Kuwaiti popular culture thrives and is even transferred to surrounding countries in the form of dialect poetry, cinema, theater, radio and television soap opera. The culture of Kuwait is the most similar to the culture of Bahrain among the Gulf Arab nations, as shown by the strong connection of the two states in theater performances and soap operas. Kuwait is generally regarded as the Gulf region’s cultural center, and has been nicknamed the “Hollywood of the Gulf” owing to the popularity of its Arabic television soap operas and theater.
Kuwaiti soap operas are the most popular in the Gulf area. The majority of Gulf soap operas are situated in Kuwait. Although they are typically done in Kuwaiti dialect, they have been presented successfully as far away as Tunisia. In Kuwait, soap operas have evolved into significant national hobbies. They are especially popular during Ramadan, when families congregate to break their fast. Among the most significant television productions in the Gulf area are Darb El Zalag, Khalti Gmasha, and Ruqayya wa Sabika.
Kuwait is well-known for its in-house theatrical history. Kuwait is the only Gulf nation with a theatrical heritage. Kuwait’s theatrical movement is an important element of the country’s cultural life. Kuwait’s theatrical activity started in the 1920s, with the publication of the first spoken plays. Today, theater activities are still popular. The most famous actor is Abdulhussain Abdulredha. Bye Bye London and Saif al Arab are two of the region’s most significant theater performances.
The government established the Higher Institute of Theatrical Arts in 1975 to offer higher education in the theatrical arts. The institution is divided into many sections. Many performers, including Souad Abdullah, Mohammed Khalifa, and Mansour Al-Mansour, as well as a number of notable critics, like Ismail Fahd Ismail, have graduated from the institution.
Kuwait boasts the Arabian Peninsula’s oldest contemporary arts movement. Kuwait was the first Gulf nation to provide arts scholarships, beginning in 1936. Mojeb al-Dousari, a Kuwaiti artist, was the Gulf region’s first acknowledged visual artist. He is widely recognized as the region’s pioneer of portraiture. Al-Dousari established Kuwait’s first art gallery in 1943.
More than 20 art galleries can be found in Kuwait. After Dubai, Kuwait has the second most active gallery scene in the Gulf. The Sultan Gallery was the Gulf’s first professional Arab art gallery. Khalifa Al-Qattan was the first Kuwaiti artist to have a solo show in the country. In the early 1960s, he established “circulism,” a new art philosophy. Sami Mohammad, Thuraya Al-Baqsami, and Suzan Bushnaq are three other well-known Kuwaiti musicians.
Ismail Fahd Ismail was one of the first Kuwaiti authors to gain international acclaim. Among the pioneer authors are Taleb al-Refai, Laila al-Othman, A. H. Almaas, Taibah Al-Ibrahim, Najma Idrees, and Fatimah Yousif al-Ali.
When it comes to the music business, Kuwait is a leader in the GCC. Kuwaiti music has had a significant impact on music culture in other GCC nations. Many Kuwaitis have become household names in other Arab nations as a result of satellite television channels during the past decade. The most well-known modern artists include Abdallah Al Rowaished, Nawal El Kuwaiti, Abdul Kareem Abdul-Qader, and Nabeel Shoail.
The government established the Further Institute of Musical Arts in 2002 to offer higher education in music. The institution is divided into many sections. The institution has produced a number of well-known artists. Kuwait has a number of music events, including the International Music Festival, which is organized by the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters (NCCAL). The annual Gulf Music Festival in Kuwait includes globally known jazz artists as well as local musicians.
Traditional Kuwaiti music reflects the country’s maritime history, as shown by songs like “fidjeri.” Kuwaiti music is influenced by various civilizations, including India and East Africa. Saleh and Daoud Al-Kuwaity were famous Kuwaiti musicians who composed over 650 songs, many of which are considered classic and are still played on radio stations across the Arab world. Kuwait pioneered modern music in the Gulf, and Kuwaitis were the region’s first commercial recording artists.
Football is Kuwait’s most popular sport. The Kuwait Football Association (KFA) is the country’s governing organization for football. The KFA organizes the national teams for men’s, women’s, and futsal. The Kuwaiti Premier Competition is Kuwait’s premier football league, with eighteen clubs. They won the 1980 AFC Asian Cup, finished second in the 1976 AFC Asian Cup, and finished third in the 1984 AFC Asian Cup. Kuwait has previously competed in one FIFA World Cup, in 1982, but was eliminated in the first round after a 1-1 draw with Czechoslovakia. Al-Arabi, Al-Fahaheel, Al-Jahra, Al-Kuwait, Al-Naser, Al-Salmiya, Al-Shabab, Al Qadsia, Al-Yarmouk, Kazma, Khaitan, Sulaibikhat, Sahel, and Tadamon are among the numerous football teams in Kuwait. In Kuwait, the greatest football rivalry is between Al-Arabi and Al Qadsia.
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the United States. The Kuwait Basketball Association governs the Kuwait national basketball team (KBA). Kuwait debuted on the world stage in 1959. Eleven times, the national basketball team has competed in the FIBA Asian Championship. Kuwait’s top professional basketball league is the Kuwaiti Division I Basketball League. The Kuwait Cricket Association governs cricket in Kuwait. Rugby union is another developing sport.
The Kuwait Handball Association governs the Kuwait national handball team. The sport is generally regarded as Kuwait’s national symbol, despite the fact that football is more popular among the general public. Kuwait is also a founding member of the Asian Handball Federation, as well as the Asian Championship and the Club Champions League.
The Kuwait Ice Hockey Association governs hockey in Kuwait. Kuwait initially joined the International Ice Hockey Federation in 1985, but was kicked out in 1992 owing to a lack of ice hockey participation. In May 2009, Kuwait was re-admitted to the IIHF. Kuwait won the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia in 2015.