KUWAIT CITY

Kuwait

Kuwait City is the capital and largest city of Kuwait. It has a population of 2.1 million in the metropolitan area. Kuwait City is the political, cultural and economic center of Kuwait.Kuwait City is a bustling metropolis of high-rise office buildings, luxury hotels, wide boulevards and well-tended parks and gardens.

Info Kuwait City

introduction

Kuwait City is the capital and largest city of Kuwait. It has a population of 2.1 million in the metropolitan area. Kuwait City is the political, cultural and economic center of Kuwait.

Kuwait City is a bustling metropolis of high-rise office buildings, luxury hotels, wide boulevards and well-tended parks and gardens. Its seaport is used by oil tankers, cargo ships and many pleasure craft. Its most dominant landmarks are the Kuwait Towers. Kuwait City is not, however, an attractive city to visit as much of the architecture and its general feel is one of sand-blown dustiness.

info

POPULATION : City: 637,411 /  Metro: 2,380,000
FOUNDED :  AST (UTC+3)    
TIME ZONE :
LANGUAGE : Arabic (official), English widely spoken
RELIGION : Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shia 30%), other (includes Christian, Hindu, Parsi) 15%

 

AREA : 200 km2 (80 sq mi)
ELEVATION :
COORDINATES : 29°22′11″N 47°58′42″E
SEX RATIO : Male: 59.80% 
 Female: 40.20%
ETHNIC : Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%
AREA CODE :
POSTAL CODE :
DIALING CODE : +965
WEBSITE :

Tourism

There are quite a few things to do in Kuwait City. It is possible to have lunch or dinner in the Kuwait towers (the three towers by the sea with water storage). It is worthwhile to take a tour of the Grand Mosque in Kuwait, just kindly ask the security guard in front of the entrance to the mosque. Across the street from the Grand Mosque is the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange, which seems to be open to the public.

While in Kuwait it is also crucial to smoke Shisha (Hookah/Hubbly Bubbly) at a cafe in Kuwait. There are also quite a few great restaurants with Iranian, Lebanese, and Bedouin foods.

To escape the intense heat of the Middle East, visit the Aqua Park near the Kuwait Towers. It's 3.50 KD to get in and offers a variety of modern rides and pools.

One can also walk along many of the well-kept sidewalks that line the coast of Kuwait. At dusk, it's ideal to sit on a bench across from the Sharq Mall and watch the sun set on the Arabian Sea. Buy yourself a cheap sack of nuts or bagful of olives from the souq in the fish market and relax.

Fitness fanatics and the health conscious have several options to get engaged with exclusive fitness center in and around Kuwait City. Some of the best health clubs and gyms are attached to hotels like the Palms, SAS Radisson, Hilton etc. There are also stand alone spas and fitness centers. Elysium, Flex, Spa time and Ayurmana are a few of the highly top fitness centers in Kuwait.

History

In 1613, the town of Kuwait was founded in modern-day Kuwait City. In 1716, the Bani Utubs settled in Kuwait. At the time of the arrival of the Utubs, Kuwait was inhabited by a few fishermen and primarily functioned as a fishing village.In the eighteenth century, Kuwait prospered and rapidly became the principal commercial center for the transit of goods between India, Muscat, Baghdad and Arabia.

During the Persian siege of Basra in 1775–1779, Iraqi merchants took refuge in Kuwait and were partly instrumental in the expansion of Kuwait's boat-building and trading activities. As a result, Kuwait's maritime commerce boomed. Between the years 1775 and 1779, the Indian trade routes with Baghdad, Aleppo, Smyrna and Constantinople were diverted to Kuwait.

During the reign of Mubarak Al-Sabah, Kuwait was dubbed the "Marseilles of the Gulf" because its economic vitality attracted a large variety of people.[20] In the first decades of the twentieth century, Kuwait had a well-established elite: wealthy trading families who were linked by marriage and shared economic interests.

From 1946 to 1982, Kuwait experienced a period of prosperity driven by oil and its liberal atmosphere. In popular discourse, the years between 1946 and 1982 are referred to as the "Golden Era".  In 1950, a major public-work programme began to enable Kuwaitis to enjoy a modern standard of living. By 1952, the country became the largest oil exporter in the Persian Gulf region. This massive growth attracted many foreign workers, especially from Palestine, Egypt and India. In June 1961, Kuwait became independent with the end of the British protectorate and the sheikh Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah became an Emir. Under the terms of the newly drafted constitution, Kuwait held its first parliamentary elections in 1963. Kuwait was the first Arab Persian Gulf country to establish a constitution and parliament.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Kuwait was the most developed country in the region. Kuwait was the pioneer in the Middle East in diversifying its earnings away from oil exports.Many Arab writers moved to Kuwait for freedom of expression because Kuwait had greater freedom of expression than elsewhere in the Arab world. Kuwait was a haven for writers and journalists from all parts of the Middle East. The Iraqi poet Ahmed Matar left Iraq in the 1970s to take refuge in the more liberal environment of Kuwait.Kuwaiti society embraced liberal and Western attitudes throughout the 1960s and 1970s.Most Kuwaiti women did not wear the hijab in the 1960s and 1970s. At Kuwait University, mini-skirts were more common than the hijab.

In the early 1980s, Kuwait experienced a major economic crisis after the Souk Al-Manakh stock market crash and decrease in oil price.

During the Iran–Iraq War, Kuwait supported Iraq. Throughout the 1980s, there were several terror attacks in Kuwait, including the 1983 Kuwait bombings, hijacking of several Kuwait Airways planes and attempted assassination of Emir Jaber in 1985. 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.ensions between the two countries increased further in July 1990, after Iraq complained to OPEC claiming that Kuwait was stealing its oil from a field near the border by slant drilling of the Rumaila field.

In August 1990, Iraqi forces invaded and annexed Kuwait. After a series of failed diplomatic negotiations, the United States led a coalition to remove the Iraqi forces from Kuwait, in what became known as the Gulf War. On 26 February 1991, the coalition succeeded in driving out the Iraqi forces. As they retreated, Iraqi forces carried out a scorched earth policy by setting oil wells on fire.

In March 2003, Kuwait became the springboard for the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Climate

Kuwait City has a hot desert climate and is one of the hottest cities in summers on earth.

Summer temperatures regularly exceed 45 °C (113 °F), and temperatures over 50 °C (122 °F) are not uncommon in the summer, especially in heat waves,  nighttime lows often remain above 30 °C (86 °F).

In winter, nighttime temperatures frequently drop below 8 °C (46 °F).

Considering its coastal position and relative distance to the equator in comparison with the hot desert climates in Africa and Saudi Arabia, the heat in the city is rather extreme - being surrounded in almost every direction by the hot desert.

Sand storms occur at times during summer from the shamal wind. Sand storms can occur any time of year but occur mostly during summer, and less frequently during autumn.

Climate data for Kuwait City

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec 
Record high °C (°F)29.8
(85.6)
35.8
(96.4)
41.2
(106.2)
44.2
(111.6)
49.0
(120.2)
49.8
(121.6)
52.1
(125.8)
50.7
(123.3)
47.7
(117.9)
43.7
(110.7)
37.9
(100.2)
30.5
(86.9)
 
Average high °C (°F)19.5
(67.1)
21.8
(71.2)
26.9
(80.4)
33.9
(93)
40.9
(105.6)
45.5
(113.9)
46.7
(116.1)
46.9
(116.4)
43.7
(110.7)
36.6
(97.9)
27.8
(82)
21.9
(71.4)
 
Average low °C (°F)8.5
(47.3)
10.0
(50)
14.0
(57.2)
19.5
(67.1)
25.4
(77.7)
28.9
(84)
30.7
(87.3)
29.5
(85.1)
26.2
(79.2)
21.5
(70.7)
14.5
(58.1)
9.9
(49.8)
 
Record low °C (°F)−4.0
(24.8)
−1.6
(29.1)
−0.1
(31.8)
6.9
(44.4)
14.7
(58.5)
20.4
(68.7)
22.4
(72.3)
21.7
(71.1)
16.0
(60.8)
9.4
(48.9)
2.0
(35.6)
−1.5
(29.3)
 
              
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization 
Source #2: NOAA

Geography

Kuwait City is located on Kuwait Bay, a natural deep-water harbor. 90% of Kuwait's population live within the Kuwait Bay coast. 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.

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-kilometre (310 mi) long coastline.

Kuwait's 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 uninhabitable. 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.

Economy

Kuwait has a petroleum-based economy, petroleum and fertilizers are the main export products. The Kuwaiti dinar is the highest-valued currency unit in the world.

Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP and 90% of export revenues and government income.

The Kuwait Stock Exchange is the second-largest stock exchange in the Arab world.

Prices in Kuwait City

PRICES LIST - USD

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk1 liter$ 1.60
Tomatoes1 kg$ 2.30
Cheese0.5 kg$ 6.00
Apples1 kg$ 3.50
Oranges1 kg$ 2.50
Beer (domestic)0.5 l
Bottle of Wine1 bottle
Coca-Cola2 liters$ 1.25
Bread1 piece$ 1.00
Water1.5 l$ 0.65

PRICES LIST - USD

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range)for 2$ 37.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2
Dinner (High-range)for 2$ 55.00
Mac Meal or similar1 meal$ 6.00
Water0.33 l$ 0.40
Cappuccino1 cup$ 4.30
Beer (Imported)0.33 l
Beer (domestic)0.5 l
Coca-Cola0.33 l$ 0.62
Coctail drink1 drink$

PRICES LIST - USD

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema2 tickets$ 22.00
Gym1 month$ 135.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut$ 9.00
Theatar2 tickets$ 50.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.$ 0.14
Pack of Marlboro1 pack$ 2.85

PRICES LIST - USD

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics1 pack$ 19.00
Tampons32 pieces$ 8.00
Deodorant50 ml.$ 5.90
Shampoo400 ml.$ 4.10
Toilet paper4 rolls$ 2.80
Toothpaste1 tube$ 3.50

PRICES LIST - USD

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1$ 65.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1$ 60.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1$ 90.00
Leather shoes1$ 105.00

PRICES LIST - USD

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline1 liter$ 0.93
TaxiStart$ 3.30
Taxi1 km$ 1.60
Local Transport1 ticket$ 0.85

Tourist (Backpacker)  

98 $ per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

226 $ per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Kuwait International Airport  is 16 km (10 mi) south of Kuwait City.

 


Transportation - Get Around

Transportation - Get Around

By bus

The Kuwait Public Transport Company (KPTC) and CityBus run buses in and around Kuwait City, with a flat 200 fils fare for trips in the city. The two run on the same routes, so KPTC bus 999 will get you to the same place and for the same price as CityBus 999. However, bus shelters are spartan, schedules erratic and information lacking, making this a poor second to taxis if you're in any sort of hurry and not desperately short on cash. For the adventurous, privately-owned CityBus maintains an up-to-date list of routes on their website  , while figuring out KPTC routes is rather more challenging—as of 2008, their Transport Kuwait website hasn't been updated in years and the route maps are thoroughly obsolete. Apart from the Bangladeshi working communities, who do all the low-end jobs in Kuwait, very few others use the public transport. Buses are mainly male, with many of the travelers listening to music without headphones on their mobile phones. The buses can also be filthy as many sit and eat sunflower seed and scatter the shells all over the floor.

Transportation - Get Around

By Taxi

If you don't have your own wheels, taxis are the most practical form of transport. Meters are universally ignored (the official fares haven't changed in years), so agree on the price before you set off. There are three basic types:

Call taxis (aka hotel taxis) are all-white with company decals on the doors, and they can be found lurking around major hotels. Usually ordered by phone, these are usually fairly nice and will take you where you want to go with a minimum of fuss, but charge steeper prices: KD 3 is the standard fare for most trips around town, while going to/from the airport is KD 5. However, if you manage to catch one on the road (away from the watchful eye of the dispatcher), they may cut you a discount. Kuds Taxi, tel. 241-3414, is one of the largest operators.

Airport taxis are larger American cars that have their own ramp at the airport. They have a printed fee on the inside of the taxi with the fares fixed. Many drivers will, however, try to demand higher fares.

Orange taxis, which are actually white-and-beige with yellow license plates and "TAXI" signs on the roof, prowl the streets of Kuwait looking for passengers. Fares are negotiable, with short hops from KD 1 and a longer trip across town around KD 2. Readily available, you are likely to be tooted by them as you try to cross the road. The divers will try to increase the cost of the journey and huff and puff if the traffic is bad, or if you weren't completely clear on where you were going. They will then demand more on arrival. It is easy to see when they are about to pull this trick as they will start to complain about your inaccuracy shortly before arrival. Some, but not all, orange taxis ply only along fixed routes, and you'll be expected to share the cab (and the fare) with other passengers if you board one of these.

 

Hotels

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Hotels

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Beaches in Kuwait city


Tanning in Kuwait City

Interested in knowing more about rest and relaxation in Kuwait? Not only are you going to get plenty of desert, but also miles and miles of beaches. Tanning yourself on a public beach is definitely not recommended. However, you can Sun worship if your beach is attached to a hotel or a club. The Kuwait coastline is bordered with a number of beaches, some public and some private.


Beaches along the Persian Gulf

All you have to do is look for places bordering the Persian Gulf where you can get a place to sit and enjoy the scenery. Swimming is also allowed along these beaches. There are a number of very popular beaches in Kuwait including the Scientific City Beach. This is the place to come if you are looking for a fun day out, walks, picnics, outings, and walking in the gardens and parks.

Remember to enjoy the 3-D cinema, the fishing pier, the aquarium and the place of discovery. There is also a gift shop. You will have to pay an entry fee to visit the Discovery Place, the aquarium, and the cinema after your walk on the beach.


Messilah Beach

You can also visit the Messilah Beach at Salmiyyah Kuwait. This is one of the most popular beaches, even though it is private. Ladies' Days are Mondays Wednesdays and Saturdays, when you can enjoy traditional performances and dancing--ladies only!

The seafront is stretches from the Kuwaiti Towers to the region of Al-Bedaa. You are going to enjoy strolling down the well-paved paths with all that greenery to feast your eyes on. And then remember to round off the evening by having dinner for 2 at any of the restaurants or beach-side cafés.


Al Oqeila Beach

The Al Oqeila beach is a place where you can enjoy yourself with friends and family to relax under the stars. You can also enjoy a barbecue party, but remember to reserve ahead so that you know about the timing for the party guests.

Shopping

Several high-end malls in Kuwait City, with the Marina Mall being one of the largest. However, prices are quite expensive especially compared with other places in the region - most name brand products will cost 2-5 times what they would cost in the west.

  • Western style shopping centers: Souk Sharq (Kuwait City) and Marina Mall (Salmia) are both on the coastal Gulf Road and offer excellent shopping. Another shopping centre is "Al-Kout" (Fahaheel) it has several beautiful coffee shops and many other outlets. "Araya Mall" (Sharq) and Al-Salhiya Mall (Sharq) offers high-price designer brands. The Avenues is a new mall which has come up and is one of the largest in Kuwait.
  • Traditional markets: A famous destination is the Souk Al Mubarakiya in the heart of downtown. Middle Eastern and Oriental items abound as well as a gold and jewelry market. Souk Al-Juma'a is a Friday market with very low-priced mass-produced goods and second-hand stuff. The Mahameed markets in Behbahani complex have similar selection and pricing as well.
  • A more Oriental atmosphere can be found on the other side of town also in a western-style mall called Souk Al-Watiya or Al-Watiya Complex, located beside the Sheraton Hotel and 4 Point Sheraton. This place is also called the Adidas Building by local Filipinos. Situated close to churches the whole area can look like a mini India Town and Filipino Town during Friday and Sunday. Many restaurants also serving either fast food or oriental traditional foods. This is also a good place to buy any gold or jewelry.

The Al-Fanar mall in Kuwait has restaurants, cafes and many shops like Ralph Lauren and Lacoste.

Restaurants

French: Le Relais de l'Entrecote (Avenues Mall, Al-Fanar Mall, Salmiya) - The traditional steak frites, based on the original Parisian restaurant in Porte Malliot; Paul (Marina Mall, Salmiya + others) - The patisserie which serves pretty authentic pastries/baguettes and some decent entrees.

Italian: Viaggio Restaurant located in the first floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel has probably one of the best authentic Italian food in town. Lorenzo, next to Salhiya Complex (in Sharg), and Ricardo, which is in the Sheraton are considered among the best Italian restaurants in Kuwait. Pomodoro which is in Sharg next to the church also serves good Italian food. Nino's, on the Gulf Road, is also good, but is more of a casual restaurant.Gelato Italiano, at Sharg area Ahmed AlJaber st. - Gaz Tower, Tel. 22434434, one of the first in Kuwait since 2001, very popular, and offers a large selection of Italian ice creams.

Indian: Mugal Mahal(sharg), Bukhara (Sheraton hotel), Silk and Spice (Al Kout Mall,Fahaheel), Asha's (Marina crescent). The Spice Club (360 Mall), is a popular spot in the new mall, and is acclaimed for it's North Indian delicacies and varied menu, hence an attraction to regular foodies year round - highly recommended.

Lebanese: Villa Fayrouz (Sha'ab), Mejana (Al Kout Mall, Fahahel), Mais Al-Ghanim (Gulf Road), Tarboosh (Sheraton Hotel), Burj Al Hamam.

Persian: Shahrayar (Sheraton Hotel), Shabestan (Crowne Plaza Hotel), Baba Taher (Sharq)

Kuwaiti: AL-Marsa which is in the Ritz Hotel on the gulf road, highly recommended if you want to try local cuisine.

American: Johnny Rockets (Marina Mall, Kout Mall, The Avenues), Chilis and Fridays both located on the gulf road

Japanese: Kei (Marriott Hotel or Marina Mall), Maki (Marina Waves, Edo (Shaeb) Sakura (Crown Plaza hotel or Layla Gallery) all four are highly recommended.

Chinese: Greens (Gulf road), Golden chopsticks (Sha'ab), Peacok (Radisson Sas Hotel).

Burgers: Burger Hub serves over 50 kinds of gourmet burgers & appetizers the largest selection in the GCC & M E [www] (Gulf Road in front of Al Seif palace), burger gourmet (marina mall). Burger Co. (Hawalli in front of Muhalab Mall)

Breakfast: Prime and Toast is the first gourmet Deli in the Middle East located opposite (Seif palace).

  • 360 mall
  • The Fish MarketMarboula. A great fish restaurant where fresh fish is on display and sold and cooked per your instructions. Of additional interest is that this great restaurant is next to TGI Friday's, which Kuwaitis treat as a high class restaurant and stand in long queues to be see at - an ideal opportunity to partake in excellent food while people-watching

Sights & Landmarks

  • Kuwait TowersSharq+965-1820001. 9AM-11PM. Kuwait's unofficial symbol, found on everything except the flag, are Kuwait's top attraction. Designed by Swedes, built by Yugoslavs, and opened in 1979, they're actually rather interesting up close, as the spheres are covered with a funky polka-dot pattern made up from colored circular plates. The first, 178 m (583 ft) high, houses the Viewing Sphere (123 m [403 ft]) complete with a rotating viewing platform; don't miss the photos of the damage done by the Iraqi "barbaric invaders", at the foot of the staircase to the second level of the sphere. In the viewing sphere there is also a small bar that serves soft drinks and snacks. You can enjoy your snack at a stand-up table on the rotating viewing platform. The lower sphere houses theOfok restaurant (82 m [270 ft]), serving breakfast (ladies only), lunch and dinner buffets daily. The second tower, 145.8 m (478 ft) high, is for water storage and is not accessible to the public, while the third, sphereless spike mostly serves to light up the other two at night. Best visited, but also the most crowded, at sunset. KD 2.
  • Liberation Tower. One of the tallest telecommunications towers in the world. Tourists are no longer allowed to enter the tower; however, visitors seem to be allowed in on February 25th, National Day.
  • National Museum (on Gulf Street between National Assembly and Grand Mosque). Mon-Thu: 8:30AM - 12:30PM 4:30PM - 7:30PM, Fri-Sat: 8:30AM - 11AM, 4:30PM - 7:30PM; Winter afternoon hours 4PM - 7PM. Stripped of many artifacts during the war – part of it has been renovated and is now open to the public for display. One exhibition shows ancient relics found on Failaka Island and the other resembles a carefully designed copy of an old Kuwaiti souq (market). An old Kuwaiti boum (dhow) is on display as well. Entrance is free.
  • Sadu House. Right beside the National Museum. Made of coral and gypsum and is used as a cultural museum to protect the arts and crafts of Bedouin society. It is an ideal place to purchase Bedouin goods. Seems to be closed at least temporarily as of early 2010.
  • Bayt Al-Badr Right beside the National Museum. It is one of the very few houses left that were built in old Kuwaiti architecture. Seems to be closed at least temporarily as of early 2010 but it's worth passing by.
  • Seif Palace (Between Grand Mosque and National Museum). Built in 1896, the interior features original Islamic mosaic tile work, though these suffered badly during the Iraqi occupation. You will not be allowed to enter, however it is still interesting to walk by and see the vast gardens of the palace.
  • National Assembly (beside National Museum). Not open for public.. The National Assembly is the seat of the Kuwaiti parliament and is one of the few pieces of fine architecture in the country.
  • Grand Mosque. Across from the Seif Palace and about a quarter mile east of the National Museum. Guided tours by friendly Kuwaitis are available for tourists. Women can borrow a proper dress from the mosque in order to enter. You will likely be told a time to come back for a tour by the security guard when you visit the mosque. Come back at that time and there will hopefully be a couple of guides available.
  • War Museum (located in residential area at the end of the Gulf Street near Shuwaikh port, opposite to Kuwait Petrol Company headquarters). The war museum depicts the somewhat gory view of Kuwait on the Iraqi invasion.
  • Fish Market. Arguably the most interesting thing to see in Kuwait. It's a giant, bustling building filled with rows of counters stocked high with fish. The interior is kept very clean with people hosing down the floor constantly. (Located just west of the Sharq mall)
  • Entertainment City (near 7th Ring Road in Doha area). Amusement Park for families.
  • Scientific Center (On the seaside beside the Gulf Street in Salmiya). The Scientific Center is a family-oriented amusement facility features a 3D-Cinema with nature movies and an aquarium. Traditional boums (dhows) are on display outside.

Things to do

There are quite a few things to do in Kuwait City. It is possible to have lunch or dinner in the Kuwait towers (the three towers by the sea with water storage). It is worthwhile to take a tour of the Grand Mosque in Kuwait, just kindly ask the security guard in front of the entrance to the mosque. Across the street from the Grand Mosque is the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange, which seems to be open to the public.

While in Kuwait it is also crucial to smoke Shisha (Hookah/Hubbly Bubbly) at a cafe in Kuwait. There are also quite a few great restaurants with Iranian, Lebanese, and Bedouin foods.

 

To escape the intense heat of the Middle East, visit the Aqua Park near the Kuwait Towers. It's 3.50 KD to get in and offers a variety of modern rides and pools. [www]

One can also walk along many of the well-kept sidewalks that line the coast of Kuwait. At dusk, it's ideal to sit on a bench across from the Sharq Mall and watch the sun set on the Arabian Sea. Buy yourself a cheap sack of nuts or bagful of olives from the souq in the fish market and relax.

Fitness fanatics and the health conscious have several options to get engaged with exclusive fitness center in and around Kuwait City. Some of the best health clubs and gyms are attached to hotels like the Palms, SAS Radisson, Hilton etc. There are also stand alone spas and fitness centers. Elysium, Flex, Spa time and Ayurmana are a few of the highly top fitness centers in Kuwait. Ayurmana also has a highly rated Exclusive Yoga Studio for women [www] and Ayurveda Center.

Festivals and events


Hala February Festival

Hala February Festival is one of the most awaited festivals in the city of Kuwait. It is a vibrant and colorful event that is celebrated in the month of February with a lot of pomp and show. The festival hosts several carnivals in different parts of the city, cultural activities and other events that lure tourists from all corners of the globe. Besides, there are also musical programs, literary discussion sessions and interesting poetry sittings that are organized during the festival. With so much to offer, this is one of the much loved events in Kuwait.


Eid al Fitr

The festival reflects the cultural and religious nuances of Kuwait city. It is an event that is celebrated at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims observe a long period of fasting. The festival involves preparation of sumptuous community meals and family celebrations. Eid al Fitr is an interesting religious festival that locals and tourists love to witness and participate in. Feast on delicious meat kabobs, traditional bread, flavored meat rice and an array of rich desserts.


Lailat al Miraj

This festival has a long history and is a very crucial event in the Islamic calendar. The event holds huge significance for the residents of the city for its mythological relevance. During the festival there are huge gatherings in mosques where people come with their families to pray. This is followed by narrating stories of Prophet Muhammad and talking about his vision, thus enriching everyone with the fundamental knowledge of Islamic culture, beliefs, and traditions. Delicious food that is served to everyone during the festival is another major draw.


Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday

An exciting event in the Kuwaiti calendar, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad is celebrated with much joy and enthusiasm in the city. The festival is held in the month of May and is a major attraction for tourists. It includes enthusiastic processions amidst colorful lights and decorations. There is much singing, dancing and cultural revelry as well. Delicious food is served to everyone at the end of the walk and the festival concludes amidst much merrymaking.

Things to know


Respect

Kuwait is a mostly Muslim country so wear respectable clothing during your travels. That said, "respectful" is a relative term. Kuwaiti malls are full of young Kuwaitis in shorts, tight clothing, etc. Along with Dubai, this is one the few places in the region it is easy to get away with wearing shorts if one wants to.

Do not say anything that might be perceived as an insult to Islam, the Kuwaiti government, or national pride. Drug trafficking, murder, and rape are punishable by death. It is also important to note that swearing publicly at someone, or gesturing obscenely, is grounds for arrest and steep fines or immediate deportation.


Alcohol

Alcohol is illegal in Kuwait and possession of this carries very harsh penalties. Many inhabitants, however, both Kuwaiti and expatriate, maintain well stocked bars at home. Home brewing is a thriving hobby. That said, it is essential to remember that this is a Muslim country and it is foolish in the extreme to flout openly the laws of the place. Due respect should be shown at all times.

Safety in Kuwait City

Stay Safe

Kuwait City is one of the safest places in the Middle East. Crime rates are low and the neighboring civil conflict in Iraq has not spilled over into Kuwait. The same is not true of some of the suburbs where it can be very unsafe for single females to walk alone. Cars will pull up demanding that western women get in and they can be very threatening.

Be very careful crossing streets -- Kuwaiti drivers are reckless. There are no pedestrian lights, pedestrian crossings are virtually ignored.

Very High / 8.6

Safety (Walking alone - day)

Very High / 7.6

Safety (Walking alone - night)

Kuwait - Travel guide

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