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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit Kuwait?
Do a quick search on Google and you might decide that visiting Kuwait, an oil-rich country located on the Persian Gulf, may not be your first choice for an exciting vacation.
Dig a little deeper however, and you’ll find that Kuwait is a gem waiting to be discovered. In this article we share several good reasons why you should plan a trip to this lesser known Middle Eastern country.
Important information for visitors to Kuwait
Travel to Kuwait needs some forward planning. First, you will need to apply for a visa. You can, for example, check requirements for Irish citizens to travel to Kuwait online, and do the application in a few minutes. For the visa application, you’ll be required to provide the following:
- Personal details like your date of birth and nationality.
- Details of your trip.
- Passport details.
- Contact details.
- Health information.
If your details check out, your visa should be sent to you via email in about 48hours. Be sure to print the visa because you’ll need to show it to the Kuwaiti border authorities together with your passport at your point of entry into the country.
Why Kuwait should be on your travel bucket list
1. Kuwait has fascinating attractions
What wonders can you expect to see in Kuwait? From sandy deserts to modern skyscrapers and vibrant markets, there are contrasts and a variety of experience in Kuwait.
- The Grand Mosque: This large and beautifully decorated mosque in Kuwait City can accommodate close to 12,000 worshippers. Opened in 1986, it cost US$46 million to build and is known for its opulent features including stained glass windows, chandeliers and intricate gold plated dome.
- Kuwait Towers: Also in Kuwait City, these three towers are a famous landmark. The main tower has a viewing platform which on a clear day gives you a view of the entire country. Yes, Kuwait is such a tiny country that you can see all of it from the top of Kuwait Towers.
- House of Mirrors: This museum is the residential home of Italian-Kuwaiti artist Lidia Al Qattan and it is entirely covered with mirrors. Using over 70 tonnes of mirror, a tour of the house is a sensory sound, light and touch experience not to be missed – more info
- Failaka Island: Once inhabited before the 1991 Gulf War, Failaka Island is now largely deserted. Its offices, schools, and houses were destroyed and never rebuilt. You might never have seen what war can do to a country but when you visit this island, you will see the horrors of this recent conflict.
- Desert Safari: If you have never been to the desert, visit Kuwait and experience the flat, sandy Arabian Desert that covers most of the country. Here you can take a tour by camel or try and SUV safari where you can visit the oil fields and learn about the hardships of living in the desert.
Kuwait has many more unique attractions. Make time in your itinerary to visit Avenues Mall, Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre, Tareq Rajab Museum, Kuwait National Museum, Souk Mubarakiya, Bait Al Othman Museum, 360 Mall and the pure white sand Messilah Beach.
2. Eat the world in Kuwait
Kuwait has a population of about 4 million people and close to 70% of them are expatriates working in the country. This large number of foreigners means there is a wide variety of cuisines available. From authentic Mexican, Thai, Italian, Lebanese, Iranian, Egyptian, Indian, you name it, all are available in Kuwait.
So, instead of traveling to all these countries to sample their cuisine, why not make one trip to Kuwait to do so. And while there, do not forget to try Kuwaiti cuisine. Local dishes are a fusion of Arabian, Persian, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisines. Try machboos, a dish made with basmati rice seasoned with spices, and chicken or mutton.
3. Change your perception about Kuwait
Tell anyone you’re planning a trip to Kuwait and their reaction would probably be “you’re brave.” That’s because they probably remember the media stories on the Gulf War and think that the country is still worn-torn, and an unsafe to travel to.
This impression is mistaken. Since the end of the Gulf War Kuwait has remained safe, and politically stable and you don’t have to fear traveling there.
4. Make Kuwait part of your Middle East tour
Kuwait is a few hours away from Middle East hot travel spots like Dubai, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. So, you can easily include it on a trip to any of these countries. Being a small country, you don’t have to spend many days there. Just two days are enough to see the main attractions and tick another country off your bucket list.
5. Visit a unique and lesser known destination
If you like to set the trends and be among the first of your friends to visit a new destination, Kuwait should be high on your list. The country’s beautiful beaches, museums, restaurants, galleries, and friendly people are enough reason to pack your bags and head over to this country. But you’ll get bragging rights too!
Final thoughts on visiting Kuwait
Hopefully, by now, you have several great reasons to plan a trip to Kuwait, and you’re seriously considering it. Before you start planning the details of your trip to Kuwait be sure to read up on the country’s rules.
Kuwait has very strict laws that many travelers may not expect. You cannot drink alcohol, homosexual behaviour is prohibited, and possession of pork or pornography is also banned. Learn about these rules so that you don’t offend the locals or worse get imprisoned.
Lastly, avoid going there during summer months of June to August. Temperatures during these months can be extreme. If you find yourself in Kuwait during this time, you may just have to stay put in your air-conditioned hotel room because sightseeing in the scorching sun is an uncomfortable experience. Winter (December to March) is the best time to visit Kuwait, as the weather is pleasant during that period.
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