Kuwait’s most famous landmark, the Kuwait Towers, with their distinctive blue-green ‘sequins’, are worth a visit for the prospect of sea and city that they afford Designed by a Swedish architectural firm and opened in 1979, the largest of the three towers rises to a height of 187m, and houses a two-level revolving observation deck, gift shop and cafe.
Once the pride of Kuwait, the National Museum remains a shadow of its former self. The centrepiece of the museum, the Al-Sabah collection , was one of the most important collections of Islamic art in the world.
This innovative museum encapsulates the horror of the Iraqi invasion and honours the sacrifices that Kuwaiti citizens, the Kuwaiti military and the allies made in order to beat back Saddam’s forces. The exhibits comprise a set of well-crafted models of the city that are illuminated in time with an audio recording in English.
Located in the residential suburb of Qurain, a 20-minute taxi ride southeast of the city centre, this small museum is a memorial to a cell of young Kuwaiti patriots who tried to resist arrest in February 1991 To understand what invasion meant to the ordinary Kuwait family, allow half an hour to visit this sobering museum, if only to see copies of documents issuing instruction.
With traditional wind-tower architecture, this small area of craft workshops is part of a development along the coast that includes walking paths and fountains. The workshops are open at variable times and some of the items are for sale.
Adjacent to the Maritime Museum on Arabian Gulf St, this attractive, traditional-style building hosts a number of exhibitions of contemporary art throughout the year. Check the Art Kuwait website for a calendar of events.
Located next to the ice-skating rink, this outdoor display is said to have the fourth-largest set of fountains in the world.
True to its origins, Kuwait City has retained the old souq in all of its complex, bustling and convoluted glory in the city centre.
Housed in a fine, sail-shaped building on the corniche, the Scientific Center’s mesmerising aquarium is the largest in the Middle East. The unique intertidal display, with waves washing in at eye level, is home to shoals of black-spotted sweetlips and the ingenious mudskipper. But the most spectacular part of the display (with giant spider crabs at 3.
Giving an excellent insight into the seafaring heritage of Kuwait, the entrance of this new museum is graced with three magnificent dhows. Dhows and boons like these brought water from the Shatt al-Arab waterway near Basra to the bone-dry city, making a tidy profit from thirsty inhabitants.
Although not strictly open to the casual caller, the impressive Arab Fund Building, with a host of exceptionally beautiful rooms, is worth the trouble of gaining access.
Forming part of the National Museum complex, the quaint Popular Traditional Museum – variously described as Heritage Museum and Culture Museum – is in Building 2, in the rear of the museum complex.
Comprising over 10km of winding paths, parks and beaches on Arabian Gulf St (sometimes referred to locally as Gulf Rd), the corniche is marked at its southern end by the Scientific Center and at its northernmost point by the Kuwait Towers.
Close to the National Museum, this interesting white building with its distinctive canopy was designed by Jørn Utzon, the Danish architect who also designed the Sydney Opera House, and was completed in 1985. The two sweeping roofs were designed to evoke Bedouin tents and the building is befitting of the first parliament of the region.