Kuwait Dinar - KWD


The dinar will probably be a familiar name for you if you are familiar with any of the currencies from this part of the world. However the Kuwaiti dinar is unique to this particular country and isn’t used elsewhere. Much like the dollar and some other currencies this is just another version of it.

What coins and notes are available for this currency?

The dinar is divided into 1,000 subunits, each called a fil. This is referred to as fils in plural. There are five coins that are used in common transactions and these are all denominated in fils. They are the 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 fils coins. Aside from these you will also use a number of banknotes. Two of these are of rather small denominations as they are marked for ¼ and ½ a dinar respectively. The remaining ones are marked as the 1, 5, 10 and 20 dinar notes.

From past to present – the history of the dinar

Some decades ago between 1959 and 1966 a number of countries in the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf areas used a currency called the Gulf rupee. Kuwait was one of these countries but it got rid of the rupee in 1961 and brought in the Kuwaiti dinar instead. The invasion of Iraq in 1990 meant the Iraqi dinar was brought in as the main currency but this was ejected from use when the war ended. At this point the Kuwaiti dinar was brought back into circulation, although it was re-issued with all new notes.

How to get hold of the Kuwaiti dinar

You shouldn’t have any issues getting any dinars for the duration of your stay in Kuwait. This is because the country has lots of cash machines in various areas, so getting currency out when you need it is quite easy. You may want to alert your card issuers at home to the fact you will be using them in Kuwait though. If not they may see the use as suspicious and could stop your card. This is problematic if you are in Kuwait at the time – which of course you will be!

You can also use your credit card to pay for purchases virtually everywhere you go. Just check which cards are accepted before you choose to pay with this method, especially if you are going to a restaurant. You will want to be sure you can pay at the end.

How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Kuwaiti dinar

The chances are you won’t know much about the Kuwaiti dinar or how much it might be worth when compared to your own currency. However the good news is you can find out very easily if you have access to a currency converter. Enter your own currency first and then find the dinar from the list provided of currencies you can convert your currency into. You can always type in KWD as the currency code because this should automatically bring up the Kuwaiti dinar for you. It does make life easier!

If you would like to learn more about the UK’s relationship with Kuwait (and this might be interesting to do if you are going there soon) head on over to the UK government website at https://www.gov.uk/government/world/kuwait.

Travelling safely with Kuwaiti dinars

When people think of Kuwait they think of the occupation by Iraq, the Gulf War and the trouble the country went through from 1990 onwards. However things have changed now and things are more positive in the country as a result.

Although violent crime does occur in the country it isn’t generally a problem as far as tourists are concerned. The best bet is to check the situation in the country (and in particular the area you are visiting) before you leave for Kuwait. Other than that the general rules and advice apply when it comes to keeping yourself safe in the country. Don’t carry excessive amounts of money with you or lots of valuables, and keep your passport safe.

Where to spend your dinars in Kuwait – and what to spend them on

If you look at a map of the world and find the Persian Gulf, you will see Kuwait at the very tip of it. It is bordered by just two countries, which are Iraq to the north and west and Saudi Arabia to the south. The entire eastern border looks out onto the Persian Gulf itself.

The capital of the country is rather appropriately named Kuwait City. This is on the eastern coastal side of the country and it has made an impressive name for itself as one of the major cities in the world with regard to business and production.

It also boasts a fair few sights you might want to see while you are in the country. For example you won’t be able to miss Kuwait Towers as there are three of them and they are very distinctive indeed. They are tall and skinny for the most part but at various positions there are bulbous sections that are finished in various colours. They are quite a sight and you can head up a tower to the viewing sphere to see the city laid out below. Not only that, the sphere rotates too, meaning you have a great chance to see the entire city during a half hour rotation without actually moving from the spot. You’ll want to move eventually though because at this height of 123 metres above sea level, you can enjoy a visit to a café for a snack. Alternatively, lower down in a sphere at a mere 82 metres above sea level you can head into a restaurant for a meal.

Elsewhere in the city you can see the Grand Mosque – and in this case the word ‘grand’ is definitely well-deserved. It is the biggest mosque in the entire country and the highest point is an impressive 74 metres in the air. The mosque might be a little more modern than you were expecting but it is definitely worth a look.

One way to find out more about the city and indeed the entire country is to pay a visit to Kuwait National Museum. There are various artefacts on display here, both from fairly recent history and from much longer ago as well. It is best not to rush your time here as it will give you a better understanding of the Kuwait that has developed through the ages.

One thing you may not consider doing when you are visiting Kuwait is to head for a beach. After all it’s not the first thing to spring to mind is it? However there are a number of beaches along the eastern coast of the country that produce the chance to enjoy a nice relaxed holiday if this is what you have in mind. Messila Beach is private but it has female only days that might be worth considering if you are travelling to Kuwait on your own and you want a secure and relaxing area to enjoy.

Elsewhere you can also go to the Aqua Park, which is popular among everyone who visits the country and wants some water activities and attractions to enjoy. There are facilities here for all the family, from the small pool designed for young children to the major rides designed for the braver adults! Take a lazy ride around the lazy river or choose to have a go at one of the other rides you could enjoy. Some of these do require some bravery, such as the fabled Kamikaze ride for example. It doesn’t last long but you do need some nerves to head down it without screaming. You can also cool off in the lagoon or head for the park beach to enjoy a more sedate time and some sun as well. As you can see, Kuwait really does have some interesting experiences for you to enjoy.


There are some countries that instantly spring to mind when you think about having a holiday abroad. It is probably fairly safe to say Kuwait is not one of them. However as you have seen here there is a lot to think about if you want to look into the prospect of going here on holiday. We’ve only really focussed on the eastern side of the country where the coastal region is, but even elsewhere you can enjoy some great activities and destinations, not to mention some outstanding places to visit.

The main thing to do if you are interested in visiting Kuwait is to consider where you want to go and the type of holiday you want. Budgeting for it is a good idea too, especially when it comes to how much spending money you can allow for the trip. Not all experiences require you to spend money but once you know how far your Kuwaiti dinars will go in the country you can better plan your trip in the near future.



  1. I thought the dinar was a fictional currency until I read this. I remember seeing a TV programme once that had the dinar as its currency and it was based in ancient times. I suppose the currency was not such a stretch to think about after all!

    So now I stand corrected, I was interested to read the rest of this article. It did surprise me because I would never have looked at Kuwait as being a safe place to go for any reason. I have read enough to know some of the history of this place, but it seems I missed a lot of news here. It seems to be far more amenable as a holiday destination now than it was at various points in the past.

    — CDixon · Jun 29, 08:35 PM · #

  2. I suppose I am not alone in thinking that Kuwait was not safe to visit, given the comments from the person above. History has not been kind to Kuwait, in terms of the issues it has had in the past. But even though things now seem okay, I wouldn’t be keen on visiting. It is interesting to read about the currency though, and how it relates to the country, especially in terms of how it was made worthless in the past.

    — AHews · Jan 31, 02:01 PM · #

  3. The comment about Kuwait being a Muslim country and not allowing drinking reminded me of a couple of newspaper stories I read in the past about young Brits going to Muslim countries and acting the same as they do at home. Then they are surprised when they are arrested and thrown in prison for drinking (and worse). If you are going to visit a Muslim country you must be prepared to respect their wishes and laws. If you don’t respect them you shouldn’t go there in the first place. There are plenty of places in the world where you can misbehave (not that I think it’s a good idea anyway). But trying to act however you wish in a country that clearly does not allow it is never a good idea.

    — Helene · May 22, 08:45 AM · #