Important facts and information to know when visiting Kuwait
Kuwait is one of the regions smallest nations – but also one of the most oil-rich holding 10% of the world’s known oil reserves. Kuwait City is on Kuwait Bay, where most of the countries population reside.
When it comes to tourism though, probably not in the same league as many of its neighbouring states who have looked to diverse their GDP through expanding other industries. The city does have some attractions that will keep kids entertained but there’s not much beyond and into the desert (other than a lot of oil!)
Visiting Kuwait Important Facts
|Official Name||State of Kuwait|
|Currency||Kuwait Dinar (KWD/KD) | 1KD=1000fils | 1KD=3.32USD market rate
|Language||Arabic (But English, Farsi, Urdu widely spoken)
|Religion||Islam, majority Sunni
|Leadership||Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, selects parliament
|Important Dates||National Day Feb, Liberation Day 26 Feb & Islamic holidays
|Climate||Hot arid desert|
|Electrics||Type G (British)
|Visas||Kuwait Tourist Visa online required
|Safety||No current safety warnings
Kuwait visa information
- You must apply for a Kuwait Visit Visa in advance
- Visitors from 52 designated countries are allowed to apply for their visa online – you will receive a confirmation email in return which you present at passport control
- Citizens of Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia are exempt from obtaining visas
- All other countries will need to apply through their Kuwait embassy for a standard Visit Visa sponsored by a company or family member
Point for family visitors to be aware of in Kuwait
- Ladies are not required to wear a head covering but should dress conservatively in public – you can see our complete guide on what to wear here.
- It is best for ladies to be covered with tshirt and shorts at a public beach rather than bathers, but the rules are much more liberal at private beach clubs.
- Men and women wishing to cohabitate must be married. Homosexuality is completely outlawed.
General travel tips for visiting Kuwait
- Kuwait is a relatively safe country to visit. However, like many countries in the region, 2020 has seen an increase in threats against western interests. You can see the latest UK Foreign Travel advice here | US State Department advice for Kuwait
- Respect the Islamic culture at all times, this is particularly important during the holy month of Ramadan.
- Kuwait is a dry country, meaning there is no alcohol service at any hotels and clubs.
- Pork is also prohibited from being imported or consumed in Kuwait.
- Crime rates are incredibly low in Kuwait, but especially solo travelling women may find verbal and physical harassment can occur.
- Take care when taking photos. Local women should never be photographed, nor many government building, even some shopping centres.
- Visitors should carry their passport with them at all times.
See our regional guide to culture and religion for more – coming soon
When is it best to visit Kuwait
Kuwait sits at the top of the Persian Gulf and is one of the hottest places on earth mid-summer. Completely surrounded by desert, expect a crisp dry heat though, not as humid as other Middle East cities.
Due to the extreme temperatures, the city is well equipped with malls, restaurants and indoor play spaces. You are best visiting during the cooler months if you wish to experience the full range of what the city has to offer families.
Most popular attractions in Kuwait
Kuwait has little in the way of geographic features but does house some cultural and historic attractions in amongst the very modern facade. These are a few highlights popular with visitors:
- Kuwait Towers – one of Kuwait’s most iconic tourist attraction are three water towers that stand proudly on the waterfront.
- The Scientific Centre – includes an aquarium, IMAX cinema and Discovery Centre.
- Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre – a new addition to the museum district of Kuwait City
- Popular parks and playgrounds include the Shaab Leisure Park, the Aqua Park (behind the Kuwait Towers), music and water display next to Discovery Mall and the cities largest, Al Shaheed Park.
- Failaka Island – important historic island 20km off the coast.
For a more detailed family-friendly guide we recommend you check out this listing by Kuwait Moms Guide.
Kuwait with Kids – Our Travel Stories
Our complete guide on the best things to see and do coming soon!!
Contribute to this section
Have you been to Kuwait with or without kids? We are looking for more contributors to this category, can you help? Pop over and see our contributors page and find out how you can get involved in building our resource library for fellow visitors to Kuwait.
Further reading and resources on Kuwait
Blogs & Expat groups
A popular local resource that parents might find handy when visiting is Kuwait Moms Guide
Movies and literature
Most literature around Kuwait focuses on the events surrounding the Gulf War.
- Invasion Kuwait: An English Woman’s Tale
- Welcome to the State of Kuwait – Real-life experiences from an international school in Kuwait – the harsh realities with some humour thrown in on the cultural differences and struggles on the expat circuit
- Zero Dark Thirsty (Film)
- Jarhead (Film) Set around the Gulf War
Sorry, nothing specific about Kuwait in this category (yet!) Can you help?
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NB please check facts with the appropriate authorities before travelling. Information correct to best of our knowledge as at January 2020. This page contains affiliate links.