Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

Given its wealth the country has no need for mass tourism, meaning that you won’t see as many spectacular sights as in other Gulf states. You can enter the Great Mosque with a guide, and anyone who visits the country should definitely see it. It’s a breathtaking sight, and photography is permitted almost everywhere. It even includes the world’s largest rug…

The country, in general, is calm, quiet, and open. The climate can be hard to bear, but all in all, I saw Kuwait as more livable than many European countries.

The fish market was really spectacular, as was the stretch of beach in front of it, but on the whole, I wasn’t really taken by Kuwait. The locals struck me as very conceited and self-absorbed, and the whole city is one big shopping mall. You walk out of one and you’re practically facing the entrance to the next one…

By the bay, there’s a tower from which you can see Iraq. It sustained some damage by gunfire during the First Gulf War, and this has been preserved as a memorial.

A large number of guest workers mean that there is an almost unmatched variety in types of cuisine on offer, and a huge number of European fast-food restaurants…

Oh, and they drive like maniacs!

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It’s a really great place, and the people are friendly (only about 25% of them are actually locals). Somehow, though, you can sense the hatred towards white people among the Syrian refugees, but of course, the authorities do everything in their power to forestall any attacks.

Regular crime is an infrequent occurrence, and the general security situation is probably better than in many big European cities these days. If you leave the city, there are great beaches and oases near the Saudi Arabian border.

The only problem is that of the Gulf States, this is the place where the people you meet are least likely to speak English since they have so few tourists…

Kuwait - kids celebrating national day - Elter photo

Kuwait - girl, armed suitably for water warfare - Elter photo

Kuwait - grandpa - Elter photo

Practicals

Transport

Kuwait does not have a railway network.


Kuwait - Taxi

Food

Kuwaiti restaurants offer a mix of almost all the flavors of the world, with some dominance of the Indian cuisine. The local cuisine is typically Middle-eastern. Taste fuul (mashed beans, garlic, and lemon), felafel (spiced chickpea balls, served on a flat muffin), and hummus (chickpea, garlic and lemon puree). The most popular dishes have a kebab, chicken, or some stew. The restaurants don't serve any alcohol.

Kuwait - dates

Shopping

Avenue Mall Kuwait

Kuwait - Avenue Mall Kuwait - m.m. photo

Public safety

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Kuwait - policewomen

Health

We recommend consuming plenty of fluids (and possibly salt and vitamin tablets) during the warmer months.

Background

Kuwait - national flag - علم الكويت الوطني

Destination in brief

Kuwait in brief

Kuwait is an oil-rich monarchy in the Middle East. Neighbors: Iraq (north and west), Saudi Arabia (west and south). It has a coast on the Persian Gulf.


Size: 17,818 km² (6,879.6 mi²)

The country is mostly flat and consists mainly of a desert. There are no rivers or lakes anywhere in Kuwait. It has no fresh water or drinking water at all! Kuwait has to either purchase water from other countries or resort to desalination.

Population: 4.2 million (2020)

About 70% of its inhabitants are foreign workers, employees (half of them from Arab countries, the other half from South Asia). These migrant workers are inadequately protected against exploitation and abuse. 

Religion: Kuwaiti citizens are Muslims - 60-70% Sunni, 30-40% Shia

Capital: Kuwait City

Language: Arabic – English is widely spoken (Kuwait was a British protectorate between 1899-1961).

Most frequent surname: Ali

Official currency: Kuwaiti dinar (KWD) - KWD is the most valuable currency in the world.

The Emir is the monarch and head of state of Kuwait. He has extensive powers over the government and the elected parliament.

Kuwaiti citizens’ average monthly income: 4,100 USD. Foreign citizens typically earn less than half of that – a construction worker gets around 1,700 USD/month.

Kuwait has the world’s fifth-largest oil reserves. In Kuwait, the price of gas is lower than the price of water. 

Public safety: Kuwait is a safe country with no crime and no terrorist attacks. 

Optimal timing for a tourist visit: October-March (June-September is terribly hot)

Tourist attractions: Not much to see outside the capital (except maybe Fahhaheel). In Kuwait City: Kuwait Towers, Seif Palace, Grand Mosque and Dickson House Cultural Centre.

Climate

The summer is from April to November, the winter is from November to April, with a transition of one or two weeks, sometimes a few days, which can hardly be called spring and autumn. In summer, it is, on average 45-50C ° during the day, often at high humidity, while in winter, the temperature is usually around 20-25C during the day. We don't recommend a trip in the summer months, as the daytime heat is almost unbearable.

Nowadays

Kuwait is not as full of skyscrapers and luxury cars as Dubai or Qatar but is developing to catch up with these.

Economy:

Kuwait's oil reserves are about 102 billion barrels, 9% of the world's oil reserves. Oil provides Kuwait with about 50% of GDP, 95% of export revenues, and 95% state budget revenues.

People

Kuwait is in the top ten on the list of countries ranked by the proportion of the population that is obese.

Kuwait - kids

Kuwait - local women

Attractions

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Kuwait - Kuwait City - Al Rasid mosque - Elter photo

Kuwait Towers - Elter photo

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