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Kuwait City (Arabic: مدينة الكويت, transliteration: Madīnat al-Kuwayt), is the capital and largest city of Kuwaitmarker. It has an estimated population of 63,600 (2006 estimate) within city limits and 2.38 million in the metropolitan area. Located at the heart of the country on the shore of the Persian Gulfmarker, and containing Kuwait's parliament (Majlis Al-Umma), most governmental offices, the headquarters of most Kuwaiti corporations and banks, it is the indisputable political, cultural and economic center of the emirate.

Kuwait City’s trade and transportation needs are served by Kuwait International Airportmarker, Mina Al-Shuwaikmarker (Shuwaik Port) and Mina al-Ahmadi (Ahmadi Port) 50 kilometers to the south, on the Persian Gulfmarker coast.

History

Kuwait City was first settled in the early 18th Century by the Al-Sabāh clan, later the ruling family of Kuwait and a branch of the Al-Utūb tribe (that also included the Al-Khalīfah clan, the ruling family of Bahrainmarker), and their leader, Sheikh Sabāh I. Its name may have derived from an earlier abandoned fort located there, called "Kūt" (كوت) - Arabic for a fortress by the sea.

The settlement grew quickly, and by the time its first wall was built (1760), the town had its own dhow fleet of about 800 and trading relations to Baghdadmarker and Damascusmarker. It was a successful and thriving sea port by the early 19th Century.

It was unclear whether or not Kuwait was part of the Ottoman Empire, and as a result, tensions often broke out between the sheikhdom and the empire. These tensions peaked when, in 1896, Sheikh Mubārak Al-Sabāh assassinated his brother, the emir Muhammad Al-Sabāh, over Mubārak's deep suspicion that the Ottoman Empire was willing to annex Kuwait.

In exchange for Britishmarker naval protection, Mubārak was not to negotiate or give territory to any other foreign power without British consent. With the discovery of oil in 1936, the city’s standard of living improved dramatically, including health and education services.

On August 2, 1990, Iraqimarker forces seized the city and on August 8 they annexed the emirate. During the occupation, the city was extensively damaged and many buildings were destroyed after it, including the Kuwait National Museum.

After Iraqi forces retreated from Kuwait in January-February 1991, foreign investors and the Kuwaiti government were actively involved in modernizing the city and turning it into a world-class business hub. Many hotels, shopping malls and offices were built in the city indicating the economic growth since the war.

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Suburbs

Although the districts below are not usually recognized as suburbs, the following is a list of a few areas surrounding Kuwait city:



Economy

Kuwait’s booming economy has allowed many international hotel chains to enter agreements to open hotels in the country. According to the Kuwait Hotel Owners Association, over twenty-five new hotels are planned or in construction, including the following:



By 2010, over 3,000 rooms are expected to be added to Kuwait’s current hotel inventory.

Climate

Kuwait City has an arid climate, featuring very hot summers. High temperatures typically range from 110-115 degrees during the summer and a Kuwait City summer heatwave can see temperatures soar as high as 125 degrees. Winter temperatures are much cooler than summer. Kuwait City sees some rain during the winter at times but during summers, rain is rare. The wettest month is January. During spring, average temperatures start to warm up. Some rain is possible in the early spring. Dust storms occur at times during summer from the shamal wind. Dust storms can occur anytime of year but occur mostly during summer. During autumn, temperatures begin to cool down and duststorms occur less frequently. Around November, rain becomes more frequent.

Transport

In 2008, work started on a railway network. connecting the Persian Gulf states.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Kuwait City is twinned with:



See also



External links



References


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