Desert bashing is a popular pastime. – Photos by Shakir Reshamwala

By Shakir Reshamwala

Mutlaa Ridge and the surrounding areas of Jal Al-Zour and Khuwaisat have become popular spots for weekend outings in Kuwait. After winter camping was banned by authorities and the ever-changing restrictions on travel outside Kuwait due to the pandemic, daylong trips to the desert have become extremely popular.

Barbequing – although banned – can be found everywhere, while telescopic LED rod lights have made it possible to remain till late at night in the otherwise pitch black desert. Off-roaders too have got into the action, with beefed-up SUVs competing to reach the highest point on the ragged slopes of the ridge before retreating. If you prefer something less muscly, quad bikes can be rented by the hour.

For lovers of luxury, there are plenty of glamping options, complete with elaborate ‘kashta’ setups. And if you’ve forgotten to bring along snacks or camping essentials, mobile baqalas are everywhere, selling everything from bottled water to ice to charcoal and grilling accessories. Fancy a bite that you don’t have to cook up yourself? Food trucks offer a variety of mostly fast food and hot and cold beverages.

After a hectic week in the city, spending some time in the calm desert environs is a welcome relief. Just make sure you take your trash with you at the end of the day, as it is sadly evident that many are not doing so.