Kuwait the State of Kuwait, is a country in Western Asia. Situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, it shares borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia; as of 2016, Kuwait has a population of 4.5 million people: 1.3 million are Kuwaitis and 3.2 million are expatriates. Expatriates account for 70% of the population. Oil reserves were discovered in commercial quantities in 1938. From 1946 to 1982, the country underwent large-scale modernization. In the 1980s, Kuwait experienced a period of geopolitical instability and an economic crisis following the stock market crash. In 1990, Kuwait was invaded, annexed, by Saddam's Iraq; the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait came to an end in 1991 after military intervention by a military coalition led by the United States. Kuwait is a major non-NATO ally of the United States, it is a major ally of ASEAN, while maintaining a strong relationship with China. Kuwait is a constitutional sovereign state with a semi-democratic political system.
Kuwait has a high-income economy backed by the world's sixth largest oil reserves. The Kuwaiti dinar is the highest valued currency in the world. According to the World Bank, the country has the fourth highest per capita income; the Constitution was promulgated in 1962. Kuwait is home to the largest opera house in the Middle East; the Kuwait National Cultural District is a member of the Global Cultural Districts Network. In 1613, the town of Kuwait was founded in modern-day Kuwait City. Administratively, it was a sheikhdom, ruled by local sheikhs. In 1716, the Bani Utub settled in Kuwait, which at this time was inhabited by a few fishermen and functioned as a fishing village. In the eighteenth century, Kuwait prospered and became the principal commercial center for the transit of goods between India, Muscat and Arabia. By the mid 1700s, Kuwait had established itself as the major trading route from the Persian Gulf to Aleppo. During the Persian siege of Basra in 1775–79, Iraqi merchants took refuge in Kuwait and were instrumental in the expansion of Kuwait's boat-building and trading activities.
As a result, Kuwait's maritime commerce boomed, as the Indian trade routes with Baghdad, Aleppo and Constantinople were diverted to Kuwait during this time. The East India Company was diverted to Kuwait in 1792; the East India Company secured the sea routes between Kuwait and the east coasts of Africa. After the Persians withdrew from Basra in 1779, Kuwait continued to attract trade away from Basra. Kuwait was the center of boat building in the Persian Gulf region. During the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, vessels made in Kuwait carried the bulk of trade between the ports of India, East Africa and the Red Sea. Kuwaiti ships were renowned throughout the Indian Ocean. Regional geopolitical turbulence helped foster economic prosperity in Kuwait in the second half of the 18th century; the biggest catalyst for much of Kuwait becoming prosperous was due to Basra's instability in the late 18th century. In the late 18th century, Kuwait functioned as a haven for Basra's merchants, who were fleeing Ottoman government persecution.
Kuwaitis developed a reputation as the best sailors in the Persian Gulf. In the 1890s, Kuwait began to feel threatened by the Ottoman empire. In a bid to address its security issues, the ruler, Sheikh Mubarak Al Sabah signed an agreement with the British government in India, subsequently known as the Anglo-Kuwaiti Agreement of 1899 and became a British protectorate; the Sheikhdom of Kuwait remained a British protectorate from 1899. Following the Kuwait–Najd War of 1919–20, Ibn Saud imposed a trade blockade against Kuwait from the years 1923 until 1937; the goal of the Saudi economic and military attacks on Kuwait was to annex as much of Kuwait's territory as possible. At the Uqair conference in 1922, the boundaries of Kuwait and Najd were set. Ibn Saud persuaded Sir Percy Cox to give him two-thirds of Kuwait's territory. More than half of Kuwait was lost due to Uqair. After the Uqair conference, Kuwait was still subjected to a Saudi economic blockade and intermittent Saudi raiding; the Great Depression harmed Kuwait's economy.
International trading was one of Kuwait's main sources of income before oil. Kuwaiti merchants were intermediary merchants; as a result of the decline of European demand for goods from India and Africa, Kuwait's economy suffered. The decline in international trade resulted in an increase in gold smuggling by Kuwaiti ships to India; some Kuwaiti merchant families became rich from this smuggling. Kuwait's pearl industry collapsed as a result of the worldwide economic depression. At its height, Kuwait's pearl industry had led the world's luxury market sending out between 750 and 800 ships to meet the European elite's desire for pearls. During the economic depression, luxuries like pearls were in little demand; the Japanese invention of cultured pearls contributed to the collapse of Kuwait's pearl industry. Historian Hanna Batatu explains how the British threatened to take the Kurdish area and Mosul out of Iraq provided that King Faisal granted Britain control of the oil in the region. In 1938 the Kuwaiti Legislative Council unanimously approved a request for Kuwait’s reintegration with Iraq.
A year an armed uprising which had raised the integration banner as its objective was put down by the British. With the end of the world war, increasing need for oil across the world, Kuwait experienced a period of prosperity driven by oil and its liberal atmosphere; the period
The Kuwaiti dinar is the currency of Kuwait. It is sub-divided into 1,000 fils; the Kuwaiti dinar is the world's highest-valued currency unit per face value. The dinar was introduced in 1968 to replace the Gulf rupee, equal to the Indian rupee, it was equivalent to one pound sterling. As the rupee was fixed at 1 shilling 6 pence, that resulted in a conversion rate of 13 1⁄3 rupees to the dinar; when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the Iraqi dinar replaced the Kuwaiti dinar as the currency and large quantities of banknotes were stolen by the invading forces. After liberation, the Kuwaiti dinar was restored as the country's currency and a new banknote series was introduced, allowing the previous notes, including those stolen, to be demonetized; the coins in the following table were introduced in 1961. The design of all coins has not changed since they were first minted. On the obverse is a boom ship, with year of minting in both Islamic and Common Era in Arabic; the reverse contains the value in Arabic within a central circle with إمَارَة الكُوَيت above and KUWAIT in English below.
Unlike many other Middle Eastern currencies, Kuwait has a coin worth 0.2 of its main currency unit rather than 0.25. The 1 fils coin was last minted in 1988. Six series of the Kuwaiti dinar banknote have been printed; the first series was issued following the pronouncement of the Kuwaiti Currency Law in 1960, which established the Kuwaiti Currency Board. This series was in circulation from 1 April 1961 to 1 February 1982 and consisted of denominations of 1⁄4, 1⁄2, 1, 5 and 10 dinars. After the creation of the Central Bank of Kuwait in 1969 as a replacement to the Kuwaiti Currency Board, new 1⁄4, 1⁄2 and 10 dinar notes were issued from 17 November 1970, followed by the new 1 and 5 dinar notes of the second series on 20 April 1971; this second series was withdrawn on 1 February 1982. The third series was issued on 20 February 1980, after the accession to the throne of late Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, in denominations of 1⁄4, 1⁄2, 1, 5 and 10 dinars. A 20 dinars banknote was introduced on 9 February 1986.
As a result of the state of emergency after the Invasion of Kuwait, this series was ruled invalid with effect from 30 September 1991. Significant quantities of these notes were stolen by Iraqi forces and some had appeared on the international numismatic market; the "Standard Catalog of World Paper Money" lists notes with the following serial number prefix denominators as being among those stolen: After the liberation, a fourth series was issued on 24 March 1991 with the aims of replacing the previous withdrawn series as as possible and guaranteeing the country's swift economic recovery. This fourth series was legal tender until 16 February 1995. Denominations were 1⁄2, 1, 5, 10 and 20 dinars; the fifth series of Kuwaiti banknotes were in use from 3 April 1994 and included high-tech security measures which have now become standard for banknotes. Denominations were as in the fourth series. Central Bank of Kuwait brought the sixth series of Kuwaiti banknotes into circulation on 29 June 2014; some of the bills are coarse so.
In both 1993 and 2001, the Central Bank of Kuwait issued commemorative 1-dinar polymer banknotes to celebrate its Liberation from Iraq. The first commemorative note, dated 26 February 1993, was issued to celebrate the second anniversary of its Liberation; the front features the map of the State of Kuwait, the emblem of Kuwait and on the left and right side of the note is the list of nations that assisted in its Liberation, in both English and Arabic. The second commemorative note, dated 26 February 2001, was issued to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its Liberation. One feature from the note is an optically variable device patch that shows a fingerprint, a reference to the victims of the invasion and occupation of Kuwait. Though they were denominated as 1 dinar, both of the commemorative notes state that they were not legal tender. From 18 March 1975 to 4 January 2003, the dinar was pegged to a weighted currency basket. From 5 January 2003 until 20 May 2007, the pegging was switched to 1 US dollar = 0.29963 dinar with margins of ±3.5%.
The central rate translates to 1 KD = $3.53 USD From 16 June 2007, the Kuwaiti dinar was re-pegged to a basket of currencies, was worth about $3.28 as of December 2016. It is the world's highest-valued currency unit. Economy of Kuwait Images and description of banknotes The banknotes of Kuwait