Thursday, September 4, 2008

Places to Visit in Kuwait


Places to Visit in Kuwait


1. Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah

Founded in 1983, the Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah (House of Islamic Antiquities) is housed within the Kuwait National Museum complex and is one of the most comprehensive collections of Islamic art in the world – covering all geographic regions and historic periods from the eighth to the eighteenth century. This extraordinary collection was formed by Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah and his wife, Sheikha Hussa Al-Sabah who started collecting Islamic art in order to bring objects back 'home' – near to where they had originally been made. When the Dar Al-Athar Al-Islmaiyyah first exhibited, the collection was comprised of 1,200 objects – but now numbers over 20,000. It also contains a specialized library of several thousand books in different languages on Islamic history and heritage. The collection is a tribute to the patient endeavors of Sheikh Nasser and Sheikha Hussa who have created one of the most spectacular collections of Islamic art in existence. The British Museum has previously staged a major exhibition of Islamic art with a very significant number of works from the Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah collection.

2. Educational Science Museum

Located downtown Kuwait City near the Liberation Tower, the Educational Science Museum was Kuwait's first museum, and it contains displays about the history of the petroleum industry in Kuwait, natural history, electronics, space and aviation, and zoology subjects, as well as a planetarium. It also boasts an 18 meter whale skeleton.

Tel – 2421268/2466973. Open from 9am to 12am and 4:30-7:30 Saturday to Wednesday.

3. Kuwait House of National Memorial Museum

There is a KD1 entrance. Once you go inside you get a personal guide. The museum is divided into various sections, the first section talks about Kuwait's origins and how they discovered oil and how Kuwait gained its independence. Then they show you images from the last meeting on August 1st 1990 in Jeddah with Saddam Hussain who says that everything is cool and they won't invade Kuwait, then you move to the next section. The second section is where they talk about the invasion of Kuwait, all done using models and special effects. They have a huge model of Kuwait City and the streets are littered with model tanks, other vehicles and soldiers. This section is a long dark corridor with displays on both sides of the room all in the dark. Then as the story is being narrated through speakers in the room, the different sets light up to show the story. These sets with the models have strategically located lights and smoke machines, very cool stuff plus there were a lot of sound effects of machine gun fire, people shouting and things exploding. They open in the morning and in the evenings. With the KD1 entrance you get a guided tour, 2 movies you watch about the war, and souvenirs which involve posters, a cool brochure with nice pictures, and another brochure on the museum. To find out where exactly they are located and when they are open you can call 4845335 or 4846336. It is located in Shuwaikh near the Arab Fund Building and the Kuwait Red Crescent Society.

4. Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) Display Center

The Kuwait Oil Company has an ultra-modern audio-visual museum of Kuwait's oil industry, past and present. This is a museum devoted to the history of oil, from geological formation through exploration, drilling, and recovery. It was destroyed in the Iraqi invasion in 1990, but has been reconstructed with additional exhibits. These include notably how the Iraqi occupation forces set fire to most of Kuwait's oil wells, and the subsequent well-capping and fire-fighting operations. In Ahmadi area, it is open by appointment, tel 398 2393 / 398 9111 / 398 1678. KOC can also arrange for groups to tour the oil fields themselves.

5. Al-Hashemi Maritime Museum

Located at the SAS Hotel, the Al-Hashemi Maritime Museum is housed in the Al Hashemi II, which is the world's largest wooden Arabic dhow (It's in the Guinness Book of World Records!). The museum showcases traditional shipbuilding and seafaring in Kuwait and features large models of different traditional dhows, sea tools and accessories highlighting Kuwait's long maritime and trading traditions. The large dhow also has a Grand Ball Room and several other reception areas that are used for weddings, conferences, dinners, etc. The museum is free.

6. The National Museum

The National Museum (Tel : 2451195/4) is located on the Gulf Road just south of the Parliament / National Assembly downtown. It was opened in December 1957. Looted and burned by the former Iraqi regime during the invasion, the museum is now restored and has been re-opened to the public – with many, but not all, artifacts having been returned from Iraq. In 1997, Muhallab II, the replacement for (and replica of) the magnificent trading dhow from the 1930s that graced the front yard of the museum before it was burned by the former Iraqi regime, was constructed on site and is now open to visitors.

7. Qurain Martyr's House

This destroyed private house (Tel 543 0343) was the site of the bloody battle between the Messilah Resistance Group and the Iraqi occupiers. A solemn monument to the martyrs of Kuwait (In Qurain area, on road 208 between Fahaheel and Magreb Expressways – there should be signs).

8. The Taraq Rajab Museum

(Tel : 5317358) is a private museum located in Jabriya. The museum specializes in Islamic Arts and Crafts and is open daily from 9.00am – 12.00, 4.00pm – 8.00pm, closed Friday afternoons. Open to the public since 1980, the museum houses a host of Islamic art and artefacts, ranging from pottery and glass work, to musical instruments and jewellery. Entrance to the museum is free. It is located in Jabriya (Area 12, Street 5 – down the street from the Iranian School and near the New English School and the Hadi Clinic).

9. Modern Art Museum (Sharqeya School)

This is a lovely new museum of modern painting and sculpture by Kuwaiti and Arab artists. Originally opened as a boys' school in 1935, then a girls' school in 1938, the National Council for Culture Arts and Letters reopened it as a museum in 2003. It is located directly across the Gulf Road from Souq Sharq near a large dhow. It is free and open Saturday to Wednesday 0900-1300 and 1700-2100. Very informed and friendly tour guides who speak English are available. 2468348 / 2468354 / 2468401 ex 105 or 115.

Other places to visit:

Aqua Park

A trip to Aqua Park is guaranteed to cool off children or adults of all ages during the hot summer days. The first of its kind in the Gulf and the Middle East, it is located on the sea front in the Al-Houk area right next to the Kuwait Towers. This fresh water playground has every type of entertainment from a rushing river, an artificial wave pool, water falls, and numerous water slides to restaurants, small shops, and shaded and landscaped park areas for picnics. Opens from April to October every year. Tel 243 1960/1/3, 2431958 or http://aquaparkkuwa Timings 10am – 10pm Saturday to Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10am-11pm. Women only Tuesday June to September after 2:30. Friday Families only. No cameras. 3 ½ KD for everyone ages 3 and up – Maids 1KD – 500 fils discount to get tickets on line – prepaid cards, group rates and periodic special promotions are also available.

 Arab Organizations' Building (Arab Fund Building)

This is a marvel of innovative architecture, integrating modern technology with traditional artisan craftsmanship. It opened in 1994 and houses four major Arab organizations: the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, the Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation, and the Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company. The interior design incorporates culture from Tunisia, Syria, Morocco, Egypt, and of course Kuwait. The atrium is most spectacular with its garden, light and glass wall. The Arab Fund Building is an ideal place to bring visitors. It is located on Highway 80 across from Kuwait Red Crescent Society, and it's near the National Memorial Museum. For impressive pictures, go to: http://www.arabf Q/KUWAIT.HTM or abfund.htm contact Mr. Mohammad Qatami, Mr Mohammad Ansari, Mr Osama Wanas – Engineering Manager (908 8023), Mr Aslam Minhas or Mr Emad El Attar at telephone 484 4500 for tour details.

 Bayt Al-Bader

Bayt Al-Bader is symbols of Kuwait's old architecture as it was build from mud and stony rocks, complete with a raised ceiling of wooden baluster, thin rails, and palm leaves which dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. Today, it remains as a vestige of desert-style mud-brick housing, with private courtyards and walled peripheries constructed to dispel street noise and dust. Particularly impressive are the arched entryways and main doors. The National Museum (on the Gulf Road) currently occupies a number of small rooms in Bayt Al-Bader as administrative offices. (Tel: 242-9158) A visit to Bayt Al-Bader rounds out a day visit to the National Museum and Sadu House. Bring a camera.

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 Beach clubs:

1. Messilah Beach Club

The Messila beach is located at the Messila coast, specifically at the Fahaheel express way with a total area of 73,600 squared meters.

This beach is considered one of the most beautiful and biggest beaches in Kuwait. It extends to 350 meters in length and is characterized by its white colored sand and its clear blue sea which grants enjoyment and comfort to the soul. The beach also contains three large swimming pools, multi-leveled so that it could suit elders and youngsters. The Messilah beach specializes three days a week, during the summer, for women only with a 100% female crew to enjoy the beach and all the entertaining programs they serve. Tel 565 0642. Entrance fee – 500 fils adult, 250 fils child, except during a festival. Open every day: Summer 0800-2400, winter 0800-2300.

2. Al-Fahaheel Marine Club

The Fahaheel region is considered to be one of the most beautiful coastal areas in Kuwait. Al-Fahaheel Marine club is located in the Fahaheel region and has a very beautiful, long beach attracting vast amounts of audience. The club contains two swimming pools, one for adults and one for children as well as large playground. The club also has a big, well-developed berth that holds large amounts of middle sized boats, not mentioning that there are two different sized halls available for carrying out ceremonies such as weddings and other events. Tel 3718053 or 5650642. 500 fils adult, 250 fils child. Summer 0800-2400, winter 0800-2300.

3. Al-Oqeila Beach Club

It is the perfect place for the entire family to meet. It is the beach that is characterized by its calm atmosphere that grants moments of fun and joy while barbequing or having nice, long walks, or while having fun with your children playing the games available at the beach which are suitable for everybody. Tel 3900538 / 5650642 along the Al Oqeila coast. Entrance fee: 500 fils adult, 250 fils child, except during a festival. Open every day: summer 0800-2400, winter 0800-2300.

4. Ras Al-Ardh Club

Ras Al-Ardh club has a total geographical area of 9,025 squared meters, and is located at Ras Al-Salmiya district which is considered one of the best touristic areas in Kuwait. The club offers diversified, entertaining services such as play gardens for children and a big, multi-use hall (a hall for billiard and babyfoot games – a hall for birthdays and other celebration events), in addition to schools for teaching karate and swimming. And for sports lovers, there are volleyball courts, basketball courts, tennis courts, a walking track and two swimming pools suitable for all ages. Telephone: 5747023, Ras Al-Salmiya district. Annual rate 150KD – family, 120KD individual.

5. Al-Sha'ab Sea Club

Al-Sha'ab sea club is located on the Arabian Gulf Street and has a total geographical area of 7,300 squared meters. The club offers different services that match all interests. It has a well-developed berth, large enough to hold up to 200 boats. It also contains tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts and schools for teaching karate, swimming and tennis, in addition to an internet café and video games.

As for sea lovers, Al-Sha'ab sea club is known for its beautiful sandy beach and it also got two swimming pools which are suitable for diving, one of them is covered and the other is exposed. Entrance ticket – 3KD, open every day – summer 0800-2400, winter 0800-2300. Telephone 564 1953 in Shaab. Annual rates 150KD-family, 120KD individual.

 Dickson House

The house of the first British political agent in Kuwait is still standing and has been kept in excellent condition. The Dickson House, located across from the dhow harbor east of Sief Palace on Gulf Road, was originally a Kuwaiti home built in 1870, but was given to Britain to use as residential headquarters. The compound was expanded several times over the years, but stands as an excellent example of early Kuwaiti architectural styles. An excellent book (available at any good Kuwaiti book shop) to read is one about the life of the British political agent's widow – Dame (Umm Saud) Violet Dickson who stayed in Kuwait after her husband's death. She lived in Kuwait for a total of 61 years as a British national. She was evacuated during the Iraqi invasion and died in England. A visit to the house will give you an insight into life in pre-oil Kuwait.

Entertainment City

Kuwait's answer to Disneyland, located in Doha, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the city and run by TEC; this complex provides a complete range of amusements based on themes from the 'Arab World,' the 'International World,' and the 'Future World.' It offers more than 40 rides, games and shows. The entrance fee is 3 KD 500 fils a person, an all-in-one price which allows the ticket holder to enjoy various rides and amusements without paying anything extra. Timings (Summer) Sunday-Friday 5pm – 1am. (Winter) Sunday-Wednesday 3pm – 11pm, Thursday-Friday 10am- 10pm Saturday closed. Tel. 487 9545 / 487 9455.

 Entertainment Parks:

There are three main entertainment parks smaller than the Entertainment City in Kuwait. Each represents a full and fun day trip for families or individuals alike.

1. Al Shaab Park, 561 3777; Located on the Gulf Road, but the entrance is on the other side of the park in Maidan Hawalli. Entrance fee is 500 fils with pay-as-you-go rides ranging from 250-750 fils each (full day tickets and season tickets are available). Open from 4 pm to midnight daily or 10am to midnight on weekends. It also has plenty of restaurants and a small ice skating rink.

2. Touristic Garden in Jleeb Al Shyoukh 434 5961, 434 9283 or 242 8394. The Touristic garden is located in Jlaib Al-Shyoukh district (can be seen from the 6th Ring Road) with a total geographical area of 87,000 squared meters. There are amusements, rides and other games for children and adults. The garden is rich in its colorful flowers and its beautiful palm trees, in addition to a Roman-style theatre that can host up to 2000 viewers. Weekly parties are occasionally held there, and there is a cafeteria serving delicious meals and an open space filled with entertaining games for children. Open every day Summer : 4:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. (midnight) Winter : 3:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Entrance fees 250-500 fils.

3. Sabahiya Garden in Ahmadi area, telephone 361 0472. Similar to the Touristic Garden above.

 Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque is considered the largest mosque in Kuwait. It covers 45,000 square meters. The building occupies 20,000 square meters of this. The remaining area consists of gardens, fountains and waterfalls. There is also a 6,500 square meter courtyard. The mosque is designed in accordance with Islamic and traditional architectural heritage. Construction was started in 1979 and completed in 1986. The inside of the mosque contains beautiful high quality marble, natural stone and niches lined with Moroccan tiles in rich colors and geometrical patterns. The main prayer court can accommodate approximately 10,000 men. The women's worship area can accommodate about 950 women. Non-Muslims can enter on a tour and women will be given hijabs and albiyas to wear. When you go, ask to walk up the tower for a nice view of Kuwait and to see where the Emir washes and prays. Telephone for guided tours 2418448/7. (The web site IS in English).

Green Island

Green Island is located on the Gulf Road. It is a 39.5 acre man-made island is connected to mainland by a 825-foot concrete passageway. So named because of the approximately 50,000 varieties of different plants, shrubs and trees that cover the entire island, it was officially opened on February 22, 1988 and receives more than 1.2 million visitors each year. A lagoon refreshed by the tidal waters of the Gulf offer swimming and water games. Along the lagoon, two restaurants, a cafeteria with light snacks and a service center cater to the visitor's every comfort. A 700 seat, open-air, Roman-style amphitheater is used for concerts and official celebrations. Other attractions include the 115-foot viewing tower that also holds 300,000 gallons of drinking water for all the sea front's outlets. The Kid's Castle contains dungeons, mazes of water slides with indoor and outdoor waterfalls to delight the children. Ascending a small round hill is a spiral walkway that encourages long walks and light jogging. A tram circles the island periodically for those who prefer to ride. It s a large island park made from filled land off the coast and connected by a causeway. It has restaurants, walkways, gardens, a small pond with paddle boats, bumper cars, bike rental, etc. It is a great place to spend an afternoon. The entry fee is 250 fils a person provides a pleasant walk with some nice views of Kuwait City. Telephone 252 6153.

 House of Mirrors

Below is an account of someone who visited the House of Mirrors before its renovation and expansion.

The only person creative enough to have imagined the Mirror House of Kuwait is the woman who built it, Lidia Al Qattan, the widow of the late great Kuwaiti artist Khalifa al Qattan.

Life between Lidia and the Khalifa has always been cheerful but something started to brew in the 1960's. The usually cheerful Kalifa was painting some very dark images: tortured souls and burning cities. And Lidia's creativity started bursting out in unexpected ways. Once, when Kalifa was away at an art show, she decorated their slightly shabby dinning room cabinet with shards of mirrors, making a glittering diamond out of a piece of used furniture.

Kalifa liked the surprise remodeling and encouraged Lidia to do some more experimenting. They found a mirror factory and asked for their broken pieces. Seventy-seven tons of mirror, 102 gallons of white glue, forty-four tons of white cements and many years later, Lidia has covered almost every surface in their house, inside and out (with the exception of Kalifa's studio on the second floor) with mirror mosaics. She used different hues and thicknesses to create texture and patterns. There are shooting stars on the ceiling, quotes from the Koran on the walls and intricate patterns on the floor. There are angels and apples, dolphins and grapes, birds and planets. The bathroom glitters with mirrored swordfish and seaweed, swirling waves and leaping fish. Even the toilet lid has golden rays emanating from a blue center. The effect is overwhelming, but nuanced. It is joyful house, but not haphazard. It is an entire, coherent work of art. Every mosaic had a purpose, every room a theme. The living room is Planet Earth, complete with mosaics of plants and fish. The ceiling features the entire solar system in multi-colored mirrors. The hallway is the Corridor of Nations. On the top of the wall (between the birds frozen in mirrored flight) is a quote from the Koran that states God has no preference for one nation over another and that only those who respect each other are blessed. Their daughter's bedroom was done towards the end of the project, and in record time, as it had to be finished before she returned from the U.S. where had was just completing a degree in aeronautical engineering. In keeping with her interests, it became the Zodiac Room, featuring constellations made from glow-in-the-dark stars. Other rooms include the Basin Of The Sharks (back hallway), Inside The Sea (the bathroom), Hidden World (pantry), Room of Knowledge (library), and the Room Of The Universe (master bedroom, complete with the Big Bang and an exploding supernova – you can take the girl out of Italy but....). The Stairs of Inspiration lead to the second floor where Lidia and Kalifa have their painting studios. There are no more mirrors but Lidia still manages to push the boundaries of art. One room, festooned with more glow-in-the-dark stars, has a fabric wall. All visitors are encouraged to throw velcro-backed, multi-colored triangles at the wall, ninja star-style. Lidia then 'reads' the patterns to tell you your personality. But it is Kalifa's art that dominates up here. His paintings are displayed in his private galleries, clustered by theme. One room contains a delightful group of portraits called 'Ladies I Met'.

Here also are the dark, disturbing paintings Kalifa produced in the '60s. The ones of the chocking black smoke and mutilated bodies that clashed so jarringly with his usually easygoing personality.

When he first showed them to the world they were considered shocking. Now they are considered prophetic. These painting predicted, in astounding detail, the horror of the Iraqi invasion.

Call ahead to arrange a tour. No admission fee and, as this is a private house, copious amounts of tea might be offered. Some of Lydia's pieces are on sale. Remember, it is most polite to extend a gift in return for the unique Kuwaiti hospitality that will be extended.

Telephone 251 8522 to schedule a tour. Qadisiya area Block 9, Street 94, House 17 (You can't miss it; it's the one with the pieces of glasses glued all over it.)

 Hunting and Equestrian Club

Located not more than seven minutes drive from the center of the capital, Kuwait, the Hunting and Equestrian Club occupies an area of one million two hundred seventy thousand square meters on the Sixth Ring Road. The premises of the Club house has many installations and halls for the practice of various sports activities. The Club facilities include the following:

• Main administration building

• Horse racing

Equestrian School

• Firing ranges

• Golf course (cost 2KD)

• Ground tennis fields

• Squash fields

• Bowling alleys

• Billiards and snooker hall

• Bow and arrow (Archery) building

• Basketball field

• Banqueting Hall (private celebrations)

• Meeting room

• A 4 km. Long ring road for walking exercise

Jaberaya Equestrian Hall

It's the only hall covered in full equipped with a ground suitable jumping barriers and surrounded by stadiums for viewers the name of Jaberayya is a good omen for the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al Sabah who contributed generously to the hall's construction.

Telephone: 4717270 – 4739199.

 Ice Skating Rinks

If you would like to cool off on a hot summer day, the ice skating rinks are where to go. The Ice Skating Rinks complex consists of:

• The Big Rink: The Olympic rink which can seat 1600 persons.

• The Small Rink: This can seat 600 persons.

• A VIP multi-purpose hall.

• A cafeteria for snacks (McDonalds, Swensen's).

• A shop selling sports wear and skating necessities.

• Changing rooms.

• Rentals.

First Aid Center

The management of the skating rink made certain it provided highly qualified trainers for adults and children to teach them skating.

The ice skating rink is open to audience all week from 8.30 am till 10.00 pm, on a one and a half hourly basis periods.

The festival of Hala February is held annually in the skating rink in which the Olympic Rink is transferred into a big stage for musical concerts and poetry nights. Hockey teams are also allowed to train in the Olympic Rink. Telephone – 241 1151-3. No cameras please.

Daily Time Table For Ice Skating Rink

From To

8:30 a.m. 10:00 a.m.

10:30 a.m. 12:00 p.m.

12:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m.

2:30 p.m. 4:00 p.m.

4:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

6:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m.

8:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m.


Entrance Fee + Skating 1.500 K.D. each period

None Skating Escort (parent , maid) 500 Fils each person

Monthly Membership (Men) 35 K.D. each person

Monthly Membership (Women) 25 K.D. each person

Locker Rental One Session 250 Fils + Personal (ID)

Sharping Skates 1 K.D.

 International Fairgrounds

The International Fairgrounds is located in Mishref (off of the 6th Ring Road – you can see the McDonald's arches atop a gas well tower), was established in 1971 and is Kuwait's largest exhibition center. It is host to many events such as meetings, conferences, shopping exhibitions, etc. See for a schedule of exhibitions. A McDonald's restaurant, go cart track and fair grounds with pay-as-you-go rides are nearby.

Jahra Red Fort (Qasr Al Ahmar)

(Guarded Watering Place –on Caravan Route – Site of Many Battles – May Date to Mesopotamian Times) 32km (20mi) west of Kuwait City, is where invading troops from Saudi Arabia were defeated in 1920. It is a low rectangular mud structure near the highway. Take the 5th Ring Road to the second Jahra (not Omariya) exit. You will go down and turn left and see it 500 meters on the right. No telephone or facilities.

 Khairan Resort

The Khairan Resort occupies a prime seafront location, at a distance of 110km, south east of Kuwait City and about 12 miles from the Saudi border. Kuwait's first tourist village, the Khiran Resort, was officially inaugurated on February 25, 1986. It is a place to escape from the hectic everyday life. More than 500,000 visitors annually enjoy the 148 air-conditioned, furnished chalets and 48 one-bedroom flats that are provided with full hotel services. This miniature village has everything from landscaped courtyards, playgrounds, a gymnasium, Olympic-sized swimming pools, soccer fields, tennis courts, an excellent restaurant, a cafeteria, a supermarket, a library, a reception hall for parties, health clubs for both sexes to it, own marina, sparkling clean beaches and swimming in the Gulf waters.

The Khairan Resort encompasses 24 Royal chalets. 124 of which are two-bedroom chalets, and 48 are studios, all are luxuriously furnished and fully air conditioned. These chalets contain a living room, a dining room, a fully equipped kitchen with all the necessary utensils, a bathroom, telephone, a television with its VCR, a terrace and a garage for the car.

The resort is characterized by its luxurious restaurants and coffee shops, such as The Bundar restaurant which serves dinner meals of eastern and oriental food and is specialized only for families, in addition to Al-Mina Lounge where light refreshments are served, Al-Rawdatein / Kubbar cafeterias, next to the swimming pools and Al-Bahhar coffee shop which serves delicious meals and provides a special menu for children, in addition to the very best seafood.

A wide variety of sports and leisure activities has been provided by the resort to all guests, such as 2 big swimming pools, one filled with salt water and another with fresh water. There are also 2 fully equipped gyms, one for men and another for women, in addition to 4 tennis courts, a football field, volleyball and basketball courts. There is also a variety of water sports facilities, not mentioning the arcade and computer games at the game center. The resort also got a well developed berth which works on a special membership basis and holds up to 224 yachts and 6 larger cruises.

At Khiran, the high tides of the Gulf penetrate inland for approximately three miles creating two inlets or small bays. During ebb tide, the northern inlet, Khor Al-Ama, is too shallow for navigation. The other inlet, Kohr Al-Mufateh, remains navigable for small boats with a water depth of about three feet. The Khiran harbor extends about one-half mile inside the Khor Al-Mafateh. This fully serviced marina accommodates 240 boats and yachts, while a 60-foot light house guides boats in and out of the harbor. Telephone 395 1122/3951315/5627230/5627269 for information or reservations.

Kuwait Parliament / National Assembly

Kuwait's Parliament or National Assembly on the Gulf Road does allow visitors, but you might have to call ahead – tel 241 8949 or 243 6381. Sessions are in Arabic and might be a bit mundane (but most legislative sessions usually are). This was the first Parliament in the GCC countries; MPs can speak freely and criticize the government's performance and sometime do that in a very sharp manner, as they are protected by the constitution of the country.

Kuwait Stock Exchange

Situated in downtown Kuwait City somewhat between the Gold Souq and the Grand Mosque on Mubarak Al Kabeer Street, the Kuwait Stock Exchange is open Saturday to Thursday maybe 0800 to 1300. It is the largest stock exchange in the Gulf area. There are no formal tours per se, but people can enter and enjoy its architectural splendor while witnessing the often lively traders on the floor. There is a Starbucks Coffee Shop is inside. For pictures, go to these websites: and .

Kuwaiti Towers

The Kuwait Towers (Tel 244 4021, 2444057/46), designed by a Swedish company and were constructed by a Yugoslavian company, are one of the most famous landmark in the country. These unique structures serve two purposes. They are water reservoirs and also provide tourists with a full panoramic view of Kuwait City and the Arabian Gulf from the revolving observation deck that can be found on the upper sphere of the main tower. There is a cafeteria on this deck, three other restaurants on the top half of the lower sphere and the bottom section is a one million gallon water reservoir. The globe found on the middle tower is also a water reservoir with a one million gallon capacity. The towers are lit up at night making it one of the most photographed sites in Kuwait. Kuwait Towers has a rotating restaurant (buffet) Horizon Restaurant. Open 0830 – 2330 daily. Cost 1KD, children under 4 free. The towers consist of three main towers: The Main Tower with a height of 187 meters and consists of two spheres.

o The first sphere includes

 Al-Ufuq restaurant

 Le Café

 The Waha

 The Dasman hall, holding special parties and businessmen events

 Royal Café, which has also been recently used as a special place to hold conferences, training programs, and official receptions

 AL-Joon cafeteria serving fast food, light snacks and soft drinks

 Outside catering: The external order department to meet the increasing demands of this distinguished service.

o The second sphere is divided into two sections:

 The first section: (immovable) with a height of 120 meters above the sea level.

 The second section: (movable) with a height of 123 meters. It makes a full circulation every half an hour, and there is a cafeteria and a gift shop available at the section.

• The Middle Tower: with a height of 174 meters. It is a big reservoir that has a capacity of one million gallon water.

• The Small Tower: with a height of 113 meters. It controls and provides electricity to the other two towers.

There are 55,000 coated metal plates that decorate the spheres which give the towers this spectacular view from outside.

Kuwait Zoo

It is a small zoo, but young children enjoy it because they can get close to many of the animals. A delight to both adults and children, this place is not only for watching the animals, but is a center for education, preservation and propagation. Endangered species native to Kuwait are bred here. The education center offers everyone the chance to study first-hand not only exotic animals from around the world, but also species that were native to Kuwait fifty years ago. The research center tries to find the best way to keep imported animals healthy in the Kuwaiti environment. A train weaves its way among the tree shaded animal compounds. Camel, horse and donkey rides along with magic and electronic games delight the children or maybe you would like to have your picture taken with the resident snakes or crocodiles. It is open every day except Saturdays from 8am to 12 noon and 4pm to 8pm. Located to Omariya; it is on the Airport Road (Route 55) and the 5th Ring Road. Entrance is 500 fils, infants free. (tel 473 3389)

Libraries and Book Shops:

There are public libraries in Kuwait; however, each has a limited number of titles in English and a 10KD deposit is required each time you borrow a book. The Kuwait University main library on the Shuwaikh campus ( is recommended (hours listed for having the largest selection of books in English in Kuwait. It has really nice architecture, too. There is also the new Al Babtain Central Library for Arabic Poetry (with over 72,000 books specializing in Arabic poetry) back from the Gulf Road next to the Ministry of Planning. The British Council is located in Mansouriya near the Co op on Al Arabi Street opposite the sports stadium. In the basement is a lending library which has a good variety of books, children's books and videos. Anyone can join with an application form and small fee. Telephone: 251 5512. The Kuwait National Library is also under construction at he time of this posting.

There are 3 book stores and one used book store in Kuwait:

1. Family Bookshop in Salmiya, Tel. 571 4340, Fax 573 7392. The oldest book store in Kuwait. The management is very helpful.

2. Kuwait Bookshop in the basement of the Al-Muthanna Complex in the city, Tel. 242 4266, Fax 2420558. Big selection, but it's in a mall.

3. Al Jahir Book Store. Has a lot of other material like office supplies – next to an entertainment park (Hawalli Park) on Tunis Street in Hawalli. Tel 261 0111. Saturday to Wednesday 0900-1300 and 1630-2030, Thursday 0900-1300 and 1630-2300, Friday 1630-2300.

4. Kuwait Books ( (tel 245 7505/6) which despite its smaller stock buys, sells and trades books. Nice atmosphere.

 Little Jungle

Below is pasted from the Little Jungle website ( Little Jungle has gotten a bad reputation from the Born Free Foundation for its treatment of animals; however, another website ( seems to say its OK.

History : Little Jungle Proudly open from since 1998, giving the people real satisfaction of wild life and running successfully.

Location: -Little Jungle is located at Al –Funaitees area, Al-mukyam Al-kashfee Street (There is a sign on Highway 30 where to turn.)

Opening hours:- Open 365 days a year. Summer time 1st of April to 16 of September Weekends and holidays 4:00A.M to 12:00P.M nd Saturday to Wednesday 4:30P.M to 10:30P.M. Winter time 17 of September until 31 of March Weekends and holidays 9:00A.M to 11:00P.M and Saturday to Wednesday 2:30P.M to 10:30P.M.Tickets are sold until half-hour before closing. Main Exhibits: -Animals Giraffe, Zebra, Chimpanzee, Fox, Leopards, Jaguar, Crocodile, Kangaroo, Vulture, Deer, Jungle train, Bumper car, Inflatable games.

Breakfast with chimpanzee: - we have a special program For the children of school. They will get chance to take their breakfast with our chimpanzee for unforgettable memories. Take a photo: - Take memorable photos with our friendly animals. Casco, Giraffe. Animal rides:- Pony, Camel and horses. Parties: - If you would like to celebrate your birthday, anniversary or for conference, then please call for reservations. Parties in little jungle In Little Jungle you can have wonderful and memorable party with very pretty animals, plenty types of games and with nice costume. Parties at outside Little Jungle We provide arrangements for private parties and special events. Our facilities include entertainment equipment, both electrical and traditional such as train ride, camel ride, horse ride etc. As well as providing rare and tamed animals. All that will be brought to the location you prefer.

Cafeteria:- We offer cold and hot drinks, fresh juices and snacks. Gift shop:- We offer live pets and toys. Parking: -Available on site. Transportation: -Little jungle is easy to reach. Take bus no.102, 105 or 502 from city and get off at Fahahil road next to grocery Teheran then walk 500m on grocery Tehran street. After that turn left side at little jungle street. In Al Funaitees off of Highway 30

For further Information or for reservation :- Tel: - (+965) 3902635

 Mutlaa Ridge

Made famous by Desert Storm battles, these sandstone hills, some more than 60 meters high, offer a break in the flat topography of Kuwait. Situated on the northern rim of the bay overlooking the Doha Power Station, they provide grazing land for domestic herds of sheep, goats, and camels. Wild flowers abound in the spring, and you will find many people picnicking there, but as always, be careful and don't pick up anything that looks like a mine or bomblet! There is a well-used but winding road to the top – drive carefully. Once you reach the top, the views are fantastic! Mutlaa Ridge has no telephone or facilities, so pack a lunch and plenty of water, a mobile telephone with a charged battery and tell people where you're going (Just to be safe).

Old American Hospital

This building is a unique example of early 20th century architecture in Kuwait. It is located on the left side of the Gulf Street facing the bay near the British Embassy, the Diabetes Center and Dasman Model School. This was the first hospital run by Christian missionaries in Kuwait.

 Planetarium

Kuwait has an active planetarium located on the 6th Ring Road between the Science Club and the Model Airplane Club (its dome is clearly visible). A most informative place with many enthusiastic amateur astronomers – open after 4pm? Daily? (telephone 539 6561). Also, Kuwait Space Club at ?

 Beit Al-Sadu (House of Weaving)

Beit Al-Sadu ( was established in 1979 and is devoted to the ancient practice of weaving of textiles from sheep wool. Its purpose is to revive the tradition of weaving, knitting, and other handmade arts. It is located next to the National Museum on the Gulf Road. The exhibits include Bedouin camel bags, tent dividers, carpets and cushions. Some items are for sale, and it is possible to see the traditional weaving process. (Tel: 2432395) Open Saturday to Thursday mornings and between 5.00pm and 7.00pm. Founded to preserve the art of Sadu; the Kuwait Textile Association frequently holds lectures, seminars, and demonstrations of Sadu weaving at the Al-Sadu House.

 Sailor's Day Market

Located on the Gulf Road across from the Parliament (National Assembly) Building, this market and miniature Kuwaiti village is a mix of old and new with plenty of hand operated rides (attendants operate them) for the kids and eclectic stalls selling bits and bobs. It has a fishing pier nearby and nice view of the Parliament Building and sea front. Best visited on a Wednesday or Thursday evening.

Salem Al-Sabah Quarter Mile Track

Established in the 1980's and it's the first Quarter Mile Race Track in the Middle East, and the best. It organizes races in many classes of cars and motorcycles, which compete between classes. Cars classes include: Super pro, Pro, Super Stock, Stock, Super Street and Street. Motorcycles classes include: Drag class and Stock class. Any nationality can join the club. Events start from November till end of June every year. Tel 6005261, Email:, see: , Near the Kuwaiti Science Club on 6th Ring Road.

 The Scientific Center, Aquarium, Discovery Place and IMAX

The Scientific Center was built by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences and is home to the largest aquarium in the Middle East. It is located on the waterfront in the Salmiya area and offers five different attractions: the Dhow Harbor, the Aquarium, the IMAX Theatre, the Discovery Place, and the Gift Shop. The complex covers an area of 80,000 square meters and the attractions are both educational and entertaining. School children often visit the facility and participate in hands on experiments aimed at enhancing one's awareness of the natural and cultural heritage of Kuwait. Scientific Center – telephone 84888888, This new centre is wonderful for the whole family – aquarium plus interactive exhibits.

 Shooting range

The only private and specialized club in Kuwait offers you an ideal environment to practice Pistol and Rifle shooting in three indoor shooting ranges which include 30 shooting lanes. The handguns and their ammunitions from various calibers are provided, as well as ear and eye protection. Qualified instructors will help visitors. The complex is open for public, come and enjoy your time.

• Sports Club for practicing pistol & Rifle shooting, the Club is Internationally Qualified.

• Free entrance for Ladies, men & children (age 10 and up) accompanied by adults.

• The shooting complex is opened 6 days a week.

• Qualified instructor's highly safety instructions.

• Movable & Fixed targets.

• Handguns & ammunition from various calibers are provided as well as safety instrument are available.

• Foods, Beverages available.

Telephone: 4759999 – 4752507,,, 6th Ring Road, follow signs.

 Showbiz

Showbiz (tel 571 4094/5/7) on the Gulf Road in Salmiya is a permanently sited carnival with caroussels, dodgems, donkey and cart, pony and camel rides, etc. Open daily from 4pm to midnight (from 1pm on weelends), entry is free but each amusement costs 500 fils a go, except for the large roller coster (1KD) and a few of the main attraction. CURRENTLY (2006) BEING REOVATED TO BE BIGGER AND BETTER.

 Swimming Pool Complex

There are five swimming pools at The Swimming Pools complex, one of which is for children and is completely supervised by special trainers who also teach children swimming through specialized training courses for minimal charges. In addition, there is a covered swimming pool with a special heating system to serve people with warm water during the cold winter. Moreover, there is an Olympic swimming pool, 2.5 meters in depth, well-equipped to hold out tournaments and championships. And as for divers, the complex has a swimming pool specialized for that which also includes a diving tower that reaches five meters and three meters in height. Finally, the Swimming Pools complex contains an open swimming pool for the whole family to spend unforgettable moments of joy and fun.

Entrance fee is 1KD, and it is located on the Gulf Road, open every day except Saturday, 0900-2100, 5622600.

 Wafra Farms Area

Wafra is home to 200 privately-owned farms and an experimental farm funded by the government. They raise dairy cattle, poultry, a variety of grains, tomatoes, radishes, melons, cucumbers, greens, and other vegetables. You can visit any Thursday of Friday during the winter of spring. On Friday, an open market sells many locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Yes, Kuwait does grow many of its fruits and vegetables! There are picnic areas and privately owned entertainment places (namely Al Riham Farms) with children's bouncy castles, buggy rides, camel/horse/pony/donkey rides and green houses to tour. In southern Kuwait, take the Wafra exit past Ahmadi, and drive 30 kilometers south – about a 1-2 hour trip from Kuwait City. Turn left at the Wafra Farms exit and go ten more kilometers. A great day trip!

There is/was an ostrich farmer who sells eggs, meat, feathers or egg shells in Wafra. Tel 243 9151 or 243 9131.

An Experimental Farm (815355) is also located in Omariya with hydroponics, recycled irrigation system, solar-power, and computer-controlled glass-houses.

Adult Education

There are ample opportunities for adult education in Kuwait, ranging from Arabic for Foreigner courses to more traditional non-credit courses taught at universities. Below are some:

• Arabic for Foreigners:

o Free courses at the Grand Mosque which is situated between to the Sief Palace and the Stock Exchange, downtown. Anyone wishing to take a tour of the Grand Mosque, or join the Arabic classes may page: 9195887.

o Kuwait University for Community Service and Continuing Education gives courses in Arabic, both classical and in Kuwaiti dialect. – 60KD, offered at night in Adaliya campus, but you must register during the day at the Khaldiya campus. Classes are in the evening.

o The AWARE Center teaches Arabic for Foreigners and has other classes as well. Many of their events and activities are provided free or at nominal costs. They have a library, lecture hall, small bistro, and much more at their facility in Surra (Block 3, Surra Street, Villa 84; tel: 5335260/80). The offer tours, dhow rides, social events, Arabic for foreigners and History of Islam classes, cultural lectures, and an opportunity for friendly intercultural exchanges. AWARE stands for Advocates of Western-Arab Relations and Exchange.

o IPC offers Arabic for Foreigner (ladies only)and Computer classes. IPC (Tel: 2447526 2441177/2512257) is on Fahad Al-Salem Street, downtown Kuwait City near Al Muthanna Complex.

American University of Kuwait – Office of Continuing Education –

• Arab Open University (regionally accredited and affiliated with the Open University of the UK) offers Bachelor's degrees and a Higher Graduate Diploma in Education. Most classes are in English, but some lower level courses are in Arabic – tel. 5329013 Classes in the morning, afternoon and evening – branches are in Khaitan or Messila.

Gulf University for Science and Technology 2645806/1 or has no Continuing Education but has some classes in the evening. However, you must pay the same high tuition as the undergraduates do.

• Kuwait University's Centre for Community Service and Continuing Education (CCSCE) offers non-degree courses for students over 16 years in various subjects such as languages (including Arabic as a foreign language), arts, administration, education, engineering, computers, law, secretarial studies, etc, which are open to expatriates. These courses are administered from building 3KH (tel: 483 0804, fax: 483 6323), Khaldiyah campus. Fees are fairly nominal. has various computer and other courses. It is located downtown near the main Post Office. Very reasonably priced.

Clubs and Societies in Kuwait (not listed alphabetically):

1. AA – 9641389

2. Al-Anon – 639 1951

3. NA 6001818

4. Dar Al Athar al Islamiyya (monthly cultural lectures with noteworthy speakers – memberships/sponsorships available) telephone: 5636528 / fax 5653006 Maidan Hawalli between Al Shaab Park and New Park Hotel.

5. ToastmastersKuwait boasts more than 11 English-speaking Toastmaster clubs (9+ adult and 2 children/teen's club called 'The Gavel Club'). A chance to improve your public speaking skills and attain internationally recognized certificates documenting your accomplishments. There are annual Toastmaster competitions in Kuwait and the Gulf area.

6. American Business Council: contact

7. American Women's League: open to all ladies over age 18 who are American passport holders or wives of American citizens.

8. Kuwait Auto Club 482 7521/4/6

9. British Business Forum – tel. 240 5346, fax. 240 5348

10. Canadian Commercial Circle

11. Weight

12. International Women's Association

13. Kuwait Association of British Alumni – open to any graduate of a British university of boarding school. Their annual dinner is always a 'hot ticket.' Kuwait/British Alumni (KABA) 252 0067/8 or the British School of Kuwait.

14. Kuwait Caledonian Society – Hosts the Highlander Games and other events tel/fax. 562 1019, 9830865, 9716840 or

15. ANZAK – tel. 371 7827, 563 3538 or 575 4935 email

16. British Ladies Society – tel. 539 4207 or The BLS conducts regular monthly meetings, coffee mornings and a mother / toddler group and other activities. All British ladies welcome.

17. Kuwait Textile Arts Association Tel / Fax 3903462 or

18. Spanish Speaking Ladies Society An active group.

19. There is also a branch of the Scouts who desperately require Leaders – they can be contacted via 6405350 or (note – the scout group mentioned here is British run.)

20. Girl Scouts of America or contact US Embassy.

21. Boy Scouts of America – Google it or contact US Embassy.

22. Canadian Women's League: The Canadian Women's League is an informal association of women who hold Canadian passports or are married to Candians Tel: 5635293 or 6613414 or email

23. Cercle Francophone de Koweit: Located in Mansouriah, the Cercle Francophone organizes cultural events and is an ideal venue to link with the French community in Kuwait. For further information contact 2574803/4 , 533 9283 or 562 9614.

24. German Speaking Cultural Association: P.O. Box 34229, Adaliya, Kuwait 73527, Kuwait All German speakers welcome, the association also has a monthly ladies' coffee morning and an awesome Christmas Bazaar!

25. Kuwait Irish Society: Tel/Fax 2514059 , 243 1099, 372 8345 or 563 6625. Also or 6262610.

26. Social South Africans in Kuwait or or 7222134 or 571 3389.

27. Kuwait Science Club tel 5396561/2 open to all nationalities. Fantastically equipped – very active club. Managed by a group of enthusiastic amateurs, the Club's amazing range of facilities and the latest in scientific hardware includes Al-Aujairy Observatory. Its aims are to create an informal environment in which people of all ages, from pre-teens to grandparents, can develop their scientific hobbies. Contact:

tel 5396561/2 fax 5392549


28. Teen club Lothan Youth Achievement Center (for teens of all nationalities)

29. Welsh Society – tel 574 0256/7, 562 5316 or 574 0259.

30. Royal Society of Saint George 6272240 or

Local Bus Companies:

There are two bus companies in Kuwait which are, contrary to many blogs, safe and reliable. In each, there are both air conditioned and non-air conditioned buses and the front seats are reserved for ladies.

 City Bus, the smaller bus usually with a TV on for passengers, local routes copy the KPTC routes. Call telephone 882211 for route information. Bus routes

 Kuwait Public Transport Company (KPTC), local routes cost 150-250 fils, season tickets and even occasional buses to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are available. Call telephone 880001 for route information. Bus routes

Map of Kuwait City

Online Newspapers in Kuwait

Pets and Veterinary Services:

There are both government and private veterinary establishments in the Al-Rai and Hawalli areas. Kennals are available too. The Government Veterinary Clinic is located in Shuwaikh on Fourth Ring Road just behind Al-Beshar and Al-Kazim Cars. There is also a vet near the Friday Market in Al-Rai. If you are shipping a pet out of the country, you will need to go to this clinic to get the necessary vaccinations, the Vaccination Certificate, and the Good Health Certificate required for shipment. The Hawally Clinic, located on Tunis Street opposite the Hawally Governate building, is a private clinic. These clinics are open in the mornings except for Friday. There is also an International Veterinary Clinic that also provides boarding. It is located south of Kuwait City off the Wafra exit on Highway 40. Fahaheel Vet Clinic, Tel 3923273 or For pet adoption (cats, dogs, etc) and animal rescue / welfare issues – or tel 9440089. Also, Animal Friends League of Kuwait - . Contact Animal Friends League of Kuwait, P.O.Box 854 , 45709 Surrah , Kuwait .

Tel: 965.700.1622 Fax: 965.244.3859 For horses, go to the Hunting and Equestrian Club on the 6th Ring Road.

Postal Services:

1. Incoming mail:

 Incoming post can be very reliable if you know the deal. A Post Office box is recommended instead of home postal delivery or even delivery to your work address. A person can only rent a PO Box in the area where they live (your Civil ID shows the area where you live). The charge in the first year is 7KD, which includes 3KD for a new lock and key to the box, and 4KD a year after that. The application must include a copy of the person's Civil ID. If there is a vacant box, it will be issued right away.

 Incoming parcels (bigger than a padded envelope) are opened and checked in front of you at a large Post Office in Shuwaikh, you receive notice of this by way of a green card.

 Also available for incoming mail are various courier services, e.g., TNT, DHL, FedEx, and the highly recommended, ARAMEX (4345444) (All these couriers need a street address and packages need to be signed for.) All incoming packages from courier companies are still opened and inspected by Customs at the Airport, but packages from well known shippers (e.g. Amazon, etc) are not thoroughly examined.

2. Outgoing mail:

 Outgoing courier service includes TNT, DHL, and FedEx.

 However, registered mail service, Mumtaz mail and outgoing parcel (packages have to be sewn in white cloth and there are maximum weights/dimensions - The weight limit is 20 kilograms, and the size limit is 42 inches in length or 72 inches in length and width combined.) post, all available at Kuwaiti Post Offices, are MUCH cheaper than shipping out with FEDEX, etc. and are just as reliable. Mumtaz Post is part of the worldwide EMS network, and mail sent by Mumtaz has priority both in Kuwait and in the country of delivery. The service is available, from the general Post Office and main post office, to over 90 countries. Special Mumtaz envelopes must be used. The maximum weight is 15 kilograms. The first half kilogram costs KD5 to Arabic countries and KD6 to all other countries. Each extra half kilogram coasts KD2 to any country.

Recreation and Sport Activities in Kuwait (listed alphabetically):

1. Aerobics – Kazmah Club in Adaliya. tel 6476918/6851169.

2. Art – Kuwait Free Atelier (tel 243 6023) located near the British Embassy on the Gulf Road welcomes visitors Saturday to Wednesday from 9am to 1:10pm. The National Council for Culture Arts and Letters has a nice, old, renovated Kuwaiti house across the Gulf Road from Souq Sharq where painting and sculpture classes are held. Contact 241 6549 / 9301199 or . Also, (their English page is under construction).

3. Arts and Crafts – Bayt Lothan (tel 575 5866) is located in Salmiya on the Gulf Road just south of the Marina Mall. It is an Arts and Crafts center with frequent courses, a shop and tea rooms.

4. Art Galleries - (call for current exhibitions and showings)

• Dar Al Funoon – tel 243 3138, Behbehani Compound, House 28

• Doust Little Gallery – tel 971 2729

• Karizma – tel 246 1249

Boushari Art Gallery – tel 571 4883

• Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyyah (shows, exhibits, lectures and music) – tel 563 6528 / 563 6561

• Dar El Cid Jabriya, Block 12, Street 1 tel 5318061

5. Badminton - played regularly at Gulf English School, also call 9791896 or visit

6. Baseball – Kuwait Little League, 251 6257 or call US Embassy. The field is near the Science Club off the 6th Ring Rd.

7. Basketball League – 2455353 all nationalities welcome

8. Beaches – TEC manages three beaches-Messilah Beach, the first to open to the public in September 1980, along with Mangaf Beach and Agila Beach. Messilah Beach allocates two days a week for women only. Along with the beach, each of these attractively landscaped areas also offer cafeterias, restaurants, swimming pools, showers with changing rooms and shaded play areas for children. Parasails, jet skis, boat rentals are all widely available and there are several public boat launches in Kuwait. See the whole section on Beach Clubs.

9. Bicycling in the Desert – Desert Biking Club, an active club, 482 4741, 952 9567.

10. Billiards – All the craze starting a few years ago. Various halls/tournaments around Kuwait, some more family oriented than others.

11. Boating A dhow can be hired for a few hundred dinar a day, including crew and all running costs, which is ideal for a small office outing or for several families clubbing together. Enquire at any dhow harbor.

A trip by dhow to Umm al-Maradim Island for 30 people from Khiran Resort (tel: 3951122) costs KD100 for 12 hours. Boats may also be hired at the sea clubs. One holding 14 persons rents for KD25 an hour. A 45-minute sea trip in a large boat usually costs KD2 a head or KD1 in a small boat. But at the Yacht Club a 74-footer holding up to 35 persons can be rented for KD250 for the day.

12. Bowling American style bowling is available in Kuwait at several locations – to include shoe rental. One of the newer bowling alleys is in the City Centre Souk just off of 5th Ring Road (between Highway 30 and Gulf Road) called Cozmo Bowling (tel 5744975/6). There is Al Kezemi Club at 244 8000, the Hunting and Equestrian Club and the Crowne Plaza. – There is a league for competitive or social bowlers. Bowling Alleys Hunting & Equestrian Club 473 9299 Off 6th Ring Rd Platinum 880 008 Mata'am St, Salmiya Billiards, Bowling, Internet, Men's gym, Squash, Restaurant Safir Hotel 253 3000 Silver Towers 244 8000.

13. Bridge players 6566601 / 9707404 / 9047035 usually meet at Kuwait Regency Hotel or Kuwait Sea Club (Salmiya) every Sunday and Tuesday evening at 8:00.

14. Camel races - Camel Races are generally held on Thursday afternoons from September to May. In Kuwait, you can find off of 6th Ring Road towards Jahra (Sulaibiya exit). Also, Al Atraf Camel racing Club, tel. 539 4014, 7kms west of Jahra on Salmi Road.

15. Ceramics – Kuwait Ceramic Centre is open for pottery classes. (Tel: 9028440 Fax: 5518910). KCC is located near Messila. All budding or experienced potters are welcome.

16. Chamber and Philharmonic Music – frequent concerts, competitions and educational programs, 532 0427 also call SAS Hotel as most of their concerts are held in the Al-Boom.

17. Cinema / Movies – There are 15 cinemas in Kuwait that offer English-language films with Arabic sub-titles. All intimate contact (to include close contact/kissing) is censored, but violence is not. You can find out what is playing in the area or buy your tickets online at or 803456 / 4610526 / 5396091 for a recording of current movies. There is also a drive-in cinema which pumps cool air into your air during hot summer evenings. The drive-in is in Subahiya. Seating areas for families and single men are segregated, and women do not usually go to the cinema alone. Arabic, Indian, Chinese and international films are shown. Prices range from KD1/500 to 3/- a head. Tel 5387300/400 for locations and timings. Automated 24-hour telephone service for movies schedule 803456. KNCC has plans to construct a unique multiplex cinema entertainment center at the current location of Drive-in cinema on the 6th ring road with 10 screens. The center will also have restaurants, bowling alley, games arcade, prayer rooms, internet cafe and extensive shopping centre.

18. Coin Collecting – You can frequently see coins for sale at the Friday Market. One known international coin trader listed for Kuwait, also call Central Bank of Kuwait 244 9200 ex. 2041 for mint sets or special editions.

19. Cricket – Expatriate cricket in Kuwait has been established since 1948 when Hubara Cricket Club was formed. For information, contact Tel/Fax 532 5639 or 371 5620 or 398 2229. Also

20. DartsKuwait has 2 darts leagues both of which are highly competitive, whilst being very sociable. The Premier Darts League tel 265 8535, 534 2648 & E-mail, or take a look at their web sites: or and tel 372 6299

21. Dhow Trips (see Boating) – Dhows are the traditional sailing vessels used in trading and in the fishing industry in Kuwait and other Arab countries. Dhow trips usually have to be arranged with a Kuwaiti who knows a dhow owner. The AWARE Center, as well offers dhow trips on occasion. The Dhow Makers Association welcomes visitors and has small dhows for sale.

22. Failaka Island ExcursionsFailaka Island houses some of the most important historical and archeological locations in Kuwait. Its history goes back to the Bronze Age, with the Greeks arriving there in the 4th century BC! The island was closed after the Iraqi occupation because it was turned into a heavily fortified base and the area with filled with mines. However, it is reopened to the public, and it has a hotel and tourist village. Ferry information:

• Fast Ferry to Failaka Island from Marina Crescent Mall area

5KD Adult – 2 ½ KD child under 10, Tel 224498

• Slower ferry to Failaka from Ras Salmiya (behind ShowBiz) adult 2½ KD – children 1½ KD, car ferry service also available – timings are tide dependent – tel 5742664

23. Fishing numerous piers are along the coast. Fishing charter boats are also available for rent.

24. Football (Soccer) – Kuwait Academicals FC 562 1701 ext 139 or 986 8287, 661 9574 or 563 7348 also 5 a side soccer

25. Gaelic Football – The team is the Kuwait Harps and they frequently travel throughout the Gulf area to play other teams.

26. Go Carts Kuwait Go Cart Club 538 5860, located at the Mishref Exhibition International Fair Grounds off the 6th Ring Road near the Mishref International Fair Grounds.

27. Golf – There are three 18 hole golf courses, Buck Sands (Saudi Arabian Texaco owned, Tel. 3950444 ext. 225), the Ahmedi Golf and Country Club, (K.P.C. owned, Tel. 3983650) and the Hunting and Equestrian Club (Tel. 4739199) which costs 2KD. There is another golf course on the drawing board. Also, Also

28. Horse back riding / jumping – Hunting and Equestrian Club and another private club are available. Also, Also see whole section on Hunting and Equestrian Club.

29. Ice Skating at Ice Skating Rink downtown, also skating school 243 9403,

30. Jazz – various concerts at the SAS Hotel, see

31. Jet ski Jet skis may be hired from private traders on the beaches for KD10 an hour; the owner usually insists on holding the customer's civil ID to ensure the safe return of the equipment

32. Karate tel 263 2807

33. Model Airplane / Helicopter / Jet Flying also Model Boats 539 5574 Next to the Planetarium near the Science Club on 6th Ring Rd. Fully equipped workshop with an active membership for adults and children. All nationalities welcome.

34. Motor Sports/Motorbikes - Road Rallies, fixed track, etc – 539 6561/2 or 5396567 Amateur Car & Motorbike Assoc 539 6561 Science Club, 6th Ring Rd Kuwait Motor Bike League 539 8305 Behind Science Club, 6th Ring Rd Car & Bike Races

35. Netball – Kuwait Netball Association hold friendly games each Monday and regularly travel throughout the Gulf to compete in tournaments. They can be at 562 2701 or 562 1701.

36. Paintball – There's a paintball facility/field on the sea front behind the Kuwait Towers. You'll find two 'castles,' air-filled pro-ball obstacles, war-like ditches, and more – a favorite for the local teens in Kuwait. Paintball 243 1101 Near Aqua Park or Kheiran Resort.

37. Parasailing Parasailing is available from some of the sea clubs.

38. Radio Amateur A very active club

39. Roller Blading There is an active club. 563 8198 or 574 9736

40. Running / Hashing – is popular amongst the expat community, with four groups meeting in Kuwait. or 371 9772 or 538 6052.

41. Rugby – Kuwait Rugby League mens/womens Rugby players are catered for with Kuwait Nomads Rugby Club who meet at the Ahmedi pitches and regularly (and quite successfully) tour the Gulf 7845392/7595168/7546059.

42. Sailing – Sailing in Catamarans (Messilah Beach Catamaran Sailing Club) and Yachts (Kuwait Offshore Sailing Association (KOSA)) can be enjoyed in almost ideal conditions for much of the year. Further details 9745383, 6587737 or 3719289 or or Also, 3719289 or

43. Scrabble 240 2068, 265 3621 at Kuwait Continental Hotel

44. Scuba – Kuwait is also packed with dive clubs; Dive Caroline (PADI) based at Messilah Beach Hotel, Tel/Fax 562 5313; BBR Dive Center (PADI) based in Salwa Area 6 and diving out of Beneder Resort, Tel 565 1075 & Mantas Dive Club (BSAC) diving out of Kiran but also involved in lots of social activities when not diving – Tel/Fax 539 4937, Dive Caroline Tel – 5624111 . Also Happy Diving Center, 5661751, 9606609, and The best locations are off-shore around Qit'at (Donkey's Reef), Umm al-Maradim and Qaruh islands in the south and so most trips leave from Fahaheel or the Khiran Resort area.

There are several diving schools offering training courses, from complete beginners to assistant instructors, conducted by instructors with internationally recognised certification. Equipment can be hired from diving centres and commercial establishments, which also organise diving trips on weekends and public holidays. Diving trips are about KD15 a person per day and full cylinders can be hired for KD2 each.

45. Shooting – Hunting and Equestrian Club, pay as you go or memberships available – frequent tournaments. Tel 473 9199. See the whole section on the Shooting Complex. Also

46. Singing Kuwait singers, tel 563 7787 or 563 8124 or 6683770/6486064, Ahmedi Music Group tel 390 3462, 939 7415, 372 8464 or 372 9689 and a newly formed Folk Singing group Also,

47. Squash – The Crowne Plaza – Holiday Inn sometimes has an active list of players and sometimes tournaments. Also, 9833297 or

48. Swimming – Located in the nautical Al-Shaab area overlooking the Gulf, TEC's Swimming Pool Complex attracts over 500,000 visitors each year. Opened in April 1988, this complex has five Olympic-sized swimming pools along with a recreation hall that offers a variety of indoor games and a snack bar. Tel 562 2600. See the whole section on the Swimming Pool Complex.

49. Stamp Collecting – go to Main Post Office Philatelic Bureau downtown near the Liberation Tower for latest editions and past sets (open 0800-1300 Saturday to Wednesday, tel. 2446683/2429684), various private collectors/traders such as or exist in Kuwait and you can frequently see stamps for sale at the Friday Market.

50. Tae Kwon Do – 263 4612

51. Tennis – various public tournaments throughout the year. Contact Crowne Plaza Hotel.

52. Theater / Drama – Little Theater of Kuwait – The Little Theater of Kuwait is located in Ahmadi and offers musicals, dramas, and other promotions in English. It has been in operation since 1948. Amateur theatricals are abundant too, with two theatre groups putting on a half dozen or so shows each every year. Kuwait Players have a clubhouse in Rumaithiya and can be contacted on tel 562 5316, 574 0256, whilst Kuwait Little Theatre, , have a purpose built theatre in Ahmadi, sponsored by KOC. They can be contacted on tel: 398 2680. Also, Dasma Theatre – Tel 2521059. Also, KAST at tel 563 1725 also, the Kuwait Elizabethians at 564 3409 or Kuwaiti Theater groups (in Arabic) include Kuwait Public Theater 2471604/5, Kuwait Theater 572 0982/3.

53. Writing Group – Kuwait Writer's Association 251 8282/6, 251 0602; Kuwait Writer's Workshop 574 3086, ; Razan Club for Creative Writing

54. Yoga – 6180260, 5635450/9838117.

Christian Churches:

Although Kuwait is an Islamic State, they are quite tolerant towards Christianity. Here are only some of the Christian churches in Kuwait:

• Anglican, St. Paul's Church, Tel. 398 3252 or 398 5929 / 9040271 or email

• Presbyterian, National Evangelical Church, Tel. 243 1087 or 240 7195

• Roman Catholic, Church of the Holy Family, Tel. 243 4228 or 243 4637

Church of our Lady of Arabia, tel. 398 2465

• Jesus is Lord Kuwait Chapter-JIL, non-sectarian, full-gospel, 6195797

• Bible Believers' Baptist Church 6664238

• Vineyard Ministries 5634518 / 5652683

There have also been LDS, Salvation Army, Coptic, Orthodox and many other Christian denominational services in Kuwait over the years. Most of the church buildings are downtown between the Sheraton roundabout and the sea.

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Shopping – The Sultan Center and more…

The Sultan Center ( has good quality produce, meat and poultry, fish, deli items, hot prepared foods, and bakery items. Sultan Centers are located in Fahaheel, Salwa, Shuwaikh, Salmiya, Ahmedi and Sharq – there is also a wholesale Sultan Centre in Farwaniya. Prices are higher than middle-America, but only slightly higher than the major metropolitan areas in the US.

Neighborhood Cooperative markets (Co ops) are cheaper than the Sultan Center and also stock a wide selection. Mishref (open 24 hours) and Mansouriya Co ops are favorites because of their architecture and atmosphere.

If you're looking for still cheaper alternatives consider: (cheaper) City Center, Gulf Mart, London Mart and Lulu Hyper Market – (still cheaper) Al Mirah Souq and Save Mart on the east side of 65 between 80 and the 4th Ring Road. The latter two are near chicken sellers who give the cheapest and most recently slaughtered chicken meat in town – if you're squeamish, just sit in your car until the job is done, and they'll bring the bags of cut and rinsed meat out to you.

Other budget, yet fun, places to shop in Kuwait are:

• Souq al Jumma (aka Friday Market) – It is best if you have a high tolerance for crowds. Also, ignore the guys with the wheel barrows who live follow you around incessantly. If you do use them, realize you're paying for their time not the amount in the wheel barrow. The Friday Market is open on Thursdays and Fridays all day. It is basically a large outside flea market filled with loads of new and used items (carpets, clothes, appliances, furniture, antiques, etc.). It is located between 4th and 5th Ring Roads just off of Highway 55 (behind the Plant souk) near a Vet clinic.

• 100 fils stores – mostly located in Hawalli or Salmiya, items mainly are Chinese made – stock does change, pronounced 'me-ah fils souq.' Traditional wooden pencils tend to be too cheaply made to last, but prices on other school supplies and knick-knacks can't be beat. There is also a 50 fils store down town!

• 500 fils store (aka Daiso). Three locations: Shuwaikh (near Ikea), in Farwaniya and Salmiya City Center. Some of their stock can be beat by 100 fils stores in price, but as Daiso's items are Japanese made, the quality is generally quite higher. Kitchen ware, kitchen tools, and nice sharp kitchen knives are great buys.

• Indian Antique Furniture, Handicrafts and Replicas. Additions will create a pleasant & exotic feel to your home. tel 4740016 (not necessarily on the budget list but fun anyhow).

Outlets to volunteer in Kuwait:

These are organizations which have asked for volunteers in the past.

1. Kuwait Blind Association (accompany the blind on trips and read to them) 5654105 / 5654160 / 5622245 / 5622300 in Maidan Hawalli.

2. Kuwait Red Crescent Society (various opportunities in and out of Kuwait) in Shuwaikh across Highway 55 from the City Center. 481 5478

3. Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospitals (play with / read to children in hospitals) – British administered

4. Kuwait Blood Bank (donate blood – most of the times a payment is given) – 533 9511 – near Mubarak Hospital in Jabriya.

5. Kuwait Orphanage (read / play with children – they will want to screen you and ask for a semi-long term commitment) located near the UN Roundabout. Social workers on site do speak English.

6. PAWS Animal Shelter (take care of pets awaiting adoption) – , , tel 9440089

7. Kuwait Little League (opportunities for coaches, referees, score keepers, and other support). Contact the US Embassy.

8. Kuwait Sea Turtle Rescue Network (rescue / care for sea turtles) 656 6623/4/5

9. Kuwait Sea Sports Club and Kuwait Dive Team (clean a reef) 572 1144 / 572 1155

10. Animal Friends League of Kuwait (take care of animals), P.O.Box 854 , 45709 Surrah , Kuwait. Tel: 965.700.1622 Fax: 965.244.3859


Organic Kuwait said...

thanks for a very useful post.. needs updating though.. :)

Baranidar Haran said...

Hey American,
Its pretty exhaustive & useful. Thanks for sharing