A Walk to Explore Kuwait City

I have worked in Kuwait City specifically in Sharq area for nearly ten years. My office was located on the top floor of a long building overlooking a very vital part of this region. This location has enabled me over the years to watch and observe the tremendous developments that have taken place in this region during these few years. It has made me very interested in the area, passionate about everything new in it! The region has not only developed in construction, but also in the quality of its residents and workers.In my opinion, the city of Kuwait has become one of the best commercial centers in Kuwait, especially after young people have moved there with their ideas and diverse projects to create a balance between the old and the new, the strict serious and the pleasant interesting.

A walking tour in Kuwait City starting from Salhia, Sheraton and the Kuwaiti National Council arriving to Boursa Kuwait and the Grand Mosque and then infiltrating in the inner streets and narrow alleyways through Kipco Tower and Al Hamra Tower! This tour will inevitably open the eyes on many landmarks and hidden secrets from the history and evolution of this region.

Kuwait City is now one of the most interesting & innovative areas in this country.

If we want to talk about one of the most famous landmarks in this region Souq Al Mubarakeya, we will find that the development and the obvious youth touch has invaded this traditional ancient market and made it a destination for visitors of Kuwait from everywhere. The market has dedicated SoMu, an abbreviation for South Mubarakiya, for innovative youth projects, what has led to the migration of these generations to the market to enjoy this remarkable blend of heritage and modernity.

Kuwait City, this vital capital that was and still is one of the most important historical and ancient regions in the history of our beloved country. The years have witnessed the development of this region that once comprised the houses of the most reputable families in Kuwait, in addition to the palaces of the country’s governors and dignitaries. Kuwait City is located on the Arabian Gulf coast in the southern part of Kuwait Bay. Kuwait City’s trade and transportation needs are served by Kuwait International Airport and Mina Al-Shuwaik (Shuwaik Port). The city is locally known under the name of Deira, and consists of four district areas: Sharq, Jibla, Mirqab and Dasman.

This area in particular held houses and Diwans of Kuwait’s first inhibitors and families, way back when they worked in the sea diving for pearls.

History of Sharq

Sharq is a region that covers an area of 3 km, the eastern part of the city is delimited by the sea on the north and the east, by Mubarak Al-Kabir Street on the west, and by Ahmad Al-Jaber Street on the south. The most famous Kuwaiti families that lived there: Al-Sabah, Barrak Al-Khamis, Hussein and Shamlan Bin Ali Bensif Bin Mohamed Al Roumi, Salim bin Ali Buqmaaz, Hilal bin Fajhan al-Matairi and many others.

You find in Sharq the Dasman Palace and the British Embassy. And the region is the most famous place for the “Tawaweesh”, the pearl merchants and diving vessels trackers who buy and collect pearls from divers and re-sell them to merchants and jewelers. And the word “tawash” means “spread” and the merchants spread out in the sea in search for owners of diving vessels.

The city was inhabited by the majority of the population in Kuwait during the pre-oil era and it was surrounded by a wall and gates that protect the country from foreigners and infiltrators, as it was customary in the Arab countries in the past. The city of Kuwait has undergone many developments. It has been divided into a number of neighborhoods that turned out to be today residential and commercial areas: a large part of them is now a center for finance and business while the other part is still residential and occupied by many Kuwaiti families and residents.

There is an amazing fusion in Kuwait City between old & new, big & small, traditional & urban. This is what actually makes it magical and one of a kind.

In Sharq region, you will find the KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange) that was established in 1962 as the oldest stock market in the Gulf, the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the banks complex, the main headquarters of Kuwaiti and foreign commercial banks, in addition to the commercial centers, different shops, the famous ancient Souq Al Mubarakeya and many residential buildings. Despite the history of this ancient region and the keenness of the State to preserve its traditional identity even after the Renaissance, we began to see a tremendous development in it through the modernization of urbanization, construction and local and international commercial concepts, and Kuwait City is known today for its high towers that contain commercial and investment corporate offices not to mention luxury apartments.

Kuwait City Sights and Landmarks:

Kuwait Towers

Liberation Tower

The National Assembly of Kuwait

Seif Palace

Palace of Justice

The Great Mosque

National Library of Kuwait

Kuwait Stock Exchange

Sheikh Jaber Al – Ahmad Cultural Center

Al Shaheed Park

Those who work daily in this region are aware of the change that has taken place since the beginning of the last decade. The capital of Kuwait does no longer comprise ministries, government facilities and large commercial and investment projects only, but it has been transformed to include many new leisure and cultural facilities. Young people have moved to this region with their projects and companies to add their touch to this ancient city and transform it into the perfect fusion between old and new, traditional and urban. The streets, alleys and mezzanines are filled with shops, youth projects, small boutiques, cafes and restaurants that invite new generations to gather, meet, discuss and talk about everything that interests them in art, literature and business, thus making this region a land for renewed ambitions and developed visions.

Gather your friends and go for a walk, explore the narrow allies & the hidden gems. You will be amazed of how this area changes in front of your eyes with every step.

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