Duden Waterfall, Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Welcome to Kuwait... country #72 for us!

We were up at 4:45am to take a taxi to Abu Dhabi International Airport in order to catch our 8:10am flight to Kuwait City.

I had received an email from Wizz Air saying to be sure to arrive at the airport 4 hours in advance of our flight to ensure sufficient time to get through check-in and security. We've done enough flying to know that this is ridiculous. 

I found it especially funny when I checked the Wizz Air app to find out that baggage drop for this flight doesn't even open until 6:10am, meaning if we would have followed their email, we would have stood in the check in area for a full two hours waiting for bag drop to open! 

Anyhow, both check in and security were totally smooth with no line ups at all. This all occurred in the brand new terminal A at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The terminal only opened last November.

Fancy new airport terminal in Abu Dhabi.

Fancy stuff!

With lots of comfortable seating!
Notice the people in the background sleeping.

And, we're off.

Looking down at the Ferrari World and Warner Bros theme parks.

Zoomed in on Abu Dhabi downtown.

The plane was only about half full. But there were a lot of children on board. There was a woman by herself with two young ones right behind us, and the kids kept kicking the back of the chair and playing with the tray table. It's really annoying, and the mother wasn't doing much to stop it. We're pretty patient with that kind of situation, because we get it. It's not easy to travel with kids that age. But eventually I turned around at the little girl and told her she needed to stop now. I think she was a little scared...lol.

We had been sat near the front, so we hadn't really noticed how many empty seats there were. Eventually we asked if we could move. The mother with the kids apologized, but really she could have done more. There wasn't a lot of discipline going on.

Arriving in Kuwait. Lots of oil workings.

It was only an hour and a half flight, but with an hour time change so it was still around 9:00am when we got off the plane. We had to go to the visa office before heading to the arrivals area. Canadians can get an eVisa, but I had read we can also get visa on arrival, and we knew we would have lots of time before getting to our hotel room.

The entry visas cost 3 dinars ($9.75 USD, $13.25 CAD) each and are valid for a three month stay. Not sure what any visitor would do with three months in Kuwait, but that's what they are valid for.

I knew that a taxi from the airport to downtown costs 8 dinars ($26 USD, $35 CAD) so I had figured out that we needed to take the 21A local public bus from the airport. But we could only pay in cash, so we needed some local cash. We're only here for two nights, so I didn't want very much cash! I decided to change a $10 USD bill into some local currency.

The bus to downtown cost 250 fils ($0.80 USD, $1.10 CAD) each. Yes, this is the more logical choice!

On the bus in Kuwait.

On the bus in Kuwait.

Not many tourists visit Kuwait. It's a tiny Islamic country without much tourist infrastructure. There are a lot of hotels, but mostly because it's a big business and oil center so a lot of business people visit, and while there is an expat population, most expats are here due to work... not retirement. 

This tiny country has a population of 4.3 million, and 3.3 million of them live in Kuwait City. It's a much bigger city than we expected.

Most of you only know of Kuwait from the 1990 Gulf War when the Iraqis under Saddam Hussein invaded the country and a coalition of countries (led by the U.S) kicked them out again a few months later.

We arrived an hour later at the Ramada Encore Wyndham Hotel. Not often we stay in a fancy hotel, but this particular time we wanted to be right downtown, and there were not many Airbnb options that were reasonable. In fact, this four star hotel was one of the best deals going!

Big floor to ceiling windows!

The facilities.

This will do.

Breakfast included, for 26.9 dirham ($87 USD, $119 CAD) per night. The only downside is that the breakfast buffet isn't held during Ramadam, so we get room service only for breakfast.

The view from our 17th floor room.

We relaxed for a couple of hours then went and used the hotel gym for 45 minutes, then went for a walk in the big park across the road.

We get a lot of different views of the downtown skyscrapers from the park.

There are a lot of architecturally interesting buildings!

This one is so cool!

Our hotel is one of the tiny 23 story ones at the far right.

Notice how different that same cool building looks from behind.
We noticed that there are a lot of buildings that look entirely different depending on the angle.

These ones are quite far away, and not part of downtown.

In the park, there is this collection of scrap machinery (possibly related to the Gulf War?)

But if you look at it from a certain angle, it looks like various animals!
My photo didn't quite capture the correct angle, but you get the idea.

We decided to stay in and go to the 22nd floor restaurant for dinner. It only opens after sunset due to Ramadan.

View from the outdoor rooftop coffee shop.

Ruth, enjoying the evening view from the 22nd floor.

It's been a while since we had a dinner like this.
Grilled chicken breast, mashed potato with mushroom gravy, and veggies!

And, reasonably priced considering where we were. Only 3.5 dinar ($11.40 USD, $15.45 CAD) each.

No alcohol, because alcohol is strictly illegal in Kuwait. We stuck with water.

Oh, earlier today we posted our March expense report for your perusal. It was another expensive month, although it was mostly expected to be that way. You can read it here if you missed it... 


And in Canada...


  1. What a cool city! I like the reclining seats in the airport. It looks like you went all out with the room.

    1. The hotel was pricey for us but it was the best deal in town so we didn't have much of a choice but to get the room but it was a nice room and we loved our view. It is definitely a nice city, we liked it much more than Abu Dhabi.

      Too bad more airports didn't supply seating like this.


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