According to citizens and expats, there are very few recreational places in the country, which, if they were available, would make daily life less difficult. This was made evident during the peak season of the coronavirus epidemic when there were tight precautionary measures, and heavy restrictions on movement, including the closure of airports and the prevention of visits and gatherings among the public, Al Qabas daily reported. It is high time for investments and plans to be introduced to help make Kuwait a reputable tourist destination, as well as to provide psychological benefits to the country’s residents.
Some people own or rent farms, and chalets, for recreational purposes, and to relieve psychological pressures. However, there are still segments of society that do not enjoy this type of entertainment or do not have the required finances, and they have no other option, but to go to commercial complexes or just sit at home.
Real estate experts said that although Kuwait has all the facilities to be a tourist destination, there are few recreational facilities, which makes the tourism sector almost non-existent, especially with the closure of the entertainment city and the removal of the People’s Park, the ski hall and other recreational projects in addition to the cancellation of the season camping this year due to the continuing threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
The daily, quoting experts agreed that the time has come to attract local investments through cooperation between the public and private sectors. The government can lend their support by providing lands for this purpose and giving the opportunity to investors and the private sector to invest and develop distinctive entertainment projects.
They added, “The government must be serious and have a clear vision in supporting recreational projects and domestic tourism, to put Kuwait on the global map for recreational and tourism projects.”
Abdulrhman Al Terkait, Vice Chairman & CEO at Arkan Kuwait Real Estate, said,“The state did not seriously address the development of entertainment projects as there was no encouragement or setting up of government tenders for these projects, despite the Kuwaiti construction companies living up to international standards that enable them to design, create and complete entertainment projects. He explained that if the government gives contracting companies and local design offices, the space to participate, they will be innovative in developing these types of projects.
Regarding the obstacles that may face these projects, Al Terkait pointed to several factors, most notably: the lack of availability and allocation of sufficient spaces for the establishment of recreational places, the difficulty of the legal procedures and to obtain the necessary licenses, and the exorbitant capital costs.
He also pointed out at the same time the benefits and positive implications that these projects may have on the state and society, including that it will constitute a good economic return that contributes to diversifying the state’s revenues and will improve the psychological aspect of the Kuwaiti population, citizens and expats, in addition it will stimulate domestic and Gulf tourism. Al Terkait wished to see international brand entertainment projects being developed locally, such as: Atlantis Dubai, Ferrari Abu Dhabi, Lego Land, Six Flags, Warner Brothers, and others.
Al Terkait underscored that in order to create distinctive activities and a unique entertainment environment in the country, there are some requirements to be fulfilled, including:
- Providing material facilities for entertainment projects and encouraging investment in this sector.
- Supporting and encouraging the private sector by allocating “BOT” lands for recreational projects.
- Exploiting and allocating islands, as they are developed and managed by specialized local companies within legal and ethical restraints.
- Facilitating visa procedures and smoothening the process of tourist visits for foreigners to encourage tourism.
- Seek to attract investors to the country, especially those with the technical capabilities and skills to successfully complete these entertainment cities.