The sea is the "oasis" - Kuwait
Like other countries that border the sea in this region, the summers in Kuwait are scorching, with the sun raising temperatures to 40°C and sometimes even 50°C. On top of that, fierce sandstorms assail the cities. In such a harsh climate, people love to head to the sea to escape from their daily lives and the intense heat.
Vacation homes line the man-made canal in Al Khiran. For the people who reside in this hot climate, the waterside is the best place to escape from the heat.
The passing of the most beautiful time in the day (Al Khiran)
A boat returns to its home marina after a day out on the water (Al Khiran)
The Kuwait Towers rise up from the Kuwait City waterline
As one of the best bases for marine leisure in Kuwait City, the Souq Sharq Marina is packed with boats
Fresh seafood is brought in through the fishing port neighboring the Souq Sharq Marina
The abundance of fresh fish found at the markets symbolize the richness of the Persian Gulf
The blessings of the Persian Gulf
We visited Kuwait in February to try out boating in this oasis-like body of water for ourselves. The climate was so temperate that it was hard to imagine what the scorching heat must be like in the middle of summer. Day after day of such great weather made for a comfortable and enjoyable cruising experience.
The marina at Al Khiran lies about a two-hour drive from Kuwait City and there we see rows and rows of summer vacation homes under construction.
Taking the boat towards the open sea from the lagoon at Khiran unveils the beautiful, blue waters of the Persian Gulf. The water is calm with almost no unpleasant waves to be found and the welcome sea breeze creates an urge to go enjoy sailing as well.
"If you go out to the islands farther out, you can catch some big grouper and yellowtail. It's the right time, do you want to give it a shot?" the pilot and crew eagerly ask. The waters near Kuwait were once known for their pearls as well. This seemingly boundless fertility contrasts sharply with the surrounding desert.
Year-round marine season
The Souq Sharq Waterfront in Kuwait City is a building complex with a large shopping mall and marina facilities adjacent to each other. This marina plays a central role in the Kuwait marine leisure scene and was also the venue for the Kuwait International Boat Show.
If you think of the Arabian Peninsula, images of the power of oil, millionaires and glamorous salon cruisers on the water may come to mind. But, looking at the boats moored at this marina, 25-30 foot class boats dominate the scene. From this and the completely full marina berths, you can tell that many people here have a strong affinity for the sea and are casually enjoying the boating life.
Right next to the marina is the marketplace that supplies the kitchens of Kuwait. In the evening, fishing boats bring in the day's catch to the adjacent fishing port and the daily bidding begins. Of the fish that were on sale are the grouper and yellowtail we had just heard about, and behind them the proud faces of the fishermen who had caught them.
With the penetrating heat and constant presence of sandstorms, every outing to the sea relaxes you and excitement peaks with that one great fishing catch. It could be said that because the surrounding environment is so harsh, the enjoyment the sea brings is that much more enjoyable. Even more so, the winter presents a far cooler option to the summer, with the average temperature hovering under 20°C making daily life very comfortable. This makes for a great time on the water even in winter. In Kuwait, the marine season lasts all year, where the sea truly is also an "oasis."