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Kuwait city
Kuwait city
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All about Kuwait
All about Kuwait
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Kuwait - The True Beauty Of Kuwait City
Kuwait - The True Beauty Of Kuwait City
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Kuwait City Tour
Kuwait City Tour
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A Tourist
A Tourist's Guide to Kuwait City, Kuwait. www.theredquest.com
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Friday Drive Kuwait City
Friday Drive Kuwait City
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Frizzy - Kuwait City Be Like
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Kuwait city
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Kuwait city beautiful :)
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Kuwait city- 06 feb 2013
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❤ Kuwaiti women real beautiful arabian girls from Kuwait City 2013 Arab Beauty
❤ Kuwaiti women real beautiful arabian girls from Kuwait City 2013 Arab Beauty
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Fish Market Kuwait City 2011
Fish Market Kuwait City 2011
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DEPL0YMENT: exploring more of Kuwait City
DEPL0YMENT: exploring more of Kuwait City
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Beautiful Kuwait city‏ - new trailer montage 2011
Beautiful Kuwait city‏ - new trailer montage 2011
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kuwait future city -city of silk- مدينة الحرير
kuwait future city -city of silk- مدينة الحرير
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Kuwait city‏ - new trailer montage 2012
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Pharrell Williams - Happy [Kuwait] #HAPPYQ8 #HAPPYDAY
Pharrell Williams - Happy [Kuwait] #HAPPYQ8 #HAPPYDAY
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A very brief tour of Kuwait City
A very brief tour of Kuwait City
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Sharq Skyline (Kuwait City) Time-lapse- 6 Years in 6 Seconds
Sharq Skyline (Kuwait City) Time-lapse- 6 Years in 6 Seconds
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Kuwait City, Kuwait - Dawlat al-Kuwayt
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eid party at kuwait city
eid party at kuwait city
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kuwait city tour
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Kuwait City Mar Thoma Parish inter prayer choir competition 2013
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Workshop/ Seminar in Kuwait City Bait Lothan
Workshop/ Seminar in Kuwait City Bait Lothan
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F1 Car live & loud on the streets of Kuwait City.
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One Evening In Kuwait by TJC Films
One Evening In Kuwait by TJC Films
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Kuwait Paintball Tournament 7 | Kuwait City
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Jorn Utzon House of Parliament, Kuwait city
Jorn Utzon House of Parliament, Kuwait city
::2007/03/13::
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kuwait 1984 - 1986 City Salmiya
kuwait 1984 - 1986 City Salmiya
::2010/12/12::
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Drive in Kuwait City, Shark By Saifee Gulam
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::2014/05/29::
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Kuwait city 3 30 08 2013
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Almubarakeyah Market- Kuwait City 24 February 2012
Almubarakeyah Market- Kuwait City 24 February 2012
::2012/02/25::
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Kuwait Airways A340 Arrival into Kuwait City KU104
Kuwait Airways A340 Arrival into Kuwait City KU104
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kuwait city Nikon D7000 720p HD Movies  عماد الحزامي
kuwait city Nikon D7000 720p HD Movies عماد الحزامي
::2011/04/14::
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JW Marriott Hotel Kuwait City
JW Marriott Hotel Kuwait City
::2011/01/28::
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Driving in Kuwait City
Driving in Kuwait City
::2013/01/29::
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Over 7 million tires being burned in Jahra, Kuwait City
Over 7 million tires being burned in Jahra, Kuwait City
::2012/04/17::
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KUWAIT CITY
KUWAIT CITY
::2009/03/04::
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Baro bax Irani In Q8 (kuwait City)                 برو بکس ایرانی در کویت
Baro bax Irani In Q8 (kuwait City) برو بکس ایرانی در کویت
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Kuwait City
مدينة الكويت
Madinat Al Kuwayt
Skyline of Kuwait City
Skyline of Kuwait City
Kuwait City is located in Al- Andalus
Kuwait City
Kuwait City
Location of Kuwait in Kuwait
Coordinates: 29°22′11″N 47°58′42″E / 29.36972°N 47.97833°E / 29.36972; 47.97833Coordinates: 29°22′11″N 47°58′42″E / 29.36972°N 47.97833°E / 29.36972; 47.97833
Country Kuwait Kuwait
Governorate Al Asimah
Area
 • Metro 200 km2 (80 sq mi)
Population (2005 estimate)
 • City 151,060 (2,008)
 • Metro 2,380,000
Time zone AST (UTC+3)

Kuwait City (Arabic: مدينة الكويت, translation: Madīnat al-Kuwayt) is the capital and largest city of Kuwait. It has a population of 2.38 million in the metropolitan area. Located at the heart of the country on the shore of the Persian Gulf, and containing Kuwait's parliament (Majlis Al-Umma), most governmental offices, the headquarters of most Kuwaiti corporations and banks, it is the political, cultural and economic center of Kuwait. Kuwait City is considered a Beta - Global city.

Kuwait City’s trade and transportation needs are served by Kuwait International Airport, Mina Al-Shuwaik (Shuwaik Port) and Mina Al Ahmadi (Ahmadi Port) 50 kilometres (31 miles) to the south, on the Persian Gulf coast. Kuwait City is ranked as one among the 25 largest GDP cities in the world along with New York, Tokyo, Moscow, Mumbai and other financial hubs including Singapore and Dubai.[1]

History[edit]

Economic prosperity[edit]

Marine Museum in Kuwait City. Demonstrates the founding of Kuwait as a sea port for merchants.

In the eighteenth century, Kuwait prospered and rapidly became the principal commercial center for the transit of goods between India, Muscat, Baghdad and Arabia.[2][3] By the mid 1700s, Kuwait had already established itself as the major trading route from the Persian Gulf to Aleppo.[4] During the Persian siege of Basra in 1775—1779, Iraqi merchants took refuge in Kuwait and were partly instrumental in the expansion of Kuwait's boat-building and trading activities.[5] As a result, Kuwait's maritime commerce boomed.[5]

Between the years 1775 and 1779, the Indian trade routes with Baghdad, Aleppo, Smyrna and Constantinople were diverted to Kuwait.[4][6] The East India Company was diverted to Kuwait in 1792.[7] The East India Company secured the sea routes between Kuwait, India and the east coasts of Africa.[7] After the Persians withdrew from Basra in 1779, Kuwait continued to attract trade away from Basra.[8] The flight of many of Basra's leading merchants to Kuwait continued to play a significant role in Basra's commercial stagnation well into the 1850s.[8]

Regional geopolitical turbulence helped foster economic prosperity in Kuwait in the second half of the 18th century.[9] Kuwait became prosperous due to Basra's instability in the late 18th century.[10] In the late 18th century, Kuwait partly functioned as a haven for Basra's merchants fleeing Ottoman government persecution.[11] By 1800, it was estimated that Kuwait's sea trade reached 16 million Bombay rupees.[4] Kuwait's pre-oil population was ethnically diverse.[12] The population consisted of Arabs, Persians, Africans, Jews and Armenians.

Kuwait was the center of boat building in the Gulf region.[13] Ship vessels made in Kuwait carried the bulk of international trade between the trade ports of India, East Africa, and Red Sea.[14][15][16] Boats made in Kuwait were capable of sailing up to China.[17] Kuwaiti ship vessels were renowned throughout the Indian Ocean for quality and design.[18][17] Kuwaitis also developed a reputation as the best sailors in the Persian Gulf.[19][20][2]

Kuwait was a central part of the trade in frankincense from Oman, textiles from China, and Indian spices, all destined for lucrative European markets.[21] Kuwait was also significant in the horse trade,[22] horses were regularly shipped by the way of sailing boats from Kuwait.[22] In the mid 19th century, it was estimated that Kuwait was exporting an average of 800 horses to India annually.[9] Kuwait was divided into three areas: Sharq, Jibla and Mirqab.[23] Sharq and Jibla were the most populated areas.[23] Jibla was inhabited by immigrants from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Bahrain. Sharq was mostly inhabited by Persians (Ajam).[23]

In the early 20th century, Kuwait was dubbed the "Marseilles of the Gulf" because its economic vitality attracted a large variety of people.[24] In a good year, Kuwait's annual revenue actually came up to 100,000 riyals,[11] the governor of Basra considered Kuwait's annual revenue an astounding figure.[11] A Western author's account of Kuwait in 1905:[12]

In the first decades of the twentieth century, Kuwait had a well-established elite: wealthy trading families who were linked by marriage and shared economic interests.[25] The elite were long-settled, urban, Sunni families, the majority of which claim descent from the original 30 Bani Utubi families.[25] The wealthiest families were trade merchants who acquired their wealth from long-distance commerce, shipbuilding and pearling.[25] They were a cosmopolitan elite; they traveled extensively to India, Africa and Europe.[25] The elite educated their sons abroad more than other Gulf Arab elite.[25] Western visitors noted that the Kuwaiti elite used European office systems, typewriters and followed European culture with curiosity.[25] The richest families were involved in general trade.[25] The merchant families of Al-Ghanim and Al-Hamad were estimated to be worth millions before the 1940s.[25]

Downfall of economy[edit]

In the early 20th century, Kuwait immensely declined in regional economic importance,[17] mainly due to many trade blockades and the world economic depression.[26] Before Mary Bruins Allison visited Kuwait in 1934, Kuwait lost its prominence in long distance trade.[17] During World War I, the British Empire imposed a trade blockade against Kuwait because Kuwait's ruler supported the Ottoman Empire.[27][28] The British economic blockade heavily damaged Kuwait's economy.[28]

The Great Depression negatively impacted Kuwait's economy starting in the late 1920s.[29] International trading was one of Kuwait's main sources of income before oil.[29] Kuwaiti merchants were mostly intermediary merchants.[29] As a result of European decline of demand for goods from India and Africa, the economy of Kuwait suffered. The decline in international trade resulted in an increase in gold smuggling by Kuwaiti ships to India.[29] Some Kuwaiti merchant families became rich due to gold smuggling to India.[30]

Kuwait's pearling industry also collapsed as a result of the worldwide economic depression.[30] At its height, Kuwait's pearling industry led the world's luxury market, regularly sending out between 750 and 800 ship vessels to meet the European elite's need for luxuries pearls.[30] During the economic depression, luxuries like pearls were in little demand.[30] The Japanese invention of cultured pearls also contributed to the collapse of Kuwait's pearling industry.[30]

Following the Kuwait–Najd War of 1919-1920, Ibn Saud imposed a trade blockade against Kuwait from the years 1923 until 1937.[26][29] The goal of the Saudi economic and military attacks on Kuwait was to annex as much of Kuwait's territory as possible.[26] At the Uqair conference in 1922, the boundaries of Kuwait and Najd were set.[26] Kuwait had no representative at the Uqair conference.[26] Ibn Saud persuaded Sir Percy Cox to give him two-thirds of Kuwait's territory.[26] More than half of Kuwait was lost due to Uqair.[26] After the Uqair conference, Kuwait was still subjected to a Saudi economic blockade and intermittent Saudi raiding.[26]

In 1937, Freya Stark wrote about the extent of poverty in Kuwait at the time:[29]

Some prominent merchant families left Kuwait in the early 1930s due to the prevalence of economic hardship. At the time of the discovery of oil in 1937, most of Kuwait's inhabitants were impoverished.

Discovery of oil[edit]

In 1937, the 15 year trade blockades against Kuwait were lifted and Kuwait's large oil reserves were discovered by the US-British Kuwait Oil Company. Exploration was delayed until after World War II, the use of oil only began in 1951. Between World War II and 1948, Kuwait's inhabitants were still largely impoverished. A few years after the end of World War II, oil exploration finally began. In 1951, a major public-work programme began to enable Kuwaitis to enjoy a better standard of living. By 1952, the country became the largest exporter of oil in the Persian Gulf region. This massive growth attracted many foreign workers, especially from India.

Independence and beyond[edit]

On 19 June 1961, Kuwait became independent with the end of the British protectorate; the sheikh Abdullah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, became an emir, and the country joined the Arab League. Iraq laid claim that Kuwait was part of its territory, but formally recognized Kuwait's independence and its borders in October 1963. Under the terms of a newly drafted constitution, Kuwait held its first parliamentary elections in 1963. The exploitation of large oil fields improved Kuwait's economy. Kuwait settled its boundary disputes with Saudi Arabia and agreed on sharing equally the Saudi–Kuwaiti neutral zone's petroleum reserves. During the 1970s, the Kuwaiti government nationalized the Kuwait Oil Company, ending its partnership with British Petroleum.

In the early 1980s, Kuwait experienced a major economic crisis after the Souk Al-Manakh stock market crash and decrease in oil price.[31] This prompted the Emir Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to recall the National Assembly in 1981. However, the crisis was short-lived as Kuwait's oil production increased steadily to fill the gap caused by decrease in Iraq's and Iran's oil production due to the Iran–Iraq War. The National Assembly was dissolved again in 1986.

Geography and climate[edit]

Astronaut View of Kuwait

Kuwait City has a hot desert climate (Köppen: BWh) and is one of the hottest cities in summers on earth. Its winters are warm with very little rainfall. Sand storms are quite frequent in mid-year.

Summer temperatures regularly exceed 45 °C (113 °F), and temperatures over 50 °C (122 °F) are not uncommon in the summer, especially in heat waves; nighttime lows often remain above 30 °C (86 °F). Winters, however, frequently see nighttime temperatures drop below 8 °C (46 °F).

Summer rainfall is very rare, and normally non-existent. The wettest month is January, typically with only five days of any rain. Rain may occur in the spring and its frequency increases around November. On average, Kuwait City sees about 22 wet days, and 343 dry days.

Sand storms occur at times during summer from the shamal wind. Sand storms can occur any time of year but occur mostly during summer, and less frequently during autumn.

Climate data for Kuwait City
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 19.5
(67.1)
21.8
(71.2)
26.9
(80.4)
35
(95)
40.9
(105.6)
44.5
(112.1)
46.7
(116.1)
46.9
(116.4)
43.7
(110.7)
36.6
(97.9)
27.8
(82)
21.9
(71.4)
34.35
(93.83)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.5
(54.5)
14.8
(58.6)
19.3
(66.7)
24.9
(76.8)
31.5
(88.7)
36
(97)
37.7
(99.9)
36.8
(98.2)
33.3
(91.9)
27.3
(81.1)
19.9
(67.8)
14.1
(57.4)
25.68
(78.22)
Average low °C (°F) 8.5
(47.3)
10
(50)
14
(57)
19.5
(67.1)
25.4
(77.7)
28.9
(84)
30.7
(87.3)
29.5
(85.1)
26.2
(79.2)
21.5
(70.7)
14.5
(58.1)
9.9
(49.8)
19.88
(67.78)
Rainfall mm (inches) 30.2
(1.189)
10.5
(0.413)
18.2
(0.717)
11.5
(0.453)
0.4
(0.016)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.4
(0.055)
18.5
(0.728)
25.5
(1.004)
116.2
(4.575)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 5 3 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 3 22
 % humidity 60.5 54.5 46.5 40.5 28.5 18 18.5 22 27 39 49 57.5 38.46
Mean monthly sunshine hours 198.4 223.2 217 228 272.8 303 306.9 300.7 285 251.1 216 192.2 2,994.3
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization (1994-2008),[32] Hong Kong Observatory (1961-1990; mean temperatures, rainy days, sunshine)[33]
Source #2: Climate Charts (humidity),[34] Voodoo Skies (records)[35]

Suburbs[edit]

Traffic sign directing to Kuwait City
Adiliya indicated by a traffic sign

Although the districts below are not usually recognized as suburbs, the following is a list of a few areas surrounding Kuwait city:

Economy[edit]

Kuwait’s booming economy has allowed many international hotel chains to enter agreements to open hotels in the country. According to the Kuwait Hotel Owners Association, over twenty-five new hotels are planned or in construction, including the following:

  • Hotel Missoni Kuwait
  • Golden Tulip Kuwait
  • Hilton Olympia Kuwait
  • Ibis Sharq
  • Jumeirah Messilah Beach Kuwait
  • InterContinental Kuwait Downtown – opening early 2015
  • InterContinental Kuwait at The White
  • The Square Capital Tower – on hold
  • Novotel Mina Abdullah Resort
  • Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at The Gate of Kuwait – plans are in motion to open within the next few years.

By 2012, over 3,000 rooms are expected to be added to Kuwait’s current hotel inventory.

The city is also home to a large variety of shopping malls, which serve as the basis of Kuwaiti social life. Famous malls such as the Avenues, Marina World and the 360 Mall house many internationally renowned retail and food/beverage brands, as well as provide sheltered, indoor areas to relax. Several more, such as the Mall of Kuwait, the Al Hamra Center and Symphony Centre are expected to enter service within the next five years.

Transport[edit]

In 2008, a railway network connecting Arab states of the Persian Gulf was proposed, although work is yet to start.[36] A metro network was designed, with four lines and stations across the entire city and suburbs. Although it has faced considerable delays, the project is expected to commence construction sometime in 2011 and open parts of the first two lines by July 2016.

Kuwait International Airport is the primary airport for the country serving a wide variety of local and international destinations.

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Kuwait City is twinned with:

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World's 25 major cities and economic growth"
  2. ^ a b "Shadows on the Sand: The Memoirs of Sir Gawain Bell". Gawain Bell. 1983. p. 222. 
  3. ^ ʻAlam-i Nisvāṉ - Volume 2, Issues 1-2. p. 18. "Kuwait became an important trading port for import and export of goods from India, Africa and Arabia." 
  4. ^ a b c "Constancy and Change in Contemporary Kuwait City". Mohammad Khalid A. Al-Jassar. 2009. p. 66. 
  5. ^ a b "Beyond the Storm: A Gulf Crisis Reader". Phyllis Bennis. p. 42. 
  6. ^ The Kuwait Crisis: Basic Documents. 1991. p. 4. 
  7. ^ a b Constancy and Change in Contemporary Kuwait City. 2009. p. 67. 
  8. ^ a b Thabit Abdullah. Merchants, Mamluks, and Murder: The Political Economy of Trade in Eighteenth-Century Basra. p. 72. 
  9. ^ a b "Constancy and Change in Contemporary Kuwait City". Mohammad Khalid A. Al-Jassar. p. 68. 
  10. ^ "Waqai-i manazil-i Rum: Tipu Sultan's mission to Constantinople". Mohibbul Hasan. 2007. p. 18. "For owing to Basra's misfortunes, Kuwait and Zubarah became rich." 
  11. ^ a b c "The Politics of Regional Trade in Iraq, Arabia, and the Gulf, 1745-1900". Hala Mundhir Fattah. 1997. p. 114. 
  12. ^ a b c "Lord of Arabia". H. C. Armstrong. 1905. pp. 18–19. 
  13. ^ The impact of economic activities on the social and political structures of Kuwait (1896-1946). p. 108. 
  14. ^ Kuwait Today: A Welfare State. 1963. p. 89. 
  15. ^ The Arabian Peninsula. 1970. p. 150. 
  16. ^ M. Nijhoff (1974). Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde, Volume 130. p. 111. 
  17. ^ a b c d Mary Bruins Allison (1994). Doctor Mary in Arabia: Memoirs. p. 1. 
  18. ^ "The Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia and the Gulf". Neil Donaldson. 2008. p. 93. 
  19. ^ "Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire". 2009. p. 321. 
  20. ^ "Seafaring in the Arabian Gulf and Oman: People of the Dhow". Dionisius A. Agius. 2012. p. 48. 
  21. ^ "Kuwait: A Trading City". Eleanor Archer. 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "The Politics of Regional Trade in Iraq, Arabia, and the Gulf, 1745-1900". Hala Mundhir Fattah. 1997. p. 181. 
  23. ^ a b c Two ethnicities, three generations: Phonological variation and change in Kuwait (PhD). Newcastle University. p. 13-14. 
  24. ^ "The Persian Gulf in History". Lawrence G. Potter. 2009. p. 272. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h "Oil and Politics in the Gulf: Rulers and Merchants in Kuwait and Qatar". Jill Crystal. 1995. p. 37. 
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h Mary Ann Tétreault (1995). The Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and the Economics of the New World Order. pp. 2–3. 
  27. ^ David Lea (2001). A Political Chronology of the Middle East. p. 142. 
  28. ^ a b Lewis R. Scudder (1998). The Arabian Mission's Story: In Search of Abraham's Other Son. p. 104. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f Mohammad Khalid A. Al-Jassar (2009). Constancy and Change in Contemporary Kuwait City: The Socio-cultural Dimensions of the Kuwait Courtyard and Diwaniyya. p. 80. 
  30. ^ a b c d e "The History of Kuwait". Michael S. Casey. 2007. p. 57. 
  31. ^ "Kuwait’s Souk al-Manakh Stock Bubble". Stock-market-crash.net. 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  32. ^ "World Weather Information Service - Kuwait City". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  33. ^ "Climatological Normals of Kuwait". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  34. ^ "Kuwait Int'l, Kuwait Climate, Global Warming, and Daylight Charts and Data". Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  35. ^ "Kuwait City, Kuwait". Voodoo Skies. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  36. ^ Railway Gazette International January 2009 p21 with map
  37. ^ http://www.beirut.gov.lb/MCMSTest/Menu-Pages/SisterCitiesEN.aspx?NRMODE=Published&NRORIGINALURL=%2fwww%2ebeirut%2egov%2elb%2fMCMSEN%2fTwinning%2bthe%2bCities%2f&NRNODEGUID=%7b18839037-0140-436E-A1AF-7F8F3693C3E6%7d&NRCACHEHINT=NoModifyGuest#
  38. ^ "Acuerdo de Hermandad abrirá horizontes de colaboración". El Universal (Mexico City). 
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