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Kuwait's permit system for events

A Permit – is it enough?

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Published on April 23rd, 2013 | by Nabeel


We’ve all heard that the hardest thing about moving the live music industry forward in Kuwait is having to get a permit for every event. Well, I’ve discovered something out this week. Even if you go through all the hassle of securing a Kuwait event permit, there is no such thing as 100 % security in this game. Below you’ll find a 2010 Gulf News report. Yeah it’s old but unfortunately, I’ve heard this still happens today and the cops do jack about it!


Image courtesy of Al-Anba

Angry Kuwaitis disrupt Sri Lankan celebrations


Kuwait: A massive Sri Lankan celebration was interrupted after angry Kuwaitis claimed it violated Islamic rules.

More than 5,000 Sri Lankans, including K.S.C. Dissanayake, Sri Lankan ambassador to Kuwait, had to leave the Jahra stadium after Kuwaiti Islamists invaded the field and pressed organisers to suspend the celebration and threatened to escalate the tense situation.

Negotiations between the event organisers, the police and the angry Kuwaitis failed to reach a compromise.

The protesters said that the presence of men and women at the stadium and the playing of music on a Friday afternoon made the celebration “unacceptable” for not respecting Islamic values.





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About the Author

Nabeel Mohan is Editor-In-Chief at ENGAGE. As a science fiction buff, he loves robots and space aliens and if ever the world were to be taken over by robot space aliens, he would be the first to betray the human race.

10 Responses to A Permit – is it enough?

  1. EveZ says:

    A Handful of protestors versus a stadium fill of Lankans – it could have got ugly if the Lankans retaliated. However, Sri Lankans are generally very peaceful people. From what I was told, they tried to negotiate with the protestors who refused to come to any compromise. So the Lankan Ambassador requested the Lankans to leave… I’ve heard rumors that something similar happened at one of the banquet halls of a hotel (last year probably).

    (You are right) So, what’s the point of the permit? You apply for a permit (say you get it), yet if some people have a problem they can come and object you celebrating an event.

    Wonder if there is a clear cut outline of the laws in Kuwait related to music; like the “do & don’t”.

  2. Nabeel says:

    Unfortunately Evez, there ARE clear cut laws relating to this but like a lot of things, the laws are more strictly enforced depending on who you are. Sad but true. Sri Lankans ARE very peaceful people in my experience (anyone bringing up problems in sri lanka needs to get beyond the news and meet them as people, one on one.) They are our gentle cousins to the south.

    What is the point in a permit? It is simply the first step in a system that is destined for failure UNLESS you manage to get a venue that is hidden, or tucked away from the ears and eyes of the passerby.

    I have found that no matter what ppl do to secure an event, nothing beats venue selection. I have been to two events this week that were permitted, but held in places where it was unlikely to bother crazy ppl on the street. And the things that went on at those permitted events were awesome. I was wary of how awesome they were because I could easily see an extremist wanting it shut down.

    Ending at an early time also helps, at the latest by midnight. Also not scheduling it on Friday mornings (coinciding with prayers) helps.

    At the end of the day you would think that ppl that religious would have respect for their own laws… but sadly that is not true.

  3. British spectator says:

    the envent you are refering to was awsomne.. but allas there were some strange elements present.. overdoing certain activities which could have gotten them in deep shit in any checkpoint outside the venue place.. and I am not sure if this will have consequences in the future and if we will see anything like it again at that location..

  4. Nabeel says:

    Hi Brit Spectator – no entirely sure we are referring to the same event. But If you are talking about what I think you’re talking about (I wasn’t there) then I think you are probably right. Oh the stories I could tell you that would make you despair! sigh!

  5. Caesar (Kuwait Music) says:

    I was once invited to a major groups’ (cant say who for security reasons) event who had all neccessary permits. It was in a major hotel here in Kuwait. A senior Ministry official came and disrupted proceedings just because they “felt like it”.

  6. shandippa says:

    if u got a permit u could still make an event succesfull but without disturbing ur friendly neighborhood old mans n womans
    cause in Kuwait most of the respected elders r making trouble
    y dont we take some far place to a boarder .i heard the american army base camp stage is best to come with event to hold on cause no problems with old old elders….xd

    • EveZ says:

      the prob is the nosey ones…

      People tend to be more destructive than constructive… “if i can’t do what I wanna do then no one else should”

  7. Dulshan Kode says:

    The Kuwaiti government apologized regarding what happened that day to us Sri Lankans !

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