How old is Souq Mubarakiya ?

February 2, 20190 Comments

Souq al Mubarkiya, also recognized by just Mubarkiya is a souq (bazaar, market), situated in Kuwait City, between Abdullah al Mubarak and Palestine Street.

According to the wikipedia, it has been around for 200 years but as per KUNA, it is around 120 years old. As per one of my friend’s father, it is more than 250 years old but around 120 years ago it was properly declared as SOUQ AL MUBARKIYA by Amir Sheikh Mubarak al Sabah and he is the one who had built the first booth in souq mubarkiya in 1897. Booth called “KISHK” in Arabic.

Prior the discovery of oil, it was one of the main source of Kuwait’s income and main center of trade. Still, when do you talk about real Persian carpets, musk, oud, traditional costumes, fish, vegetable, fruits and dates, the first name comes to the mind is Souq Mubarkiya, now it is extended to gold shops, electronics with food courts.

This is a perfect place whether you want to do shopping or just roam around with kids. There is kids playing area and fountains beside food court. Between 1959 and 1966 , merchants were used to import the goods from India, Africa, Iraq and most of the trade were used to against Indian Rupees.

The market was badly damaged in Iraqi Invasion in 1990 but later on it was restored in its traditional image. Most of us don’t know that it contains two small museums also, Sheikh Mubarak Kiosk and the first Islamic pharmacy. They are free of cost  to visit but within their mentioned timings, right now i don’t know about timings.

What is SOMU?, SOMU or South Mubarakiya for short, is the new ‘old’ district, marked by the recently renovated SOMU Square, or Thouq Square, located behind the AlFares Mosque. Beautiful things are currently happening at SOMU, and you can easily become a part of this change by paying this ‘new’ old area a leisurely visit. That is what visionaries and Thouq founders Ahmad Al-Ghanim and Bader Al Hejailan only ever wished for Kuwait’s oldest commercial and cultural hub, Souq Al-Mubarakiya. (Quoted from Bazaar magazine)

Now a days (2019, Hala February), the souq is being decorated to welcome the 25th and 26th February 2019 with lights and further booths. For whole of the month, there would be many kids shows and many more events related to Kuwait National Day. Let me add here that until 1962, Kuwait celebrated its National Day on June 19, the anniversary of its independence, but in 1963 it changed it to February 25 to avoid the hot weather of June.

Most of the time, it is crowded in weekends and good luck for parking 🙂

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