KUWAIT CITY

Introduction

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.

Kuwait - Travel guide

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