(State of Kuwait, دولة الكويت, Dawlat al-Kuwait)
- Location: Western Asia
- Capital: Kuwait City
- Language(s): Arabic
- Population: 3,654,345
- Total Area: 17,820 sq km
- Currency: Kuwaiti Dinar
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Alcohol is strictly prohibited in the country although some expatriates manage to get their regular supply of booze.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 0.16 liter
- Most Popular Drink(s): Tea, coffee
Located on the Arabian Peninsula, Kuwait is an emirate perched in between two larger neighbors –the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iraq, the largest oil producers in the world. Interestingly, the emirate also has some of the most impressive petroleum reserves in the world. It is ruled by the al-Sabah family and the name of the country was derived from the Arabic term ‘kout’ which means a fort constructed near water. Although Kuwait is seated right in the middle of one of the hottest and most inhospitable deserts in the world, a combination of small population, vast oil reserves and good governance has made Kuwait one of the most developed nations on the planet.
Almost 60% of the citizens are Kuwaiti Arabs and those from South and East Asian nations make up almost 40% of the population. It is also worthy of note that there is a peculiar group of citizens called the Bidoons. Although they are Arabs, Bidoons are not considered Kuwaiti nationals. In the tiny emirate, the official language is Arabic and English is also widely spoken. More than 80% of Kuwaitis are adherents of the Islamic faith. Christians also form a significant portion of the population unlike many of the other states in the Persian Gulf. There are also Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists in the country.
If you visit Kuwait and you do not taste the makboos, you will have to book another flight to Kuwait City. Makboos is the most popular food in the country and is considered the national dish. If you take a spoonful of this irresistible dish, you cannot but agree. The food is made from rice, mutton, chicken and an amazing dose of spices. There is also a fantastic meal called balalit, which are noodles served with tantalizing omelet. Kuwaiti foods feature rice and meat regularly, and meals are often served steaming hot.
You must note that the alcohol is strictly illegal in this country. Although alcohol is allowed to a certain degree in other Arabian Peninsula countries like the United Arab Emirates, the case is totally different in the State of Kuwait. Heavy fines await those found drinking, selling or simply possessing any alcoholic drink or beverage. However, despite all the regulations and warnings put in place against the consumption of alcohol, some daredevil foreigners and expatriates manage to smuggle in some brew but you must be warned that you can get some hefty fines or even get locked up for a few days. However, that is not to say that your throat will always be dry in the parched desert. Kuwaitis are known to offer their guests generous cups of coffee and tea.
To appreciate the beauty of this majestic emirate, you need to take a stroll along its fine beaches and visit places like the Bayan Palace, the Kuwait Towers and the Grand Mosque in Kuwait City.
Like many of the other nations in the Arabian Peninsula, falconry and horse racing (equestrian games) are very popular. Other sports in the country include football and golf
- The nation was once invaded by Saddam Hussein.
- The country has one of the world’s highest rates of obesity.
- Although Kuwaitis are mainly Arabs, there are various tribes.
- Surprisingly, Kuwaitis form a minority in their own country.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
Gallery of Shot Glasses