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Kuwait City

3.7 /5 32 votes

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Best Time: November to April Read More

Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Nearest Airport: Kuwait Check Flights

"The land of the Bedouins - Kuwait"

Kuwait City Tourism

Isolated from its other Gulf counterparts,Kuwait retains its old Arab charm amidst tinges of western liberalism. The city is less glitzy, yet boasts of beautiful architecture, tradition, religious monuments and some fine cuisine. With a bunch of friendly and welcoming locals, travel to Kuwait City will indeed be a fulfilling one.

The capital, Kuwait City, is a bustling metropolis with high rises as well as mosques and palaces alike, that paint its skyline. It survived through the Iraqi invasion and now stands with pride to tell its tale, as captured by the House of National Works. There are some excellent museums, one particularly dedicated to the dying Bedouin form of art. There are the idyllic islands with attractive scuba diving opportunities, or just for sunbathing and soaking in the azure waters. There is the stunner of the House of Mirrors, as created and designed by Lidia. There are the Kuwait Tower and the Liberation Tower, standing with dignity, an ode to Kuwait's liberation and prosperity. There is the spectacular Grand Mosque, amidst many others that celebrate Islam and Islamic architecture, the Sief Palace which is yet again a representation of traditional Islamic architecture. There are amusement parks and places of entertainment in the likes of the Aqua Park, the Entertainment City (Kuwait's own Disneyland) and the Ice Skating Rink. There are a plethora of species to marvel at in their natural habitats, as exhibited by the Scientific Centre and the Kuwait Zoo. There are the colourful and atmospheric souks. There are mouth-watering Machboos and popular favourite, most authentic Shawarma. There is an atmosphere of intrigue. So when there is the Middle East on the agenda, there got to be Kuwait City on the priority list!

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Shopping in Kuwait City

Shopping in Kuwait is characterized by shopping malls, namely the Marina Mal, the Souk Shark Complex and ofcourse, the traditional souks. Throw in some boutiques and scattered small shops. A must visit amist all the souks, is the Souk Al-Mubarakiya or the Old Souk. Between the streets of Mubarak-al-Kabir and Ali-al-Salem, this marketplace has been a popular haunt over some 200 years now. For sale are Arab antiques, Persian carpets, traditional costumes, local handmade crafts, perfumes, jewellery, spices, honey, dates, scented oils and so much more - a perfect taste of local Kuwaiti flavour. The Old Souk is also an ideal place to take home souveniors from. Bear in mind, that shops here sell similar wares, so negotiate prices well before making any purchase. Bargainers ahoy!

Currency in Kuwait City

Major credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted. It is advisable to have some local currency for small purchases and taxi fares.

Exchanging Money in Kuwait City

Travelers cheques are also widely accepted, although it is advisable the cheques be in dollars or pound sterling. ATMs are widespread. The most competitive exchange rates are given by financial establishments in the city. Currency exchanges at airports or hotels offer the worst rates.

Daily Budget for Kuwait City

Taxi fares can be quite steep

Religion of Kuwait City

Islam

Kuwait City Customs

Kuwaitis are generally very friendly, though conversation usually ensues between members of the same gender. Essentially a Muslim country, you must respect local customs, traditions and religion and ensure that no action or communication is offensive in any manner to any religious belief or practice. Modest and conservative dressing is advisable, particularly for women. Tipping in Kuwait is prevalent only in restaurants.

Language of Kuwait City

Arabic is the official language in Bahrain, while English is also widely spoken. Some common phrases: Marhabaan - Hello Shukraan - Thank You Min Fadik - Please Kam Thaman Hudha - How much is this?

History of Kuwait City

Kuwait was under the reign of the Al-Sabah dynasty, which eventually made Kuwait a British protectorate, apprehending Turkish annexation. The discovery of oil reserves, started greasing the wheels of the economy and brought about an improvisation in infrastructure and standards of living as well. In 1961 Kuwait became independent from the British and the elections for the National Assembly were held. Till 1990, severe unrest followed between Iran, Iraq and Kuwait, sequentially leading to the Iraqi invasion. It was only in 2003 that Kuwaiti troops managed to oust Saddam's army. Kuwait has progressed economically as well as in its ideologies. In 2005, the Parliament allowed women to vote and contest elections,

Nightlife in Kuwait City

Nightlife in Kuwait is almost non-existent for those looking out for night clubs and pubs. There is an absolute ban on liquor here on religious grounds, therefore the scarce few nightclubs serve cocktails which are mixtures of fresh fruit juices and ice cream! There are sheesha parlour offering hookah in variety of flavours. Another treat during late evening hours are the live music scenes in the high end hotels and Kuwait's popular Hard Rock Cafe.

Restaurants and Local Food in Kuwait City

The local cuisine is an eclectic mix of Indian, Mediterranean, Arabian and Persion. Kuwaiti cuisine is more like comfort food, hearty meals in family size portions. Kuwaiti restaurants were earlier very rare, over the years there are some authentic ones that have come up. Most local restaurants serve the same fare, however what makes each distinct from the other is the use of baharat, spices. Basmati rice, lamb, fish and chicken with assortment of spices constitute the staple ingredients. Machboos, rice with lamb, chicken or fish served with duqoos, a home made tomato sauce, while Murubian, is shrimp with dill, peppers and cilantro on a bed of rice. Tashreeb,thin flat bread in a tomato lamb stew with vegetables and lemons, Mutabag, a tomato based stew with chicken, fish or lamb, are for the love of tomatoes! Biriyani here is of Indian influence, with a local twist here and there. A lot of desserts are with dates as the primary ingredient, like date rolls, dates with sesame seeds. Logaymat, different types of Halva, Kuwaiti Sponge Cake, Meghli, Nammurah and so many more are for your sweeth tooth! International cuisine, on the contrary is more prominent here. Restaurants serve Oriental, Italian, Japanese, Greek, apart from the usual fast food chains.
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