In the early 1960s, the Kuwait Amiri Diwan constructed a formal garden to commemorate the city’s modernization; the garden was renamed “Shaheed Garden” in memory of the war martyrs following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in the 1990s.
This transformation is widely regarded as the best urban park and city reconversion in the entire MENA region in 2018. With a 9 million euro contract for fireworks and media extravaganza, the project is set to be officially opened by the Emir of Kuwait on National and Liberation Days (February 25th and 26th).
The 20-hectare urban park features two museums, a vast underground parking garage, and other amenities such as a 12-hectare artificial lake concealing a 30-meter telescopic pole for raising the national flag and a visiting center for official Emir receptions of foreign state leaders.
The competition-winning revamp was a collaboration between local Lead Consultant Khaled Al Fouzan and Portuguese architects and landscape designers. In order to adapt to water limits, hard environmental circumstances, and urban maintenance methods, the Kuwait Green Belt’s designers incorporated many structures into the preexisting garden and opted for a native plant layout. In a record-breaking 22 months, the entire project went from concept to completion.
The Emir of Kuwait commissioned these museums, which will be built along a green corridor connecting old and new parts of Kuwait City. In addition to a National Memorial chronicling the country’s history, the Habitat Museum highlights the need to protect the local ecosystem.
The combined permanent exhibition space of these “sister museums” is 37,000 square feet, providing visitors with extraordinarily immersive and digitally interactive experiences. The original structure is concealed underneath, buried by a lush carpet of desert-adapted flora.
Al Shaheed Park, on the outskirts of Kuwait City, tells the narrative of a people and their culture and history. The park spans a total area of 200,000 square meters and is the largest urban park in Kuwait thanks to its many amenities, including its stunning botanical gardens, two museums (Thekra and the Habitat), a tourist center, a lake, pathways, and running tracks.
Al-Shaheed Park provides the public with a schedule of educational and cultural programs, as well as outdoor and indoor areas that may be used for a wide variety of events and activities, with the goal of becoming the main cultural platform in the country.
The amphitheater, the several grassy spots scattered around the park, and the visitor center’s multifunctional hall all qualify as such places. Cafes, restaurants, and an underground parking garage complement the park’s stunning outdoor sculptures by local artists.
History of Al Shaheed Park
The Al Diwan Al Amiri and the LOYAC (Lothan Youth Achievement Center) collaborated on the creation of Al Shaheed Park. Al Diwan Al Amiri, one of the symbols of Kuwaiti sovereignty and the headquarters and permanent center of the country’s rulers, has taken the first steps toward reclaiming the former Green Belt, a series of gardens constructed between the original city of Kuwait and its subsequent expansion.
This is complemented by Al Diwan al Amiri’s foresight in entrusting the property’s management to the young people of Kuwait, who will use it to host events throughout the year that celebrate the country’s rich artistic, historical, and cultural heritage.
Al Shaheed Park is one of Kuwait’s oldest and most historically significant ring roads, and it is home to a multitude of fascinating historical sites. The Al-Shaab gate, one of the five surviving gates of the ancient Kuwait Wall, is the park’s most historically significant feature.
The Martyr Monument, a seven-meter-tall glass sculpture erected to memorialize the martyrs of Kuwait, and the Constitution Monument, a commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the Kuwaiti constitution, are the park’s two principal monuments.
Visitors may learn more about Kuwait, its wars, and the Gulf War at Thekra, the memorial museum located in Al Shaheed Park. The museum hopes to work with the public by providing designated booths where visitors may discuss their own personal experiences in order to pass them on to the next generation and maintain the country’s historical and cultural qualities.
The Habitat Museum in Al Shaheed Park
Al Shaheed Park’s mission includes spreading the word about the matter and importance of taking care of our planet. The Habitat, a museum in Kuwait devoted to the environment and bird migration, features interactive exhibits where visitors may gain knowledge about various ecosystems, migrating birds, and the negative impacts of pollution.
To accommodate the many migratory birds that pass through Kuwait, a Bird Aviary was constructed adjacent to the Habitat Museum. Visitors can see several species of birds that stop here to rest on their way south for the winter.