Kuwait International Airport
The airport is located 10 miles south of Kuwait city.
+965 433 5599 or +965 433 4499 (flight information)
Kuwait International Airport (KWI) is situated approximately 9.5 miles (15.5km) south of Kuwait City. The current building, which houses one terminal for arrivals and departures, handles more than 100 flights per day and 8 million passengers per year. A second terminal, scheduled to open in 2014, is set to increase this figure to 20 million passengers per annum.
Kuwait International does not fare well when compared to other leading Middle Eastern airports such as Dubai or Bahrain. It is notorious for long queues. However, often described as a shopper’s paradise rather than an airport, one need only set foot in its gigantic mall (also known as the Commercial Center) to see where the airport’s real strengths lie. Flooded with natural light that streams through towering glazed windows, the interior of the multi-level Commercial Center is a pleasure to explore. When viewed from the air, its rooftop resembles the vapor trails of jets blasting away from the main terminal building.
The passenger terminal complex includes arrivals and departures; the gates are within walking distance of one another.
Getting into Town
Taxi: Book a seat at the taxi desk on the ground floor of arrivals, as drivers are known to overcharge unsuspecting travelers. Expect to pay between KDO 5 (£11) and KDO 6 (£13) for a trip to the city center.
Bus: Buses depart from outside arrivals every 45 minutes. The journey to the city of Kuwait takes approximately 30 minutes and a ticket will cost you KDO 2.50 (almost £6).
A multi-story car park adjacent to the mall and a street-level car park next to arrivals can accommodate 2,500 vehicles for both short- and long-term stays. Valet parking is also available.
Information desks can be found in the transit area, as well as in the departures and arrivals areas. Personnel are friendly and helpful.
Money and communications: ATMs, currency exchange and post office.
Luggage: State-of-the-art baggage handling systems are in place and the airport’s website provides an online platform that allows you to identify lost property.
Conference and business: There are two First-Class lounges equipped with basic fax and Internet facilities in the main building itself, while the Safir Airport Hotel provides Internet and business services, as well as conference rooms, courier services and secretarial support.
Shopping: Shopping at Kuwait International is a major attraction for travelers, as both the arrivals and departures halls connect directly to a massive 32,000 square meters (21,527 square feet) shopping mall comprising brand outlets such as Casio, Harley Davidson and The Body Shop, to name but a few.
Food and drink: KFC and Fuddrucker’s are particularly popular, accounting for more than a third of the shopping mall’s customers. Perky’s Pizza offers some Italian food while cafes such as Starbuck’s, Numi and Jamaica Blue provide quick and tasty bites.
Other facilities: In addition to passenger lounges, the airport includes a nursery and children’s play zone. There is a medical center and wheelchairs are available on request.
Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is accessible at the airport’s check-in areas, as well as at most restaurants and shops.