Flag of Kuwait

Kuwait

The State of Kuwait is a small constitutional monarchy on the coast of the Persian Gulf, enclosed by Iraq to the north and Saudi Arabia to the south. Kuwait consists of the mainland and nine offshore islands; its name comes from a diminutive of an Arabic word meaning 'fortress built near water'.

With the first Iraqi war a fading memory, Kuwait is once again the prototypical oil state, and travellers looking for a relaxed entry into the Muslim world can look forward to wandering around mosques, souks and other sandy traces of bygone Bedouin days.

When Iraqi troops were driven out in early 1991 and reconstruction work began in the ruins of Kuwait City, the government became obsessed with meticulously re-creating the country's pre-invasion appearance - right down to the pink marble steps at the entrance to the city's leading five-star hotel.

Map of Kuwait