This emirate sharing the gulf with Iraq attracts more businessmen than tourists. However, those wanting to travel to Kuwait will find interesting desert landscapes and beautiful beaches skirting the Persian Gulf. The country also has one of the largest amusement parks in the Middle East in Doha Village. Most of the trip will be spent in Kuwait City, a patchwork of high buildings, luxury hotels, big and well kept parks and gardens.
Security: In Kuwait City the FCO advise you maintain a high level of security awareness, exercise caution, particularly in public places and on the roads, and avoid large crowds and demonstrations. The FCO advises that you exercise caution if you intend to travel through or to conservative areas such as Jahra and Jleeb As Shuyoukh. The FCO also advises taking caution before sailing in Kuwaiti waters due to martime restrictions. See full official advice.
Surface area : 17820.0 km2
Population : 2418393 inhabitants
Like its neighbours, Kuwait has dozens of Americanised shopping centres with increasingly high standards. They have become very popular meeting points for friends and particularly for youngsters. The prices are often higher than in Europe but you may be able to find some good deals during the sales period in February. However, what most visitors prefer are the traditional old souks. As a souvenir, you can bring back Bedouin items bought in the beautiful Sadu House in Kuwait City, which is also home to a museum dedicated to the nomads of the desert. The shops are open from Saturday to Wednesday from 8:00am to 2:00pm and 4:30pm to 7:00pm.
Kuwaiti restaurants offer a patchwork of the world's cuisine with an emphasis on Indian dishes. The local cuisine is representative of the Middle East. It includes "foul" (a purée of lava beans, garlic and lemon), falafel (spiced chick pea balls served on plain round flat bread) and hummus (a purée of chick peas, garlic, sesame seeds and lemon). The main dishes are kebabs, chicken and stews. No wine or alcohol is served in the restaurants.
Although Kuwaiti Islam is more liberal than Saudi Arabian Islam, you should respect the Islamic customs: do not wear shorts, short skirts or low-cut clothing. Keep in mind that almost every piece of luggage is searched at customs. Thus, we advise against importing pork-based products, alcohol and goods from Israel. Lastly, the common-law status is not recognized in Kuwait.
Learn a few words in Arabic and you will find the Kuwaitis much more open. Ask for permission before taking pictures of the inhabitants.
For business meetings, be punctual and never cross your legs or expose the soles of your shoes. Coffee is a real institution here and any invitation to have some (or even tea, for that matter) should never be turned down.