Nestled right between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Kuwait is hardly a traditional tourist vacation spot. The original settlers of the country came from the Al Utub and Al Anisa tribes from modern day Saudi Arabia’s Najd province. In fact, the word Kuwait is derived from the Arabic word ‘koot’ which means fortress. The weather is generally dry and warm, with the summers being quite intense. The weather is much cooler during the winter months. While the cities are generally modern and have excellent facilities, the Islamic country is a bit conservative. However, for those who have a taste for adventure and are interested in learning more about Arab customs and culture, this is the ideal place to visit.
There are a number of sights one should not miss when visiting Kuwait. The Souk Al-Mubarakiya, located in Kuwait City, is one of them. A souk (alternatively spelled as souq and even sook) is a traditional Arab open air market. Historically these markets were located outside the city where the caravans would stop and merchants would sell their goods. They were not just markets where goods were bought and sold but venues for festivals and other social activities. As their importance became more widely recognised souks were relocated and now can be found in nearly all Arab cities. While some are small and solitary others are large and crowded, and it is fairly impossible to vacation in an Arab country without visiting one.
The Souk Al-Mubarakiya is a market that specialises in antiques and vintage items. The market is a little old fashioned, from the décor to the way business is conducted (bargaining is expected). In addition to antiques one can also find vegetables, fruits, fish and other groceries as well as regular household items, clothing etc. Other popular souks in the country’s capital include Souk Al-Hareem, the Persian Carpet Souk and the Gold Souk.
Kuwait is a well-developed country and the local infrastructure is excellent. The public transport is efficient and good Kuwait hotels are not difficult to come by. When it comes to accommodation the Al-Jahra Copthorne Hotel & Resort is a popular choice. The Kuwait resort boasts terrific amenities and is only a twenty minute drive from the Kuwait City Centre.