Travel guidesA guide to the chicest places in Kuwait city

Follow our guide's pick of glitzy malls to trendy art galleries

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Cultural attractions

Since opening in 2016, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre (or JACC for short) has quickly become Kuwait’s cultural epicentre. The building itself is an architectural marvel — with its angular geometric forms and complex Islamic motifs — while inside, multiple concert halls and theatres set the stage for epic performances. Expect opera and ballet, homegrown musical talent and even international icons (past performers have included Sting). Kuwait City’s up-and-coming art scene is reflected in its proliferation of contemporary galleries — visit AL M Gallery and Gallery Tilal to discover the hottest Middle Eastern artists working today.

The Avenues shopping mall in Kuwait

Stylish shopping

Despite being on a smaller scale compared to its glitzy neighbours, Kuwait City still packs a luxury punch when it comes to glamorous shopping. Well-heeled residents flock to The Avenues for world-class boutiques and brands. One of the largest malls in the world, the retail destination is home to more than 1,100 stores where you can pick up the new season’s statement pieces from the likes of Chanel and Dior, glittering jewels at Chopard and stylish local design at NASS Boutique. For a cool, anti-mall shopping experience, head to GRAIN in Al Hamra Luxury Centre — an independent concept store that stocks edgy designers and labels from all over the world.

Clothes shopping at Grain in Kuwait

Delicious dining

For the freshest fish from the Arabian Gulf, the open-kitchen at Salt serves Kuwait City’s best seafood in utterly sumptuous surroundings. Feast on oysters under canopies of twinkling chandeliers before indulging in the restaurant’s Signature Platter — a fruits de mare of lobster tail, sea bass, calamari and crab. For authentic Kuwaiti cuisine, locals love Dar Hamad, which is close to Marina Mall. From its rich, spice-infused roast chicken musakhan to cheese and thyme-stuffed fatayer pastries, you’ll get a true taste of the country’s traditional dishes here.

Chef serves up a dish at Jumeirah Messilah

Superlative surrounds

A paradisiacal seafront retreat that harmonises Arabian grandeur with lush landscaped gardens, Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa is Kuwait City’s finest address. From bright, airy rooms overlooking the Gulf to elegant family-friendly residences, the exquisite hotel makes the perfect Kuwaiti retreat whatever your party size. With unmistakably Middle Eastern design flourishes married with contemporary flair, each room and suite impart a sophisticated allure. Spend a morning taking a leisurely dip in one of the palm-fringed pools or private stretch of beach before settling yourself in the luxuriant confines of the hotel’s award-winning Talise Spa for a therapeutic treatment. For the perfect end to an indulgent day visit the hotel’s sophisticated Tea Lounge and enjoy exotic pastries coupled with rare Emirati blends.