History of the Behbehani House Complex

Post by Mark

The Behbehani House Complex located behind the church in Kuwait City is one of the few remaining historical buildings in that area. I never knew the history behind it but a redditor recently posted a link to a chapter from the book “Cities in Transition” that talks about the history of this beautiful complex. Here is one paragraph from that chapter:

The Behbehani House Complex is located in al-Watia area, which means “footmarks” in the local Kuwaiti dialect. The area was given this name because people used to stroll beside the sea shore along the Arabian Gulf bay leaving their footmarks on the muddy sand shore thus giving this area its common name. In the early 1940’s Yusuf Shreen Behbehani built this complex as his first major real estate project. Al-Watia area was a wild and lonely place, where few town people dared to venture. When Yusuf Behbehani bought this piece of land, half of it used to be covered by high tide seawater, so he reclaimed it and made it higher and then started to build, as Al-Rashoud 1995 has noted. This represented one of the first attempts to reclaim parts of the Arabian Gulf bay along the Kuwaiti waterfront, which now became almost common practice in most waterfront development projects.

If you’re interested in reading more about the Behbehani House Complex, then check out the full chapter [Here]

Photo by kimprint


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3 comments, add your own...


  1. A Proud Kuwaiti says:

    One of the best spots in downtown Kuwait, but the surrounding area needs a little revamp. I still go to Shate’a Al-Wattya restaurant and Dar Al Funoon gallery and soak up the culinary and cultural ambience.

    Thanks for the post.

  2. Priscilla says:

    Thank you. Having walked through that area a few months ago just to get to the church, I was fascinated by it’s architecture and wondered about the history of the place.

    Thanks to your write up and link, was able to learn more.

  3. ali says:

    built in the 40’s!! I would say they are fairly modern, few years apart from the, once modern now old- but not historical, buildings in Fahad Alsalem St. or kuwait municipality.


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