Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bargain Basements in Kuwait

It takes a long time for a lot of newbies to discover that there are bargain basements in Kuwait and you don't need to be shelling out the big bucks on items like tableware, serving dishes, glasses and other items you might need for your kitchen.  Sometimes, people never find out about these places at all - just because they don't venture out into malls that don't house brand-name stores.  Sometimes "local" translates to "scary" to some; just because they don't know what's in there and new is often intimidating.

Fear not, foreigners! 

My favorite bargain basement, or "souq shaabi", is in Hawalli between Tunis and Beirut Streets.  The easiest way to get there is by taking 4th Ring Road into Hawalli.  It is down about 2 blocks on the left.  You pass Al Bahar Center. Do not EVER go during the week between 12 and 2.  Hawalli is a driving nightmare (plus, the older/local malls in Kuwait are usually split-shift like this one and is usually open in the mornings and then from around 4:30 to maybe 10ish).  If you go right at 4-3:30, you'll be fine and find a parking space easily.

Similar to some of the co-ops, you can find packs of 6 glasses for around a dinar and a half.  At this mall, you can find a really large selection of serving dishes, tableware, flatware, and some small appliances.  They have the best prices on chaffing dishes that I've seen anywhere in Kuwait.  (Yes, I entertain a lot so I have all this stuff.)  I hosted a business breakfast at my house once and needed 20 (nice quality white china) plates and coffee cups on plates and this souq saved me bigtime.

I'm always guilty of not taking photos.  (I will try to go back and take some pictures later from the inside.)  This is the photo from the outside.  I don't read Arabic, so I can't tell you what the sign says, but if you're like me, a photo will help you recognize where you should be.

Another great place to go is City Stars underneath Lulu Hypermarket on 4th Ring Road.  I don't think there is anything at that place that you can't find - and find a use for.  I love that store, but the parking lot is a biotch (which is why I would rather drive 20 minutes and go to the Lulu off of 208 instead).

There are also bargain basements in lots of the small local malls - like Munira Center in Salmiya for example.  If you have favorites, write to me or comment and let me know. I love a good shopping adventure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LOVE souq shabi
Raised my kids on the 100 fils store!
Who said Kuwait is expensive!!!!