*Featured image credit: Philip Lange / Shutterstock.com
The largest shopping mall in Kuwait, The Avenues first opened its doors in 2007, to great success. Unlike many conventional shopping malls, The Avenues, which is home to over 800 stores, gives visitors the impression of being in the great outdoors, with design details inspired by the desert and the sky, and a glass roof that allows the sun to shine through.
Stretching out for over 400 meters, the Grand Avenue is lined with palm trees, and combines European, local and contemporary architecture. The transparent roof lets the sunlight stream right in, and the European façades on each of the shops makes it feel as though you are strolling through the streets of Paris. Many of the brands that you will find here cannot be found elsewhere in the Middle East, making this the premier shopping spot in the region.
The largest luxury shopping destination in the country, Prestige is where you will find the finest of luxury brands, with more than 50 different high-end stores and designers. It is also where you will find an exclusive series of the largest flagship stores in the Middle East, from Tiffany & Co. to Chopard. Prestige also has its own exclusive entrance, and many of the stores here are double-height, all of which contribute to the VIP shopping experience.
Inspired by New York’s SoHo, SoKu stands for the South of Kuwait, and offers up an urban shopping experience that is particularly popular with the youth of Kuwait. With edgy architecture and emerging local brands, SoKu most definitely has a ‘street’ feel to it, especially with the tree-shaded courtyards that have been thoughtfully positioned to make the area feel even more lively and vibrant.
The Souk is modeled after a traditional Middle Eastern market, replicating a souk environment with its narrow alleyways and traditional architecture. The maze of stores is where you will find authentic Arab products, from textiles to spices to perfumes to antiques. Intermingled in the labyrinth of shops are traditional Kuwaiti cafés that serve up a range of local delights.
The Mall is a two-storey extension coming off from 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue, and, in addition to being home to a number of world-renowned brands, also contains The Jewellery zone. This neo-retail concept features high-value goods, from gold to diamonds to gemstones, with the design and architecture emphasizing its exclusive appeal. In addition to the shops, The Mall is also where you will find KidZania, a 5000 square meter educational environment, ideal for bringing children to if you need to keep them entertained after hours of browsing the stores.
While there are virtual maps to be found throughout The Avenues, it would be well worth planning your visit in advance, as it is near impossible to explore the entire mall in one day, but there are so many areas that you will want to see. From the luxurious glamor of Prestige to SoKu’s edgy cool, it is easy to understand why people travel to The Avenues from all over the Middle East, as it truly offers an unparalleled shopping experience.