Kuwait Travel Guide
Kuwait is a state in the Middle East bordered by the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. With a population of over 3.5 million people covering a geographical area of 17,820 square km, this small and mobile oil-rich country appears as an ultra-modern oasis situated in sand and water. This business and economic centre offers an excellent range of cultural and epicurean experiences. Like Doha hotels or hotels elsewhere, hotels in Kuwait can offer an unrivalled level of luxury and comfort for travellers.
Kuwait at a Glance
Kuwait is best described as a city state, with around 2.4 million (69 per cent) of its population residing in the great metropolitan area of the capital Kuwait City.
- History. Kuwait was founded in the early 18th century by the Bani Utbah tribe. It gained formal indepdence from Britain in 1961.
- Language. Kuwait’s official language is Arabic, although both Arabic and English are taught in schools and English is commonly used as a second language. The Kuwaiti dialect is used on an everyday basis.
- Climate. Kuwait has an arid climate with very little rain and very warm summers. Average summer temperatures range from 38 to 46 degrees Celsius while winters are much cooler at 9 to 20 degree Celsius on average.
- Getting in. Kuwait International Airport receives flights from regional and other international airports on a daily basis. Access by car is also possible from Saudi Arabia, while buses and ferries run from Saudi Arabia and Iran on a regular basis. Kuwait can also be accessed via speedboat from Bahrain.
- Transport. Kuwait has a good road system, with signs in both English and Arabic. Taxis are plentiful, while self-drive is also possible with rental cars at Kuwait International Airport.
- Culture. 85 per cent of the Kuwaiti population are Muslim, with Christians, Hindus, and Parsis making up the remaining portion of the population. Public eating is not permitted during the holy month of Ramadan and alcohol is prohibited in the country.
- Currency. The country’s currency is the Kuwait Dinar.
See, Do, and Buy
Kuwait has a range of recreational indoor and outdoor activities sure to appeal to visitors:
- Horse Riding – Horse ride is a very popular activity, particularly during winter. There are numerous clubs in Kuwait if you’re a keen rider.
- Golf – Kuwait has a number of golf clubs and golfing is another popular pastime for travellers.
- Water Activities – swimming is permitted on public beaches, though women travellers should note that women in Kuwait rarely swim in public. Gulf Street has some public beaches. Boating (especially powerboating) is also popular, along with sailing and scuba diving.
- Sea Clubs and Spas – these sea clubs have a huge range of facilities and gymnasiums great for swimming, diving, tennis, bowling, and working out. Like Malaysia hotels or hotels elsewhere, quality hotels in Kuwait usually include a gym for guests to stay fit on their trips.
- Shopping – The Avenues is the largest shopping mall in Kuwait and the region. Other popular shopping hubs are Marina Mall, Souq Sharq, 360 Mall, and Al-Kout Mall. Markets such as Souk Al Mubarakiya, Souk Al-Juma, and the Mahameed markets in Behbahani complex are good places to find bargains and souvenirs.
- Kazmah desert cliffs. The cliffs provide a good view of the bay on clear day and can be nice play to relax and unwind.
For a day trip, Failaka Island is a very popular spot. This former port is filled with old dhows and archaeological sites from the Bronze Age and its Greek era. The island can be reached by Ferry from Ras Al Salmiya or by private speedboat from Marina Mall.
The Kuwait Towers, the National Museum, and the Science and Science and Natural History Museum are well-worth considering for a visit. The Kuwait Towers has a Viewing Sphere that gives a panoramic of the city from 123 m above sea level. The Science and Natural History Museum is located on Abdullah Mubarak Street in Safat and provides a history of Kuwait’s scientific and technology progress with a particular emphasis on the local petroleum industry.
Travellers are spoilt for choice for cuisine in Kuwait. From French, Italian, Indian, Lebanese and Persian cuisine to authentic Japanese, Chinese, and modern American food, restaurants can be found in malls, or in streets such as the Marina Crescent and various spots in Salmiya. Locals are usually happy to help point you in the right direction.