I finally got it, The Kuwait Urbanization

Post by Mark


I’ve had my eye on this rare and hard to find book ever since I found out about it a few years ago. It’s by the architect and planner Saba Shiber who joined the Kuwait Ministry of Public Works in 1960. The book dates back to 1964 and lays out the plan by Saba for Kuwait’s urbanization. The book features his research, sketches, plans, photos and visions he had for Kuwait.


A couple of weeks ago I miraculously managed to get my hands on a copy of the book for a ridiculously good deal. I had a saved search on eBay in case the book ever popped up and it did once or twice but the asking prices were ridiculous like KD300 or so. Not that it wasn’t a fair value but it was a lot more than what I wanted to pay. Then a few days before the new year a seller in France put up a hard cover version of the book for sale and the starting bid was just KD50! So I waited and waited and nobody was bidding on it so I finally came in last minute and picked it up myself for KD50. I couldn’t believe I scored such a great deal on the book. Shipping cost me KD14.5 with Aramex so overall I really feel like I got a steal. Best Christmas gift ever thats for sure.


If you’re interested in the book I’ve previously typed out the preface written by Saba and published it [Here]. I also have a PDF version of the book (166MB) uploaded to my server and you can download that from [Here]

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

17 comments, add your own...

  1. Shehzad says:

    M very sorry to say but Kuwait’s Urban planning has some very basic flaws…..its not a job welldone…..its a poor urban design example !

    • teenum says:

      Your grammar too.

      • Shehzad says:

        Ok teacher please highlight the mistakes !

        • ahmad says:

          Most urban planning done after the 60’s was done to improve whatever the people did.

          In the 1900-1940’s , people would set up houses farms factories anywhere in the middle of nowhere (jabriya along woth surra bayan mishref south mishref were considered nowhere in the 50-60’s ). The government had to either plan around existing infrastructure like they did in jabriya, or buy it and start from scratch like south surra.

          • Shehzad says:

            i agree with u Ahmed. But during my degree of program of Architecture, we were just given basics of Urban Planning in 1 of the final semesters and with such small knowledge of the subject i was able to highlight some of very poor thought of areas in Kuwait Urban planning. just to name a few there are no separate deceleration lane for Bus to stop and pick up people.Buildings are being built in a large number and no concept of parking spaces. commercial spaces like small restaurants or other stores are right on the roads if someone want to purchase they stop their car right on the road and thus creating a traffic problem. these spaces were needed to be thought off when someone with big wasta was designing Kuwait. its basics. these are just few which i highlighted. i hope people agree to my argument

  2. AA says:

    Thanks for sharing the PDF version.

  3. Rayboy says:

    thanks mark for the pdf version

  4. elaine haidar says:

    Thank you for this Mark, I look forward to reading the PDF version, it sounds very interesting.

  5. A Proud Kuwaiti says:

    Good deal, Mark. I think I paid 140 KD for the book 2 years ago. I got ripped off!!!

    • Mark says:

      You didn’t get ripped off, 140 is a great price which I would have paid. I just got lucky and scored it for much less and for a hard cover version even not a soft one.

  6. Anw. Kh. says:

    interesting map of Kuwait!

  7. K says:

    Thanks for sharing

  8. Jacob says:

    Certainly is a good find especially for a hard cover. If it has a dust jacket it would be even more valuable. A good investment too considering that rare and antiquarian books appreciate by an average of about 10 to 15% percent each year.

  9. Tony-Saba Shiber says:


    Saba George Shiber was my uncle, and I’m excited to hear you were able to get a copy of this text! I would love to have one also…please feel free to contact me via my email as it would be great to discuss!


  10. Riaz says:

    Thanks for sharing mate.

Leave a Reply

Commenting is a privilege not a right. I allow comments on the site because I believe that you can make a valuable contribution but in return I expect that you comment responsibly.


If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
[Email Me]