After the unrest of the 1990’s, Kuwait has ‘bounced back’ into being a premier holiday destination of the Arabian Gulf. The twin Kuwait Towers and Grand Mosque in Kuwait City itself, plus the attendant souqs, restaurants and cultural centres of Islamic art, make the city a defining point in your Arabian Gulf holiday. Add to this, there are many beaches both on the mainland or the nearby islands. Remember, this is the Arabian Gulf, so dress code is important across the whole region, especially on beaches. If in any doubt, check beforehand what the local customs are.
South of Kuwait along the Arabian Gulf, we reach the desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This year the world’s most conservative country is welcoming tourists like never before. Certain beaches permit bikini wearing and women are now allowed to drive. Recommendations from Paloma are the beaches around Al Jubail and Al Khobar.
Separated from Saudi Arabia by a causeway, Bahrain is described as the ‘coolest’ of the Arabian Gulf states to visit and while still a Muslim country, due to its history, once a British Protectorate and Western influence, is considered more relaxed in terms of religious freedom. Lovely beaches, shopping malls and souqs, plus the culinary delights of the region are all here. Try the Machboos ala Dajaj!
Further South in the Arabian Gulf, we come to Qatar, rich in natural gas and oil deposits, considered one of the wealthiest countries of the world. Take a camel ride along the many fabulous beaches or just observe while relaxing in the luxury hotels adorning the shorelines. Again, this is the Arabian Gulf so there are limitless opportunities to explore the culture and cuisine… plus, of course, the markets and malls.
Crossing the border into the United Arab Emirates we are within reach of Abu Dhabi and Dubai with its intricate and extensive sand sculptures, plus the fabulous skyline. Gold! You will not be able to resist taking a stroll around Dubai’s gold markets, where the precious metal just lures you in. Hotels normally have daily coaches to the beaches and most permit bikini sunbathing.
Trucial Oman, and Muscat. Geographically, not part of the Arabian Gulf but considered alongside the UAE. Standing guard-like, Al Jalali Fort and Fort Al Mirani are strategically placed to cover the mouth of the Arabian Gulf. Both offer stunning views. Muscat benefits from several museums outlining its culturally diverse history and Islamic art.