Kuwait | Scenes from a year

With the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan earlier this week, I am reminded that I have been working here in Kuwait for a year now; a year that has literally flown by – in the words of Pink Floyd ‘every year is getting shorter’.

I also realised that I haven’t written any specific blogs about my experiences here, which seems strange given that I usually pounce on any opportunity to gather blogging material. However, I think this is due to a couple of reasons, firstly I spend many weekends visiting Mrs E in Dubai, so most of my time here is spent working – and secondly, Kuwait itself does not have the abundance of touristic opportunities that are typically found elsewhere. No ‘hop on, hop off’ bus services, a lack of tour companies offering easy to book tours – just google ‘tours in Kuwait’ and you will see what I mean. That’s not to say that there aren’t interesting things to see and do here, quite the contrary, but I guess I’ve been a bit lazy in figuring out how to experience them. It’s also worth pointing out that in the heat of the summer months, the temperatures here get into the 50’s (>120 f)!

So, in the absence of any dedicated blogs, these are some of my favourite photos that I have taken here throughout the year.

The 2 pictures above are of Marina Beach, in Salmiya, a very popular place with the locals; and these next 2 were taken from the seafront at the nearby Kuwait Marina Hotel, looking across the bay to the skyline of Kuwait City.

Early in my stay here, a group of us had a night out at Souk Mubarakiya, in Kuwait City. A collection of hectic narrow streets, full of amazing sounds and scents, and people! Say hi to Mohammed the date man, and check out where we had a really delicious dinner!

Before I came to Kuwait for the first time, the one image that I was aware of was the Kuwait Towers. These unique water towers opened in 1979, and form part of a group of more than 30 giant water towers spread throughout the country.

Visitors can access the viewing gallery located in the smaller sphere in the right hand tower; a cafe and choice of restaurants are also available. The viewing gallery is 123 meters high (equivalent to around 40 stories), and rotates through 360 degrees every 30 minutes, giving great views of the city.

Located just a mile or so from the Kuwait Towers is Sharq Souq Mall, a waterfront shopping area, complete with marina – a great place to spend a couple of hours shopping and exploring.

But for serious shoppers, there really is only one place to go in Kuwait, Avenues Mall – it’s gigantic, and is certainly up there with the mega-malls of Dubai.

This first shot below is the really cool entrance to one of the cinemas at the mall, which I posted on instagram, and it was then re-posted on the mall’s own instagram account – fame for expatsteveblog!

Second up is one of the numerous eateries at the mall, I just really liked the colours and simplicity of the layout. Then, can you really overdose on chocolate? (I’ve never thought so) – lastly, one of the many shopping avenues, that gives the mall it’s name.

Back to the water front for the next 2 shots, the first features The Al-Hashemi II, the largest dhow ever built. It sits at the Radisson Blu hotel, serving as their conference centre, and is even featured in the Guinness Book of Records.

Another one from the Kuwait Marina hotel, with their very welcoming swimming pool, again with a great view across to Kuwait City.

Finally, to the district in which I live, it’s called Sabah al Salem, and whilst I have a very comfortable 1 bed apartment, the surrounding area is little more than a giant building site. I included the first shot below in my review of 2018, as it features my apartment block, which is on the right of the 2 smaller blocks, and then to finish, a picture I took just this week – showing the view just after dusk, from my apartment window.

So that’s year 1 over with – during year 2, I’d like to take some time to visit the things that I’ve missed this year, especially nearby Failaka Island, but I suspect that will have to wait until towards the end of the year, when the temperatures cool down a bit again.

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