Diwaniyas are the core of Kuwait’s social, business and political life, the places where topics of interest are discussed, associates introduced, alliances formed, and similar networking activities undertaken.

If there’s anything that stands out from Kuwaiti culture up to these modern times, Its their DIWANIYA. When I first came to here early 2000s, I was keen on observing Kuwaiti lifestyle and habits and especially the local lingo of many things. Diwaniya is also one of the first Arabic words I have learned.

Right in the street of where I used to lived, I often saw Kuwaiti men gathering together in their Diwaniya area, an extension from their Villa’s front yard. It became a common sight so I started to wonder what was this type of gathering and what’s the use of it. I never saw this habit in The Netherlands.

What is exactly a Diwaniya?

Diwaniya is a traditional culture of Kuwaitis that literally means “To gather together”, or a “Place of assembly”, “Parlour, Hall or lounge”. It originates from the Arabic word “Diwan” which means the place where the Amir meets his subjects and listens to their concerns.

Kuwaiti Diwaniyas evolved from the traditional tents with seating pillows, into solid building with modern interiors where prominent people in the Government from Ministers, Chairmen of Public companies, prominent people in Oil sector, to undersecretaries, Businessmen, Banks chairmen, CEO’s of multinational corporations, receive their guests weekly or monthly in their family diwan or private Diwaniya.

People who visits a decision maker in his Diwaniya, it force him by tradition to gently listen and be open to what they say. Which gives a big chance for people who has a good proposal to deliver a proper value proposition in the offering, which then ends up with another formal meeting at the decision maker office to do the formalities. And also considering the place to be the best to build connections.

Diwaniyas are a primary source of information sharing. This was especially true before the days of technological media outlets, where the Diwaniya circuit was the fastest way for information to travel across Kuwait, keeping Kuwaitis in the know and chiseling the community closer together.

As a conclusion, DIWANIYA is a place where communication is done with a very proper attention from the decision maker.

So next time if you heard the term Diwaniya, then you know that its simply means “Let’s get together”!