This small city-state has put its violent recent past behind it to become one of the Gulf's most surprising and rewarding destinations
Kuwait has come a long way since February 1991. When Allied forces liberated a battered city shrouded in acrid, black smoke from oil wells set alight by retreating Iraqi troops. Now glitzy hotels, shiny malls and four-lane highways abound, and the white sand beaches look perfect, with every grain of sand is in its place.
Kuwait City offers visitors the greatest rewards. The new Scientific Center boasts the biggest (and most impressive) aquarium in the Middle East, as well as an IMAX cinema and a dhow harbour where the Fateh al-Khair, the last surviving dhow of the pre-oil era, is moored. The Tareq Rajab Museum is an astonishing ethnographic museum, which escaped being plundered by Iraqi invaders because the owner bricked up the entrance door and strewed the way with rubbish. The immaculate corniche comes alive at sunset as people flock to the sea to catch a breeze and dine at the restaurants and coffee shops that line it.
If you find yourself in town between November and April, don't miss out on the opportunity to take in the camel races at the Al-Atraf Camel Racing Club. Races are held most Thursday and Fridays.
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