In July Sheikh Salem warned that Kuwait's economy was struggling with the country's burgeoning public sector. The central banker also said he was concerned that the economy was too dependent on oil reserves. Kuwait relies on petroleum exports for 90pc of the state's income.
Kuwait is a tiny, oil-rich nation of 2.6 million people best known to Americans for its role in the 1991 Gulf War, when allied troops drove deep into Kuwait in order to evict Iraqi troops from the country.
Although parts of Kuwait City were rebuilt after the 1990 invasion, much of it still looks faded and neglected, a striking contrast with the gleaming hyper-modernity of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.
Kuwait is the only Gulf country – and one of the few in the Arab world – with anything approaching a functioning democracy.
But the balance of power between the ruling emir and the forces of democracy have created an avenue for permanent conflict, in which the emir appoints the prime minister but he can be repeatedly summoned and condemned by MPs.
He has now resigned six times in the less than six years he has served, but been reinstated each time.
Kuwait is a wealthy nation that has managed to appease the public and avoid the kind of tumult that has swept other Arab nations. But even in Kuwait, where allegations of corruption and kickbacks are endemic, the sheer size of the deposits has set off a fury that is rocking the oil-rich country. Not to mention that investigations, so far, involve 9 of just 50 total members of Parliament.
The worldwide spread of protests this year may have started with the Arab spring, but when Kuwaiti demonstrators stormed their parliament on Wednesday, they appeared to be taking a page from the more theatric elements of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The protestors’ raid was brief. They called for the fall of the Prime Minister, sang the national anthem, and left after a few moments.
Kuwait is burning -- physically, politically and spiritually. Kuwait City, where 80% of the prewar population of 2 million lived, is a sad, lonely town. The skyscrapers are abandoned, their ground-level shops have been looted, and nearly everything is covered with an oily soot, a reminder of the ongoing conflagration outside the capital -- the hundreds of oil-well fires depleting the nation's lifeblood at a rate far greater than anyone had predicted.
Kuwaiti lawmakers voted in favour of a legal amendment on Thursday which could make insulting God and the Prophet Mohammad punishable by death, after a case of suspected blasphemy on Twitter caused an uproar in the Gulf Arab state.
Kuwait's oil minister says the country aims to boost its crude production capacity to 4 million barrels a day by 2020, up from 3 million barrels now.
Oil Minister Hani Hussein made the comments Monday at the start of an energy forum in the Gulf nation, according to a report by state news agency KUNA.
Kuwaitis made history on Saturday, sending four women to Parliament in an election many hoped would end years of political instability in the oil-rich Gulf kingdom. It was the first time women were able to win seats after winning the right to vote and run for election in 2005. Sunni Islamist candidates also lost ground in what appears to be part of a broader rejection of politics as usual by Kuwaiti voters, reports the Associated Press.
Foreigners now account for 12.5 million people, or nearly half of the 33 million population in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Kuwaitis and other locals are also traveling and studying abroad at greater numbers and returning home with experiences once alien to this arid region of the world.