Kuwait Towers

30-year-old Kuwait Towers is probably the best known landmark on the Arabian Peninsula. Outside Dubai, that is. Designed by Scandinavians, and comprising two large spheres and a spike, the iconic towers are likely the top tourist attraction in Kuwait City.

Kuwait Towers

My first proper look at Kuwait Towers is through the windows of Le Nôtre, a French cafe along Arabian Gulf Road; in itself a cool building, all purple, steel and glass with a semi-circular terrace facing the Gulf. (And PS – Le Nôtre is also a good choice for a lunch restaurant in Kuwait city)

An apricot granita, a pear/roquefort/walnut salad and a croquant ice cream later, I’m so full I decide to walk along the beach to the towers. A good decision it turns out – this must surely be the best approach.

Interesting sights along the way:

From below, the spheres look very cool, all earthy blue:

The lower sphere has a restaurant, the Ofok. I skip that and take the lift up to 120th floor instead. Entrance fee is 2 Kuwaiti Dinars – about 7.5 USD – and includes a soft drink.

Along the walls is a gallery of Kuwait City images, depicting the damage done during the Iraqi occupation in the early 1990s.

The observation platform is a short stairway up – to the 121st floor. I walk behind a veiled woman; so veiled in fact, she has difficulty climbing the few stairs. To avoid tumbling, she is supported by one man on each arm.

Settling at a standing table for a bit, I dig out a notebook. The observation platform rotates ever so slowly. Whenever I look up from my notebook the view has changed slightly. Instead of me moving to see different angles, the world moves for me.

I’m in the main tower, which in addition to housing the restaurant and viewing platform, also serves as a water tower. The other two towers have their functions as well. The middle sphere is also used as a water tower, while the third tower, the sphereless one, provides light to illuminate the monument.

I’m soon joined by the only other westerner here. A journo from a Central European country, he is there to cover the issue of the Bedoo. ‘The Bedouins?’ I ask. Not quite. The Bedoo, it appears, are Kuwait’s stateless people; no basic rights, no passports, no freedom of movement. More on the Bedoo – or Bedoun – here.

19 Responses to “Kuwait Towers”

  1. Jan Ross 23 May 2011 2025 #

    What fascinating buildings! Thanks for sharing.
    Jan Ross recently posted..WordPress for Dummies

  2. Laurel 23 May 2011 2037 #

    I love your photos from below the towers, what an interesting perspective.
    Laurel recently posted..Discovering the Roman Limes in Germany

  3. Jeremy Branham 23 May 2011 2127 #

    Thanks for sharing this. Two towers designed by Scandinavians near a French cafe. Kuwait is quite a country! :) Fascinating photos they have from the war and great views!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Travel confessions Part II

  4. Raymond 23 May 2011 2341 #

    That whole part of the world fascinates me, and the cat eating the fish is just the icing on the cake. :)
    Raymond recently posted..Is Happiness a Place

  5. adventureswithben 24 May 2011 0110 #

    Those towers are fantastic. They’re kind of retro, space-age 50′s look.

  6. Jade 24 May 2011 0136 #

    My friend moved to Kuwait last year to work on a new mall waterfountain show (i know, crazy) and he talked about these towers. Really interesting for sure.

  7. The Travel Chica 24 May 2011 0351 #

    You took the lift to the 121st floor? Not up for the stairs? :-)
    The Travel Chica recently posted..Meet the Cruella de Vil of Palermo

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 24 May 2011 0939 #

      @Travel Chica – Yeah, I’m kinda lazy like that :)

  8. This sounds like a cool place to visit. Interesting that there were only 2 westerners there!
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..My favorite LA neighborhoods

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 24 May 2011 0941 #

      @Scott – Yes, telling in many ways. Kuwait isn’t exactly on the tourist radar yet. Nothing like the Emirates.

  9. robin 24 May 2011 1055 #

    Nice one for mentioning the Bedoo – an important issue.
    robin recently posted..Flamenco

  10. Ricky 24 May 2011 1106 #

    This looks like an awesome place. Me and the missus are planning to visit there next year! Thanks for the pics. Looks fantastic.
    Ricky recently posted..national insurance contributions

  11. Cool/weird looking buildings. That whole region of Middle East is very fascinating. Really hoping we’d be able to visit there soon.
    jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World recently posted..Beautiful Valle de Cocora – A Photo Collection

  12. Sabina 26 May 2011 0705 #

    I had a chance to fly on Kuwait Air from Bangkok to Tel Aviv, which would have given me a five-hour layover in Kuwait beginning at 5:00 am., but I chose a flight on a different airline instead. I really, really wanted to see a little of Kuwait. I could have grabbed a taxi and gone out and about for a couple of hours. This truly is one of my travel regrets. I hope to get there one day soon, though.

  13. Venezia 31 May 2011 0819 #

    The only thing I still remember about Kuwait is the kuwait towers

  14. Nadia 2 June 2011 0850 #

    You had really interesting sights on your way!
    Nadia recently posted..The silent addiction to soma and carisoprodol painkillers

  15. Petter 6 June 2011 1013 #

    This is such a cool structure!

  16. Angela 9 June 2011 0901 #

    Very beautiful photos, never been to Kuwait, I hope I’ll go soon, once I get to spend some time in the Middle East.
    Angela recently posted..In India- looking for Manila

  17. Ella C 21 October 2011 0336 #

    Looks great. Those towers are fantastic. They’re kind of retro, space-age 50′s look.
    Ella C recently posted..career organizing

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