Following on from our Socotra Tour and linking directly to our Saudi Arabia Tour, this is the ultimate pit-stop for country collectors.
We spend a day exploring Kuwait City, from its Andalusian influenced Grand Mosque to the Al-Qurain Martyrs House which covers in detail the Iraqi invasion of 1990, which is still fresh in people’s memories. 31 young men who took a collective oath to defend their native land used this house to resist the invasion. The destruction has been left untouched.
We then begin the highlight of the tour by boarding a ferry to Failaka Island – located 20km offshore of Kuwait in the Persian Gulf. The island name meaning ‘outpost’ when Alexander the Great used it as a strategic position of the mighty ancient Greek army. During the Iraqi invasion, the Iraqis forced the island’s 2000 residents back to the mainland and Saddam’s military began mining the beaches and using the island’s facilities and buildings for target practice.
Bullet-riddled villages, an abandoned resort, and tank graveyards involving Soviet tanks & artillery are left behind for us to explore!
We conclude our tour by visiting the must-see sights of the capital and by watching the sunset from the top of the Kuwait Towers with Arabic tea in hand.
Arrival into Kuwait City at your ow leisure, with time enough to walk around, or simply relax in the hotel. Check in technically starts at 2, but can often be done sooner.
Group members meet at the lobby of our hotel at 5:00pm
Head out for a stroll near the harbour for dinner
Overnight at hotel
Thursday 9th February – Kuwait City
Our first stop of the day is Kuwait’s Grand Mosque – a dress code is required for women visiting which can be borrowed from the gatehouse. This enormous mosque is fairly unique in the region for its Andalusian architectural influence.
Visit Sadu House – a traditional Bedouin Kuwaiti house and culture
Visit the National Museum which houses the knowledge of the Arabian peninsula, the geography, history and civilization.
Stop by the Al-Qalalif Diwaniyah – the most important craft and profession in Kuwait of the past, manufacturing wooden sailing ships. This was taught down by generations. With over 450 members, most of whom are elderly.
Lunch in the city
Visit the must-see museum of Kuwait, which is not for the faint-hearted, the Al-Qurain Martyrs House which depicts the Iraqi invasion during the Gulf War. One of the documents on display is an official order found in an Iraqi vehicle instructing troops to “burn and destroy all homes on which there were slogans hostile to our leadership.”
Make a special visit to the Ahmad Al Jaber Oil & Gas Exhibition – named after Kuwait’s 10th ruler from 1921 to 1950, it was during his reign that the birth of Kuwait’s oil industry began. The exhibition explains and shows in great detail the formation of oil, to its discovery and all of the ways that oil products are produced today.
Watch the sunset from the top of Kuwait Towers with great views over the city
Visit the old Souq Al Mubarakeya – one of the oldest souqs in Kuwait, and was the centre of trade prior to the discovery of oil.
Explore Kuwait’s central fish market and Dhow Harbour
Dinner in town
Overnight at hotel
Friday 10th February – Failaka Island
Breakfast at hotel and pick up in our private transport to the ferry dock
9:00am departure on ferry for an hour cruising along the harbour front of Kuwait before reaching the forgotten Failaka island
Visit the Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Palace – the eleventh ruler of Kuwait, built out of sea rocks and mud. Portraits of all the former rulers of Kuwait are displayed in the majestic foyer.
We’ll then head to the location where the Failaka battle took place
Explore around an old resort on the island damaged during the war and completely abandoned
We’ll have lunch on the island at a nearby cafe
Visit what remains of the former Bank al Watani – one of the most war damaged yet standing buildings on the island
Head to the tank graveyard. Discarded Soviet tanks, APCs, artilleries, military trucks and vehicles left behind by Saddam’s military.
Drop by the heritage village to see how villagers lived on the island before the invasion
Board the 4:00pm ferry back to mainland and dropped off at hotel
Head out downtown for dinner
Overnight at hotel
Saturday 11th February– Kuwait City
Breakfast at hotel
Tour concludes. For those joining us onwards to Saudi Arabia we recommend booking and boarding the Jazeera Airways flight J9221 departing Kuwait City at 12:10pm and arriving 1:35pm in Riyadh.
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