The Middle Eastern nation of Kuwait offers fascinating architecture, great shopping and lively water sports. If you are looking for a U.S. style nightclub, though, you may be disappointed. There are several differences: alcohol cannot be sold in Kuwait because of its strict Muslim beliefs; going-out attire is always conservative; and, nightlife focuses on friends and food, and maybe one of the low-key discos or a smoke of the water pipe or shisha. This doesn’t mean Kuwait City, the capital and largest city and the place it all happens, isn’t lively; you just have to adjust your expectations and enjoy this yachting city’s offerings.
The Hard Rock Cafe Kuwait — As Close As It Gets
The closest thing to a nightclub in Kuwait City is probably the Hard Rock Cafe Kuwait (hardrock.com), which is located in the marina complex on Arabian Gulf Street. Opened in 2004 in the center of the shopping and entertainment area, the Hard Rock is a glass pyramid topped by a piano ceiling and with great views of the ocean. In addition to the usual Hard Rock fare, guests are treated to live music and a lively crowd from 11 a.m. to midnight seven days a week. Another popular hotspot is Starbucks (starbucks.com), where friends meet and linger over coffee in the 40-plus locations in Kuwait City.
Hotel Restaurants With Live Music
Several of the large international hotels have popular restaurants with live music or other entertainment. Le Tarbouche is a Lebanese restaurant located at the Sheraton Kuwait Hotel (starwoodhotels.com) on Fahdal Al-Salem Street in Kuwait City. Live music, semi-formal attire and a rooftop setting make this a nice night out. (Remember, if you request a cocktail, you’re likely to get fruit juices with ice cream and no alcohol.) Another choice is Al Ahmadi at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (kuwait.crowneplaza.com) on Airport Road 55 in Kuwait City. The restaurant features live music, international cuisine, and a Friday Fun Food Festival with an all-you-can-eat buffet and games for the children.
Non-Hotel Restaurants with Live Music
If you’re in the mood for some pasta accompanied by live music, check out Johnny Carino’s Italian Kitchen on (carinos.com) Arabian Gulf Street. Nearby on Arabian Gulf Street is upscale Le Notre (lenotre.fr), an Arabian restaurant that also stays open late.
Other Nightlife Options
If you’ve eaten and are looking for something else fun to do for your evening, you can always shop. In Kuwait City, shopping centers and stores stay open late. A must-see in the city is the view from the top of the rotating Kuwait Towers. Another option is taking in some Kuwaiti culture by catching a free authentic folk art show at the Kuwait Public Theater (+965 481 6222) on Street 71 in the Shuwaikh area of Kuwait City. You can find the most popular Shisha Bars for smoking tobacco through water pipes by asking the hotel concierge or a taxi driver, since most don’t advertise.