Salmiya is the central shopping hub in Kuwait city, boasting dazzling malls fully justifying its main street’s nickname of ”Middle Eastern Champs Elysees.” Salmiya outlets offer few bargains in regards to Western-style fashion, although Eastern-designed and made outfits can be found for good prices. The malls offer window-shopping for miles and a great selection of coffee shops and food courts for people watching. The best buy in Kuwait is gold as it’s sold by weight, not by article, and retailers will make up your own design for a small premium.
Close by the Sheraton Hotel is an interesting mall, the Al-Watiya Complex, which has a more oriental feel to it. It’s located near the Filipino and Indian districts, and is one of the best places to source gold and jewelry. In general, prices of brand names are cheaper here, due to the lack of sales tax in the emirate. Traditional Bedouin arts and crafts, especially woven items, make great souvenirs of a visit to Kuwait, with carpets, rugs, wall-hangings, and pottery favorites,.
For the Middle Eastern shopping experience of a lifetime, head to Souq Marbarakia, the largest of Kuwait City’s traditional Arab markets. Haggling is not only required, but it’s also fun, and discounts of over 50 percent can be obtained if you’re patient. Gold, jewelry, crafts, traditional clothing, shoes, purses, housewares, spices, herbs, fresh produce, olives, and dates are all good buys, and the little restaurants and coffee shops in the food hall are great when you need a break from the chaos.