The Bride of the Arabian Gulf
Cradled between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Kuwait is more than just an oil-rich country. A fine example of traditions meeting modernity, the country is a mixture of exclusive Western-style hotels and designer shopping malls, and traditional Islamic architecture, street markets and Bedouin culture
H.E. Mr. Mohammad Husain Alfailakawi, Ambassador of Kuwait to Thailand
While being a small part of the Gulf countries, Kuwait is worth a visit for anyone who wants to get away from the busy routine of the city and enjoy a peaceful time. The unique architecture, culture, beaches, and hospitality of Kuwait have made it a must-visit place for tourists.
Kuwait’s summer tourism is very lively and filled with water activities. You can enjoy the beautiful beaches of Kuwait; swim, sunbathe or even do water sports. You can also enjoy boat trips from early morning to sunset and the beautiful lights of Kuwait City at night. When it comes to winter tourism, locals and tourists tend to head to the beautiful golden desert and enjoy the camping activities, as it is one of the most sought-after recreations during the season.
Kuwaiti cuisine by itself is a fusion of multiple international cuisines. One of the most famous dishes in Kuwaiti tradition is “machbos.” People from world over visit the country to try its famous delicacies. Kuwaiti cuisine is well known for being the focal point of sea life in the past, and so the variety of seafood dishes is an appealing concept for many people. All of that would result in a rich food culture that respects its traditions, while forging a path forward with an ever-changing innovation in fusion dishes that borrows from all cultures around the world.
A Location of Importance
Kuwait is a country in the Middle East located in Western Asia, and has weather characterised by dry, hot long summer from May to September, and short cold winter from November to February. The country is well known for its strategic location at the head of the Arabian Gulf. Dating back to the 19th century, Kuwait developed a thriving independent trading community and became a merchants’ hub, while getting access to East Asia which helped build a sustained history of connecting the East and the West.
While the first oil well in Kuwait was discovered in Burgan in 1938, exports did not start until 1946 due to World War II. Ahmadi, named after Sheikh Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, was created near the oil fields as a township for oil company personnel.
A Perfect Tourist Destination
Kuwait is a good tourist destination whether in summer or in winter. Tourists with various interests can enjoy their stay in the country as it adheres to varied interests. With beautiful beaches, historical attractions, Islamic architecture to extravagant hotels and shopping malls, the country is definitely the perfect getaway.
The gulf nation is beautifully represented by its famous landmark, The Kuwaiti Towers – a group of three tall towers that symbolises its economic resurgence. Recognised as a tourist landmark and a symbol of modern Kuwait, the towers were officially inaugurated in 1979. You can simply enter the towers and have a great view of the capital, Kuwait City from the rotating observatory. The towers also have restaurants and cafés to keep tourists busy for long.
Another famous tower in Kuwait is the Liberation Tower, which is considered to be the second-tallest structure in the country and the 39th tallest building in the world. Another important skyscraper in Kuwait City is the Al Hamra Tower. The commercial complex and business offices tower is the tallest building in the country and 36th tallest building in the world.
Beyond the Skyscrapers
Kuwait is well known for its artistic and cultural tourism and a rich history in theatre and television. It was chosen as the Capital of Islamic Culture in 2016. If you are interested in culture and art, the Sheikh Jaber Alahmad Cultural Centre is a place worth visiting. It is a public space that hosts a range of events of international music, theatre and film.
History enthusiasts must visit Kuwait’s famous historic site, Failaka, an island located 20 km off the coast of Kuwait City. The presence of numerous archaeological sites from different historical periods attests to the island’s importance as a cultural hub.
Souq Al-Mubarkiya is another great example of Kuwait’s history and heritage. One the oldest souks in Kuwait, this market in Kuwait City has been there for around 200 years. You can stroll around the Souk for hours without any tedium, going through small shops and restaurants selling beautiful items showcasing the rich Kuwaiti traditions and heritage.
The Grand Mosque of Kuwait is the largest mosque in Kuwait. Located in the heart of Kuwait City, the mosque is a stunning representation of Islamic architecture. You can take a tour inside the Grand Mosque and enjoy the calligraphy exhibition featuring work by calligraphers from all over the world.
Another important destination in Kuwait City is the Al Shaheed Park. The park located on the city’s periphery narrates the story of the land and its history and culture. The park has 2,00,000 square metres of greenery, beautiful botanical gardens, two museums – Thekra and the Habitat – a visitor centre, a lake, walkways, and jogging tracks, making it the largest urban park in Kuwait.
For retail therapy, travellers can explore Kuwait’s beautifully designed malls, The Avenues and 360 Malls. The Avenues is the largest shopping mall in the country and was awarded as the Best Shopping Center in 2013 under the Expansion and Design Category in the Middle East and North Africa region. So far, it has four large areas called phases – with more than 1,300 shops and two hotels – but expected to expand to more phases. The 360 Mall is one of the unique shopping destinations, where shopping, entertainment, and leisure components are synonymous with sophistication, elegance, and unsurpassed style and luxury.
The State of Kuwait should be on your next travelling plan. After all, it is a unique and safe country that has a lot to offer to its visitors. The country may be small in size, but its visitors will always find many reasons to visit again. Apart from its intriguing attractions and natural wonders, Kuwait City has a balanced charm of authentic Arab feel and modernity that makes it more than just a desert oasis.