When you think about popular tourist destinations globally, the chances are that Kuwait will be far from your mind. This little oil-rich country on the Persian Gulf is not everyone’s first choice for an exciting vacation. The destination is often brushed off with the perception that there might be nothing to see here but desert life. Surprisingly, that’s not an accurate portrayal of this elegant middle-eastern country.
However, we are here to change your mind and tell you that Kuwait is a tourist gem just waiting to be discovered. Did you know that Kuwait is fondly called the Hollywood of the Gulf? While it’s true that the place is mostly desert, it has plenty of attractions to offer, from historical mosques to beautiful beaches. The authentic Arab charm of the place and the bustling urban populace make Kuwait more than just a desert oasis.
Kuwait should be pretty high up on your list of places to visit if you like to be a trailblazer and be the first among your friends to visit a new destination. Apart from the bragging rights, you’ll also get to enjoy the country’s intriguing attractions and natural wonders. If you’re intrigued about the country now, here’s everything you need to know about traveling to Kuwait.
Visa Requirements to Travel to Kuwait
The best part of visiting Kuwait is that it has one of the most sophisticated and streamlined visa application systems worldwide. Therefore, the entry is almost hassle-free and quick. Citizens of Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia are exempt from visa to enter Kuwait; everyone else needs a visa to enter the gulf country.
What makes it convenient is that people from around 52 countries, all EU nations, the US, Japan, Canada, and Australia, can apply online for a visa by completing the visa form of Kuwait. Suppose you are a citizen of any other country than the ones listed above. In that case, you’ll have to visit the embassy or consulate to apply for different kinds of visas depending on the purpose of your visit.
Those eligible for eVisa can fill the online Kuwait visa application form by providing simple details like name, date of birth, nationality, address, and passport number. Once done, travelers will be required to pay a small fee, and then the eVisa will be sent by email.
Upon arrival in Kuwait, travelers will be required to show their passport and visa to border authorities and have a physical hard copy of the eVisa on their person during their stay. The eVisa allows up to 90 days of stay, and one must be careful not to overstay their welcome.
Best Time to Travel to Kuwait
It’s recommended to avoid traveling to Kuwait during the summer months because the weather in Kuwait city and the country is characterized as hot and dry. The summer months from April to October experience extremely high temperatures typical of a desert. Since you’ll be spending time outside, it is not ideal or advisable. You can check the weather on an accurate AI-based weather forecast website before planning your Kuwait vacation.
Plan your trip to Kuwait during the spring (March to May) or Autumn (September to October). During these seasons, the temperature in Kuwait is milder in comparison and experiences little rain, which makes it the perfect time to enjoy Kuwait’s beautiful beaches. The winter months are also good if you don’t mind more rain, as the weather is pleasant with warm days and chilly evenings.
Things to Keep In Mind in Kuwait
Before heading to Kuwait city or the country of Kuwait, bear in mind that the Kuwaiti culture is quite conservative. It’s an Islamic country, and religion dictates the customs and laws of the place. As such, anything that Islam prohibits is illegal in the country. Therefore, pork, alcohol, homosexuality, pornography, and cross-dressing, among other things, are prohibited in Kuwait.
Moreover, the holy month of Ramadan is quite important in Kuwait, as is expected, and locals follow strict rules, including all-day fasting. While visitors are not expected to follow the same ritual, they must not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum in public during this month; if caught, they will be fined or imprisoned.
Seeing how strict the rules and regulations of the place are, it may seem intimidating for first-time travelers to Kuwait. However, Kuwait is highly safe to travel to if visitors respect the culture and carry their passports and the eVisa all the time. And the attractions in Kuwait make the trip quite worthwhile.
Top Places to Check Out in Kuwait
Once you’re in Kuwait, you’ll find many reasons to go back to the country again. Here are some of the top places to check during the Kuwait visit that will put the country high up in your travelogue.
- Arabian Desert: The Arabian Desert is one of the best experiences here and is best experienced during October-March. Take a camel safari or SUV to enjoy the desert experience. Visitors can also indulge in sunset watching, dune bashing, and quad biking in the desert. And if you have time, book a Bedouin tent for a night’s stay in the desert for an unforgettable experience.
- Pristine Beaches: With access to the Persian Gulf, Kuwait has some cleanest beaches with white sand, and Messilah Beach is on top of the list. Tourists can enjoy water sports, barbecues, and other beach activities. If you are a fan of scuba diving, head to Kubbar Island to experience rich marine life.
- Failaka Island: Just an hour’s ferry ride from Kuwait, Failaka Island is a must-have day trip. The archeological site is home to crumbling buildings with bullet holes from the Iraqi invasion and is a monument to the devastation of war. There are accommodation options here with cafes and boat tours if you wish to spend more time.
- Kuwait Towers: Kuwait Towers offer a scenic view of Kuwait City and the Gulf. There are three towers; however, the main tourist attraction is the twin towers with blue spheres on top. The blue sphere on top houses rotating cafes, where you can enjoy a hearty lunch in buffet style while enjoying the view.
- Souq Al-Mubarakiya: Souq Al-Mubarakiya is also called the “Big Market” in Kuwait and is a must-visit. This 200-year old marketplace specializes in authentic Arabian artifacts, Persian silk carpets, perfumes, jewelry, and spices. The best part, there’s no value-added tax in Kuwait, so don’t forget to stock up on souvenirs.
These are just a part of what makes this desert nation one of the memorable destinations. If you can look past the strict laws and conservative culture, you are sure to take home a lifetime’s worth of memories.