businesses wanting to accept payments immediately.

17. Become a web designer

Another high-demand profession that would make a great small business idea is becoming a  web designer. With online businesses soaring in popularity, owning a web design business is one of the best businesses to start in Kuwait. 

If you’re creative, tech savvy, and willing to put the time and effort into learning different coding languages like HTML and CSS, web design could be a great fit for you. 

It doesn’t require a lot of capital to set-up, and it’s a business that you can take with you wherever you go.  


TOP TIPS!

  • Partnering up with a copyediting company or agency will mean that you have a constant supply of clients who are looking for beautiful design alongside effective marketing copy. 
  • Volunteering to create web design for charities and non-profit organizations is a great way to boost your portfolio or work and get free exposure to potential clients.  

18. Open a restaurant, eatery, food truck, or catering business

As an incredible melting pot for immigrants from other countries (who make up the majority of Kuwait’s population!), Kuwait has a great appreciation of cuisines and palates of different origins. 

In the food business, the potential for profit is promising—people love to eat, and most people enjoy trying new flavors and cuisines. If food is your passion, opening an eatery, restaurant, food truck, or catering business could be a fantastic Kuwait business idea.


TOP TIPS!

  • Offering several cuisines in one restaurant (such as Indian and Filipino food) or focusing on a fusion of cuisines can attract a diverse set of customers and keep people excited.  
  • A food business does not have to equal a restaurant. A catering company that’s partnered up with an events company will have a constant supply of customers, and you won’t need to worry about staff or event management. 

19. Open a bakery

An extremely popular Kuwait business idea that’s not going to get old is the well-loved bakery. Who doesn’t love freshly baked goods?

If opening a brick-and-mortar store is daunting, you might want to consider advertising online and focusing on delivery or pick-up options. 

Turn a profit from people's love for sweets! If your baking skills are on point, consider starting a bakery venture or enlisting an expert baker to be at the helm. The upfront costs are modest, but the rewards are promising.

TOP TIPS!

  • Picking a type of pastry to focus on (croissants, cake, or empanadas?) is crucial in creating a niche and building a reputation for your bakery. 
  • Specializing in gluten-free, sugar-free, or even keto-friendly recipes is not only on-trend, but it can get you a loyal customer fan base.

20. Start a small errands and delivery service

While there are already many delivery providers out there, the market is still open for providers who will do your errands for you, so you don’t have to.

Need someone to pick up your laundry, do your groceries for you, or deliver packages on your behalf? Budding entrepreneurs might want to capitalize on people’s need to get things done and to have time for themselves and their loved ones by starting a small errands and delivery service in Kuwait.

As a new business idea in Kuwait, the errand and delivery service is bound to gain popularity, especially among parents who want to spend more time with their kids and less time running around doing other things.     


TOP TIPS!

  • It’s a good idea to specify what kind of errands you can do (package drop-offs and pick-ups, groceries, laundry, buying water or gas, etc.) and which you do not do (e.g., picking up and dropping children or pets off), to avoid any awkwardness or confusion. 
  • Partnering up with several local businesses could give you a steady stream of work, which means that you don’t have to look for individual clients.

21. Set up a vending machine

If you’ve got the capital and don’t want a demanding business, investing in a vending machine can be a very lucrative Kuwait business idea!

When it comes to setting up a vending machine, you want these important points to lead you: 1) what you want to sell, 2) who your customers are, and 3) where you want to be located.

Vending machines can range from offering coffee, drinks, snacks, sandwiches and packaged food, and even personal care and hygiene products. Keeping your vending machines regularly stocked, unloaded, and serviced is vital to the success of your business.  

TOP TIPS!

  • High traffic areas like offices, schools, and gyms are good locations to consider for your vending machines. 
  • You can even brand your vending machines and make them only feature certain products (e.g., high-end, organic food products in an office or socks, small towels, hygiene products, and even underwear in gyms).  

22. Sell health and wellness products

All the rage in Kuwait and in the rest of the world, organic health and wellness products are in high-demand—we’re talking personal care and beauty products, health aid products like essential oils and diffusers, vitamins and food supplements, and more. 

While you might not be doing the concocting yourself, selling these products can be an attractive and profitable Kuwait business idea to embark upon. 

From health and wellness products, it’ll be easy to expand your business into related fields like eco-friendly personal and home products and the like.


TOP TIPS!

  • Consider an online and pop-up business model for selling health and wellness products—you can sell from a website and you can frequent fairs, markets, and events, too.
  • Partnering up with yoga studios, gyms, and other health and wellness centers is a good idea for collaboration and exposure.

23. Start a virtual events, hosting, and networking company

In this digital age (especially after the pandemic), many meetings and events are held online, eliminating the need for in-person locations, providers, and events management. 

A new business idea in Kuwait, hosting virtual events is the digital equivalent of having an in-person events planning and management company. 

If you’re tech-talented, you might want to create your own hosting program. Otherwise, choose a good virtual event platform to use, and you provide the events planning and hosting services.


TOP TIPS!

  • Consider offering packages for different events (e.g., hosting baby showers, company get-togethers, or funerals) and a customizable virtual evens package, so that customers have choices.
  • Go the extra mile—making sure guests receive virtual giveaways (like gift cards to e-commerce sites) is a special touch.

24. Start an e-commerce platform for small businesses 

Most businesses have an online presence, but for small, local businesses, getting customers’ attention can be a tall order, especially amidst hundreds of attractive brands and marketing offers out there. 

A fantastic online business idea is to offer digital marketing to these small businesses by creating an e-commerce platform where different brands can sell their goods and services. 

This Kuwait business idea can bridge the gap between companies and customers and bring them together successfully.


TOP TIPS!

  • Consider specializing in the type of businesses the e-commerce platform will feature (e.g., food, personal care products, or clothing and accessories).
  • Partnering up with local delivery providers is a great way of outsourcing that aspect of the business. 

Seth Sadeq, Co-founder and CEO of Kem notes that “the hardest part of starting a business in Kuwait is getting the right paperwork and finding a payment solution.” 

“With Kem you don't have to worry about signing contracts and dealing with payment providers. Download the Kem app and start accepting payments as a business right away,” Sadeq says, adding some words of advice to those looking to start a new business in Kuwait— ”Just get started, work towards your goal, and be patient.” 

[For seamless payment transactions in Kuwait, you need Kem, a financial platform for payments made easy. Say goodbye to complicated payment links by sharing QR payment codes instantly with customers and friends, and move your funds smoothly to any of your bank accounts. Download the Kem app for free on Google Play and Apple!]

August 31, 2023
Updated on December 5, 2023
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