Diwaniyas are the beating heart of Kuwait’s vibrant life—a haven where minds meet, dreams take flight, and the spirit of community thrives

In the early 2000s, when I first arrived in Kuwait, I was captivated by the unique lifestyle, habits, and the local lingo that surrounded me. And at the heart of it all was the intriguing word—DIWANIYA.

Right in the streets where I lived, I witnessed Kuwaiti men gathering in their DIWANIYA area—an extension of their Villas’ front yards. It became a captivating sight, leaving me wondering about the purpose and significance of these gatherings. It was an enigma, something I had never encountered 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.

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