I cannot tell you how many times one of my girlfriends from home has interrupted me midsentence on Skype saying, “OMG!!! You have _____ in Kuwait?” No matter how many times I tell them the positive aspects of living in Kuwait they still think I live in a tent, ride a camel to work and pee outside.
Kuwait is 17, 820 sq km in size which is slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey. This tiny little country boosts 10% of the world’s oil reserves and has a booming retail and restaurant economy. I’m happy to report that while living in Kuwait I’m able to enjoy the following retail candy and food porn:
Luxury Goodies: Chanel , Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Versace, Gucci, Van Clef, Givenchy, Fendi, Burberry, Valentino, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Missoni, Rolex, Cartier, Tiffany’s, Bvlgari, Omega, Tag Heur, Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, etc. (Most luxury goods are cheaper in Kuwait because they are tax free. I know that Hermes, LV and Chanel are less expensive. Tiffany's, Cartier and Rolex are actually more expensive.)
Department Stores: Harvey Nichols, Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Mothercare, etc.
Furniture, Household Goods & Hardware: IKEA, Ethan Allen, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Sears, Ace Hardware, Office Depot, The One, etc.
Retail: Kate Spade, Zara, H&M, Top Shop, Mango, Miss Selfridge, Express, Lush, The Body Shop, The Bath and Body Shop, Victoria Secrets, etc.
Cosmetics: MAC, Sephora, Makeup Forever, Bobbi Brown, L’OCCITAINE, Boots, Kiel’s, Faces, Vavavoom, etc.
International Restaurant (Chains): Gaucho Grill, PF Changs, The Cheesecake Factory, IHOP, The Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday, T.G.I. Fridays, Chili’s, Carinos, Texas Roadhouse, Dean & Deluca, Upper Crust, The Fashion Café, Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood etc. (The list is a mile long and there are new restaurants opening weekly. I enjoy the local spots owned by Kuwaitis.)
Subs, Pizza & Hamburgers (Chains): Subway, Blimpie, Quiznos, Pizza Express, Dominos, Papa John’s, Pizza Inn, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars Pizza, Potbelly, Johnny Rockets, Smash Burger, Shake Shack, Fatburger, etc.
Ice Cream & Froyo (Chains): Millions of Milkshakes, Hagan Daaz, Baskin Robbins, Pinkberry, Red Mango, etc.
Donut & Pastry (Chains): Krispy Crème, Dunkin Donuts, Cinnamonster, Au Bon Pain, Le Pain Quotidien, etc.
Fast Food: McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, Hardees, Popeye’s, Nathans, etc.
Cafes: Starbucks, Caribou, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Coffee Republic, Coasta Coffee, Seattle’s Best Coffee, etc.
Fine Chocolates & Gourmet Coffee: Godiva, Rohr, Nespresso, etc.
Disclaimer: I'm sure I forgot a lot because Kuwait has almost everything to eat and buy. I just ran out of time...:) Let me know if you want me to add one of your favorites.