A leisurely stroll that takes you away from Kuwait City’s hustle and bustle, a visit to Al Shaheed Park will quickly make you forget the daily grind, offering visitors a truly wonderful escape in the heart of the city. Kuwait’s citizens are offered the opportunity to rightfully interact with the city’s public spaces, and while we all enjoy a thorough marathon of window-shopping in alternative enclosed spaces, Al Shaheed Park marks a new direction that corresponds to public demand.
Developed by Kuwait’s Amiri Diwan, and managed by LOYAC, the inauguration of Kuwait’s Al Shaheed Park marks a milestone that is surely worth celebrating. Complete with resplendent landscapes, beautiful open spaces, cultural spaces and museums, dedicated jogging and bicycling lanes, we were astounded to learn that the Park officially spans over 200,000 square meters. Envisioned and developed to leave a lasting mark, Al Shaheed Park’s stunning architectural design features minimalist structures that flawlessly blend in with the surrounding landscapes. The Park aims to serve the public with its mission: Satisfying the urban needs of Kuwait’s citizens through facilitating experiences that communicate the country’s land, history and culture.
Al Shaheed Park serves as a historical, cultural, educational and environmental platform, ensuring that the space serves the country in more ways than one through quality events, programs and activities. The Park’s main mission is to promote sustainability and to teach people to better take care of Kuwait’s natural landscapes through interactive activities to be carried out at both the newly introduced Aviary and The Habitat Museum, an interactive venue that is poised to educate its visitors about Kuwait’s naturally occurring landscapes, endangered species, ecosystems as well as different animal migrations. Furthermore, visitors will instantly notice the remarkable difference in the landscapes that occur around The Habitat Museum, where this area showcases the different flora and fauna that natively grow in Kuwait, as well as a myriad of plant species that are projected to flourish in the same area, affirming the Park’s aims and goals to promote sustainability.
As visitors arrive, the main underground parking area is centrally located to take you to either end of the park. A typical stroll will lead you to the Thekra Museum, a historical museum that provides information about the country’s historical battles fought in the past, along with the invasion of 1990. Visitors could also share their own experiences at a dedicated memorial center, as Al Shaheed Park aims to preserve these memories as part of the Park’s legacy to Kuwait’s people.
We further learned that the Amiri Diwan initially wished to reclaim the country’s previous greenbelt garden, that once bordered the country’s original entry gates. This was initially allocated as the country’s green belt, which evolved into the green belt garden with the city’s growth past the original city gates. The initial project entered different phases of development and evolution, and eventually became the original Al Shaheed Park to commemorate the country’s martyrs. The Amiri Diwan is looking to further reclaim the original green belt area, as the underground tunnel, built in the 50s, connects this entire area through these interesting walkways.
A small stroll after the Thekra Museum takes visitors toward several historical monuments. Given the historical value of this existing area of land as a whole, a historic tour by expertly trained LOYAC tour guides will soon be in place. Al Shaheed Park’s location, which is set alongside Kuwait’s oldest and most iconic Ring Road, also houses the country’s old city gates that have remarkably remained in the same exact location since the gates were first erected in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Furthermore, Al Shaheed Park is also home to the beautiful Constitution Monument that commemorates the country’s 50th anniversary of the constitution’s ratification, along with the Martyrs Monument that serves as a reminder to the country’s most pivotal events, the proclamation of freedom and those who lost their lives in reclaiming and protecting Kuwait’s freedoms.
Along with an open-air amphitheater that is only mere steps away from the old city gates, a designated Visitor Center, cafes, restaurants, gift shop and book shop, the park is further equipped with more cultural amenities that perpetuate the country’s commitment to creating public spaces that serve its citizen’s interests. As a cultural platform, Al Shaheed Park serves to help people who are leading the Cultural Revolution in Kuwait. In hopes to support the local community, this is showcased by the outdoor installations by local architects and designers that are constantly being inaugurated into the park and multipurpose usage areas. The Park is managed by a dedicated team from LOYAC who are undertaking and organizing community programs that focus on healthy living, education empowerment and other cultural activities that encourage the exchange of international and regional arts.
LOYAC stands for Lothan Youth Achievement Center, and it is a non-profit organization established in 2002. It works towards the overall development of the youth in Kuwait and the region such as Lebanon and Jordan. Its programs focus on empowering the youth through unique opportunities to evolve into highly effective leaders.
Al Shaheed Park also prides itself on ensuring the safety of its patrons, with a fully dedicated security team that is mindful of visitors’ safety from its opening time up until 10 p.m. One of our favorite areas in the park includes the pristine park, that is only a short walk away from the lush open grassy area that is called the Circle of Peace. The Constitution Monument garden is abundant with flora and fauna from around the world, where each row of plants symbolizes an article from Kuwait’s constitution. To our delight, we ventured through the renovated underground tunnel that initially connected Kuwait’s first green belt; this passageway has been immaculately refurbished, incorporating stunning three-dimensional Portuguese tiles in shades of deep emerald green and calming jade. If you decide to take on a leisurely stroll through Al Shaheed Park but you simply don’t know where to start, then don’t hesitate to speak to any of the qualified tour guides and security officials on the premises. They’re extremely friendly and they are always around to offer a helping hand and assist visitors with any requests, including one very lost bazaar editor.
Editor’s Note: For more information about the Al Shaheed Park project participants, please directly contact the Park’s management.
Opening hours for Al Shaheed Park are from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Saturday to Thursday) and Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. For more information, please visit alshaheedpark.com, and follow them on Instagram @alshaheedpark.