THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCESM
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES

Exploring Queen Rania’s Birthplace: A Guide to Kuwait City

Queen Rania of Jordan is a modern icon. But did you know she was born in Kuwait? From bustling souks to modern marvels, discover our guide to Kuwait City, the birthplace of the beloved Queen Rania…

Athwifa Saleem

7 March 2024

Queen Rania kuwait city

Queen Rania of Jordan: A Global Icon

Her Majesty Queen Rania, the Queen of Jordan and wife of King Abdullah II, is a global figure celebrated for her humanitarian efforts, unwavering commitment to education and children’s rights, and her timeless style. Her influence transcends borders, making her an inspiration to millions worldwide. But few people know Queen Rania’s birthplace is Kuwait City, where she was born Rania Al-Yassin in on August 31st, 1970 to a family of Palestinian descent. In 1993, she married then-Prince Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, and upon his ascension in 1999, became Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Their union has produced four children: Crown Prince Hussein, Princess Iman, Princess Salma, and Prince Hashem, who form the heart of the Jordanian royal family.

Queen Rania at home with her husband Kind Abdullah II - queen rania birthplace
Queen Rania at home with her husband Kind Abdullah II
Queen Rania with her father Faisal Sedki Al-Yassin and brother - queen rania birthplace
Queen Rania with her father Faisal Sedki Al-Yassin and brother
Instagram (@queenrania)

Queen Rania’s work embodies compassion and a deep belief in human potential. She is a passionate advocate for education reform, launching initiatives like the Jordan Education Initiative and the Queen Rania Teacher Academy to empower teachers and enhance educational opportunities. She champions global access to quality education as a UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children. Her Majesty is also a powerful voice for women’s empowerment, working to break down stereotypes and create opportunities for women and girls across the Arab world. Her focus on cross-cultural dialogue and understanding bridges divides and promotes tolerance. She uses her platform to challenge misconceptions about the Arab world and Islam, fostering greater understanding between East and West.

HM Queen Rania’s influence extends beyond advocacy. Her impeccable sense of style has made her a global fashion icon, gracefully blending modern trends with traditional influences. Here’s what to do in Queen Rania’s birthplace of Kuwait City.

Queen Rania’s wedding day. (The Royal Hashemite Court)
Queen Rania’s wedding day. (The Royal Hashemite Court)

Queen Rania’s Early Life in Kuwait City

Queen Rania’s birthplace is Kuwait City, a bustling metropolis where her Palestinian family had relocated for her father’s medical career and where she spent her formative years. While Kuwait provided a safe and comfortable environment, her family’s Palestinian heritage instilled in her a deep understanding of the complexities of the Middle East. Kuwait City’s blend of traditional Arab culture, modern developments, and international influences undoubtedly shaped her worldview and adaptability. She attended the New English School in Kuwait City, excelling academically and likely forging friendships with peers from diverse backgrounds. These experiences likely contributed to her cosmopolitan outlook, her commitment to championing education, and her drive to foster greater understanding between cultures.

What to See in Kuwait City

Grand Mosque

Step into a world of serenity as you enter Kuwait’s national mosque. Sunlight filters through stained glass windows, casting colorful patterns across the vast prayer hall. Admire the intricate geometric designs, the delicate calligraphy adorning the walls, and the breathtakingly detailed mihrab (prayer niche).

Kuwait Towers

Ascend these iconic towers, their unique blue-tiled spheres shimmering in the desert sun. From the observation deck, feel like you’re on top of the world, with a panoramic vista of the cityscape, the coastline, and the endless desert beyond. Stay for a meal at the revolving restaurant, where Kuwait’s landscape unfolds before your eyes with every delicious bite.

Souq Al-Mubarakiya - kuwait city

Souq Al-Mubarakiya

This traditional market assaults your senses in the best way possible. The air is thick with the scent of exotic spices, oud (incense), and freshly brewed coffee. Your eyes feast on vibrant textiles, shimmering gold, and a kaleidoscope of souvenirs. The sounds of lively haggling and friendly chatter fill the air, creating an unforgettable atmosphere.

The Scientific Center

Dive into the wonders of the ocean without getting wet! Explore diverse marine habitats, from the colourful coral reefs of the Gulf to the vast open ocean. Come face-to-face with majestic sharks, graceful stingrays, and playful sea turtles. Learn about marine conservation and witness the beauty and fragility of the underwater world.

Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Calligraphy

Discover the artistry and reverence inherent in Islamic calligraphy. Marvel at intricate Quranic verses illuminated in gold and vibrant colours, and admire masterpieces of calligraphy on ceramics, textiles, and precious metals. This museum offers a unique window into the rich artistic heritage of the Islamic world.

kuwait city skyline

Where to Eat in Kuwait City

Tatami 

This consistent star on MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants list elevates Japanese cuisine to an art form. Tatami’s minimalist yet elegant interiors provide a serene backdrop for its exquisite Japanese cuisine. Think sleek wooden accents, natural light, and a focus on craftsmanship. Expect pristine sushi, sashimi, and innovative dishes showcasing the finest seasonal ingredients, all presented in a refined and sophisticated setting.

Al Boom 

Dine aboard a traditional Kuwaiti dhow that has been meticulously transformed into a unique floating restaurant. Warm woods, maritime details, and views of the sparkling Gulf set the scene for a memorable seafood feast. Their signature dishes spotlight the day’s freshest catch, which might include grilled hammour, shrimp machboos, or a seafood platter fit for royalty.

Freej Suwaileh 

Experience a taste of authentic Kuwaiti hospitality and savour traditional home-style dishes in a cosy, nostalgic setting. Expect warm colors, patterned fabrics, and a welcoming atmosphere. Don’t miss their signature Machboos (spiced rice with your choice of meat or seafood), Mutabbaq Samak (fish with dill rice), or the comforting harees (wheat porridge with meat). Delve into comforting flavors like Machboos (spiced rice with meat) and Mutabbaq Samak (fish with dill rice), connecting with Kuwait’s rich culinary heritage.

Dar Hamad 

Dar Hamad exudes opulent grandeur, with its beautifully restored heritage villa setting, rich fabrics, and ornate details. Their extensive menu showcases the finest of Kuwaiti cuisine. Sample their signature dishes like lamb shuwaa (slow-roasted lamb), quozi (rice dish with meat and nuts), or a selection of mezze to share.

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