The country lacks adequate good quality recreational facilities and domestic tourism has remained stagnant due to lack of coherent plans for development of the sector laments the country’s travel industry.
There is growing deterioration in local recreational facilities and spending on domestic tourism in Kuwait is negligible relative to other countries in the region, said the General Manager of Leaders Group, Nabila Al-Anjari. She added that the absence of proper recreational activities in the country is a cause for increasing delinquency among youth, especially those who cannot afford to travel to other leisure venues during the long summer vacation and during extended national holidays. “This makes them an easy prey for drug dealers or for committing violence or any other negative practices that they might resort to let off steam,” she warned.
According to studies, it costs a Kuwaiti family of four an average of KD1,500 to travel to Dubai and Turkey for four days during popular holidays. In comparison, it costs about the same amount for the same family to spend four days in a chalet in Kuwait. “This calls for building more resorts and recreation facilities that families can use for reasonable prices,” Anjari added, noting that three-quarter of Kuwaitis remained in Kuwait during the recent Eid holidays.
Anjari argued that due to the number of people who remained in Kuwait, all parks and beaches were heavily crowded despite the heat, which she said confirms the need for more recreational facilities. “The deteriorating infrastructure deprives those remaining in Kuwait from decent recreational options compared to other GCC states,” she said.
New entertainment projects are rare and existing venues such as the Entertainment City in Doha have been closed for renovation since 2016. The Amiri Diwan has now taken up the restoration of Entertainment City as a priority project and one hopes the work will be completed in the next couple of years, said Anjari. She also noted that bad planning on improving domestic tourism is as depressing as the sluggishness of many other projects related to the New Kuwait 2035 Vision, such as the railway project and many others. “These situations result from defective planning, bad programs, delayed schedules and lack of supervision,” she concluded.