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Fast Facts
Official Name: State of Kuwait
Population: 2,6 million (2010)
Capital: Kuwait City
Government: Constitutional emirate
Leaders: Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah
Religion: Muslim 85% (Sunni majority), other 15%
Languages: Arabic (official), English widely used
GDP: $136.5 billion (CIA 2010 est.)
GDP/Capita: $48,900 (CIA 2010 est.)
Main exports: Oil and refined products, fertilizers
Time zone: GMT + 3
International dialing code: 965
Currency: 1 Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD) = USD 3.4662
Country briefing
Kuwait flag
Kuwait became a British protectorate in 1899 in order to avoid direct Ottoman rule. In return for military protection, London was given control of Kuwait’s foreign affairs. The British remained until 1961, when Kuwait became independent.
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