Ah, the towers. We all know them and love them. Cruising down the Gulf Road route with it erected along the skyline, always finding it creeping up in photos, and of course, having it as the national landmark representing this great country in every touristic emblem or poster.
Designed by Swedish Architect Sune Lindström, The Kuwait Towers were constructed and open to the public in the late 1970s, and so, growing up, they’ve always been a quintessential backdrop of our respective childhoods. However, though I lived in Kuwait consecutively pre and post-Gulf War, I seldom stepped foot inside the towers! Maybe when I was a child? Once? And so with gusto, we decided to recreate the ultimate throwback if not for ourselves, for the young lady who was deprived of a cult classic activity.
We park at the Towers’ vast lot, which connects to several attractions in and of themselves. There’s a quaint Paintball Cart (which to us sparked a lot of conversation – perhaps an idea for our next bazaar Tries?) the nostalgic Aqua Park entertainment facilities, gems like Fish Market and Fusion restaurants, and of course, plenty of space to walk, frolic, picnic and enjoy the beauty of being alongside the Arabian Gulf.
And so, it was time to experience the Ultimate Throwback. Only 3KD to enter, you’re taken up over 126 flights in the elevator to the viewing sphere, and the elevator is operated by a sullen looking man wearing classic Elevator Engineer garb. Talk to him, ask him a question, he’ll only mutter in response – but it’s endearing and comical; reminiscent to the Queen’s guards standing alongside Buckingham Palace. Before taking that elevator ride up, however, we had to pop into the towers’ gift store! Books on Kuwait’s history neatly lined up on shelves, I had a great time flipping through Pictures Encyclopedia of Kuwait: Kuwait Pictures and Memories by Abdulmohsen Mohammad Hejji Al-Awadhi – an old photography book of black-and-white Kuwait from the 19th and 20th centuries. But alas, Ali the elevator man was waiting, and it was time to head up to the sphere to check out that view all those expats were always raving about!
Once we arrived to the viewing sphere, we saw what all the tourists who’ve beaten us resident locals up here have been talking about. Kuwait has some great platforms for stunning views, but there’s no view that compares to that of what you’ll see from the viewing sphere of Kuwait’s favorite structure. They even have those binocular machines that take tokens purchased at the snack stand on the upper level for a half dinar. Using one of those binoculars was actually life changing, as you could see anything from a super close-up distance.
Let me tell you about my secret-favorite part of the experience: the snack stand. If you walk up the stairs leading to the second level of the viewing sphere, there’s a man selling chips, juices, soda, water and candy bars. The most important thing however, is the popcorn. We all went nuts for it! As soon as the scent of freshly popped kernels wafted from the upper level to our nostrils, we were on a mission to get some popcorn-machine-made popcorn. That being said, it made taking in the view that much more enjoyable.
To top off a perfect trip to the Kuwait Towers, we passed by their restaurant for a sneak peek on the way down. Horizon, the towers’ signature restaurant, had a delicious atmosphere and one of the more tantalizing buffets we’d ever seen! Table after table practically sinking under the weight of salads and cold starters, hot dishes, desserts and even an exciting pasta station were calling out to us to stay and indulge for Wednesday night dinner. We tore ourselves away, however, with promises to come back for lunch one day, and then found ourselves in a lovely compromise: Le Café. This sweet café is most certainly a hidden gem, offering appetizers, sandwiches and snacks. And so, we sat nestled between Kuwait’s glistening spheres as we sipped our coffee and munched on some of the best French fries we’d ever had, watching the sun set over Kuwait City.
All in all, it was a gorgeous experience, and we wondered why we’d let ourselves go so long without enjoying it more often. Will we be going back to the Kuwait Towers? We’d love to say yes, but life gets in the way. Although, it’s important to remember that this monument doesn’t just pose as a backdrop or a show of interesting lights along the Gulf Road’s night sky – it offers beauty, serenity, and of course, a feeling so deeply pitted with nostalgia that it bubbles up inside you like warm karak tea. Another trip to the towers soon? Yes, please.
The Kuwait Towers are located along the Arabian Gulf Road – you can’t miss them! They’re open to the public from 8 a.m.- 11 p.m. daily. Contact their reception by calling 2496 5500, and follow them on Instagram @kuwait.towers for more information.