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Kuwait Travel Guide

Its full name is The State of Kuwait, an area of 17,800 square kilometres, which is surrounded by Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. This Middle Eastern country has around 2.2 million folk living in it, who are mainly of Kuwaiti and Arab descent. The people speak English and Arabic and have a mixture of Muslim, Hindu and Christian religions. When it comes to money, the country makes most of its profit from petrochemicals, petroleum and desalination with the main trading being with the USA, Japan and India.

Since 1899, Britain managed overseas dealings and securities for the reigning Kuwaiti Al Sabah dynasty. In 1961 though, Kuwait became an independent state and lived in peace right up until 1990, when Kuwait was attacked and bombarded by Iraq. By 1991, after many weeks of in-flight assaults, an American led, UN alliance, began a ground assault, which after only 4 days of fighting, freed Kuwait from Iraq’s grip.

There’s plenty of water fun to be had in Kuwait around the Persian Gulf, with popular sports including sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming and windsurfing. Visitors will need to make detailed enquiries though on which beaches are safe, as mines and other explosive devices have been found around certain beaches. For those who prefer to stay on land though will find Kuwait City is a good place to see, a very contemporary and laid back area. One place to call whilst here is at The National Museum, situated in the heart of the town, was a building that once contained the Al-Sabah collection, one of the most essential pieces of Islamic art in the world. The place got burnt though, during Iraqi occupation, and all that remains is a lobby at the rear of the museum courtyard, used now and again for temporary exhibits. Due to this devastation, the Tareq Rajab Museum was built, housing another private collection of Islamic art. There is also another museum close to The National Museum called the Sadu House, which is dedicated to Bedouin arts and crafts and where people can actually buy Bedouin products. Another interesting building is the imposing Grand Mosque, costing a fortune to build, accommodates thousands of worshippers of Muslim faith. Further on is The Kuwait Towers, another beautiful piece of architecture, Swedish in design, the 3 towers are an awesome sight to see, with the highest being 615 feet. The towers also have an observation deck, restaurant and banqueting rooms.

Getting mobile around Kuwait is pretty easy, with the different sorts of local transport available. The price is another matter though, as buses range from the cheap local bus to the expensive intercity bus, but the intercity will provide a bit more luxury, speed and travel that bit further! Taxis are a useful means of transport too, but make sure a price is settled on before going anywhere, as there is no meter! Visitors can also rent a car to get about, as the roads are in excellent shape and the other drivers are sane!

Getting into the country, travellers can book with many airlines to get direct flights to Kuwait International Airport, only 10 miles from Kuwait City. The prices are quite costly to fly here with only a few cheap flights appearing now and again. Once landed though, visitors will find many buses and taxis waiting to take the tourists into the city, with buses being a lot cheaper. The nicest time to travel to Kuwait is from May or October, when the summer has ended and the tourists aren’t fainting from the stifling, hot heat!

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