Kuwait Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by jlanza29
  • Something a little more traditional
    Something a little more traditional
    by mikey_e
  • Things to Do
    by jlanza29

Most Recent Things to Do in Kuwait

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    Local food !!!!

    by jlanza29 Written Mar 20, 2010
    for $1.25 US, you can't beat this !!!!!

    The best part of traveling is the experience of eating different types of food... so in the middle east you have hummus !!! so for $1.25 US we got a small platter of leaf rolls and a serving of hummus !!!! with plenty of bread !!!!! the Coca-Cola's we had were as expensive as the food we had !!!!!

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    Liberation tower or Freedom Tower

    by jlanza29 Written Mar 20, 2010

    Ok, this was the first stop, when we arrived in Kuwait.... don't know why but it was.. anyways, we took 10 minutes to park just to be told that the observation deck was closed... so we decided explored the streets around it and had more fun there... the street were packed as the dusk prayer were coming to an end and everyone were on the streets having coffee and tea... walked around for about 20 minutes but it seemed our driver wasn't comfortable with us walking around on our own... I thought we were fine, was actually having a bit of coffee offered to us by some Kuwaiti elders when we were told that we had to go !!!! I thanked the elders for there hospitality and coffee and were on our way to another site.

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    Souq Sharq

    by jlanza29 Written Mar 20, 2010

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    Could be anywhere in the western world !!!!

    If I told you you were in Europe, the United Sates or any advanced country in the west you would believe me... that's how modern this Souq Sharq is.... tons of western stores from Coach to Prada to Applebee's are here... don't know why we were brought here, but at least we know that Kuwait is as modern as the west when it comes to malls !!!! Saw lots of western foreigner's and extremely weathy Kuwaiti's here... spent 10 minutes here .... didn't come to Kuwait to see a modern mall !!!!!

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    Fish Market

    by jlanza29 Written Mar 20, 2010

    Some of the best cultural experiences anyone can ever have are in the souqs of the middle east, we were looking for the tradtional street one, but Kuwait seems to have forgone that and built modern ones...we went into the Fish market by pure mistake... nothing out of this world but at least looked around for about 15 minutes and that was enough of the smell so we left..... if you decide to buy anything remeber haggle no matter what !!!!

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    Kuwaiti Towers

    by jlanza29 Updated Mar 20, 2010

    This is the internationally known symbol of the country of Kuwait... located at the end of the pennisula facing the Persian Gulf, this is the first image everyone saw around the world when Sadaam Hussein invaded this small country in early 1990's. Today it has been fixed up after some descruction by the invading Iraqi army.

    Admission is 2 KWD that includes a small cup of coffee or tea at the top observation deck. We were there at night so we couldn't see much but at least you can see the still evolving construction of modern building going up all over Kuwait.

    One intresting thing was up on the observation deck the floor rotates a full 360 degrees. It takes about 10 minutes to sit there and go all around.

    The small park at the bottom of the towers are very nice and clean, don't know if they would allow picnic's put would be cool if they did....

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    Kuwaiti Architecture

    by mikey_e Written Mar 17, 2010

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    A view of the
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    I hesitate to call this "Kuwaiti Architecture" because what I'm describing is not in fact a traditional or native product of the country. Rather, it is Kuwait's current obsession with interesting and sometime weird (but usually quite unique and remarkable) architectural styles. First, the skyscraper truly is king in Kuwait, and it can sometimes feel rather awkward when you are walking through a city that has so much open space and yet so many high-density buildings. Clearly, they are not a function of space management or urban planning, but of the desire to make the city remarkable and modern. Secondly, Kuwaitis have a knack for building the impossible. They don't have the tallest buildings in the world, as in Dubai, but they do have plenty of skyscrapers that seem to twist and turn in wonderful ways. It is a great thing to take pictures of and a great way to remember the city. Lastly, Kuwaitis seem to like to have buildings that are patronized by wealthy people and families, so don't be surprised if a building that you would expect to have some sort of symbolic name is actually called the Behbehani towers - as most nearly everything in Kuwait is called.

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    Kuwait National Library

    by mikey_e Written Mar 8, 2010

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    Diwaniya at the National Library
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    Unlike the Babtain Central Library for Arabic Poetry (Maktaba babTain al-markaziya lish-sha9r al-9arabiy), the Kuwait National Library is a clear project by the Kuwaiti government to invest in massive universal style cultural projects. This is, in a way, a Gulf-wide phenomenon that marks a general push to invest in higher education and culture. Even if the building itself looks like a city hall in a small Canadian town (i.e. it is functional and ugly), the exterior of the building is still softened by a diwaniya and a mosque that are obviously meant to mirror to traditional, simple aesthetic of Gulf life before the oil boom. These are actually the far more aesthetically pleasing parts of the complex, and worth most of your photography. I'm not sure what sort of collection the Library boasts, but given that poetry and not prose was the specialty of the Gulf Arabs up until the 70s, I can't imagine that it would be a place rich in the cultural traditions of the country.

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    Babtain Library

    by mikey_e Written Mar 8, 2010

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    Babtain Library Sign
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    One of the common complaints you hear from people who think that they know Arab or Kuwaiti culture is that the people of Kuwait have never produced any notable novel or literary work. While it is true that the art of novel writing is fairly novel to Kuwait (no pun intended; the first novels came in the 1960s or 70s), this does not mean that the people of this country have no literary history. To the contrary, Kuwaitis have long excelled at the art of poetry and the country is fairly famous in the Arab World for its poets. To gather and preserve this tradition, the Kuwaiti government has invested in the creation of the Babtain Central Library, which is devoted to Arabic poetry. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to go into the Library (you have to save something for a second visit), but the sheer size of the building should give some indication of the role that poetry plays in the preservation of traditional Kuwaiti culture.

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    Souq Turathiyya (Heritage Souq)

    by mikey_e Written Mar 8, 2010

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    Entrance to the perfume section
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    The Heritage Souq sounds quite mysterious and Eastern, like something out of a Victorian novel. Unfortunately, the Iraqi invasion and occupation led to the destruction of pretty much anything heritage in Kuwait City. This is a resurrected version of the old souq, with some attempt at restoring its former glory. Fortunately, many of the merchants here returned to their stores after the war, so at least the types of shops here are somewhat traditional, even if Chinese-made garbage is widely available. The fact is that the structure of the souq is of little importance - what matters is the atmosphere and al-bi9, the prospect of the sale. I spent huge amounts of time in the souq, and my evenings back in Ottawa really do feel empty and boring because of the fun of spending them amongst the people in the market. Most men and women are in traditional clothes here and there is numerous shops that sell both abayas and dishadish. By far, though, my favourite experience is going through the various perfume and scent stores. Nothing is more fun than having the salesman smoke your clothes with sandalwood or jasmine incense. The entire atmosphere is magical and there is no better feeling than having spoken with the various merchants, even if you don't end up buying something. There is undoubtedly nothing more memorable in Kuwait than the time you spent amongst the tujjar (merchants) of this magical place.

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    The Corniche (Kuwait City)

    by mikey_e Written Mar 8, 2010

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    Corniche with a view to the city
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    The Corniche in Salmiyya is undoubtedly a far more popular tourist attraction than the corniche in any other part of the capital. Nevertheless, I think I preferred the boardwalk area in the capital and near the historic centre of the city. This may not be a tourist attraction, but it is popular with Kuwaitis of all social classes and tends to attract local families rather than expats and tourists. What's more, you're far more likely to see interesting ships and dhows (yes, I know, they're not real traditional ones, but they're far closer than the yachts near Marina Mall) sailing into port. It's not all that easy to plan a half-hour walk along the Corniche here in Kuwait City, largely because of construction and security barriers around the Seif Palace and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but there are fairly long stretches that have been specifically designed to accommodate strollers and picnickers. In particular, if you start from just across from the National Museum and go south-west, you're able to walk undisturbed and get a few good views of the Majlis al-Umma.

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    The Corniche (Salmiyya)

    by mikey_e Written Mar 7, 2010

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    The Corniche
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    It should be obvious that, being on the coast, one of Kuwait's main attractions is the beach and views of the Gulf. Development in the city and outside of it tends to follow the beach and the Gulf, so there are various part of the city with beach-front facilities for people to enjoy the natural beauty. In Salmiyya, one of the best places to do so is right outside of Marina Crescent. This is easily accessible by car (since you can take a taxi to Marina Mall and then go out through Marina Crescent). It may not be advisable to swim along the Corniche, at least not until the sewage plant leakage is patched up, but you can still get great views of the Gulf and have quite an enjoyable morning or afternoon by walking in the sand and listening to the waves. Families seem to like to picnic along the beach too, so this is, in a way, a good idea for a little family fun. The winds from the sea can sometimes be a bit chilly in the winter months, so don't forget a sweater or jacket.

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    The Fish Market (New)

    by mikey_e Written Mar 7, 2010

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    Entrance to the Fish Market
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    If you ask a taxi driver to take you to the fish market, this is likely where he will go. It isn't the traditional one, but it is nonetheless an interesting place to go. There are far more stalls here than in the one in Mubarakiyya and you are more likely to see weird and wonderful species of fish here than in the heritage souq. Unfortunately, there is little historical or remarkable about the building or the practices at this market. It is a fully modern building with a section for dry goods and non-fish produce as well. My favourite part of the experience, however, is likely the outside, as you can watch the fishing boats come in if you're early enough. Many other things in Kuwait are quite modern, but the fishing boats still have a bit of the mystic the Arabian Gulf.

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    The Fish Market (Traditional)

    by mikey_e Written Mar 7, 2010

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    Fish market on Friday
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    Kuwait has a number of markets and not all of them are traditional. In fact, because "mall" and "supermarket" are all pretty much translated as souq, they end up being retranslated into English as market, giving visitors the impression that there are far more "markets" (in the mystical Eastern way) than there actually are. This market, in the centre of Mubarakiyya market, is the real thing and the traditional fish souq that people often talk about. In truth, there's not much here that is very traditional, except that the shrimp auctions, which are supposed to be something to witness. There are also various types of fish here that I haven't seen before and it is rather fun to see what you end up eating if you visit one of the restaurants in the souq. Photography is allowed, you just have to be courteous and ask the people before you take a few shots.

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    Museum of Modern Art

    by mikey_e Written Feb 28, 2010

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    Entrance to the Museum of Modern Art
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    I'm willing to venture a guess that anyone who is serious about displaying and promoting his nation's art and culture would never consider a vacant, desert lot the appropriate location for a Modern Art Gallery. Unfortunately, that is exactly where Kuwait's Museum of Modern Art is located. Similar to the Maritime Museum, I could not find a time when I was not working that this particular gallery was open. The signs out front and the general state of the building didn't inspire much confidence that the collection would be spectacular, but at least you can get a notion of some of the traditional artifacts from the area outside of the museum. If you would like to see one of the exhibitions, try to make it in on a weekday (Sunday to Thursday) during business hours.

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    Maritime Museum

    by mikey_e Written Feb 28, 2010

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    Ships out front of the Maritime Museum
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    The Maritime Museum is one of the few locations in Kuwait where you can actually learn about the country's pre-oil history. Unfortunately, the Museum seemed to be closed every time I was able to visit it (short of skipping work, I don't think there was a way to be able to get into the building). Nevertheless, I was able to check out the various ships on display out front of the building. The basis for Kuwait's economy before oil was pearl diving and maritime commerce, so it is no wonder that Kuwaitis hold their maritime tradition in high esteem. The ships out front are pretty cool, though. They are wonderfully preserved and, as such, great photo opportunities for anyone tired of malls and skyscrapers.

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