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The International Airport in Kuwait is the country’s major link to the outside world. While it is not especially a major traffic hub in the Middle East, it has an impressive range of facilities which make it a pleasant place to arrive, depart or transfer. A nice feature is that the airport never really shuts down. That is because it has several long range flights to Asia, Europe and the Americas which often depart in the middle of the night, thus stores, restaurants and facilities remain open and operational 24 hours.
The airport is spacious and laid out in an accessible V shape. Gate waiting areas are usually constructed with glass walls which allow for larger looking rooms and great amounts of sunlight and views of the runway. The arrival process is well organized and marked for the Visa on arrival group as well as baggage claim and hotel and taxi kiosks.
There are many families, domestic workers and foreign nationals who are living and working in Kuwait. As such the airport is comprehensive in its services with banks, money exchanges, ATM cash points, car rental firms, pharmacy, full service clinic, an insurance kiosk, a barbershop, mobile phone stores and hotel reservation desks.
There are several Duty Free shops selling everything from specialty food items, to bulk food items, tobacco products, clothing, perfume, watches, jewelry and accessories. There are no alcohol sales however. The duty free shops are open round the clock. As far as restaurants and cafes go, there are dedicated food court areas and many internationally recognized brands selling coffee, burgers, sandwiches, snacks and healthy food all hours of the day and night. Lounges are on site, they are third party so they are are accessible for a fee or only for upper tier passengers of the respective passengers they partner with. The lounges are quiet but fairly simple in comparison to other airports.
Airport Hotel and Long Transfers:
The Safir Airport hotel is a convenient hotel is just a 10 minute ride from the Airport. A tip that travelers in transit might not be aware of is that under Kuwaiti air transport law, those waiting more than eight hours for a connecting flight are entitled to a free room at the Safir, courtesy of their air carrier. Travelers in this situation should speak with their air carrier and cite this information directly from the official airport page.
Getting there and out
The airport lies around 15km from the city center. It is a quick ride on good highways, however be advised that there can be traffic jams during peak rush hours, so allow a little more time. Buses 13, 99 and 501 operate to various parts of the city for less than 1 Dinar. Taxis vary from 8-10 dinars to various parts of the city and suburbs.