WANDERLUSTA Shopper’s guide to Kuwait

Enjoy retail therapy in Kuwait City’s malls and souks

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Retail therapy rarely comes as thrilling and varied as in Kuwait. Whether you prefer the global ambiance of a massive mall or the centuries-old shopping scene of a traditional Arabian souk, Kuwait City balances the best of authentic and modern. Here is our pick of the finest shopping spots. 

 

The Avenues

As the largest mall in the country (and one of the biggest in the region), The Avenues is the obvious place to commence an assault on the shops. With more than 800 stores, expect everything from designer boutiques to more affordable, high street finds, all conveniently located under one (very, very large) roof. This vast mega-mall is laid out along two major avenues, with separate districts for Prestige brands and a more traditional Arabian Souk, plus restaurants, cafés and even a cinema for when you’ve shopped till you’ve dropped.

 

Souq Sharq

What began as a traditional souk on the city’s waterfront has evolved into a major, modern shopping destination. Souq Sharq still retains an element of Ariabian appeal thanks to its classic architecture. Spread across two floors, you’ll find high-street stores, as well as artisanal shops selling everything from groceries to jewellery. Take a break at one of the restaurants overlooking the marina and Kuwait City’s downtown skyline.  

 

4

Things get a little edgier at 4, a lifestyle store at the forefront of cutting-edge fashion and style. Offering an unrivalled edit of avant-garde clothing, accessories and homewares, 4 stocks the work of designers such as Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto and Ann Demeulemeester, along with home accessories from the likes of Tom Dixon and Fornasetti. Located in the trendy Al-Shuwaikh industrial district, 4 is unlike any other shopping destination in the city. 

 

360 Mall

For high-end shops in a sophisticated environment, look no further than 360 Mall, featuring a list of world-renowned stores from the cream of designer brands. Just ten minutes by car from Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa, 360 Mall has an unusual circular design (hence the name) and is leafy and green inside thanks to a wealth of vertical gardens. The mall has also undergone a major expansion with the addition of a tennis academy, multi-purpose arena and a host of new shopping and dining experiences.

 

Marina Mall

Another mall worth visiting is the mammoth Marina Mall, which forms an essential element of the Marina World entertainment hub. Particularly popular with local families on Fridays and Saturdays, the complex combines retail with restaurants and palm-fringed promenades overlooking the beach and Arabian Gulf. Inside, you’ll find a selection of fashion, homewares and electronics, plus plenty of family friendly diversions to entertain the kids. 

 

Souq Al-Mubarakiya

For a total change of scene, the lively and authentic Souq Al-Mubarakiya provides a glimpse into what life was like before Kuwait embraced modernity. Once the city’s centre of trade, this is still the place to come for fragrant spices and day-to-day goods such as sticky dates, hand-woven rugs and fragrances made from oud and musk. It’s especially attractive after dark, when Kuwaitis in traditional robes come out to socialise, shop and enjoy the cooler evening temperatures.