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Kuwait City Gay Travel

Take in an authentic slice of the Middle East in Kuwait City. But is Kuwait safe for gay travelers? Make sure to check out the gay safety info below in this wolfyy Kuwait City gay travel guide.

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The Gay Travel Experience: Kuwait City

I visited Kuwait during the summer of 2013 with several friends, including my gay college roommate. We were hosted for part of the trip by an alumnus of Syracuse University, where we received our undergraduate degrees. Although I was with a group of friends and some locals the whole time who showed me the way, I felt very safe.

Kuwait gay experience
Kuwait gay experience
Kuwaiti people are wonderful and welcoming. I got to interact with a local Kuwaiti woman attending university in Kuwait City. She showed me around some of the markets and was very friendly! As a gay man in Kuwait however, there are several things you should know!
Kuwait City Gay Travel towers

The experience of Kuwait was by far the most unique of my life. A trip near the Iraqi border left me speechless. Read below about this experience of mine like no other.

Market in Kuwait City
Kuwait City Gay Travel towers
Market in Kuwait City

As you will read in the final section of this Kuwait gay travel guide, gay individuals people have no rights in Kuwait. You may ask why I would want to visit such a place. My answer is that I love Arab language and culture.

Although it is sad that LGBT people cannot express themselves freely in Kuwait, this does not mean that there are not kind and open-minded people in Kuwait.

Gay Kuwait: Where to Stay

Kuwait City isn’t too large, so I’d recommend to stay in a hotel close to the central market area if you are not renting a car. Some trusted, elegant options are the Grand Majestic Hotel Kuwait, the upscale Four Seasons Al Shayah and the Al Hamra Hotel Kuwait

Most of the city in the area around the central market is quite walkable. If you have the luxury of a car, there are many great hotels scattered all through the center city area.

Gay travel safety Kuwait
Gay travel safety Kuwait
I would give you the name of the hotel I stayed in, but it seems to have disappeared from Google Maps! It was a fairly standard western hotel.

Kuwait City Experiences for the Gay Traveler

Walk through Safat Square, a nice place to people watch. There are some restaurants and stores in the plaza as well as some nice sculptures. There is a small fountain that lights up at night that I thought was cute. The middle of the day his hottest, so go in the morning or during sunset.

gay travel Kuwait
The best view of the Kuwait City skyline can be found on a pathway that extends out into the sea. It is located on Arabian Gulf Street near the Kuwait National Museum. This is a great spot to walk during sunset.
Traditional Arabic Dinner Kuwait
gay travel Kuwait
Traditional Arabic Dinner Kuwait
Spend the hottest part of the day in the Kuwait National Museum, where you can absorb the beautiful Arabic scripts and other archeological pieces. Toward the afternoon, head to the Bazaars! These Kuwaiti markets sell all types of delicious snacks and spices. Take a stroll through Mubarakeya or Gharabally souq street and grab some sweets.

You’ll probably get a good view of the Kuwait Towers while touring around the city. But, if you don’t get a good enough view, go visit them! The Kuwait Tourism Website has more information.

The Highway of Death

One of the most intense things I’ve ever experienced in my life was on a journey outside of Kuwait City. My friends and I headed toward the Iraq border on Highway 80 to spend the night with an Alumnus of our university in a farmhouse she owns. This road is known as the Highway of Death…and rightly so. If you’re looking for some intense things to do in Kuwait, this is it.

Highway of death Kuwait
Highway of death Kuwait
Kuwait gay travel
On this very sand was where Saddam Hussein led the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. In early 1991, Iraqi forces retreated into Iraq on this same highway. During their retreat, the US-led coalition bombed the entire area to pieces. Upwards of 10,000 people perished and roughly 2,000 vehicles were destroyed.
Kuwait gay travel

As we drove on a newly built roadway in the exact same place nearly 25 years later, black rubble traces were still visible. It made the history, however terrifying, come alive for us. It was surreal to experience.

modern building
Once I reached our host’s farm, she gave us a tour of her animals, her greenhouse and cooked us a traditional Arabic dinner. We even picked some fruit! For now, this is definitely the closes I will be able to get to Iraq. The entire experience was a bit of a thrill, and certainly set the stage for the desire to travel to more astounding countries.
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Kuwait City Gay Travel Safety & Tips

As a gay traveler in Kuwait, you must take certain precautions. Always respect the local culture, which you should familiarize yourself with before traveling to any Middle Eastern country. If you keep to yourself and do not overtly display any affection, there is absolutely nothing to worry about in my opinion.
gay life Kuwait
Local farm Kuwait
gay life Kuwait

In Kuwait, it is illegal to consume, possess or sell alcohol of any kind. Instead, find a local Shisha bar where you can try dozens of flavors. Don’t plan on buying any Duty-Free alcohol at the airport.

Kuwait market
Kuwait in general is a bit more conservative. For females, always wear clothing that completely covers the shoulders and knees. Any display of upper arms, chest or thighs will attract negative attention. For men, avoid any graphic t-shirts that could be misconstrued as something offensive.
modern building
Kuwait market

Kuwait experiences some of the most extreme heat in the world. Summer temperatures are a brutal 110 degrees Fahrenheit, so I would travel during spring of fall. 

If it happens to be hot during your travels, you will notice locals avoid the outdoors during the middle of the day. The city may seem desolate, but once the sun sets, people come out for dinner, shopping and to socialize!

Kuwait Gay Life

Kuwait falls in line with many other middle eastern countries in that it offers no protection to the gay community. Homosexuality in the country is not illegal per se, however gay individuals can be prosecuted in alternate fashions.

Kuwait City beach
Kuwait City beach
The penalty upon prosecution is a six-year jail sentence. This law, albeit terrifying, is not known to be enforced. Please always consult your local government’s guidelines before traveling to Kuwait.
I’d like to remain hopeful that modern leaders and their royal families in Middle Eastern countries will begin to strive toward providing basic human rights to the LGBT communities in their respective countries. We can do our part as fellow LGBT citizens of the world to hold these leaders and governments accountable for their actions or lack thereof.
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Since you’re only an hour flight away from the Emirates, why not check out Abu Dhabi! Read the Abu Dhabi Gay Travel Guide.

Need more ideas for gay vacations? Explore wolfyy’s full list of gay travel destinations. Enjoy the Middle East.

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