‘First 5-star hotel built in 1958’
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 26, (KUNA): The emergence of hotels in Kuwait was propelled by the commercial prosperity witnessed in the country especially after the discovery of oil. Previously, merchants — traveling via sea or desert — as well as Bedouins had to rely on people or sponsors they knew in Kuwait for them to set dwelling.
For those who have no such luck, they usually set camp either in or on the outside of Kuwait protective wall especially in the spring season. Speaking on the issue, heritage researcher Mohammad Jamal told KUNA that the first proto-hotel erected in Kuwait belonged to a person named Mirza Hadi in 1935. He opened a two-story building to host travelers.
In 1947 after World War II, a huge boom in business began thanks to the discovery of oil. A large number of people headed to Kuwait in hopes of doing business and expanding their commercial horizon. As a result of the new status quo, late Yousef Behbahani established the first official hotel in Kuwait in Al- Safat area near the old building for the Defense Ministry in Kuwait City.
The “modern hotel”, as it was called, was not a top-notch facility for it only provided basic lodging services for travelers. According to “Kuwait’s history of architecture” — authored by architect Sabah Al-Raiesh, other hotels began to emerge in the 1950s onwards; however, the first five-star hotel was constructed by the Kuwaiti government in 1958 with it being simply named the “government hotel”.
By Sarah Al-Mukhaizeem