07 Aug 2018
As shopping destinations go, Kuwait is full of contrasts. Mammoth malls lined with world-class designer boutiques juxtapose with centuries-old authentic Arabian souks. This intoxicating marriage of modern and antique make for a thrilling retail experience. Grab your credit card as our Kuwait shopping guide leads you to its capital city’s finest boutiques and markets.
Less a mall and more an entire shopping city, The Avenues is Kuwait’s largest mall and home to more than 800 stores. Designed to emulate the desert’s sand and sky formations, the mega-mall’s vast layout contains two main shopping avenues of high street stores, a Prestige district bristling with brands like Chanel and Valentino, a Western-inspired Grand Avenue and a traditional Arabian Souk for local souvenirs.
What began as a traditional market on Kuwait City’s Gulf waterfront has evolved into a major shopping centre. Souq Sharq still retains an old-Kuwait feel thanks to its classic Arabian architecture. You’ll find all your favourite chain stores here such as Nike and H&M, quality delicatessens and niche jewellers. Don’t miss Souq Sharq’s spectacular water clock in the main hall.
No shopping guide to Kuwait would be complete without a mention of 4. The ultra-edgy lifestyle store retails achingly cool fashion, homeware, accessories and artworks. Located in the hip Al-Shuwaikh industrial district, it’s an on-trend paradise for those with a penchant for the most cutting-edge designer labels. Peruse offbeat designers like Gareth Pugh, Vetements and Yohji Yamamoto and pick up statement pieces for the home from Tom Dixon and Fornasetti.
If wall-to-wall luxury is your thing, put 360 Mall on the top of your list. Just 10 minutes from Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa the glistening retail hotspot overflows with upscale boutiques. Banks of lush greenery and verdant living walls transport you to a literal shopping oasis. Wander 360 Mall’s glamorous boulevards to shop fashion brands like Miu Miu and Saint Laurent, fine jewellery at Cartier and luggage at Coach.
One of Kuwait’s oldest souks, the well-preserved Souq Al-Mubarakiya was once the centre of trade in the city. It’s worth investing a good few hours strolling around its winding lanes and courtyards. Keep an eye out for beautiful Persian rugs, local fragrances like oud and musk, handcrafted ceramics, aromatic spices and piles of sticky dates. Souq Al-Mubarakiya comes alive after dark so pay it a night-time visit.
Integral to the sprawling Marina World entertainment complex that includes restaurants, a skate park and palm tree-lined promenades, Marina Mall is in the heart of Kuwait’s shopping district. Store-wise, it’s replete with crowd-pleasing favourites such as Zara, DKNY and Ted Baker, along with global food outlets like French baker Paul and donut emporium Krispy Kreme. If you’re with your family, it’s worthwhile spending a whole day exploring Marina World.
If our Kuwait shopping guide has inspired you to escape on a retail break in the dazzling Middle Eastern city, Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa is a luxurious destination within easy access of all Kuwait’s shopping hotspots.