Kuwait is one of the most underrated destinations in the Middle East. From gorgeous white-sand beaches perfect for watersports to exciting modern souks and enchanting archaeological sites, it's a country bursting with incredible activities. Here are our seven favourite reasons to fall in love with Kuwait.
Kuwait City Attractions
Overlooking the pristine Arabian Gulf lies the mesmerizing skyline of Kuwait City. A city rich in cultural traditions and energized by Kuwait’s modern wealth, even walking through its lit-up streets is a magical experience. For the best view of the city, take a ride up the stunningly designed Kuwait Towers resembling giant, tiled minarets. Also, not to be missed is the city’s stunning Grand Mosque, spanning 45,000 square-metres, or the stunning Seif Palace, the traditional home of the Kuwaiti royal family. Built in the 19th century, it’s a stunning example of late Islamic architecture.
Kuwait is little known for its shopping—but it should be. Everything you could possibly covet in the Middle East can be found in the capital’s colourful souks and luxurious malls. Largest amongst them is The Avenues, host to designer brands, glittering jewellery, and award-winning restaurants (oh, and did we mention that Kuwait is a no-tax regime?) Meanwhile, for those more traditionally minded, Souq Al-Mubarakiya specialises in local Kuwaiti jewellery and its many vibrant stalls lie underneath a gorgeous historical timber roof lit by a variety of exotic lanterns and LEDs.
Kuwait’s ideal climate and cool coastal breezes make it the perfect place for some serious spa-time. The winner of four World Luxury Spa Awards, Talise Spa at Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa is drop-dead gorgeous, with rooms ranging from a state-of-the-art snow room to a salarium built from illuminated bricks of pink Himalayan rock salt.
Kuwait’s position at the top of the Arabian Gulf has attracted a wealth of traders throughout the centuries. This is reflected above all else in the country’s sublime culinary culture, which is continually expanding to include, and fuse with, new culinary styles. Typical of Kuwait is the saffron-cooked machboo dakkus rice dish with a tomato sauce, or the traditional khubz flatbread. Levantine influence throughout Kuwait’s history has left the country a capital for Lebanese favourites, most prevalently tabbouleh and shawarma. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s proximity to the sea means there’s always a tantalising wealth of freshly caught seafood.
Right at the northern end of the Arabian Gulf, Kuwait is home to some spectacular shores. Chief among them is the pristine, private stretch of white sand known as Messilah Beach. Or there’s al Oqeila beach, which has a vibrant, upbeat vibe. Multiple barbeque pits make it a local favourite for sunset gatherings and for stargazing.
Kazmah Desert Cliffs
You may have thought Kuwait was all flat desert, but there are a few gorgeous natural belvederes that are absolute must-sees. Perhaps the best view in all of Kuwait can be found atop the gorgeous, towering Kazmah Desert Cliffs, with a sweeping panorama of Kuwait bay that glows orange at sunset. The cliffs are also famous for dirt racing, if you fancy some adrenaline.
Twenty kilometres off the coast of Kuwait City lies the picturesque Failaka island. The island is rich with history, its ruins dating back 5,000 years, and include settlements of Greeks from Alexander the Great’s expedition. Permission to see the island’s excavations can be granted from the National Museum. Meanwhile, Wanasa Beach is a stone’s throw from Failaka Heritage Village and is a perfect respite from the busy city for those looking to relax in one of the Middle East’s most spectacular historic natural environments.