The bustling indoor malls have emerged in the past years as one of the most popular attractions to foreign visitors to Kuwait, especially those from the neighboring Gulf countries.
"Due to the tough desert weather of Kuwait, malls have become a default destination to both tourists and Kuwait residents," Mabanee Company, the owner of the Avenues shopping mall, said in statement to KUNA Monday.
It pointed out that the number of Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti visitors to shopping malls, including the Avenues, is steadily growing especially in the peak times, summer and national vacations.
Mudon Ahlia Real Estate Company Chief Executive Office Omar Najem echoed a similar view. Shopping malls come at the top of list of tourist destinations in Kuwait for Gulf nationals, particularly in weekends and vacations, Najem said. He explained that visitors are wandering the air-conditioned malls seeking refuge from the scorching heat and satisfying their appetite for material goods.
This fact has spurred the government and private sector to invest more in developing this sector to meet the demands and satisfy the diverse tastes of the visitors. The shopping malls have spread across the country in the past years, Mabanee said.
It however, noted that 80 percent of the malls are located in three of the six governorates, namely the Kuwait City, Hawally, and Farwaniyah. Mabanee stated that booming shopping tourism has encouraged the company to plan for new projects and expand the existing ones.
The company currently carries out the fourth expansion of the Avenues mall at an area of 117,000 square meters and a total construction area of over 444,000 square meters. The new expansion has a three-storey car park with a capacity of 5,000 cars, it pointed out. The Avenues hosts hundreds of high-end stores, wide variety of restaurants and cafes, family entertainment and play areas as well as cinemas.