Kuwait

A cul­tural gem among a re­gion of west­ern­ised grandeur, Kuwait is cer­tainly no worse off for its indige­nous fo­cus, and has plenty to of­fer the wider world as a con­se­quence

Kuwait Business Travel Guide - - KUWAIT - Writer: Matthew Staff

While not the driv­ing force be­hind the re­cent Mid­dle East­ern economic rise, Kuwait has - in its own quiet and indige­nous way - be­come a small oa­sis of cul­ture and au­then­tic­ity for those who visit its desert-dom­i­nated shores.

It hasn’t got the glitz and glam­our of Abu Dhabi or the tourist ap­peal of Dubai but what it does have in com­mon with those two thriv­ing cities is wealth.

A vast un­fath­omable amount of wealth gen­er­ated through oil - of course - has been the driver be­hind the coun­try’s rise to pros­per­ity over the years, help­ing it ride a wave of re­gional in­va­sion and na­tional tur­moil, to come out the other side as a still lu­cra­tive op­tion for in­ter­na­tional in­vestors.

As such, the ex­tent of busi­ness trav­ellers cross­ing its bor­ders each year has en­cour­aged a com­plete de­vel­op­ment of its cities - es­pe­cially the capital, Kuwait City - and the sub­se­quent rise of tourist hotspots and in­fra­struc­ture within them.

“Kuwait re­mains an oa­sis in a land of desert plains, and has ex­cel­lent mu­se­ums, a fine souq and a cor­niche of combed beaches and lively restau­rants. It all adds up to what could be the Gulf’s most in­trigu­ing des­ti­na­tion,” Lonely Planet in­dicts.

Once again though, the ap­peal when walk­ing around said cities doesn’t de­rive from a typ­i­cal west­ern­i­sa­tion or com­mer­cial­ism, but from a nat­u­ral indige­nous feel un­seen across the rest of the re­gion; en­joyed - al­beit in soar­ing Ara­bian Penin­sula tem­per­a­tures - by more and more vis­i­tors each year.

The busi­ness end

The con­sti­tu­tional emi­rate may be one of the small­est na­tions on earth, but can evolve its lands with the back­ing of the sixth largest oil re­serve in the world. Ad­di­tion­ally, the Kuwaiti di­nar is the high­est val­ued unit of cur­rency in the world, and as such, the coun­try has the fourth high­est per capita in­come of all.

More re­cent political in­sta­bil­ity has ham­pered the rapid rise of the coun­try slightly, but not so much that its economic stand­ing can’t be placed among the most se­cure and en­vi­able on the planet.

Its ex­port and trade links com­ple­ment its pe­tro­leum-based in­dus­try drivers and are sup­ported by a highly so­phis­ti­cated bank­ing sys­tem; the Kuwait Stock Ex­change be­ing the sec­ond largest of its kind in the Arab world.

“In the years that led up to and have fol­lowed Iraq’s in­va­sion in the early 1990s, the land has been a lu­cra­tive hub for any vis­i­tors and busi­ness­peo­ple who fre­quent it”

Such clout has leant it­self to the coun­try be­ing some­what of a pi­o­neer in the re­gion as a con­se­quence, and in the years that led up to and have fol­lowed Iraq’s in­va­sion in the early 1990s, the land has been a lu­cra­tive hub for any vis­i­tors and busi­ness­peo­ple who fre­quent it.

That’s not to say that your stay there will be cheap, how­ever. Typ­i­cal ho­tel chains found through­out the coun­try are able to cap­i­talise on the clien­tele typ­i­cal within the oil and pe­tro­leum do­main, and western hos­pi­tal­ity op­er­a­tors have swooped in to also cash in on the size­able wal­lets en­ter­ing Kuwait each year.

For those not at­tracted to the typ­i­cal ho­tel way of liv­ing, there is also a se­ries of chalets and other short-term ac­com­mo­da­tions set up across the nine cities to add vari­a­tion to what is the only real ex­am­ple of west­ern­i­sa­tion within its makeup.

The ex­tent of busi­ness trav­ellers cross­ing its bor­ders each year has en­cour­aged a com­plete de­vel­op­ment of its cities

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