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Where Is Kuwait and What
Is It Known For?


Kuwait Towers in daytime.

The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab nation situated on the northwest shores of The Gulf in southwest Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south, and Iraq to the north. The name Kuwait is derived from the Arabic "akwat", the plural of "kout", meaning fortress built near water. The emirate covers an area of 17,820 square kilometres (6,880 sq mi) and has a population of about 2.7 million.

After Kuwait gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, the nation's oil industry saw unprecedented economic growth. In 1990, Kuwait was invaded and annexed by neighboring Iraq. The seven month-long Iraqi occupation came to an end after a direct military intervention by United States-led forces. Nearly 773 Kuwaiti oil wells were set ablaze by the retreating Iraqi army resulting in a major environmental and economic catastrophe. Kuwait's infrastructure was badly damaged during the war and had to be rebuilt.

Kuwait is mainly low-lying desert, with irrigated areas along the bay, Kuwait Jun, where most people live. Summers are hot and dry and winters are cool with some rainfall. The oil industry, which accounts for eighty percent of export, has largely recovered from the damage caused by the Gulf War. Income is also derived from extensive overseas investments. Japan and the USA are the main trading partners.

Kuwait is the eleventh richest country in the world per capita and has the highest human development index (HDI) in the Arab world.

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