Detailed Tour of the New Kuwait Airport

Post by Mark

If you’re curious to know more about the new Kuwait Airport thats being built, you can watch presentation above (in Arabic) where the presenter takes the audience on a very thorough tour of it. Since its a slideshow and around 20 minutes long most people will find it pretty boring so I’ve taken the liberty to write down some of the highlights:

– Airport will take 6 years to construct
– Entrance to the airport will be from the South, from Subhan
– Transparent LED screens will be used at check-in counters (when screens are off they’re transparent)
– Business and first class passengers have their own entrance
– The airport ceiling was inspired by old Al-Andalus architecture on how to bring day light in
– The same holes in the ceiling that bring day light in during the day, at night have bright projectors inside to mimic day light. So even at night you’ll get the impression there is daylight coming in
– First impression for visitors is important so the arrival area was heavily worked on to make the impression a good one. There will be lots of daylight, large open spaces and even waterfalls in the arrival area
– There will be 37 airplane gates
– 5,200 parking spots


Old airport on the right vs the new airport on the left

– Airport is Metro ready
– Airport will also be future expansion ready. They will build a tunnel for an Automated People Mover (a computer controlled transit system) that will end up connecting to a future terminal when the time comes to build it
– The new airport level of service will be ranked “A” (Excellent). This grade is given based on various factors including the distance between gates, the amount of time you wait at the check-in counters, immigration, security etc..
– Current airport is made to handle 7 million passengers but over 11.5 million passengers use it hence why the level of service is so low
– You can check-in 30 minutes before departure because their baggage boarding system is very efficient and fully automated from the check-in counter to the plane
– On arrival, first bag will be out in 10 minutes after the plane lands while the last bag will be out in 25-30 minutes
– Minimum connect time for transfer bags is 45 minutes
– The new airport will be one of the few world wide with a LEED Gold ranking. Meaning it will be a very green sustainable building. The roof for example will be composed of solar panels that will power around 10% of the airports power while rainwater will also be collected and there are other green features as well

Lots of details as I mentioned so if you’ve got 20 minutes to spare check out the presentation. Also looks like the Metro project is still alive! [YouTube]


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25 comments, add your own...


  1. Azz says:

    All sounds good.
    Did they also mention the people who will work inside.
    The best architecture, interiors, exteriors and what not.
    All this is worthwhile only if its complimented by the staff, right from the janitor to customs, security , National carrier etc…
    6 years though a considerably short time for attitudes to change. Hoping for the best though.

  2. Kuwait says:

    Any light shed on STAFF working at the airport? No use if they’re going to be behaving like the one’s we’ve got now :(

    • Mark says:

      i’m hoping the current staff are the way they are because they are demoralized by their work environment. Maybe once they move into the new airport things will change. I know if I worked at the current airport I’d probably be worse than them.

      • Simple_Man says:

        I just hope they have like 100 counters for Immigration then maybe they will have 10 staffed ok 6 but of the 6, 4 will be doing crap on their cell phones as the lines extend back to the gate. I also wonder if they will have more than 6 carts after you clear the inspection that you can use up to the gate.

        • lucky_boy says:

          Well as Mark said, its all about the work environment. Check out the staff at Sheik Saad terminal for Flydubai. They are one hell of a nice chillaxed staff. And its all because they work in cozy relaxed environment, and not the overcrowded mess of Kuwait international airport.

  3. ahmed alrasheed says:

    i am cautiously optimistic about this :)

  4. C says:

    I hope they have thought of smart gates!

  5. khaled says:

    This looks great !! I agree that they need staff training to make sure they greet people with a smile and make a better impression for visitors.

    Another thing, i really hope they get rid of all the baggage porters that are just standing around…not a good first sight to see…they should just put a desk there and have people request the baggage handlers

  6. meh says:

    The building will also have an automated system to herd the expats into one single counter.

  7. Khaled says:

    Am I under the impression that it will be super bright indoors to simulate the sun? That’s a terrible idea for everyone as it would mess up with your sleep cycles big time!

  8. Adel says:

    Not enough parking spots I can tell that right now, in our old airport we get the average of 850 cars per hour during peak arrival times in a non seasonal normal week. I don’t have enough data on summer vacation time, but I can imagine it could double that number easily specially when you take in 6 years population growth as a factor. Not a huge fan of removing sheikh saad terminal otherwise hats off to them, they have some really modern ideas but I would double on safety example air ventilation incase of a fire… etc

  9. BlarneyBob says:

    Looks good on paper, really

    Catch rainwater what?!?!? Its as if you have that much rain falling in Kuwait, lol.

    Regardless of the structure, you work because you WANT to.

    • Mark says:

      Yeah you “work” when you love your job but these guys aren’t architects or coffee shop owners, they’re immigration officers and I don’t think anyone of them grew up dreaming of becoming one. So for 90% of the work force the work environment is really important or else all offices would look the same, plain white rooms filled with cubicles.

      You should check out the new Alghanim Industries offices in Hamra and then tell me if you’d be happier working there if your office looked like that or not.

      • Bob says:

        :) I liked your comparison to ALG. Agreeing to your argument about the influence of work environment cos i had an office desk on 71st Floor until AUG; but not to this thread :). If with the new environment the travelers are going to get a totally different experience from the staff it would be a wonderment and amazing thing than the airport itself….however, lets be optimistic..hope for the betterment. Good luck to expats!

  10. lucky_boy says:

    I hope they finish terminal 2 (the one which is supposed to finish in 14 months). Before removing Sheik Saad terminal. Cause Its the best thing about Flydubai. If they move them to terminal 2 I’d be fine with that. But, please not to the current airport !

  11. Geronimo says:

    “The new airport level of service will be ranked β€œA” (Excellent). This grade is given based on various factors including the distance between gates, the amount of time you wait at the check-in counters, immigration, security etc”

    is it also given on the attitude of staff? i seriously hope they stop treating the maids that fly in like shit..

  12. Tinderbox says:

    cant wait for this since our current airport is awful like the egyptian airport only less crowded. it looks like a giant white toilet filled with a ton of arrogant looking security and cops that have jack shit to do except stand around and look mean playing on their phones lol.
    Also all the poor bengali luggage guys standing around in huge groups horseplaying etc. and competing over the next customer. it’s really depressing to come back to this shit, wallah all i want to do is teleport straight home when i travel back bc our airport is so annoying and embarrassing. the only fun part is seeing some ppl celebrating in the main hall throwing noon (flowers and candy) at their families bc they missed them etc that’s always fun and heartwarming to see but other than that, it’s pretty miserable.

    • zaydoun says:

      The new Terminal 2 at Cairo Airport is so nice they don’t want anyone using it!! I flew back from it last night on Jazeera and it was empty

  13. GN says:

    “Minimum connect time for transfer bags is 45 minutes”

    Is the KWI airport currently being used by a hub? Will be interesting to know from/to where. I have rarely seen transit/transfers happening through the airport. From what I knew, mostly Dubai, Doha and to a lesser extent AD are transfer points in the GCC.

  14. Security Advisor says:

    If they install smart gates wherein permanent residents in Kuwait can just enter and exit by using their Civil ID Cards that would be a plus.

    Just swipe walk through the gates and have an immigration officer at the other end to stamp your passport. Let the computer at the gate and the Ministry’s Data system do all the work for you.

    Valid residence permit, with a valid civil id and no pending cases against you.. exit and enter the country. None of the above????? go through the visitors and tourists line.

    The officers at the other end of these smart gates will actually be grateful, no keyboard typing involved or any actual system checking. Just document to actual facial verification,stamping passports and drinking tea.

    Win win for everybody :-)


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