Nightmare on Kuwait Streets

Post by Mark


According to statistics, about 100,000 cars head to downtown everyday but the holding capacity of parking lots there is not more than 60,000 cars. [Source]

When you have huge towers allowed to be built in the city without any parking spots, then you’re obviously going to have a parking problem.

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35 comments, add your own...

  1. Dev says:

    Can’t agree more with you on this, but that’s about the scenario by and large across the world.

  2. cajie says:

    It’s definitely a worldwide scenario, but most cities handle it by discouraging vehicles to enter the main city, by either imposing stiff parking fees (think $25 per hour in NY) or/and providing alternate means to commute using public transport.
    In Kuwait, we have neither.

    • Mark says:

      By discouraging vehicles and imposing stiff parking fines you’re controlling the situation. In Kuwait the situation isn’t being controlled. You don’t find cars parked on sidewalks in NY, London, Dubai or even Beirut. But the issues in Kuwait are also mainly because of improper planning. I mean you’ve got large new towers like Tijaria and Mazaya that were built without a single parking spot available for their offices or visitors.

  3. Justin says:

    This isnt the case across most developed countries. In many countries to build a new building you also have to demonstrate a plan yo deal with the parkimg required. Using Egypt as a comparison isnt setting the bar very high

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don’t consider only the skyscrapers.. What about the parking for residential apartments? Very few of them have parking underground which is also limited. People end up parking on the roads next to their own building making it difficult for passerby drivers.


    Look at Kuwait on Google Maps. Everything looks so stuffed & puffed.

    • Mark says:

      Lets not even get into that… I live in Salmiya.

      An example of how fucked up the situation there is. The building across from me was originally built with an X number of apartments per floor and underground parking for this apartments. After the inspector came and approved the building, the owner then went back and constructed new flats per floor. By constructed I mean literally, the building was like this originally (birds eye view):

      And then he closed off the gaps of the building to look like this:

      So he physically altered the look of the building and constructed extra flats which I don’t think is very safe considering it was added after the building was completed.

      Then the underground parking? He turned it into a warehouse.

      That is Salmiya in a nutshell.

      • Mathews says:

        All expats will totally agree with this parking issue in residential areas.I was wondering all these years that why no one discuss this issue in any forum. 10 storied building with a parking space for 10 or 20 cars is a common thing in all expat residential areas whereas all kuwaiti residential areas have more than enough space. Parking has become a nightmare in places like Jleeb al Shuyokh.I request you to please reach this issue to the concerned authorities. WHY KUWAIT DOESNT CARE FOR EXPATS BASIC FACILITIES???

  5. Ipsom says:

    Another issue with Kuwait is the amount of vehicles on the road. Some simple, logical, and beneficial steps can greatly reduce the number of vehicles ON THE ROAD (I have no problem seeing a person own 10 cars if he can afford to, cause he will just be driving one at a time):
    1. Make the license exam harder
    2. Make it mandatory for a vehicle to have insurance (like how it’s done in the US and many countries)
    3. Increase petrol prices (we did that, good step…)

  6. Anwar Kh. says:

    am i the only one who thinks toll roads will help this country ?

  7. meh says:

    Didn’t they pass a law that buildings must now build a basement parking?

  8. Sunny says:

    It takes me about 45 mintues to an hr to cover a distance of less than 1km in Jleeb every morning. Traffic usually starts at 5:30am until 8:30am. It moves(if i can use that word) a few feet at a time.

    It’s insane driving in Kuwait these days. I mean Shuwaikh!!! Craaaaazy

  9. dfine says:

    well, the country keeps blaming the Expats same time their expanding their residential area’s and building high raised buildings..

    It’s a no brainier.. you expand you have to expand you road net, parking houses, public transport etc….


  10. Jack says:

    Look, Kuwait is decades behind modern urban planning concepts: Transportation oriented design, public transportation, and walkable urban centers where people live near where they work. High urban density is a requirement to account for increased population, economic growth, and the need to reduce carbon emissions. That’s the future, but Kuwait is mired in an anachronistic design culture that emphasizes the single-occupant car. Have fun with that!

  11. Bader says:

    It’s not a problem of planning or know-how, it’s a problem of corruption. The regulations for providing sufficient parking when building do exist. Rules are either twisted, or exceptions bought under the table.

  12. Shehzad says:

    At first they don’t have parking spaces and then when someone finds a loose space after an hour long struggle they slap a no-parking sticker….who is on fault in this situation….where should we park then ?
    i think very few people will opt for parking at no parking spaces if they have legal parking spaces.

    • Mark says:

      Well I work in the city and from my experience people would rather park for free illegally on the streets right outside a multistory parking lot, than pay 100 fils and park inside the multistory parking lot legally.

      • Anon says:

        In one of your old post i remember you said that since they have started removing plates for wrong parking you had to search for a legal parking space and there was a multi storey parking building beside where you went , which you never knew before.

  13. Tinderbox says:

    I think over a lifetime living in kuwait you prob spend 70% of that sitting in traffic lol and the rest either at work or home with like 1% actually going out.

  14. aaa says:

    Make all cars a shared driverless fleet by 2020 and ban car ownership problem solved

  15. mohammed says:

    I was wondering the same the other day when qout market happened in al Shaheed park,pepole where parking outside the park,since they knew that there is a majour parking problem in Kuwait city why didn’t they extend the parking lot through out the park rather than only use 1/2 of its side.

  16. Samuel says:

    Hamra Tower, you will not find a parking spot after 12. Horrible.

  17. jeff says:

    It’s funny how bad the traffic is here. It is as if the planners in charge decided to play a cruel trick on Kuwait by combining all the worse practices in a single place and spreading it across the entire built environment.

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