The Avenues

Shopping Centre in Kuwait City

The largest shopping mall in Kuwait, and the second largest in the Middle East, is quite an experience. Within its different zones, it has long palm tree-lined shopping 'avenues' designed like European streets, with similar shopfront architecture to Venice or London (some with mock second floors, windows, arches, ornate alcoves and flower boxes). More than just a place to shop, it's a destination and hang-out space for Kuwaitis, who promenade these 'streets' of an evening in their national dress.

With 800 stores and counting, plus dozens of eateries and places of entertainment, it's worth stopping at an information desk to pick up a 50-page directory and map. There are parking spaces for 10,000 cars, but getting into The Avenues can be tricky, expect to queue. Kids love the Magic Planet zone, with fairground-style rides and games, there's also a cinema, five- and four-star hotels, a souk area and the bohemian Soku area – inspired by New York's SoHo neighbourhood.

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