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Shopping in Kuwait City

For a flavour of Arab-style shopping, the Old Souq (Souk Al-Mubarakiya) is the place to head for with its characterful bustle of gossiping traders and eye-for-a-bargain customers. Perfume infused with frankincense, gold bangles, colourful scarves and cloth, spices, dates, pickled shark and dried shrimp are all available in the aisles of the main arcaded complex. Quality souvenirs are on offer at Sadu House, a cultural foundation dedicated to preserving Bedouin art. The traditional weavings are made with vegetable-dyed wool, some of which are made on site on wooden hand looms.

For a more modern experience, there are many excellent choices too. Start at The Avenues Mall, the largest shopping mall in Kuwait with more than 800 stores. Alternatively, head to Salmiya. The main street, Hamad al-Mubarak Street, is known as the 'Champs-Elysées' of the Middle East and is lined with glass-clad malls. Sharq Souq (Arabian Gulf Street, Sharq), alongside the marina, is another fashionable area to stroll, shop and have coffee or a bite to eat.

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Hotel ibis Kuwait Salmiya

With a decent location near the Scientific Center, this budget chain hotel also affords some great sea views as well. The rooms are small, but clean and well appointed, and Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. There's also an on-site gym and a buffet breakfast to set you up for the day.

Mirage Suites Hotel

What the Mirage Suites Hotel lacks in looks and luxury, it makes up for with its sea views. The rooms are basic, but comfortable and well maintained, although try for one that feature vistas over the Arabian Gulf. A short taxi ride from the Salmiya area, the hotel also has its own swimming pool, gym and sauna.

JW Marriott Hotel Kuwait City

The JW Marriot is a 5 star hotel situated in the centre of Kuwait with over 300 rooms. Their best facilities include; a pool, a spa, a fitness centre and a bar/ lounge area. The hotel also offers airport transportation and conference facilities.

Mövenpick Hotel and Resort Al Bida'a Kuwait

An elegant, contemporary hotel just 2km (1.2 miles) from the city centre, this lively chain stay provides the perfect antidote to a hot day downtown. With an excellent spa, five swimming pools, two restaurants, landscaped gardens and a private beach, it's a relaxing place to unwind in 5-star indulgence.

Le Méridien Kuwait

With views of the Arabic Gulf as well as the iconic Kuwait Towers, this hotel has a flavour of the French Riviera about it, including rococo furniture and brass-rimmed mirrors. Rooms are sleek and modern, with huge luxury bathrooms, and the service is excellent. The onsite restaurant is decent and free Wi-Fi is available throughout.

Luxury Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa

With the utmost luxury in mind, this beautifully refurbished 5-star hotel feels like an Arabian palace. Its spa has hydrotherapy baths, plus drift and salt rooms, while palm trees line the swimming pool. Other perks include yoga, pilates and reiki classes, its seven stylish restaurants and its private beach.