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Salmiya is located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) southeast of Kuwait City and is one of the largest areas in Kuwait consisting of both commercial and residential areas. As of January 2007, Salmiya contains a population of 223,646 and is arguably Kuwait's flagship district being a major cultural and commercial hub. It is well connected to the rest of the country having a multitude of significant highways and roads passing through it en route to the capital, Kuwait City.
Salmiya is administratively divided into 12 blocks. The blocks located closer to the interior of the district tend to be mostly residential, while those located beside the Persian Gulf coastline have a great deal of commercial and up-scale residential real estate. The interior residential areas boast a huge population of foreigners consisting mainly of those from the Indian sub-continent and other Arabs who are not native to the Persian Gulf area.
Salmiya is also host to numerous mosques, an aquarium, a Scientific Center, an IMAX movie theater, football stadium, medical centers, a Roman Catholic Chapel, the district passport office ("Jawazat") and a well-equipped park beside the 5th Ring Road. Notable malls include the Salmiya Souq Mega-mall which was the first mall in the nation, Marina Mall in the Marina World shopping and entertainment district, and the Omariya mall. The Gulf Road is coveted for its amazing sea vistas and is the main hub for new construction of future buildings and renovations. A boulevard passing through much of coastal Salmiya is a reflection of Kuwait's drive to modernity.
The Salem Al-Mubarak Street shopping districts, commonly known as Salmiya Center, runs down the outer blocks of Salmiya. It is one of the oldest and largest shopping districts of Kuwait. It is a remnant of Kuwait's once numerous traditional souk bazaars, similar to the ones located in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Kuwait City. Well known in the past for pearls, gold and jewellery, it now consists of a wide array of world-renowned retail giants and local outlets. Much of the old souk had been built over, but the feel and atmosphere of the past albeit remains visible at the traditional precincts of this shopping district. The experience varies from modernized (and Westernized) in the strip malls, to a true Kuwaiti experience on some of the back streets. It is notable to point out that the more eastward away from the capital one moves along the strip, the fancier and pricier the shops are in general. There are many gold and fabric shops in the "Old Souk" area located onwards from the intersection of the 4th Ring Road and the strip.
Salmiya has been a model district in the context of modernization. It has undertaken a major face lift in recent times primarily due to ever-expanding commercial real estate on the Gulf Road. The popular Salem Al-Mubarak Shopping strip is in relative close proximity to the capital. The boom in real estate in Salmiya has seen its demographics being constantly on the move. Increasing rental prices have gradually pushed out its working class expatriate community towards the interior districts of Kuwait.
The influx of foreigners to Salmiya is of historical importance dating as far back as the 1960s. During the Gulf War Salmiya was destroyed by invading Iraqi occupation, but from 1993 onward it was gradually rebuilt and re-populated. The old rugged 3-storied buildings and open fields, that Salmiya was famous for, have given way to high density layouts of high-rise apartments and complexes. The beach front, once a hub and harbor for the fishing and pearl diving community, has been transformed into a well-developed and modern bustling commercial avenue.
There are several educational institutions located in Salmiya. The American University of Kuwait which is only walking-distance from the heart of Salmiya Centre. Also nearby is the Gulf English School and The French School of Kuwait. There is a large number of schools catering to different nationalities. Notably among these are the Indian, Arab, and Pakistani schools present in the area serving their respective communities.The Pakistan School and College which is the oldest school in Kuwait.The Indian Community School, and Indian English Academy School (a branch of Don Bosco Schools, India) and Indian Public School are notable schools that largely cater to the Indian community in Salmiya.
|1||The American International School||Salmiya, Block 11|
|2||The English Playgroup||Salmiya, Block 7, St. 2|
|3||The English Primary School||Salmiya, Block 12, Abu Thur Al-Ghafari St.|
|4||American Creativity Academy||Salmiya, Block 12, Abu Thur Al-Ghafari St.|
|5||The English School||Salmiya, Block 12, Mousaed Al-Aazmi St.|
|6||Kuwait International English School||Salmiya, Block 12, St. 2|
|7||Kuwait French School||Salmiya, Hamad Al-Mubarak St|
|8||Indian Private School||Salmiya, Block 10, Essa Al Qatami St.|
|9||Indian Public School||Salmiya, Amman St.|
|10||Indian English Academy School||Salmiya, Al Dahak bin Qays St.|
|11||American University of Kuwait||Salmiya, Salem AlMubarak St.|
|12||Pakistan School and College||Salmiya, Block 10.|
|13||Indian Community School Kuwait||Salmiya, Amman St.|
|14||Gulf English School||Salmiya, AlDimnah St.|
Salmiya is home to Thamir Stadium, which belongs to Al Salmiya Club. Construction has begun on a cricket ground, which once completed will be of One Day International standard. It is hoped the facility will help develop cricket in Kuwait, as well as luring international teams to play neutral matches there. The ground is due for completion in 2012.
Some of the major roads connecting Salmiya are the 4th Ring road, 5th Ring road, and the Gulf Road. There are 2 major bus operators, City Bus and the Kuwait Public Transportation Company, serving all major routes along Salmiya. Taxis are widely available in Salmiya and one can expect to pre-bargain about the fares.
Salmiya Park will be a big park situated in the heart of Salmiyah.