Good Things Come to Those Who Ku’wait

Written by Jo Malcolm

On 13 April last year, an AI generated woman called “Fedha” made her debut on the Twitter/ X account of Kuwait News, an affiliate of the Kuwait Times.

A bit weird, really, especially since she was speaking in Arabic, is blonde and in Western clothes. In a country where most people are black-haired with lovely dark eyes. But there was Fedha, reputedly the first AI-generated newsreader in the world in flesh and blood, as it were, for all to see.

Apart from the Fedha-the-robot story, you almost never hear or read anything about the tiny sunny Sultanate of Kuwait on the Persian Gulf.

Sadly, it’s famous for the long-finished Gulf War and of course its massive oil industry, but it’s the very fact that Kuwait is not an obvious traveller’s choice that makes it so worth a trip. Especially when it’s cold in other parts of the world and you want to avoid almost any tourists.

Forget the oil terminals and pipelines and focus on the rest. You will find Kuwait is a dynamic, friendly, international and hospitable country. With intense colours, bright light, turquoise seas, untouched beaches, and in its capital, Kuwait City, beautiful cutting-edge architecture.

Along with these attractions, and because three quarters of the country’s 4.3 million population are migrant workers, means you can also find all kinds of little communities in the space of only a few kilometres.

When I’m in Kuwait I go to a local baqqala (grocer’s) run by Iranians, get a massage from a Thai lady, have spicey lunch sometimes in a modest Sri Lankan restaurant, and buy bread round the corner from an Egyptian baker’s.

You can also meet Filipinos’, Indians, Bangladeshi, Yemeni, and Afghans all in the course of a day.

Add to that, the haunting muezzin calls to prayer, the heat, the fast driving, the handsome men in their white dishdashas and ghutras’, the Arabic coffee, and general sensation of life lived intensely, and you get a little bit of the feel of Kuwait.

If you have just a few days in the country, I suggest a quick visit to the iconic Kuwait Towers, designed by a Swedish architect and built in the late 1970s. You can get a lift up one of them and enjoy an expensive meal with a fabulous view at the top. The head waiter is from Lebanon and the service is exquisite.

And if you like contrast, you could take a little trip to the glossy Al Kout Mall in the south of the country, spend a fortune in its luxury stores, and finish up with a wander around the bustling little harbour with its jostling fishermen and elegant old-worldly dhows.

If you would like more information about Kuwait please contact

Recommended Read: Whatever’s on my Kindle
Recommended Listening: Arabic music recommended by Kuwaitis

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