Living in Kuwait
Weekend activities in Kuwait
Listed here are some popular weekend getaways, and other activities in Kuwait which you could choose to relax with friends and family over the weekend.
There are plenty of attractions and places to visit in Kuwait during weekends. Here are some popular attractions worth visiting.
Although malls and shopping centres are the major attractions in Kuwait, if you are the sort of traveller who likes to visit and experience something other than what you usually get to see in your hometown, then, this could be the destination for you. Ladies are expected to wear the abaya before entering the Mosque, and all are expected to remove shoes before entering prayer rooms. There is no fee for visiting the Mosque. You may be provided with some literature to help you understand the parallels to Christianity. If you are the open-minded sort of person, and not hesitant about experiencing a different culture rather than from your own, then this is the place to visit.
The Scientific Centre
The Scientific Centre of Kuwait is a gift from Late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to people of Kuwait. The Scientific Centre aims to improve sciences and cultural heritage of Kuwait. The main attractions here are the IMAX theatre, The Aquarium and the Discovery Place.
Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Arts
More than 30000 items collected over a period of more than 50 years are displayed in this private museum belonging to Tareq Sayed Rajab and his English wife. You can find several interesting collection of artefacts from all over the Islamic world, Asia and Far East. The museum located in the residential area of Jabriya is worth a visit.
A renowned landmark of Kuwait, it is best to catch a view of Kuwait city from here, especially at night-time. You could also plan a dinner at the top of the towers.
Kuwait National Museum>
This simple museum is worth a visit, as it holds within its walls a lot of history and insights on how Kuwait was in early days, and the present. It is a must-visit for first-time travellers. The entry to National Museum is free. The modern Planetarium forms a part of the museum complex with shows at around 18:00 daily.
House of Mirrors
The House of Mirrors is a landmark in Kuwait, and just as its name suggests is almost totally covered by mirror mosaics. Each room in the house has a story to tell, starting from representation of mother earth and ending with true marks of Kuwait history.
In the oil-rich Kuwait, there are plenty of malls and shopping centres that can be explored one after the other on weekends, for those who love to go on a shopping spree.
The Avenues is the biggest and best mall in Kuwait, without doubt. The huge mall has all major brands and restaurant chains, and you can shop till you drop dead. There are coffee bars and kids play area too. The mall is very well planned and built, and suits most budgets. However, when visiting on weekend, parking may be a little difficult.
Located amidst Mubarak al-Kabir, Ahmad al-Jaber & Ali al-Salem streets, the Souk Al-Mubarakiya, the shopping area, shows how the old Arabian market looks like. The whole area has been restored and divided into rows of shops, with each row of shop displaying their speciality like spices, deserts, vegetables, fish market square and butcher’s square. You can also purchase clothing and souvenir from the market. There are money exchange tellers too. The place also includes traditional tasty snacks and restaurants.
The 360 mall is a large mall with some branded stores like The Geant Market, Marks & Spencer, Toys R us, and several other departmental stores and supermarkets. It has everything a person needs, including electronics and decent pricing. The decor of the mall is elegant too.
The Fish Market
This is an air conditioned fish market and is an added attraction for visitors and fish buyers. The place is clean, with different varieties of fresh catch being sold at reasonable prices, which fluctuate based on catch and demand. Your choice can range from barracudas, snapper, nuawibee, and zubaidee to many more. There is also a vegetable and meat market in the same building, and so your lunch will fit any pocket.
The mall is quite fascinating with several branded stores, lovely coffee shops and restaurants, big garden and kids’ area. The mall offers a panoramic view of Kuwait City from the marina and the view of the Persian Gulf is breathtaking.
Villa Moda is a Kuwaiti luxury department store featuring fashion and clothing items from best designers. The new premises of Villa Moda is a 100,000 square foot glass-club emporium, overlooking the Persian Gulf. The building is divided internally into fashion "aquariums", with renowned brands that include Fendi, Gucci and Ferragamo, along with Vertu, the luxury communications company and two multi-brand shops.
Souq Sharq is one of the most successful shopping destinations in Kuwait. It has a unique blend of first class retail outlets and a wealth of high quality services and amenities including marina, cinemas, boutiques, food courts and more. It is one of the best attractions in Kuwait, and a stunning architectural masterpiece surrounded by promenades on all sides. Souq Sharq could also be the ideal place to catch up with friends after shopping and enjoy a delicious meal while feasting your eyes on the panoramic views over the Marina.
Sports and games
Kuwait City, being in proximity to water, there are various water sports for both locals and visitors to enjoy. If you are a sports-lover, you consider one such activity on a weekend.
You can also plan a boat trip across the beautiful Kuwait Bay. Kuwait is home to various boating clubs with marinas. These clubs host boating activities, races, and other types of recreational boating excursions. There are reefs that lie off-shores of Kuwait which are home to all sorts of marine life. Water taxis run regularly and boat trips to Failaka Islands and other locations are organized by several touristic enterprises and organizations. Water taxis serve the coastal cities of the region, and they are cheaper. If you wish, you could take your camera along, to catch the amazing city views from the water.
The Olympic-size Ice-Skating Rink in Kuwait is one of the best in the region, with a seating capacity of 1600. It is home to the Kuwaiti Falcons, the official ice-hockey team, and the only Arab team to win membership of International Ice Hockey Federation. When the rink is not used for Falcon games the skating facilities can be used, which also helps escape the desert heat.
All the way along the Arabian Gulf Street, there are wonderful beaches, and the water tends to be on the shallow side for serious swimmers, but can be considered for a weekend visit with family.
Diving & Snorkelling
Diving in Kuwait’s warm, shallow waters is a pleasant way to spend time. The warm and shallow waters of Kuwait Bay may be the perfect beginning for starters and expert divers and snorkelers alike. Some diving centres can even take you diving to the islands of Kubar and Umm al-Maradim, which is home to several interesting ocean wildlife species, or to the Donkey Reef.
There are several companies that offer dive outfits, for day trips or half-day trips. You can try the Dive Caroline at Messilah Water Village or the 5-star PADI at the KIM Center for diving and snorkelling trips to outer islands of Kubar and Umm al-Maradim. If you have not taken a dive before, you can even obtain certification from one of the several diving schools in Kuwait city.
Shaab Leisure Park
Occupying a large, open area, this landscaped park offers rides, bungee jumping and pony riding. For a unique souvenir, you could also try the video cinema, where visitors can make their own music video.
The KIM Centre organizes kayaking tours for beginners and experienced kayakers. The sites that you are likely to visit may be the same as divers, but you can stay warm and dry over the water. The region has plenty of birdlife to be observed and kayaking may be the best way to reach those far-off islands in the bay.
Other activities to consider
Here are few more weekend ideas that you may want to consider:
Learn Bedouin arts and crafts
Bedouin women teach traditional Bedouin weaving to locals and tourists at the Sadu House at the National Museum Complex. This centuries-old technique produces some of the most interesting textiles in the world. Yu can also consider learning traditional Kuwaiti crafts, poetry and visual arts at Beit Kothan, a traditional Kuwaiti house. Workshops are also conducted regularly in drawing, painting and crafts for those interested.
Visit Kuwait Bookshop
For those who love reading books over the weekend, the Kuwait Bookshop at Al Muthanna Centre, Safat Basement, offers a wide selection of bestsellers, books on current affairs and local interest, and this could be your right destination to look for English language books.
Take a stroll through the Friday market (also known as Souq Al Juma) during weekends. Located in Shuwaikh, a prime industrial area of Kuwait, the market is a huge open air space, where you can stroll through sipping a hot cup of tea, or just enjoy the several simple things there, such as some attractive Iranian and Pakistani antiques. The market is especially crowded in the evening as the weather is more favourable then. The place also contains second hand merchandises of everything under the sun, and brand new pets, kitchen ware, vehicles, furniture, antiques, hardware, makeup, clothes, shoes, food, sun glasses, and more.
Boushahri Art Gallery
Located in Salmiya, close to the Arabian Gulf Road, this long established gallery showcases some contemporary regional work. Established by Jawad Boushahri in 1982, the art gallery and library form part of the Boushahry Group, a business conglomerate involved in large-scale services ranging from importing photographer’s products and pharmaceuticals, to shipping. The gallery has hosted shows by Iranian and Sudanese artists, renowned artists such as Adam Henein and by Kuwaiti women. The gallery also has an education function with an expanding art libraby that can reach to young Kuwaiti artists.
Weekend Ideas for Children
Kuwait has several parks of varying standards for children, and in most residential areas, you can find green play areas. When walking along the Corniche, there are several slides, swings, climbing frames and inflatable slides and soft play areas in the malls for smaller children to play in. Here’s a list of ideas that children of all ages can enjoy.
This is a fun-packed indoor area meant for children, located within The Avenues Mall. There are several rides and amusements and games, situated right beside the Food Court on the first floor.
Located on Level 3 within the 360 degree Mall, Infinity and the Family Entertainment Centre in the mall offers an array of entertainment activities including roller coaster rides, rope course, drop tower, video games, rock climbing, bowling, flight simulator experience and more. There is also the Freeze Club meant for teens with a wide range of games and simulator experience.
Colour Me Mine
This is a ceramic design and painting cafe that appeals to children and adults alike. Located in Marina Crescent in Salmiya, the prices depend on the piece that you choose to paint, apart from additional charges for the paint. A second branch is likely to open in the Avenues too. For details, call 22244604.
Located 20km from Kuwait City near Doha along the northern side of Kuwait Bay, there are a range of amusements based on themes from the ‘Arab’, ‘International’ and ‘Future World’. The park is considered to be one of the best for family entertainment.
The Scientific Centre
This fantastic facility at Arabian Gulf Street houses world-class aquarium, IMAX Theatre, and Discovery Area. There is a Dhow Harbour too outside and food and beverages are available, apart from a shop selling a variety of gifts for children.
Musical Fountain and Discovery Mall
The musical dancing fountain is one of the largest and has a garden with green spaces and family seating situated off the First Ring Road. The Discovery Mall is located is specially designed for children and features toy and clothes shops, play facilities, food court and indoor football pitch called ‘goal’.
There are sea clubs located within Fahaheel, Ras Al Ardh and Shaab. Each of these has variety of facilities such as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, beaches, parks and tennis courts and marshal arts.
Located in Omarrya on the airport road, the zoo covers 180,000 square metres of park land. There are several animals here, and opening times from 8am to 8pm.
Little Jungle is a smaller zoo than Kuwait Zoo, and is meant for smaller children, who can pat a pony, grab a goat, and think of going near caterpillars, while parents can have some time for themselves too.
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