The Capital

Muna Al-Fuzai

The Capital, or Al-Asimah, is one of the six governorates of Kuwait. While most countries pay huge attention and focus on the development of the capital as the heart of the country – which often has heritage sites – the Kuwaiti capital seems to be a place that no one wants to remember! Although it is still an important and essential area for expatriates and citizens, with business and government centers, banks, exchange shops, etc, every time I go to the capital, specifically Fahd Al-Salem Street, I find ugly scenes.

I wonder why everyone forgot that there is something called the capital of the country. Where are the plans to develop Kuwait City, or are they forgotten and neglected? What a waste! Fahd Al-Salem Street is one of the most famous roads in Kuwait. It is in the heart of the Kuwaiti capital and close to many hotels, shops and churches, but try to go to this street on Friday or Sunday evening and you will be shocked by the traffic jams. Look at the situation of the bus station, with no pedestrian bridge. It seems like an adventure for people and motorists. It is dangerous to cross the crowded road. Why no one sees or feels any threat?!

The Capital governorate is in the heart of the country, with old markets such as Souq Mubarakiya. This market reflects the tradition and history of Kuwait and is popular with many people, including expatriates and visitors. In recent years, it seems that some officials recognized the importance of this market and approved its modernization. So in a few years, it was developed and is now able to attract people. The spirit has returned to the heart of the capital with uniqueness in the provision of services. The market has now become the preferred place for young people to establish their small projects, because it is more profitable and less risky.

Several government agencies contributed to the development of Souq Mubarakiya, which has become a favorite spot for Gulf and Arab tourists. However, there are other archaeological sites in the heart of the capital that are neglected without being covered by the government’s development plan.

The vice-president of the Municipal Council said that the capital is on the verge of major urban development at an estimated cost of about $15.6 billion till 2020 to remove all obstacles. It is undoubtedly a good statement, but attention to old buildings needs to be on the top of the agenda, especially on Fahd Al-Salem Street.

It is known that the capital in all countries of the world is the center of the state and the main city where with all centers of interest that are important to the country, whether economic, cultural or touristic. It is very strategic in terms of location and services, so buildings here need restoration of their facades, especially buildings in the center of the city. Owners of real estate need to cooperate, and either restore the property or tear down the whole thing and build a new one, especially on Fahd Al-Salem Street

Ministerial decision no. 206 of 2009 warns of legal action against buildings that distort the view, with fines between KD 800 to KD 1,000, until the status of the infringing property is changed. The world’s cities are characterized by old and modern civilizations and heritage buildings that reflect the old urban style and history. There is no doubt that the transformation of Kuwait City will make it feature among the great cities and capitals of the region.

By Muna Al-Fuzai
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