As oil production boomed in Kuwait, so did prosperity. During Sheikh Abdullah's reign, construction increased dramatically. At the heart of his policies lay the determination to ensure the welfare of Kuwait and its people.
If Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah maintained Kuwait's international and political position, then Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah established the country's pillars of authority by founding the legal and constitutional institutions that enhanced its independence and further promoted democracy and progress.
During his reign, free education became available to all. Schools were furnished with modern equipment, labs and school meals and uniforms were provided. Furthermore, teaching colleges and institutes for the handicapped were also established.
Citizens and residents were given free health care. Pharmacies, centers for maternity and infant health care and the Al-Sabah Hospital were set up.
Kuwait's largest desalination station and a power plant were constructed. Low-income housing was built and pensions were provided for widows, orphans and the elderly.
In 1961, Kuwait gained full independence. The 1899 protectorate treaty with Britain was terminated and replaced with an agreement of friendship. From then on, Kuwait was a sovereign state and since joining the Arab League in July 1961 has participated in all the League's conferences.
Kuwait also took part in the social development of other Arab countries.
During Sheikh Abdullah's reign, the first cabinet was formed. After independence, general elections were held to choose twenty members to form the Constituent Assembly that drafted the constitution.
In January 1963, elections were held to choose the first National Assembly after independence. Many assemblies have since followed, and the democratic legacy of Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem continues unabated to this day.
Kuwait exchanged diplomatic representation with most nations of the world, and joined the United Nations on May14, 1963.
Sheikh Abdullah sponsored the first Kuwaiti constitution, which he approved on November 11, 1962. It determined the system of government and the structure of the country.