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Overlooking its own bay, tucked into the head of the Gulf between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait City bristles with skyscrapers but has a history extending back more than 300 years. Its port once traded incense, spices and pearls; now, following the discovery of oil, Kuwait has found new prosperity.

Explore the old houses along the seafront Arabian Gulf Street (notably the 19th-century Dickson House, once the residence of Britain’s political representative), roam the traditional Mubarakiya souk and detour to the city’s best photo-op – the soaring Kuwait Towers – but don’t miss Kuwait’s splendid array of urban museums, showcasing traditional crafts and cultures and the edgiest of contemporary art. Alcohol is illegal: any amount brought into the country will be confiscated on arrival, and penalties may be imposed.

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