Kuwait Towers is a group of three slender towers that symbolizes Kuwait’s economic resurgence and also World cultural as well as touristic landmark. The structure is often referred to as Kuwait tower in singular although there are three towers. Standing on a promontory into the Arabian Gulf, Kuwait towers were officially inaugurated in 1979 and are rated as a tourist attraction and iconic building of modern Kuwait.
The Kuwait Towers delightfully suggest a combination of traditional Islamic design and modern architectural themes, with comparisons being made to blue-tiled mosques and slender minarets of Samarkand and Bukhara. The easy visibility and popularity of the towers with photographers is also due to the fact that there are no other high rise buildings in the general area of the Kuwait Towers. Ever since the official inauguration of the towers, they have come to signify the prosperity and opulence that has boosted this previously sleepy backwater country into the world’s tenth richest country per capita.
How to go?
Located in downtown Kuwait City, The Kuwait Towers Burjan- Al- Kuwait are on the seashore in Arabian Gulf Street of Sharq district.
The plan of constructing Kuwait Tower dates back to 1962, less than a year after Kuwait achieved its freedom from England. The design was done by Swedish architects Malene Björn and Sune Lindström of Vatten-Byggnadsbyzan (VBB) and this was officially approved in 1971. Belgrade-based contractor Union-Inzenjering was assigned with most of the structural work which was completed between1975 and 1976.
Seven months of Iraqi occupation which began on August 2nd, 1990, when Saddam Hussein of Iraq invaded Kuwait had left an ugly mark on Kuwait. Kuwait salvaged its sovereignty after a 100-hour ground campaign that began on February 25th. Saddam’s troops were guilty for sabotaging actions intended to wipe out all reminders of an independent Kuwait which also included the Kuwait Towers. Iraqi soldiers deliberately shattered the towers’ electrical utilities and wrecked interior facilities besides causing damage to the towers’ exteriors with gunfire and shrapnel.
The damage sustained to the Kuwait Towers estimated to be 75 percent was repaired throughout the balance of 1991 and well into 1992, and necessary technical as well as comfort facilities were restored to their original condition. The refurbishment cost was an estimated KD 2 million. On December 26th of 1992, it was an inspirational occasion for proud Kuwaiti citizens as the Kuwait Towers were officially reopened to the public by Nasser Al-Roudhan, Finance and Planning Minister at that time.
Design and Construction
Kuwait towers were built in March 1979 and comprises of an area of 38,000 m² with two major towers and a minor tower. The height of main tower is 187 meters 614 ft and consists of the Ground Floor, Main Sphere and the Viewing Sphere. The main tower is also home to Kuwait Towers’ signature restaurants, cafés and reception halls; the lower sphere holds in its upper half a restaurant for 90 persons and in its bottom half a water tank of 4,500 cubic meters. Rising to 123 meters above the sea level, the viewing sphere completes a 360° turn every 30 minutes so that visitors can experience a panoramic view of Kuwait City, its fascinating vicinities and the tranquil blue waters of the Arabian Gulf within a glass enclosed pavilion. The Viewing Sphere’s revolving platform provides an empowering view of Kuwait city, along with extra amenities like a quick snack cafeteria and a souvenir store.
The second tower serves as a water reservoir and is 147 meters high. The third tower houses equipment to illuminate the two larger towers and supply electricity for some areas in Kuwait City. The towers hold 10,000 cubic meters of water on the whole.
As part of a water distribution project, Kuwait Towers were designed by the Danish architect malene Bjorn and maintained by the Swedish engineering company VBB since 1997 called Sweco. Before the construction of Kuwait towers, Sune lindstorm, Chief architect of the company already erected five groups of his typical mushroom water towers, but the Amir of Kuwait wanted a more striking design for the sixth site. Lindstorm made ten different designs and three were presented to the Amir, who chose this one.
VBB has commissioned the main building task to the Energoproject of Belgrade, Yugoslavia. The towers were built in prestressed concrete and reinforced concrete. The three spheres is covered approximately by 41,000 enamelled steel discs in eight shades of green, blue and gray, recalling the tiled domes of historic Mosques. Around the spheres, the steel discs are prearranged in spiral patterns. The construction of Kuwait Towers were, together with the Kuwait Water Towers, was awarded the Aga khan award for architecture in 1980.
Significance of Kuwait Towers
The Kuwait Towers are considered as a landmark and symbol of modern Kuwait. Officially unveiled in March 1979, the towers were closed for maintenance from March 2012 to 8th March 2016 with massive fireworks festival commemorating the re-opening. The towers are a very popular landscape in Kuwait, and can be spotted from a large portion of the city.The main tower is 187m in height and has two spheres. The lower sphere contains the bottom half of a 4500 cubic metres water tank, while its upper half is a restaurant with capability for 90 people, apart from a lounge, a cafe, and a reception hall. The upper sphere rises to 123m above sea leavel and completes a full turn every 30minutes. This revolving tower provides 360 panoramic views of the city.
The second tower, which is 147m in height, serves as water tower. The third tower holds equipment to control the flow of electricity and illuminates the two larger towers. Altogether, the towers can hold 9000 cubic metres of water.
According to the architect, the Kuwait Tower group refers to the ideals of humanity and technology, symbolized by the globe and rocket. The Kuwait Towers, together with the Kuwait Water Towers, were awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Restaurants in Kuwait Towers
There are two restaurants and a lounge in the restaurant sphere, which is divided into two floors. The first is called ‘Horizon’ and is located on the top floor of the sphere.
Horizon Restaurant (Ofok Hall)
Visitors can experience world class hospitality at 82m above sea level, featuring international open buffet served daily and during the following hours:
Family Breakfast on Weekends and Public Holidays
Breakfast 8am – 11:30am Ladies Breakfast from Sundays – Thursdays Only
Lunch 12:30pm – 4pm
Dinner 7:30pm – 11:30pm
For reservations, you can contact them on 22081999 or 1806806
At Fusion Sushi, you can enjoy a variety of Japanese and Chinese foods frum Sushi to Teryaki, and noodles since they serve a delicious buffet. You can taste all the menu at a reasonable price, enjoying the beautiful wood decoration and sea view that will altogether make the experience memorable. It could be the best place to visit with friends and families.
Open: Closes 4pm, Reopens 7pm
Tel: +965 22418901
Overlooking the Arabian Gulf on a 79m above sea level, a pleasant lounging spot for visitors to enjoy a wide selection of pastries, fruits, savory snacks and beverages.
Other attractions in the vicinity of the Towers
Few popular attractions nearby Kuwait Towers, that are worth a visit include:
The Grand Mosque the largest and official Mosque in Kuwait spanning an area of 45000 sqm.
Kuwait Maritime Museum The museum houses various exhibits concerning Kuwait’s relationship with the sea, from sailing to finishing to pearl diving, these exhibits are interesting and unusual.
Souk Al-Mubarakiya – One of the oldest souqs in Kuwait City, which was the centre of trade prior to oil discovery.
Souk Sharq a major shopping centre in Kuwait City
If you are visiting the revolving / viewing sphere, the entrance fee is KD3 per person.
When visiting a restaurant there, no entrance fee is charged. If you eat at the restaurant, you can go to the viewing deck for free, if you keep your meal receipt. If you plan to visit a restaurant within the tower, you can also park your car within the Kuwait Towers parking lot.
No entrance fee is charged for children below 4 years of age.
Viewing sphere: 9am to 11.30pm
Things to remember:
Reception hall in main towers can host corporate meetings, formal events & seminars and it is equipped with the latest training solutions.
Every week Saturday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 11:30 am is reserved for ladies only in Ofok hall.
Kuwait Towers also holds the Popular Kuwaiti Meals Festival, annual Ice Cream Festival and Chocolate Festival.
Training halls are fully operational with modern and specialized equipments for training purposes.
Al juone cafeteria has been newly introduced which features an upper scale flavor of International Arabian and Oriental cuisines tailored to the banquets needs and client’s events.