This study contributes to the accounting literature on professionalization projects and is specifically located in the literature on projects in the British Empire. The study investigates the case of Kuwait, which was a British protectorate (neither settler nor non-settler) from 1899 to 1961. It deploys the enabling factors identified by Poullaos and Sian (2010) in professionalization projects in former British colonies to explore whether these factors were present in Kuwait as an Arabic British protectorate. The study also explores the role of the state in facilitating the creation of indigenous accountants and the Kuwaiti Association of Accountants and Auditors (KAAA). An outline of the Dewaniya, a distinctive aspect of Kuwaiti culture, is provided to help explain the motivation for the creation of the KAAA in 1973. This study finds that the nature of the protectorate treaty and the rise of Arabic nationalism movements led to minimal British imperial influence on Kuwait's accounting profession, and to a greater reliance on Arabic laws and accountants. The data to support this study's interpretation of events were obtained from semi-structured interviews with founders of the KAAA and a pioneer professional accountant, and from surviving archival records.