Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center Project

Post by Mark

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Last week I posted about the demolition of the Al-Maidan Cultural Center and the construction that is taking place there. Because of the fact the construction was moving very fast I assumed the project belonged to Al-Diwan Al-Amiri, turns out I was right. A reader sent me an email with full details on this project and it turns out its going to be a museums district.

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The project that will occupy the site next to Shaab Park will house four world class museums, a fine art center, a theatre and two information centers. The project will compliment the Kuwait’s Cultural Center that’s located in Kuwait City which I previously posted about [Here]

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The project will consist of six main buildings:
– A Natural History Museum
– A Science Museum
– A Museum of Islamic History
– A Space Museum
– A Fine Arts Center
– A 350 seat Theatre

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The Natural History Museum will feature:
– Wildlife and Biodiversity
– Arabian Wildlife
– Pre-History
– Earth and Environment

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The Science Museum will feature:
– Experimental Atrium
– Technology and Transport
– Health and Medicine
– Human Body and Mind

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The Space Museum will feature:
– Planetary Science
– Space Exploration

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The project is expected to be completed in 20 months which is why the construction has been taking place day and night.

Based on my previous personal experience with Al-Diwan Al-Amiri, I have full confidence that this project will be completed on time and look spectacular. The best part about this (for me) is the fact these museums will be located down the street from my house. I’m super excited.


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57 comments, add your own...


  1. ahmad says:

    It’s almost hard to believe. If they can build a project like this, then why can’t they build a new airport which is probably the most important project for the country, actually for any country? Do you know that even Yemen is building a new airport? Kuwait is the only country in the region that is not building a new airport except Syria.

    • lol says:

      Don’t worry, Kuwait is really moving forward right now

      Kuwait is now the fastest-growing projects market in the GCC

      http://www.meed.com/meed-projects/gulf-projects-index/kuwait-rebound-lifts-gulf-projects-index/3192841.article

    • Usama says:

      Why do we need a new airport, if you dont mind me asking? Whats wrong with the normally functioning one we have now? It’s not like we’re going to be getting tourists here anytime soon. How about we build buildings for people to see, and when we do get tourists, we build them an airport. The mother comes before the baby, not the other way round.

      • Mark says:

        The current airport doesn’t function normally and secondly why does everyone want to build an airport for tourists? Aren’t the residents and locals more important than tourists? We are the ones flying in and out all the time the new airport should be for us first tourists second.

        • Paul says:

          Actually I agree with you Mark, I would suspect the locals do a lot more travelling than many who work here- they would be doing it for themselves.

          • Mark says:

            oh I think you misunderstood me. I didn’t mean just locals, I meant why do people think a new airport is just meant for tourists. We (Kuwaitis and Expats) deserve a new better airport since we live here and travel all the time as well.

        • Matt says:

          I think the problems with the airport are more human-factor-related than the actual physical structure of the airport itself. If you have a state of the art facility staffed by nincompoops, you’ll have the same issues.

    • Joseph Andraos says:

      Dear Ahmad,

      A new airport Terminal is currently being tendered and it is designed by Fosters and Partners, i think Mark posted about it before.

  2. Sami says:

    Interesting. However, constructing the building itself is easy, the hard part will be filling it with useful content and then maintaining it.

    • lol says:

      Not that hard.

      Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have built similar cultural centers.

      • bask says:

        and Qatar, Abu Dhabi & Dubai have international consultants working side by side to manage it from content, marketing, customer service and the whole nine yard! i will share a small example with you; i have been dealing with a cultural event on a regional basis and got in-touch with and managed the entire process electronically in 3 countries and last week we signed deals, in Kuwait it took us 1 month to reach a person, who then requested an official letter (printed) for the director to approve the idea and refused to share any operational / logistical requirements on the phone or email. Status, its been 3 months and we are waiting for the director to read the letter and the person supposedly in-charge stopped answering our calls since last month. See, its not structures and buildings its service and talents managing the business. So apart from the museum bit of it, managing the content and exploiting the idea to its fullest potential really needs suiting calibers with experience.

        So a project of this scale is the 1st in Kuwait, meaning locals with specific experience would be hard to source, therefore if you don’t see an international consultant managing it for a while, then u have yourself an answer on its success rate.

  3. Animal Lover says:

    A country does not become fast moving with the construction project, it’s nice to build things, but you also need the people that appreciate it and know how to maintain it,
    The journey is long still, there is allot of things that need to be changed.

    • lol says:

      Kuwait is progressing, there are many reforms going on. There is alot that needs to be changed and the government is doing something about it

  4. aseel says:

    if people would let go of negativity and see the bright side, everything will move forward. i let go of my negative view on life in Kuwait and im seeing the brighter side, its kinda working.

  5. Security Adviser says:

    Finally, places other than malls I can take my daughter to. When I was a kid before the war my dad took me to the Science Museum in Murgab and the Natural History Museun on Gulf Road and they were thrilling experiences. Especially when dad showed me tubes of food in the display at the science museum and told me thats what Astranouts used to eat when in space. My experience as kid in the Planeterium was mindblowing. I want to give the same to my baby girl as well. She loves art and the new upcoming Fine Arts Center will be a complete pleasure for her to explore. Good Job Kuwait .. Better late than never thats what I say . To all the nay sayer .. give it a chance .. why shoot it down before it has a chance to take off ??

  6. Joe says:

    I’d love to see this happen! At the same time, what is the use of constructing these fine pieces of architecture when the rest of the city looks like the Gaza west bank!? Start with cleaning up the mess that the country already has on hand.

  7. adly says:

    Great project and about time. Its just a bit strange that this is now being worked on at the very time that they are warning everyone about dire days ahead and the need to tighten our collective belts. We all know that they have the money and its more a matter of choosing priorities but it would have been amazing if they had the ability to work on a mass transport system and a new airport at the same time…

    • Sami says:

      The state has lots of money. The tightening of the belts is because your share of this money will start to shrink due to the removal of subsidies and the imposing taxes.

  8. zaydoun says:

    We may quibble but this a step in the right direction and long overdue… Now we need a new airport to greet the curious overseas visitors!

  9. Simple Man says:

    It will be nice to have some where to go that is not a mall or restaurant. I would say visit as much as you can in the first year before it turns into the state of all other public projects. Not sure what other public projects are out there to visit.

  10. silver says:

    They have a huge underground car parking, the foundation has already started

  11. LuLu says:

    Nice! I’m super excited! Not to nitpick but I hope the final result isn’t cheesy as this has potential to be all kinds of awesome. Can’t wait :)

    • Adam says:

      I don’t think it looks cheesy at all in the renderings. In fact, i think I am very much in support of this modern approach that incorporates traditional elements. There is a mosque in Kuwait city (dasman) near the first ring round that also takes a similar approach, that I think is very well put together.

      • TJC Films says:

        She wasn’t saying it was cheesy. She just forgot to put a comma after the word cheesy.

        • LuLu says:

          Yeah, my bad :P

          I’m all for the mix of modern and traditional, when done correctly, but what I said was meant about the content, not the architecture. I was thinking along the same lines as Dave, ‘cuz if they’re spending “x” amount of money, might as well make it worthwhile, ya’ dig?

  12. Dave says:

    Cool … but air conditioned boxes as the design, running on fossil fuels, no mention of anything futuristic like 3D printing, nothing growing sustainably and not a single solar panel in sight? It’s hardly an Eden project 20XX! Good moves forward but next time can we google future-latest-technology before we spend billions building something obsolete.

  13. Kuwait says:

    Is that a space shuttle parked outside?

    :D

  14. Adam says:

    With all the great Kuwiaiti art recognised as the best in the gulf, we really should be building a Kuwaiti Museum of Modern Art..

  15. Q8D says:

    I’m curious if the evolution of man will be displayed in the science museum. Especially since it is not taught in Kuwait public schools at all.

    • med1st says:

      It’s a theory not a fact.

      • Q8D says:

        You seem to be clueless on what defines a scientific theory, which leads me to believe you’re not a scientist in anyway and therefore have no right to claim what is and is not a “fact”. Scientific theory =/= Layman’s concept of the word “theory”.

        “Theories and laws are also distinct from hypotheses. Unlike hypotheses, theories and laws may be simply referred to as scientific fact.” -Taken from Wikipedia. Maybe you should read more below.

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

        • Knowledge striker says:

          The fact that you just quoted Wikipedia in trying to get your argument across just made me clinch. And secondly, the way you argue, I most certainly can tell you’re not a scientist. Theories may NOT be referred to as facts because of two things. A) theories ARE in fact arguable thoughts that scientists have. They provide a basis for research B) there doesnt exist such a thing as a ‘proven theory’. Scientists have the best possible explanation for an issue. The second a better, more plausible theory comes up, if backed up by strong scientific reasoning, then the first theory is ultimately abolished. Thus the words “fact”, rarely do exist in the scientific world as these “facts” are always changing. So before you go on teaching others, I’d rather you learnt a little something yourself.

          • Q8D says:

            What the fuck are you on about?

            Please stop putting words in my mouth or assuming I was even “arguing” with med1st, because I wasn’t. My entire freaking reply was simply to explain the distinction between the commonly used definition of ‘Theory’ and ‘Scientific Theory’. Reread my reply, I never claimed scientific theory = fact. The quote from wikipedia was to stress the difference between scientific theory and scientific hypothesis (aka what non-STEM people usually assume the word “theory” means).

            I’m an engineer and I understand the scientific theory quite well thank you very much. I was on mobile and wasn’t gonna write down a long winded reply when there’s more than enough info and references available on the wiki link I provided.

            • med1st says:

              What are u so angry about my first comment is more fact based than the evolution theory and i am not saying the theory is wrong it could be totally right but it’s not as easy as 1+1=2 now that’s a fact no one can argue about not even scientist i can’t say the same thing for the evolution theory even if it came from scientist.

          • lol says:

            Clinch? I think you meant cringe.

          • Ahmed says:

            Theory backed with evidence is fact…. like gravity explained through the general theory of relativity..
            Science always progresses as we get the better picture, it also acknowledges its limitations.. Another “theory” is the Higgs Boson, theorized 5 decades ago and proven recently with the particular accelerator (physical evidence).. The higgs boson is not always going to change, neither will evolutionary biology, the evidence keep accumulating reinforcing the theory… Darwin theorized, we keep understanding more about it everyday but the idea of natural selection holds strongly establishing it as fact. Its been more than a 100 years since its introduction, it would have been long been refuted if it was not true. Something that cannot be physically proven on the other hand should be more debatable than “theory” backed by the works of people that detected their lives to understand mankind.

            Everything is “arguable,” this can all be a dream. “I think therefore I am.”

  16. Paul says:

    I hope the Kuwaiti wildlife segment is comprehensive- The small one at the Scientific centre… isn’t all that informative. Me and the kids would like to know about all wildlife that is found within Kuwaiti borders so that the next time we go camping we’ll have an idea, or we can identify things we have seen. Surely they can do something about this. This would be good for new people to Kuwait as well- as an example, there’s nothing about flamingoes, yet they’re here, the desert lizards and long-tail mice, the hedgehogs… What’s their story? Sigh, maybe I’m hoping too much for something professional.

  17. sara says:

    Mark, This is a project for SSH you can check out the project here http://www.sshic.com/ProjectsInfo.aspx?cid=33&pid=6

    You can also follow them on instagram to stay up to date with the status of the project their account is : sshdesign

  18. Howard says:

    Is “20 months” a typo ;)

    Little bit ambitious if you ask me.


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