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Kuwait City Gay Travel

Is Kuwait gay travel safe? wolfyy covers local safety, hotels in Kuwait City, things to do & Kuwait gay life.

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The Gay Travel Experience: Kuwait City

Traveling to Kuwait was one of the most unique experiences of my life. A trip to the Iraqi border particularly left me speechless. I wouldn’t trade the opportunity of exploring such a beautiful culture for anything.

Kuwait towers
Kuwait towers
travel guide to Kuwait City

I visited Kuwait with a few friends, including my gay college roommate. A Syracuse University alumnus hosted us for part of the trip. While I was guided by locals most of the time, I felt safe overall.

travel guide to Kuwait City

Kuwaiti people are wonderful and welcoming. I got to interact with a local woman attending university in Kuwait City. She showed me around some of the markets and was very friendly!

Kuwait gay travel

As a gay man in Kuwait however, there are several things you should know. Gay individuals have no rights here, as I’ll mention in the final section of this Kuwait gay travel guide. You may ask why I would want to visit such a place. My answer is that I love Arab language and culture.

traditional dinner in Kuwait
traditional dinner in Kuwait
Kuwait gay travel

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

Gay Kuwait: Hotels & Where to Stay

I recommend staying in one of the highly-rated Kuwait City hotels near the central market area, especially if you are not renting a car.

Kuwait hotels for tourists

Travelers that have never visited the Middle East before should spend enough money to ensure safe accommodations. While these hotels can be pretty expensive, they’re worth it.

Kuwait hotels for tourists
Kuwait gay friendly hotel

A couple of trusted, elegant options are the Grand Majestic Hotel Kuwait and the upscale Four Seasons Alshayah.

Kuwait gay friendly hotel

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 central city area.

More Kuwait City Hotels I Recommend

Here are a few more hotels ideal for gay travelers in Kuwait City that are both highly rated and fairly priced.

Kuwait gay friendly hotel

Residence Inn by Marriott

Kuwait gay friendly hotel

Four Points By Sheraton

Swiss Belinn Sharq Hotel Kuwait

Swiss-Belinn Sharq

Kuwait City Marriott Hotel

Courtyard By Marriott

Kuwait City Gay Travel Experiences

Walk through Safat Square, a nice place to people watch. You’ll find restaurants and stores in the plaza as well as some nice sculptures here.

There is a small fountain that lights up at night that I thought was cute. The middle of the day is hottest, so go in the morning or during sunset.

shopping at Kuwait souq

Harbor Walk is a pathway that extends out into the sea that has the best view of the Kuwait City skyline. It’s the perfect place to walk around during sunset.

traditional Kuwaiti breakfast
shopping at Kuwait souq

The Kuwait National Museum is the perfect place to spend the hottest part of the day, where you can admire the beautiful Arabic scripts and other archaeological pieces.

traditional Kuwaiti breakfast

Head to Kuwait City’s Bazaars in the afternoon. 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 Visit Kuwait Website has more information on timing, fees and tips.

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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.

Highway of death Kuwait

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
Kuwait gay travelers visiting farm

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.

downtown Kuwait

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 history, however terrifying, come alive for us. It was surreal to experience.

Kuwait gay travel experience
Kuwait gay travel experience
downtown Kuwait

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! 

Kuwait gay travelers visiting farm

For now, this is definitely the closest 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.

Kuwait 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 destination.

If you keep to yourself and do not overtly display any affection (no matter if it’s same-sex or not), there is absolutely nothing to worry about in my opinion.

It is illegal to consume, possess or sell alcohol in Kuwait. You won’t find any bars in the entire country. Alcoholic drinks aren’t even available in hotels that cater to international travelers.

modern building

It’s best to stay safe and avoid breaking these rules, as any infringement carries a hefty fine and jail sentence! Instead of drinking, find a local Shisha bar where you can try dozens of flavors.

modern building
Kuwait gay travel safety

Socially, Kuwait is generally 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.

Purchasing travel insurance coverage is always a good idea, especially when visiting places you perceive as risky or outside your comfort zone. Trip insurance can come in handy in so many ways. I highly recommend it.

Kuwait gay travel safety

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 or 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 socializing!

Lastly, if you’re seeking to connect with another LGBT individual via gay apps (like Grindr or Scruff), remember that you’ll need a VPN connection to do so. The government blocks various LGBT web content and applications.

I recommend using NordVPNuVur0U&bids=572706 for a safe encrypted connection. I use this app myself, which makes it possible to download and use restricted apps and websites. 

Kuwait Gay Life

Kuwait falls in line with many other Middle Eastern countries in that it provides no protections to the LGBT community. As you can imagine, being gay in Kuwait is not easy.

visiting Kuwait market

Homosexuality in Kuwait is in fact legal. However, gay individuals can be prosecuted in alternate fashions.

visiting Kuwait market
Kuwait gay life

The maximum penalty upon prosecution is a seven-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.

Kuwait gay life

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’s flight away from the Emirates, why not check out Abu Dhabi?

See wolfyy’s complete collection of gay travel guides for more gay destination ideas around the world. 

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