A Kuwaiti government official has criticised a recent report ranking the country as the worst in the world for expatriates and called for an investigation.
The Expat Insider 2016 survey, released last week by InterNations, has been a source of embarrassment for the country with several MPs criticising its findings.
“Several international organisations have applauded Kuwait’s efforts in protecting labour rights through the activation of workers’ protection regulations according to international standards,” said minister of social affairs and labour and state minister for planning and development Hind Al- Subaih, according to Kuwait Times.
She added that the increasing number of expats coming to the country to work each year also refuted the findings of the InterNations report.
A team from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour has been assigned to study the report and identify the standards based on which it made its conclusions, according to the publication.
The report asked expats questions related to quality of life, ease of settling in, personal finance, working abroad and family life.
Kuwait was shown to decline in each category in this year’s index, particularly in working abroad and personal finance, ranking 67 out of 67 countries in total.
Following its release local MPs accused InterNations of intending to defame Kuwait, while others insisted the findings were incorrect due to intermarriage between Kuwaitis and expats and the high percentage of expats in the country, at around 70 per cent of the population, according to local reports.
The survey results may be related to recent government measures to reduce the expatriate workforce in the country.
Earlier this year, local reports suggested government departments had been instructed to lay off unnecessary expats and freeze the recruitment of foreign workers.
Other reports have suggested the country is considering plans to deport expats if they lose their job.
Gulf nations Qatar and Saudi Arabia also fared poorly in the InterNations survey, at 60 and 63 respectively. Bahrain was the highest ranked in the region at 19, followed by Oman at 22 and the UAE at 40.
Regional countries fared poorly for leisure activities and political instability. Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi were also among the 10 worst destinations for expat women.
In the global ranking Taiwan, Malta and Ecuador were voted as the best nations for expats.