New Delhi is the capital of Republic of India, and the seat of executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the Government of India. It also serves as the centre of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi and is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union TerritorySony PCG-71313M battery.
The foundation stone of the city was laid on 15 December 1911. It was planned by two leading 20th-century British architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. The new Capital was christened "New Delhi" in 1927, and subsequently inaugurated on 13 February 1931, by British India's Viceroy Lord Irwin. On 12 December 2011, New Delhi celebrated 100 years of capitalship, Sony PCG-71212M battery making it another landmark year in the long history of the historic capital of the region of Delhi. New Delhi is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Humayun's Tomb and the Qutub complex. There are areas like Old Delhi and Mehrauli in New Delhi which have a number of heritage structures.
New Delhi is known as the microcosm of India and is leading world’s top global cities with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and developmentSony PCG-71311M battery, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence. The metropolis of Delhi is the 2nd most populous in India with a total population nearing 17 million residents, the capital city being the 10th most populous city in the world by city proper and has the 7th biggest urban agglomeration in the world with a population of 23 million people. The metropolis has the highest urban spread in the country with a total area of the city being 1482 km2Sony PCG-71213M battery.
According to Mercer, New Delhi is the most expensive city in India for expatriates in terms of cost of living, figuring 113th in the list of 214 cities. Reflecting the growing global economic clout of the Asian region, have been ranked among the 75 top centres of commerce in the world. The World Cities Study Group at Loughborough University rated New Delhi as an "alpha- world city". In 2011, Knight Frank's world city survey ranked it 37th globally. Sony PCG-61211M battery The National Geographic's Traveler Magazine describes it as "one of the Ultimate Cities of a Lifetime to visit and explore." In a report jointly prepared by Institute for Competitiveness and Confederation of Indian Industry, the city is listed as the best to live in India. The city of New Delhi is also known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and is home to numerous national institutions, museums and landmarksSony VAIO PCG-31114M battery.
Delhi was laid out to the south of the Old City which was constructed by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. However, New Delhi overlies the site of seven ancient cities and hence includes many historic monuments like the Jantar Mantar, Humayun Tomb, Qila Rai Pithora and the Lodhi Gardens.
Walkway and garden around the Museum at Qila Rai Pithora, the first city of Delhi founded during 10th Century by Prithviraj ChauhanSony VAIO PCG-31113M battery
Lord Curzon and Lady Curzon arriving at the Delhi Durbar, 1903.
The Delhi Durbar of 1911, with King George V and Queen Mary seated upon the dais.
Calcutta was the capital of India during the British Raj until December 1911. However, Delhi had served as the political and financial centre of several empires of ancient India and the Delhi Sultanate, most notably of the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857. During the early 1900s, a proposal was made to the British administration to shift the capital of the British Indian Empire (as it was officially called) from Calcutta to Delhi. Sony VAIO PCG-31112M batteryUnlike Calcutta, which was located on the eastern coast of India, Delhi was located in northern India and the Government of British India felt that it would be easier to administer India from Delhi rather than from Calcutta.
On 12 December 1911, during the Delhi Durbar, George V, the then Emperor of India, along with Queen Mary, his Consort, made the announcement that the capital of the Raj was to be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi, while laying the foundation stone for the Viceroy's residence in the Coronation Park, Kingsway Camp. Sony VAIO PCG-31111M battery The foundation stone of New Delhi was laid by King George V and Queen Mary at the site of Delhi Durbar of 1911 at Kingsway Camp on 15 December 1911, during their imperial visit. Large parts of New Delhi were planned by Edwin Lutyens (Sir Edwin from 1918) and Herbert Baker (Sir Herbert from 1926), both leading 20th century British architects, and the contract was given to Sobha Singh (later Sir Sobha Singh). Lutyens first visited Delhi in 1912Sony VAIO PCG-41112M battery, and construction really began after World War I and was completed by 1931, when the city later dubbed "Lutyens' Delhi" was inaugurated on 13 February 1931, by Lord Irwin, the Viceroy. Lutyens laid out the central administrative area of the city as a testament to Britain's imperial aspirations.
The 1931 series celebrated the inauguration of New Delhi as the seat of government. The one rupee stamp shows George V with the "Secretariat Building" and Dominion ColumnsSony VAIO PCG-41111M battery.
However, soon Lutyens started considering other places. Indeed, the "Delhi Town Planning Committee on the planning of new Imperial capital" with George Swinton as chairman and John A. Brodie and Lutyens as members, submitted its reports for both "North" and "South" sites. However, it was rejected by the Viceroy, when the cost of compensation while acquiring the properties, was found to be too highSONY VAIO PCG-21212M battery. The central axis of New Delhi, which today faces east at India Gate, was previously meant to be a North-South axis, linking Viceroy's House with Paharganj, as the end of the axis. During the early years of its making most tourists believed it was a gate from Earth to Heaven itself. Eventually owing to space constraints and presence of a large number heritage sites in the North side, the committee finalised on South site. SONY VAIO PCG-21211M battery A site atop the Raisina Hill, formerly Raisina village, a Meo village, was chosen for the Rashtrapati Bhawan, then known as the Viceroy's House. The historic reason for this choice was that the hill lay directly opposite to the Dinapanah citadel, which was also considered the site of Indraprastha, the ancient region of Delhi. Subsequently, the foundation stone was shifted from the site of Delhi Durbar of 1911–1912, where the Coronation Pillar stood as wellSONY VAIO PCG-51212M battery, and embedded in the walls of the forecourt of the Secretariat. The Rajpath, also known as King's Way, stretched from the India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Secretariat building, which houses various ministries of the Government of India, flanked out of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, and the Parliament House, both designed by Herbert Baker, is located at the Sansad Marg, which runs parallel to the RajpathSONY VAIO PCG-51211M battery.
Towards the south, land till Safdarjung's Tomb was acquired for construction to create what is today known as Lutyens' Bungalow Zone. Before the construction could begin on the rocky ridge of Raisina Hill, a circular railway line, around the Council House (now Parliament House), called the 'Imperial Delhi Railway', was built to transport construction material and workers for the next 20 yearsSONY VAIO PCG-51112M battery. The last stumbling block was the Agra-Delhi railways line that cut right through the site earmarked for the hexagonal All-India War Memorial (India Gate), Kingsway (Rajpath) as the Old Delhi Railway Station served the entire city till then, eventually the line was shifted along Yamuna river and opened in 1924. The New Delhi Railway Station was opened in 1926 with a single platform at Ajmeri Gate near Paharganj, ahead of the inauguration of the city in 1931SONY VAIO PCG-51111M battery. As the principal construction of the Viceroy's homeonesque|Viceroy House (present Rashtrapati Bhavan), Central Secretariat, Parliament House, and All-India War Memorial (India Gate) was winding down the construction of shopping district and plaza of the new capital, Connaught Place began in 1929, and was complete by 1933. Named after The Prince Arthur, 1st Duke of Connaught (1850–1942), it was designed by Robert Tor Russell, chief architect to the Public Works Department (PWD). SONY VAIO PCG-81212M battery
After the capital of India moved to Delhi, a temporary secretariat building was constructed in a few months in 1912 in North Delhi. Most of the government offices of the new capital moved here from the 'Old secretariat' in Old Delhi (the building now houses the Delhi Legislative Assembly), a decade before the new capital was inaugurated in 1931. Many employees were brought into the new capital from distant parts of IndiaSony VAIO PCG-81112M battery, including the Bengal Presidency and Madras Presidency. Subsequently housing for them was developed around Gole Market area in 1920s. Built in 1940s, to house government employees, with bungalows for senior officials in the nearby Lodhi Estate area, Lodhi colony near historic Lodhi Gardens, was the last residential areas built by the British Raj.
Rashtrapati Bhavan and adjacent buildings, illuminated for the Republic DaySONY VAIO PCG-71111M battery.
After India gained independence in 1947, a limited autonomy was conferred to New Delhi and was administered by a Chief Commissioner appointed by the Government of India. In 1956, Delhi was converted into a union territory and eventually the Chief Commissioner was replaced by a Lieutenant Governor. The Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991 declared the Union Territory of Delhi to be formally known as National Capital Territory of Delhi. SONY VAIO PCG-7196M battery A system of diarchy was introduced under which the elected Government was given wide powers, excluding law and order which remained with the Central Government. The actual enforcement of the legislation came in 1993.
The first major extension of New Delhi outside of Lutyens' Delhi came in the 1950s when the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) developed a large area of land southwest of Lutyens' Delhi to create the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri, where land was allotted for embassies, chanceriesSONY VAIO PCG-7195M battery, high commissions and residences of ambassadors, around wide central vista, Shanti Path. The second phase of extension of New Delhi, which started in late 1950s by acquiring land from Munirka farmers. Developed by CPWD to south-West of Central Secretariat, its development continued till 1970s, when R. K. Puram, one of the largest residential colonies of the time was established. By now Delhi was growing in all directions, especially towards South Delhi and trans-Yamuna areasSONY VAIO PCG-7194M battery, with new private colonies coming up rapidly, filling up all the spaces left behind by government housing colonies. The construction picked further speed when Delhi Development Authority (DDA) started developing public housing colonies across Delhi, as well as housing townships, from Pitampura, Patparganj, Rohini, Dwarka to Vasant Kunj in the south, in the 1980s and 90s. So much so, that Safdarjung Airport which was once at the edge of the citySONY VAIO PCG-7192M battery, came almost in its middle, and is no longer in use for commercial flights, which started operating from the Palam Airport in 1962. Two big sports of growth in the city, came when the city hosted international sports events, first the 1982 Asian Games and more recently the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The city celebrated 100 years as Capital on 12 December 2011SONY PCG-8113M battery.
With a total area of 42.7 km2, New Delhi forms a small part of the Delhi metropolitan area and is located in the Indo-Gangetic Plain because of which there is little difference in the city's altitude. New Delhi and surrounding areas were once a part of the Aravalli Range, but all that is left now is the Delhi ridge, which is also called the Lungs of Delhi. The second feature is the Yamuna floodplains; New Delhi lies west of the Yamuna river, although for the most part, New Delhi is a landlocked citySONY PCG-8112M battery . East of the river is the urban area of Shahdara. New Delhi falls under the seismic zone-IV, making it vulnerable to earthquakes.
The climate of New Delhi is a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa) with high variation between summer and winter, in terms of both temperatures and rainfall. The temperature varies from 46 °C (115 °F) in summers to around 0 °C (32 °F) in winters. The area's version of a humid subtropical climate is noticeably different from many other cities with this climate classification in that it features long and very hot summersSONY PCG-7134M battery , relatively dry and cool winters, a monsoonal period, and dust storms. Summers are long, from early April to October, with the monsoon season in the middle of the summer. Winter starts in November and peaks in January. The annual mean temperature is around 25 °C (77 °F); monthly daily mean temperatures range from approximately 14 to 34 °C (57 to 93 °F). New Delhi's highest temperature ever recorded is 47.2 °C (117.0 °F) while the lowest temperature ever recorded is −0.6 °C (30.9 °F). SONY PCG-7131M battery The average annual rainfall is 714 millimetres (28.1 in), most of which is during the monsoons in July and August.
The national capital of India, New Delhi is jointly administered by both the federal Government of India and the local Government of Delhi, is also the capital of the NCT of Delhi.
As of 2005, the government structure of the New Delhi Municipal Council includes a chairperson, three members of New Delhi's Legislative AssemblySONY PCG-7122M battery, two members nominated by the Chief Minister of National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) and five members nominated by the central government.
The head of state of Delhi is the Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Delhi, appointed by the President of India on the advice of the Central government and the post is largely ceremonial, as the Chief Minister of Union Territory of Delhi is the head of government and is vested with most of the executive powersSONY PCG-7121M battery. According to the Indian constitution, if a law passed by Delhi's legislative assembly is repugnant to any law passed by the Parliament of India, then the law enacted by the parliament shall prevail over the law enacted by the assembly.
New Delhi is governed through a municipal government, known as the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). Other urban areas of the metropolis of Delhi are administered by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). However, the entire metropolis of Delhi is commonly known as New Delhi in contrast to Old DelhiSONY PCG-7113M battery.
Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official residence of the President of India and at present is the largest residence of any Chief of the State in the world.
Much of New Delhi, planned by the leading 20th century British architect Edwin Lutyens, was laid out to be the central administrative area of the city as a testament to Britain's imperial pretensions. New Delhi is structured around two central promenades called the Rajpath and the JanpathSONY PCG-7112M battery. The Rajpath, or King's Way, stretches from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate. The Janpath (Hindi: "Path of the People"), formerly Queen's Way, begins at Connaught Circus and cuts the Rajpath at right angles. 19 foreign embassies are located on the nearby Shantipath (Hindi: "Path of Peace"), making it the largest diplomatic enclave in India. SONY PCG-8Z3M battery
At the heart of the city is the magnificent Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly known as Viceroy's House) which sits atop Raisina Hill. The Secretariat, which houses various ministries of the Government of India, flanks out of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Parliament House, designed by Herbert Baker, is located at the Sansad Marg, which runs parallel to the Rajpath. The Connaught Place is a large, circular commercial area in New Delhi, modelled after the Royal Crescent in EnglandSONY PCG-8Z2M battery. Twelve separate roads lead out of the outer ring of Connaught Place, one of them being the Janpath.
Being a planned city, New Delhi has numerous arterial roads, some of which have an iconic status associated with them such as Rajpath, Janpath and Akbar Road. In 2005, private vehicles accounted for 30% of total transportation demand for the Delhi metropolitan area. Road construction and maintenance is primarily the responsibility of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC)'s Civil Engineering Department. SONY PCG-8Z1M battery Underground subways are a common feature across New Delhi. As of 2008, 15 subways were operational. In 1971, the administrative responsibility of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) was transferred from Municipal Corporation of Delhi to Government of India following which DTC extended its operations to New Delhi. In 2007, there were 2700 bus stops in New Delhi, of which 200 were built and maintained by NDMC and the rest by DTC. SONY PCG-8Y3M battery
The Delhi Metro, constructed and operated by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), connects the city with the rest of the metropolis of Delhi. Under an agreement with NDMC, DMRC can acquire land for the construction of metro rail and stations in New Delhi without any financial implications. NDMC is also constructing multi-level parking systems in collaboration with DMRC at various Delhi metro stations across New Delhi to increase parking space. The New Delhi Railway Station which is the main railway station in DelhiSONY PCG-8Y2M battery, is the second busiest and one of the largest stations in India connects Delhi with the rest of the country.
Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) is the primary aviation hub of Delhi. In 2011-2012, the airport recorded a traffic of more than 35 million passengers, making it the busiest airport in the country and also making it one of the busiest airports in South Asia. New US$1.93 billion Terminal 3 will handle an additional 34 million passengers annually. SONY PCG-7Z1M battery Further expansion programs will allow the airport to handle more than 100 million passengers per annum by 2020.Safdarjung Airport is the other airfield in Delhi used for general aviation purpose.
Public transport in Delhi is provided by buses, auto rickshaws and a metro rail system. Buses are the most popular means of transport catering to about 60% of the total demand. The state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is a major bus service provider for the citySONY PCG-6W2M battery . The DTC operates the world's largest fleet of environment-friendly CNG buses. Delhi BRTS is Bus rapid transit serving the city which runs between Ambedkar Nagar and Delhi Gate.
CNG powered Auto rickshaw for common public transport.
The Delhi Metro, a mass rapid transit system built and operated by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), serves many parts of Delhi as well as the satellite city of Gurgaon and Noida. As of October 2010, the metro consists of six operational lines with a total length of 153 km (95 mi) and 130 stations while several other lines are under constructionSONY PCG-5J5M battery. The Phase-I was built at a cost of US$2.3 billion and the Phase-II will cost an additional US$4.3 billion. Phase-II of the network is under construction and will have a total length of 128 km. It is expected to be completed by 2010. Phase-III and IV will be completed by 2015 and 2020 respectively, creating a network spanning 413.8 km, longer than that of the London Underground. SONY PCG-5K2M battery
Auto rickshaws are a popular means of public transportation in Delhi, as they charge a lower fare than taxis. Most run on Compressed natural gas and are yellow and green in colour. Taxis are not an integral part of Delhi public transport, though they are easily available. Private operators operate most taxis, and most neighbourhoods have a taxi stand from which taxis can be ordered or picked up. In addition, air-conditioned radio taxisSONY PCG-5K1M battery, which can be ordered by calling a central number, have become increasingly popular, charging a flat rate of 15 per kilometre.
Delhi is a major junction in the rail map of India and is the headquarters of the Northern Railway. The five main railway stations are New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi, Nizamuddin Railway Station, Anand Vihar Railway Terminal and Sarai Rohilla. Delhi is connected to other cities through many highways and expresswaysSONY PCG-5J4M battery. Delhi currently has three expressways and three are under construction to connect it with its prosperous and commercial suburbs. The Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway connects Delhi with Gurgaon and the international airport. The DND Flyway and Noida-Greater Noida Expressway connect Delhi with two prosperous suburbs of Noida and Greater Noida.
Indira Gandhi International Airport is one of the largest airports in the world and the busiest airports in South Asia.SONY PCG-5J1M battery
Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) is situated in the western corner of Delhi and serves as the main gateway for the city's domestic and international civilian air traffic. In 2006–07, the airport recorded a traffic of more than 23 million passengers, making it one of the busiest airports in South Asia. A new US$1.93 billion Terminal 3 handles an additional 34 million passengers annually in 2010. Further expansion programs will allow the airport to handle more than 100 million passengers per annum by 2020SONY PCG-5G2M battery .
Private vehicles account for 30% of the total demand for transport. At 1922.32 km of road length per 100 km², Delhi has one of the highest road densities in India. Delhi is well connected to other parts of India by five National Highways: NH 1, 2, 8, 10 and 24. Roads in Delhi are maintained by MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi), NDMC, Delhi Cantonment Board, Public Works Department (PWD) and Delhi Development AuthoritySony VAIO PCG-8131M battery.
Delhi's high population growth rate, coupled with high economic growth rate has resulted in an ever increasing demand for transport creating excessive pressure on the city's existent transport infrastructure. As of 2008. Also, the number of vehicles in the metropolitan region, i.e., Delhi NCR is 112 lakhs (11.2 million). In 2008, there were 85 cars in Delhi for every 1,000 of its residentsSony VAIO PCG-8152M battery. In order to meet the transport demand in Delhi, the State and Union government started the construction of a mass rapid transit system, including the Delhi Metro. In 1998, the Supreme Court of India ordered all public transport vehicles of Delhi to use compressed natural gas (CNG) as fuel instead of diesel and other hydro-carbons.
Northern Peripheral Road road is being developed under the public private partnership (PPP) model. This stretch will connect Dwarka with National Highway 8 at Kherki Dhaula and will pass Pataudi RoadSony VAIO PCG-31311M battery. The NPR stretch has been planned as an alternate link road between Delhi and Gurgaon, and is expected to ease the traffic situation on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. The road will also provide connectivity to the much-touted Reliance-HSIIDC SEZ besides the Garhi Harsaru dry depot.
Hinduism is the religion of 86.8% of New Delhi's population. There are also large communities of Muslims (6.3%), Sikhs (2.4%), Jains (1.1%) and Christians (0.9%) in Delhi. Other religious groups (2.5%) include Parsis, Buddhists and Jews. Sony VAIO PCG-31111M battery Hindi and Punjabi are the main spoken languages in New Delhi.
New Delhi is a cosmopolitan city due to the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural presence of the vast Indian bureaucracy and political system. The city's capital status has amplified the importance of national events and holidays. National events such as Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti (Gandhi's birthday) are celebrated with great enthusiasm in New Delhi and the rest of IndiaSony VAIO PCG-8112M battery. On India's Independence Day (15 August) the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from the Red Fort. Most Delhiites celebrate the day by flying kites, which are considered a symbol of freedom. The Republic Day Parade is a large cultural and military parade showcasing India's cultural diversity and military might.
Religious festivals include Diwali (the festival of light), Maha Shivaratri, Teej, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Baisakhi, Durga Puja, Holi, Lohri, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, Christmas and Mahavir Jayanti. Sony VAIO PCG-7186M batteryThe Qutub Festival is a cultural event during which performances of musicians and dancers from all over India are showcased at night, with the Qutub Minar as the chosen backdrop of the event. Other events such as Kite Flying Festival, International Mango Festival and Vasant Panchami (the Spring Festival) are held every year in Delhi.
The New Delhi town plan, like its architecture, was chosen with one single chief consideration: to be a symbol of British power and supremacy. All other decisions were subordinate to this, and it was this framework that dictated the choice and application of symbology and influences from both Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim architecture. Sony VAIO PCG-7171M battery
It took about 20 years to build the city from 1911. Many elements of New Delhi architecture borrow from indigenous sources; however, they fit into a British Classical/Palladian tradition. The fact that there were any indigenous features in the design were due to the persistence and urging of both the Viceroy Lord Hardinge and historians like E.B. Havell. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M battery
Historic sites and museums
The National Museum in New Delhi is one of the largest museums in India.
The India Gate built in 1931 is the national monument of India.
New Delhi is home to several historic sites and museums. The National Museum which began with an exhibition of Indian art and artefacts at the Royal Academy in London in the winter of 1947–48 was later at the end was shown at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in 1949. Later it was to form a permanent National MuseumSony VAIO PCG-5S1M battery. On 15 August 1949, the National Museum was formally inaugurated and currently has 200,000 works of art, both of Indian and foreign origin, covering over 5,000 years.
The India Gate built in 1931 was inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It is the national monument of India commemorating the 90,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who lost their lives while fighting for the British Raj in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War.
The Rajpath which was built similar to the Champs-Élysées in Paris is the ceremonial boulevard for the Republic of India located in New Delhi. The annual Republic Day parade takes place here on 26 JanuarySony VAIO PCG-5P1M battery.
The 'Martyr's Column' at the Gandhi Smriti, the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi on 1948.
Built in 1193, the Qutub Minar is part of the ancient capital of the Tughlaq dynasty
Gandhi Smriti in New Delhi is the location where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and was assassinated on 30 January 1948. Rajghat is the place where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated on 31 January 1948 after his assassination and his ashes were buried and make it a final resting place beside the sanctity of the Yamuna RiverSony VAIO PCG-5N2M battery. The Raj Ghat in the shape of large square platform with black marble was designed by architect Vanu Bhuta.
Jantar Mantar located in Connaugth Place was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. It consists of 13 architectural astronomy instruments. The primary purpose of the observatory was to compile astronomical tables, and to predict the times and movements of the sun, moon and planetsSony VAIO PCG-3C2M battery.
Qutb Minar constructed with red sandstone and marble, and is the tallest minaret in India, with a height of 72.5 meters (237.8 ft), contains 379 stairs to reach the top, and the diameter of base is 14.3 meters where as the last store is of 2.7 meters.
New Delhi is home to Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum, National Gallery of Modern Art, National Museum of Natural History, National Rail MuseumSony VAIO PCG-8161M battery, National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, National Philatelic Museum, Nehru Planetarium, Shankar's International Dolls Museum. and Supreme Court of India Museum.
Historic places in New Delhi include Jantar Mantar, Gandhi Smriti, Buddha Jayanti Park and Lodi Gardens.
In the coming years, a new National War Memorial and a new National War Memorial Museum is going to be constructed in New DelhiSony VAIO PCG-8141M battery.
Connaught Place, one of North India's largest commercial and financial centres, is located in the northern part of New Delhi. Adjoining areas such as Barakhamba Road, ITO are also major commercial centres. Government and quasi government sector was the primary employer in New Delhi. The city's service sector has expanded due in part to the large skilled English-speaking workforce that has attracted many multinational companies. Key service industries include information technology, telecommunications, hotels, banking, media and tourismSony VAIO PCG-3J1M battery.
The 2011 World Wealth Report ranks economic activity in New Delhi at 39, but overall the capital is ranked at 37, above cities like Jakarta and Johannesburg.
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi does not release any economic figures specifically for New Delhi but publishes an official economic report on the whole of Delhi annually. According to the Economic Survey of Delhi, the metropolis has a net State Domestic Product (SDP) of Rs. 83,085 crores (for the year 2004–05) Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M battery and a per capita income of Rs. 53,976($ 1,200). In the year 2008–09 New Delhi had a Per Capita Income of Rs.1,16,886 ($ 2,595).It grew by 16.2% to reach Rs.1,35,814 ($ 3,018) in 2009–10 fiscal. New Delhi's Per Capita GDP (at PPP) was at $ 6,860 during 2009–10 fiscal, making it one of the richest cities in India. The tertiary sector contributes 78.4% of Delhi's gross SDP followed by secondary and primary sectors with 20.2% and 1.4% contribution respectively. Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M battery
The gross state domestic product (GSDP) of Delhi at current prices for the year 2011-12 has been estimated at Rs 3.13 lakh crore, which is an increase of 18.7 per cent over the previous fiscal.
International relations and organisations
The city is home to numerous international organisations. The Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology of the UNESCAP servicing the Asia-Pacific region is headquartered in New Delhi. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M battery New Delhi is home to most UN regional offices in India namely the UNDP, UNODC, UNESCO, UNICEF, WFP, UNV, UNCTAD, FAO, UNFPA, WHO, World Bank, IMF, UNIFEM, IFC and UNAIDS.
New Delhi hosts 145 foreign embassies and high commissions.
Kuwait, officially the State of Kuwait i/kuːˈweɪt/ (Arabic: دولة الكويت Dawlat al-Kuwayt ), is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf and is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south (at Khafji) and Iraq to the north (at Basra). The name Kuwait is derived from the Arabic أكوات ākwāt, the plural of كوت kūt, meaning "fortress built near water".Sony VAIO PCG-9Z2L battery The country covers an area of 17,820 square kilometers (6,880 square miles) and has a population of about 3.5 million.
Historically, the region was the site of Characene, a major Parthian port for trade between Mesopotamia and India. The Bani Utbah tribe were the first permanent Arab settlers in the region, laying the foundation for the modern emirate. By the 19th century, Kuwait came under the influence of the Ottoman EmpireSony VAIO PCG-9Z1L battery. After World War I, it emerged as an independent sheikhdom under the protection of the British Empire. Kuwait's large oil fields were discovered in the late 1930s.
After Kuwait gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, the state's oil industry saw unprecedented economic growth. In 1990, Kuwait was invaded and annexed by neighboring Iraq. The seven month-long Iraqi occupation came to an end after a direct military intervention by United States-led forces. Around 773 Kuwaiti oil wells were set ablaze by the retreating Iraqi army, resulting in a major environmental and economic catastrophe.Sony VAIO PCG-9131L battery Kuwait's infrastructure was badly damaged during the war and had to be rebuilt. Twelve years later, Kuwait saw another massive foreign military presence as it served as a springboard for the US-led campaign in 2003 to oust the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
Kuwait is a constitutional emirate with a parliamentary system of government. Kuwait City serves as the country's political and economic capital. The country has the world's fifth largest oil reserves and petroleum products now account for nearly 95% of export revenues and 80% of government income. Sony VAIO PCG-8161L battery Kuwait is the eleventh richest country in the world per capita and, in 2007, had the highest human development index (HDI) in the Arab world. Kuwait is classified as a high income economy by the World Bank and is designated as a major non-NATO ally of the United States.
In the 4th century BC, the ancient Greeks colonized an island off Kuwait's coast, naming it "Ikaros". It is now known as Failaka. By 123 BC, the region came under the influence of the Parthian Empire and was closely associated with the southern Mesopotamian town of Charax. Sony VAIO PCG-8152L batteryIn 224 AD, the region fell under the control of Sassanid Empire and came to be known as Hajar. By the 14th century, the area comprising modern-day Kuwait had become a part of the Islamic caliphate.
The first permanent settlers in the region came from the Bani Utbah tribe of Najd, who later established the state of Kuwait. The region became part of the Ottoman Empire in the early 17th centurySony VAIO PCG-8141L battery. The site of present-day Kuwait City was first settled in the early 18th century and had become a busy trading hub by the early 19th century. In 1756, Kuwait came under the rule of Sabah I bin Jaber as the first Emir of Kuwait, who enjoyed a degree of semi-autonomy under the Ottomans. The current ruling family of Kuwait, al-Sabah, are descendants of Sabah I. During the rule of the Al-Sabah, Kuwait progressively became a center of trade and commerceSony VAIO PCG-8131L battery. It now served as a hub of trade between India, the horn of Africa, the Nejd, Mesopotamia and the Levant. Until the advent of Japanese pearl farming, Kuwait had one of the largest sea fleets in the Persian Gulf region and a flourishing pearling industry. Trade consisted mainly of pearls, wood, spices, dates and horses.
In 1899, fearing direct rule from Turkey, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah entered into a treaty with Britain by which Kuwait became a protectorate. Britain provided naval protection and an annual subsidy in return for allowing London to control its foreign affairs. Sony VAIO PCG-81312L battery This treaty was primarily prompted by fears that the proposed Berlin-Baghdad Railway would lead to an expansion of German influence in the Persian Gulf. After the signing of the Anglo-Ottoman Convention of 1913, Sheikh Mubarak, was diplomatically recognized by both the Ottomans and British as the ruler of the autonomous caza of the city of Kuwait and the hinterlands. Sony VAIO PCG-81214L battery However, soon after the start of World War I, the British invalidated the convention and declared Kuwait an independent principality under the protection of the British Empire. The 1922 Treaty of Uqair set Kuwait's border with Saudi Arabia and also established the Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zone, an area of about 5,180 km² adjoining Kuwait's southern borderSony VAIO PCG-81115L battery.
Large oil reserves were discovered by the US-British Kuwait Oil Company in 1937. Exploitation was delayed by World War II, but thereafter fueled the country's development into a modern commercial centre. A major public-works programme began in 1951; Kuwait's infrastructure was transformed, and residents began to enjoy a high standard of living. By 1952, the country became the largest exporter of oil in the Persian Gulf region. This massive growth attracted many foreign workers, especially from Egypt and IndiaSony VAIO PCG-81114L battery.
On 19 June 1961, Kuwait became independent with the end of the British protectorate; the sheikh Abdullah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, became an emir, and the country joined the Arab League. The Gulf rupee, issued by the Reserve Bank of India, was replaced by the Kuwaiti dinar. Iraq laid claim that Kuwait was part of its territory, but backed down after British military intervention and a brief stand-offSony VAIO PCG-81113L battery. Iraq formally recognized Kuwait's independence and its borders in October 1963.
Under the terms of a newly-drafted constitution, Kuwait held its first ever elections for the National Assembly in 1963. However, the Emir suspended the National Assembly in 1976, saying it was not acting in the country's interests.
The exploitation of large oil fields, especially the Burgan field, triggered a large influx of foreign investments into KuwaitSony VAIO PCG-7142L battery. The massive growth of the petroleum industry transformed Kuwait into one of the richest countries in the Arabian Peninsula and Kuwait settled its boundary disputes with Saudi Arabia and agreed on sharing equally the neutral zone's petroleum reserves, onshore and offshore. During the 1970s, the Kuwaiti government nationalized the Kuwait Oil Company, ending its partnership with Gulf Oil and British Petroleum.
In the early 1980sSony VAIO PCG-7141L battery, Kuwait experienced a major economic crisis after the Souk Al-Manakh stock market crash and decrease in oil price. This prompted the Emir Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to recall the National Assembly in 1981. However, the crisis was short-lived as Kuwait's oil production increased steadily to fill the gap caused by decrease in Iraq's and Iran's oil production due to the Iran–Iraq War. The National Assembly was dissolved again in 1986Sony VAIO PCG-71111L battery.
During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, Kuwait supported Sadam Hussein both financially and strategically. In 1983, a series of six bomb explosions took place in Kuwait killing five people. The attack was carried out by the Shiite Dawa Party in opposition to Kuwait's financial support of Iraq during its war with Iran. Domestic security concerns, particularly about Iran's perceived influence over Kuwait's Shi'ite minority, prompted the deportations of thousands of expatriates, mostly Iranian, in 1985-6Sony VAIO PCG-61411L battery.
After the Iran-Iraq war ended, Kuwait declined an Iraqi request to forgive its US$65 billion debt. An economic rivalry between the two countries ensued after Kuwait increased its oil production by 40 percent. Tensions between the two countries increased further in July 1990, after Iraq complained to Opec that Kuwait was stealing its oil from a field near the border by slant drilling of the Rumaila field. Saddam Hussein threatened military actionSony VAIO PCG-61112L battery.
On 2 August 1990, Iraqi forces invaded and annexed Kuwait. The Emir Jaber and his government fled to Saudi Arabia. A long-time ally of Saddam Hussein, Yemen's President, Ali Abdullah Saleh was quick to back Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. Saddam Hussein declared that Emir Jaber of Kuwait, Jaber Al-Sabah, was deposed. The Iraqis initially propped up a puppet régime before annexing Kuwait and installing Ali Hassan al-Majid as the new governor of Kuwait. Sony VAIO PCG-61111L battery During the Iraqi occupation, about 1,000 Kuwaiti civilians were killed and more than 300,000 residents fled the country. After a series of failed diplomatic negotiations and Iraq's failure to comply with a UN resolution ordering it to pull out, a US-led aerial bombing campaign began in Kuwait and Iraq in January 1991. The United States-led coalition of thirty-four nations fought the Gulf War to remove the Iraqi forces from Kuwait. On 26 February 1991Sony VAIO PCG-5T4L battery, the coalition succeeded in driving out the Iraqi forces. As they retreated, Iraqi forces carried out a scorched earth policy by seting on fire or damaging 737 Kuwaiti oil wells as they pulled out. The Emir and his government returned in March 1991 and imposed a three-month period of martial law. Kuwait paid the coalition forces US$17 billion for their war efforts. Sony VAIO PCG-5T3L battery
It was estimated that by the time Kuwait was liberated from Iraqi occupation, about 5 to 6 million barrels (950,000 m3) of oil was being burned in a single day because of these fires. Oil and soot accumulation affected the entire Persian Gulf region and large oil lakes were created holding approximately 25 to 50 million barrels (7,900,000 m3) of oil and covering 5% of Kuwait's land area. Sony VAIO PCG-5T2L battery In total, about 11 million barrels (1,700,000 m3) of oil was released into the Persian Gulf and an additional 2% of Kuwait's 96 billion barrels (1.53×1010 m3) of crude oil reserves were burned by the time the oil fires were brought under control. The fires took more than nine months to extinguish fully and it took Kuwait more than 2 years and US$50 billion in infrastructure reconstruction to reach pre-invasion oil output. Kuwait has since largely recovered from the socio-economic, environmental, and public health effects of the Persian Gulf WarSony VAIO PCG-5S3L battery.
In 1993 the UN demarcated the new Kuwait-Iraq border, awarding a port and a number of oil wells to Kuwait. US troops were despatched to Kuwait following further Iraqi border incursions. Iraq officially recognised Kuwait's independence and the UN-demarcated borders in 1994, following UN pressure and Russian mediationSony VAIO PCG-5S2L battery.
Under domestic and international pressure, Emir Jaber reluctantly gave the green light to National Assembly elections in 1992. Opposition groups performed well in the vote. However, the Emir once again dissolved the National Assembly in 1999, after a row between MPs and the government about misprints in the state-published edition of the Koran. Government supporters suffered a shock setback in the resulting elections as liberals and Islamists predominated in the new assemblySony VAIO PCG-5S1L battery.
In March 2003 foreign forces converged on the Kuwait-Iraq border as Kuwait became the springboard for the US-led military campaign to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in the 2nd Gulf War.
Islamist and pro-government candidates fared well in the parliamentary elections of July 2003. There were major losses for liberal candidates. Emir Jaber separated the post of prime minister from the role of heir to throne for first time since independenceSony VAIO PCG-5R2L battery. In May 2005, parliament approved a law allowing women to vote and run for parliament for the first time. In June the first woman cabinet minister, Massouma al-Mubarak, was appointed.
Upon the death of the emir, Sheikh Jaber, in January 2006, the crown prince, Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, succeeded him but was removed nine days later because of concerns about his ailing health. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was sworn in as EmirSony VAIO PCG-5R1L battery. Emir Sabah named his brother, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, as crown prince and his nephew Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah as prime minister.
Women cast their votes for the first time in a municipal by-election in April 2006, but failed to win any seats in their first attempt to compete in parliamentary elections in June 2006. The opposition - a loose alliance of reformists, liberals and Islamists - won nearly two-thirds of the seats despite government attempts to curb media freedoms. Sony VAIO PCG-5P4L battery Political instablity continued with a succession of ministerial and cabinet resignations. After the cabinet quit over alleged lack of cooperation from MPs, Emir Sabah dissolved parliament in March 2008. Radical Islamists made further gains in parliamentary elections in May 2008, winning more than half of the 50 seats. No women were elected. Emir Sabah dissolved parliament again after it wanted to question his nephew and PM, Sheikh Nasser over corruption allegations in March 2009Sony VAIO PCG-5P2L battery.
Three women MPs - Kuwait's first - won seats in the parliamentary elections of 2009. The Constitutional Court ruled women could obtain passports without the consent of their husbands, and in another ruling, it decided that women MPs were not required to wear an Islamic head coverSony VAIO PCG-5N4L battery.
There were demonstrations in December 2010 against an alleged government plot to change constitution. In March 2011, hundreds of young people demonstrated for reform, inspired by the Arab Spring wave of protests across the Arab world. Emir Sabah dissolved parliament a third time in December 2011. He replaced his prime minister following protests and a showdown over allegations of high-level corruptionSony VAIO PCG-5N2L battery.
After the Islamist-led opposition won a majority in parliamentary elections in February 2012, Emir Sabah blocked a proposal by MPs to make all legislation comply with Islamic law. In October 2012, the Emir dissolved parliament for the fourth time in four years, paving the way for snap elections. At least 5,000 protesters clashed with security forces outside parliament over opposition fears that the government would redraw constituency boundariesSony VAIO PCG-51513L battery. The elections of December 2012 were boycotted by the opposition protesting against proposed changes to the electoral law which would give official candidates an advantage.
Main articles: Politics of Kuwait and Human rights in Kuwait
See also: Al-Sabah, Elections in Kuwait, and Political Issues in Kuwait
United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, with Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah in 2011.
The Bayan Palace serves as the seat of the Government of Kuwait
Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy and has the oldest directly elected parliament among the Arab States of the Persian GulfSony VAIO PCG-51511L battery. The country has been ruled by the Al Sabah family since the 18th century. The head of state is the Emir or Sheikh, a hereditary office. A council of ministers, also known as cabinet ministers, aids the Prime Minister, and appoints and dismisses diplomats. Legislative power is vested in the Emir and the National Assembly in accordance with the ConstitutionSony VAIO PCG-51412L battery. The Emir of Kuwait can dissolve the National Assembly and call a national election, or in cases of national emergency can dismiss the National Assembly outright and assume supreme authority over the country. The Emir is the commander in chief of Kuwait's armed forces. The Emir has authority to grant pardon from the death penalty or prisonSony VAIO PCG-51411L battery.
The National Assembly consists of fifty elected members, who are chosen in elections held every four years. Government ministers are also granted membership in the parliament and can number up to sixteen excluding the fifty elected members. According to the Constitution of Kuwait, nomination of a new Emir or Crown Prince by the ruling Al-Sabah family has to be approved by the National Assembly. Any amendment to the constitution can be proposed by the Emir but it needs to be approved by more than two-thirds of the members of the National Assembly before being implemented. Sony VAIO PCG-51312L battery
There have been several conflicts between the Emir, the government and the National Assembly over various policies. The National Assembly was suspended from 1976 to 1981, from 1986 to 1991 and from May 1999 to July 1999, due to irresolvable conflicts between some members of the government and the Assembly. Sony VAIO PCG-51311L battery
More than two-thirds of those who reside in Kuwait do not hold Kuwaiti citizenship and thus cannot vote in parliamentary elections. Additionally, prior to 2005, only 15% of the Kuwaiti population were allowed to vote, with all "recently naturalized" citizens (i.e., less than thirty years of citizenship) and members of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces excluded. Moves to change the male-dominated political structure culminated in the granting of full political rights to women in 2005Sony VAIO PCG-51211L battery. On 16 May 2005, Parliament decided by a 35–23 vote to give women the right to vote and stand as candidates in elections. The decision raised Kuwait's eligible voter population from 139,000 to about 339,000. In 2006, the number of Kuwaiti citizens was estimated to be more than 960,000. In 2005, the former Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah announced the appointment of the first female cabinet minister, Massouma MubarakSony VAIO PCG-41112L battery. She was designated Planning Minister and Minister of State for Administrative Development Affairs. During the 2008 parliamentary elections, 27 of the 275 candidates were women. However, none of them won. In the parliamentary elections on 16 May 2009, 16 female candidates contested for 50 seats for a four-year term. Four female candidates won their seats and became Kuwait's first female lawmakers. Sony VAIO PCG-3A4L battery
More generally, the growing assertiveness of parliament has led to frequent confrontations with the government. The Assembly was dissolved again by the Emir in May 2009, leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Sheik Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah and the rest of the Cabinet. Nationwide elections were held on 16 May 2009.Sony VAIO PCG-3A3L battery
In April 2010, Kuwait's government, unhappy about possible democratic change in Egypt by Mohamed ElBaradei's National Association for Change, deported 17 Egyptians for t
After Islamists made major gains in the elections of February 2012, the Emir annulled the elections and made changes to the election law to favour a more compliant parliament. This prompted an opposition boycott of the new elections in December 2012, putting Kuwait's relatively liberal political credentials in doubt. Sony VAIO PCG-3A2L battery
Speaker of the National Assembly: Voting for new members of National Assembly will be held in December 2012.
The State of Kuwait became the 111th member state of the United Nations on 14 May 1963. It is a long-standing member of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It is also a key member of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), along with Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman and Saudi ArabiaSony VAIO PCG-3A1L battery. Having modeled the GCC on the European Union, member states enjoy free trade and citizens of GCC member states can travel to other GCC countries with their civil identification, not requiring visas.
Kuwait's relationship with its neighbors has been influenced by the Sunni-Shia conflict. After the Iranian revolution of 1979, Sunni-majority Kuwait began supporting the Sunni regime of Iraq's Saddam Hussein in its subsequent eight-year war with the hardline Shia regime of IranSony VAIO PCG-394L battery. Despite prior tensions, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia provided considerable financial support to Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Kuwait's ties with Iraq remained severed after the 1991 Gulf War, until the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. Kuwait enjoys a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia, which provided considerable support for the deposed royal family of Kuwait. Although fairly cordial, Kuwait's relations with Iran remain hinged on the stability of the Shia-Sunni conflict and rival goals for the control of the Persian GulfSony VAIO PCG-393L battery. Kuwait's ties with states that supported Saddam Hussein's invasion, such as Yemen and the Palestine Liberation Organization, remain testy, although Kuwait has always refused to establish ties with Israel.
Kuwait enjoys a strong relationship with the United States, playing host to major U.S. military bases. Following U.S. leadership in the effort to liberate Kuwait, both nations have forged close political and economic relationsSony VAIO PCG-391L battery. Although most Arab nations expressed opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Kuwait supported it and provided its territory as a launching pad for the invasion.
The State of Kuwait spends close to US$ 5 billion for defense. Its military consists of the Kuwaiti Army, with an estimated strength of 15,000 personnel, the Kuwaiti Navy, with 2,000 naval personnel and 400 coast guards, and the Kuwaiti Air Force, with an estimated strength of 2,500 personnel. The Kuwaiti National Guard is the main internal security forceSony VAIO PCG-384L battery. Owing to its demographics and small population, Kuwait has not been able to build a sizeably large military and therefore collaborates extensively with foreign nations to preserve its security. After liberation from Iraq, Kuwait signed long-term defense cooperation agreements with the United States, Britain and France, and purchased military equipment from Egypt, Russia and the People's Republic of China as wellSony VAIO PCG-383L battery.
Located in the north-east corner of the Arabian Peninsula, Kuwait is one of the smallest countries in the world in terms of land area. It lies between latitudes 28° and 31° N, and longitudes 46° and 49° E. The flat, sandy Arabian Desert covers most of Kuwait. The country is generally low lying, with the highest point being 306 m (1,004 ft) above sea-level. It has nine islands, all of which, with the exception of Failaka Island, are uninhabited. Sony VAIO PCG-382L battery With an area of 860 km2 (330 sq mi), the Bubiyan is the largest island in Kuwait and is connected to the rest of the country by a 2,380 m (7,808 ft) long bridge. The land area is considered arable and sparse vegetation is found along its 499 km long coastline. Kuwait City is located on Kuwait Bay, a natural deep-water harborSony VAIO PCG-381L battery.
Kuwait has some of the world's richest oil fields with the Burgan field having a total capacity of approximately 70 billion barrels (1.1×1010 m3) of proven oil reserves. During the 1991 Kuwaiti oil fires, more than 500 oil lakes were created covering a combined surface area of about 35.7 km2 (13.8 sq mi). The resulting soil contamination due to oil and soot accumulation had made eastern and south-eastern parts of Kuwait uninhabitableSony VAIO PCG-7185L battery. Sand and oil residue had reduced large parts of the Kuwaiti desert to semi-asphalt surfaces. The oil spills during the Gulf War also drastically affected Kuwait's marine resources.
The spring season in March is warm and pleasant with occasional thunderstorms. The frequent winds from the northwest are cold in winter and spring and hot in summer. Southeasterly winds, usually hot and damp, spring up between July and October; hot and dry south winds prevail in spring and early summer. The shamal, a northwesterly wind common during June and July, causes dramatic sandstorms. Sony VAIO PCG-7184L battery
Kuwait has a GDP (PPP) of US$167.9 billion and a per capita income of US$81,800, making it the 5th richest country in the world, per capita.
According to the 2008 Index of Economic Freedom, Kuwait has the second-most free economy in the Middle East. In March 2007, Kuwait's foreign exchange reserves stood at US$213 billion. The Kuwait Stock ExchangeSony VAIO PCG-7183L battery, which has about 200 firms listed, is the second-largest stock exchange in the Arab world with a total market capitalization of US$235 billion. In 2007, the Kuwaiti government posted a budget surplus of US$43 billion.
Kuwait has proven crude oil reserves of 104 billion barrels (15 km³), estimated to be 10% of the world's reserves. According to the Kuwaiti constitution, all natural resources in the country and associated revenues are government property. Sony VAIO PCG-7182L batteryBeing a tax-free country, Kuwait's oil industry accounts for 80% of government revenue. Petroleum and petrochemicals accounts for nearly half of GDP and 95% of export revenues. Increase in oil prices since 2003 resulted in a surge in Kuwait's economy.
Kuwait currently pumps 2.9 million bpd and its full production capacity is a little over 3 million bpd, including oil production in the neutral region that it shares with Saudi Arabia. Kuwait oil production is expected to increase to 4 million bpd by 2020. Sony VAIO PCG-7181L batteryTo realize this production target, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation plans to spend US$51 billion between 2007 to 2012 to upgrade and expand the country's existing refineries. However, the country's economy was badly affected by the global financial crisis of 2008. In 2009, the Central Bank of Kuwait devised a US$5.15 billion stimulus package to help boost the economy. Sony VAIO PCG-7174L battery
Other major industries include shipping, construction, cement, water desalination, construction materials and financial services. Kuwait has a well developed banking system and several banks in the country date back to the time before oil was discovered. Founded in 1952, the National Bank of Kuwait is the largest bank in the country and one of the largest in the Arab world. Sony VAIO PCG-7173L battery Other prominent financial institutions based in Kuwait include the Gulf Bank of Kuwait and Burgan Bank, which is named after the largest oilfield in the country.
Kuwait's climate limits agricultural development. Consequently, with the exception of fish, it depends almost wholly on food imports. About 75% of potable water must be distilled or imported. The government is keen on decreasing Kuwait's dependence on oil to fuel its economy by transforming it into a regional trading and tourism hubSony VAIO PCG-7172L battery. The planned US$77 billion Madinat al-Hareer (City of Silk) is the largest real estate development project in the Middle East. The Central Bank issues Kuwait's currency, the Kuwaiti dinar. As of May 2012, the dinar is the highest-valued currency unit in the world.
In 2011, estimated exports stood at US$94.47 billion and imports were around US$22.41 billion. Petroleum, petrochemical products, fertilizers and financial services are major export commoditiesSony VAIO PCG-7171L battery. Kuwait imports a wide range of products ranging from food products and textiles to machinery. Kuwait's most important trading partners are Japan, United States, India, South Korea, Singapore, China, European Union and Saudi Arabia. Japan is the largest customer of Kuwaiti oil followed by India, Singapore and South Korea.
On 5 January 2010, Kuwait has started the construction of Salmiya Park in Salmiya. The Heads said "it would take at least 4 years to complete Salmiya Park"Sony VAIO PCG-7162L battery
Main article: Education in Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is directing its attention towards Inclusive Education, which provides opportunity to all children, irrespective of their social class, including children with special needs. Kuwait education system is marked by several achievements in recent years. As of 2005/06 Kuwait allocates 13 percent of all public expenditure to educationSony VAIO PCG-7161L battery, which is comparable to the allocation of public funds to education in many OECD countries but lower than other Arab countries. For the same years the public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP was 3.9 percent in 2005/12 which is well below the percentage of GDP spent by OECD countries on education.
As of 2005, the literacy rate of Kuwait is 93.3 percent. Kuwait is facing challenges in improving the quality of education at all levels and to build capacities of students' from a young ageSony VAIO PCG-7154L battery. The Ministry of Education is also making efforts to incorporate women into the educated workforce through various programs, for instance the 1989 initiative to establish daytime literacy clinics for women. The Kuwaiti government also offers scholarships to students accepted in universities in United States, United Kingdom and other foreign institutes.
There is also higher education, which has improved drastically in the past yearsSony VAIO PCG-7153L battery. The largest university is Kuwait University which is free for Kuwaitis and has over 1,500 faculty members and approximately 30,000 students. There are also a number of private institutions such as The Arab Open University (AOU), American University of Kuwait, Gulf University for Science and Technology, Australian College of Kuwait, The American University of The Middle East, Box Hill College Kuwait and Kuwait Maastricht Business School. A new project called "Sabah Al Ahmed University City" is also being initiated and is expected to be completed in a few more yearsSony VAIO PCG-7152L battery.
Kuwait has the highest literacy rate among the Arab world with 94%, up from 93.3% in 2005 (as stated above).
Shoppers at "The Avenues", a local mall
As of 2007, Kuwait's population was estimated to be 3 to 3.5 million people, which included approximately 2 million non-nationals. Kuwaiti citizens are therefore a minority of those who reside in Kuwait. The government rarely grants citizenship to foreigners to maintain status quo. In 2008, 68.4% of the population consisted of expatriates,Sony VAIO PCG-7151L batterymaking the country the 4th highest ratio of expatriates of the world. The net migration rate of the country stood at 16.01, the third highest in the world.
About 57% of the population in Kuwait is Arab, 39% South and East Asian, and 4% are classified Bidoon ('without' – stateless Arabs). As of 2009, more than 580,000 Indian nationals were residing in Kuwait, making them the single largest expatriate community there. Sony VAIO PCG-7148L batteryIn 2003, there were also an estimated 250,000 Pakistanis, 260,000 Egyptians, 100,000 Syrians and 80,000 Iranians in Kuwait. After Kuwait was liberated from the Iraqi invasion and occupation by coalition forces led by The United States of America, most of the 400,000 Palestinians living in Kuwait were expelled because of the PLO's open support for the Iraqi Forces. Sony VAIO VGN-CS33H battery
Kuwait's official language is Modern Standard Arabic. Kuwaiti Arabic, a Gulf Arabic sub-dialect, is Kuwait's colloquial dialect. English is widely understood and often used as a business language.
Main article: Religion in Kuwait
the Grand Mosque in Kuwait City.
About 85% of the population in Kuwait identify themselves as Muslims. 75%-80% of Muslims in Kuwait belong to the Sunni and 20%-25% are Shi'as. The majority of the Shi'as follow the Twelvers school. Despite Islam being the state religion, Sony VAIO VGN-CS33H/Z battery among the non-Kuwaiti citizens, the country has a large community of Christians (est. 300,000 to 400,000), Hindus (est. 300,000), Buddhists (est. 100,000), and Sikhs (est. 10,000). Hindus account for the largest number of expatriates in Kuwait. Virtually all Kuwaiti Arabs are MuslimSony VAIO VGN-CS33H/B battery.
Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists are allowed to build places of worship or other religious facilities. The main Christian church of Kuwait is located in Kuwait City. These groups are allowed to practice and can engage in religious activities, including public marriage and other celebrations, without Kuwaiti government interferenceSony VAIO VGN-CS31Z/Q battery.
Main article: Culture of Kuwait
See also: Music of Kuwait, Cinema of Kuwait, and Kuwaiti cuisine
Kuwait Towers, one of the country's most famous landmarks.
The influence of Islamic and Arab Culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine and lifestyle is prominent as well. The most distinctive characteristic of local Kuwaiti culture are diwaniya that is explained below. Briefly, it involves large reception rooms used for male social gatherings attended mostly by family members and close friendsSony VAIO VGN-CS31S/W battery.
While, unlike neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the Islamic dress code is not compulsory, many of the older Kuwaiti men prefer wearing dish dasha, an ankle-length white shirt woven from wool or cotton while the minority of women wear abaya, black over-garment covering most parts of the body. This attire is particularly well-suited for Kuwait's hot and dry climate. Western style clothing is very popular among the youth of KuwaitSony VAIO VGN-CS31S/V battery.
Seafood has been the mainstay of the Kuwaiti diet for centuries. The Arabs in the Persian Gulf region played a crucial role in the spice trade between India and Europe and spices have remained an important ingredient of Kuwaiti cuisine. Traditional Kuwaiti cuisine includes machboos diyay, machboos laham, maraq diyay laham which borrows heavily from South Asian cuisine and Arab cuisine. Imawash is another popular dishSony VAIO VGN-CS31S/T battery. As in other Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Kuwait takes part in the tradition of Qarqe'an during the month of Ramadan. About 74.2% of adults aged 15 and over are overweight in Kuwait, making the country the eighth fattest in the world.
Before the discovery of oil, pearling formed a crucial part of Kuwait's economy. Pearl fishery, known as ghaus, suffered decline after the advent of Japanese pearl farming. However, Kuwait's pearl industry laid the foundation of its rich maritime historySony VAIO VGN-CS31S/R battery. Dhows, large wooden ships made from teak wood imported from India, became an indistinct part of Kuwait's maritime fleet and dhow building is still practiced in this Persian Gulf state.
Kuwait's architecture is largely inspired by Islamic architecture. The most prominent landmark in country, the Kuwait Towers, were designed by Swedish architect Sune Lindström and are a unique blend of traditional minaret and modern architectural designs. The National Assembly of Kuwait, another famous landmark building, was designed by the famous Danish architect Jørn Utzon and completed in 1982Sony VAIO VGN-CS31S/P battery.
Sawt is the most prominent style of Kuwaiti music and is performed by oud (plucked lute) and mirwas (a drum), with a violin later supplementing the arrangement. The Bedouins are known for an instrument called the rubabah, while the use of oud, tanbarah (string instrument) and habban (bagpipe) are also widespread.
Historical, Vintage, and Classical Cars Museum in Al ShuwaikhSony VAIO VGN-CS28 battery
Kuwait has an extensive, modern and well-maintained network of highways. Roadways extended 5,749 km, of which 4,887 km is paved. In 2000, there were some 552,400 passenger cars, and 167,800 commercial taxis, trucks, and buses in use. On major highways the maximum speed is 120 km/h. Since there is no railway system in the country, most of the people travel by automobiles. Sony VAIO VGN-CS28/Q battery The government plans to construct US$11 billion rail network which will include the Kuwait Metropolitan Rapid Transit System Project for its capital. Bus services are provided by private company Citybus and state-owned Kuwait Public Transportation Corporation.
Kuwait has speed cameras in all highways and main roads and traffic lights, which captures the cars that speed or cross a red light, the Kuwaiti government spent over 450 million USD on these speed cameras in cooperation with the traffic PoliceSony VAIO VGN-CS27 battery. There is only one civil airport in Kuwait. Kuwait International Airport serves as the principal hub for international air travel. State-owned Kuwait Airways is the largest airline in the country. In 2001, the airline carried 2,084,600 passengers on domestic and international flights. In 2004, the first private airline of Kuwait, Jazeera Airways, was launched. Another private airline, Wataniya Airways of Kuwait was founded in 2005 and ceased operations in March 2011Sony VAIO VGN-CS26T/Q battery.
Kuwait has one of the largest shipping industries in the Persian Gulf region. The Kuwait Ports Public Authority manages and operates ports across Kuwait. The country’s principal commercial seaports are Shuwaikh and Shuaiba which handled combined cargo of 753,334 TEU in 2006. Mina Al-Ahmadi, the largest port in the country, handles most of Kuwait's oil exports. Construction of another major port located in Bubiyan island started in 2005Sony VAIO VGN-CS26T/P battery. The port is expected to handle 1.3 million TEU when operation starts in 2008.
The 372 m tall Kuwait Telecommunications Tower (leftmost) is the main communication tower of Kuwait.
Kuwait has one of the most vocal and transparent media in the Arab World. In 2007, Kuwait was ranked first in the Middle East and the Arab League by Reporters Without Borders in the freedom of press index. Though the government funds several leading newspapers and satellite channels, Sony VAIO VGN-CS26T/C battery Kuwaiti journalists enjoy greater freedom than their regional counterparts. The state-owned Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) is the largest media house in the country. The Ministry of Information regulates all media and communication industry in Kuwait.
In 1998, there were 15 media stations, which are 6 am and 11 FM radio stations and 13 television stations. In 2000, there were 624 radios and 486 television sets for every 1,000 people. In 2001, there were 165,000 Internet subscribers served by three service providers. Sony VAIO VGN-CS25H battery Kuwait has ten satellite television channels of which four are controlled by the Ministry of Information. State-owned Kuwait Television (KTV) offered first colored broadcast in 1974 and operates five television channels. Government-funded Radio Kuwait also offers daily informative programming in four foreign languages including Arabic, Urdu, Tagalog and English on the AM and SWSony VAIO VGN-CS23H battery.
In 2009, Kuwait had seventeen newspaper companies in circulation. Kuwait is represented by three English dailies: Kuwait Times, Arab Times and Al-Watan Daily. There are 16 Arabic daily newspapers besides the English newspapers.
A press law forbids insulting references to God and Islamic prophet Muhammad. Another law which made leading newspaper publishers eligible for hefty fines for criticizing the ruling family was lifted in 1992Sony VAIO VGN-CS23H/S battery. Leading newspapers continue to impose self-restraint while remaining uncritical of the emir. However, no such restraint is observed while criticizing the government.
Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha are two of the major festivals in Kuwait. Each year, the people of Kuwait celebrate 25 and 26 February, as the national and liberation day, respectively. On 10 November 2012, Kuwait marked the golden jubilee of its constitution with a spectacular KD 4.06-million ($15-million) fireworks display, featuring 77,282 fireworks, which earned the state a place in the Guinness Book of World RecordsSony VAIO VGN-CS23H/B battery.