Living in Kuwait
For a country with a population of only 3.1 million, many of whom are indigent labourers, Kuwait has an extraordinary array of super-modern shopping malls where most internationally known branded goods can be bought at fairly reasonable prices.
New shopping Complex
Opened in April 2007, The Avenue is the largest shopping mall in Kuwait which includes 250 stores of the famous companies in Kuwait , 35 Restaurants and car parking for more than 6000 cars, covering an area of 425000 square meter the site touches the fifth ring road from the south, Al-Ghazali express from the east and Mohammad Bin Qasim Street in the west , is expected to complete all phases of the project in 2008.
Kuwait’s prime shopping area is Salem Al Mubarak Street which runs parallel to Arabian Gulf Street, just one block in from the sea. The area includes the Sultan Centre (a large supermarket), several international fast-food outlets, and Kuwait’s biggest concentration of up-market shopping malls. Most shops open from 10am to 1pm and 5pm to 9:30pm on weekdays. A few are open on Fridays as well.
Zahra Complex has 54 shops on three floors of upscale shopping environment, offering high-quality fashionwear, accessories, cosmetics, perfumes, gifts, and antiques.
Al-Fanar Complex has 86 shops on three floors selling mainly international designer clothing and personal items.
New Marina Project completed in November 2002, the Marina Mall Commercial Center, which is the Fifth Stage Waterfront Project. This project is divided into two parts, a land project that includes the commercial center, and a water area that includes the Marina, a hotel, restaurants and aquatic services. These are being joined together by a 100 meter long bridge over the Gulf road.
Two other up-market shopping centres in this area are Al-Bustan and Laila Galleria. The area also contains the somewhat more down-market Tala Centre, and Wataniya and Thuraiya complexes.
Souk Salmiya is the latest addition to the shopping complexes in Salmiya. Situated near the immigration office, it has a complete range of shops covering all items, restaurants, bank and the departmental store ’City Center’.
In the City there are three shopping complexes worth a visit. Salhiya Centre, behind JW Marriott Hotel, is a concentration of boutiques selling branded goods such as Hermes, Bulgari, and Valentino. Salhiya also makes for pleasant strolling and browsing. Al-Muthanna Complex, opposite JW Marriott Hotel, is a favorite shopping centre for middle-class Kuwaitis and expatriates. With underground parking, the complex’s three shopping floors contain almost everything: fashion wear, luggage, electronic appliances, perfumes, silverware, materials, opticians, photography and art supplies. Several shops specialize in toys for kids and teenagers, and the basement contains what is probably the best bookshop in Kuwait.
Al-Watya Suq, at the back of the Sheraton Hotel, is a bit of a down-scale place. But it does contain a large number of Kuwait’s famous gold and jewelry shops, as well some good sports shops.
A new ultra modern shopping centre, Al Mohallab Centre, provides five floors exquisitely designed having 120 commercial outlets offering a full range of merchandise, a floor and a half of ‘food court’ with well laid out dining space served by a franchised restaurants and cafes, three cinema halls run by Kuwait National Cinema Company (KNCC),and the whole top floor devoted to range of medical facilities accomodating seventeen clinics.
Al-Othman Complex, recognizable by its red brick exterior. The complex has a range of clothing shops. This complex is a good place for all sorts of designer stuff at reasonable prices. Underground parking is available from behind the complex.
In 1998 a new shopping area was opened on the waterfront in Sharq. Built around a marina and recognizable by its unique square-pillar architectural style, Sharq Market is the biggest shopping complex in Kuwait both in size and the variety of shops, boutiques and supermarkets. It seems that every international brand name has an outlet there. The area includes a fresh fish market, several cafes, restaurants and cinemas, as well as a sea-promenade, a yacht club, and a health spa. Exploration requires a full day out.