Fridays are special day in Kuwait because it´s a day of rest. No work and mostly a day spent on going to the Mosque , praying, meeting friends and family, but also a time to shop.I would spend most of my fridays doing a bit of sightseeing, shopping and going to the nearby markets. My favourite place to visit was the Souk Mubarakiya in Kuwait city. It´s a crazy place, very thick crowds, mostly composed of expats living there and very diversified locals. It´s really a must-see place to see if you happen to visit Kuwait.
On Friday morning, it is full of people, esp.men. Yes, majority of the crowds are men dressed in Deeshdasha, either chatting and waiting on the streets, vendors, and lots of Arabs in circles chatting. I don´t know exactly what are their nationalities because there are just too many. But most probably from Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, India, Bangladesh and others.They loved to gather in circles or sitting in Diwaniyas ,drinking tea and just being cozy, or”Gezellig“.
The first time I went there, I can´t forget the chaos, the smell, the noise, and the movements of people. It´s full of hustle ad bustle and the vendors are talking in Arabic language that rings through my ears.I stood for a moment because I need to see what´s going on. When you lived in this place as an Asian, of course you would attract attention. Not only because you are a girl, not wearing the traditional Abaya and face coverings, but also it´s like a norm that men in Arab countries loved to stare. It´s just uncomfortable and I am not used to that.
You can find everything in the Souk Mubarakiya. It´s a large market, divided into many different parts. There´s the Gold Souk, where they sell so many different kinds of jewelries, gold and those bling blings. Expats are drawn to visit this place because here you can find lots of good finds, especially if you´re saving up on your gold collection. A perfect gift to send home perhaps.
Then further are the wet markets.There´s the vegetable section, fruit section, and the Meat & Fish section. It is chaotic and busy. I brought my in laws here and they´ve quite loved the diversity and unique things that they´ve seen. I personally loved the traditional Arabian part that sells local Kuwaiti spices, carpets, perfumes or Oud, the carpets, and traditional clothing.
There are other Souks spread across Kuwait. I´ve visited the one in Fahaheel and Salmiya, and Souk Sharq as well. The Fish market in Sultan Center near Souk Sharq has a great selection of fishes and other fresh catch from the sea. I think I have indulged in seafoods in Kuwait because they are really abundant and cheap compared to the availability of those things here in Germany. Here they are quite expensive. I even dig my own mussels and shells during lowtides in Kuwait and that is something I have never done in my whole life! You can even haggle and they don´t mind it.Its also one of the best “Golden Hour” I´ve witnessed in the Arabian Gulf.
For normal grocery shopping, I frequented the local Lulu Hypermarket, Sultan Center and one thing that I cannot forget is that after every grocery,our cart is always full of plastic. In Kuwait, they used too much plastic bags which is never a thing here in Germany. Here we always bring our own bags and packed our own things! My favourite thing to grab was the local Baklavas which are not so sweet, compared the ones from Turkey and the delicious Anabtawi sweets, nuts and Dates.
Another cool thing to do is visiting the local flea market, which we call in the native language “Haraj“. There you can see lots of pre-owned clothing, toys, carpets, and many many unique things. There are huge part filled with beddings and linens which I really love. They have nice furnitures as well and it´s a place where you can see a lot of cultural fusion. It´s also a great place to see how locals interact with the expats.
Until then, Servus and Tschüss!