Lighthouses of Kuwait

Kuwait is an Arab emirate at the northwestern end of the Persian Gulf (also called the Gulf of Iran or sometimes simply "The Gulf"). Formerly an autonomous district of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire, Kuwait became a British protectorate after World War I. The protectorate was terminated in 1961, and the country has been independent ever since except for an occupation by Iraq in 1990-91. (Iraq was ejected by Coalition forces in the First Gulf War.)

Aids to navigation in Kuwaiti harbors are presumably maintained by the Kuwait Ports Authority (KPA), but several offshore navigational aids in the Gulf are maintained by the Middle East Navigation Aids Service (MENAS), based in Bahrain.

The Arabic word for a lighthouse is mnarh or manara (منارة). Ra's is the word for a cape or headland, and jazirat is an island.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume D of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
MENAS Interactive Region Map
Click on "View MENAS navaids" to display the locations of MENAS-maintained lights.
Physical Map of Kuwait
This map is useful for understanding the locations of many of the lighthouses.

Jazirat Al Kubr Light
Jazirat Al Kubr (Kubbar Island) Light, May 2011
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Kubbar

Kuwait Bay Lighthouses
Jazirat Auhuh (Ahwah, Awha)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands. The tower can be seen in an undated aerial photo of the island, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. This light and the Ras al Ard light frame the entrance to Kuwait harbor. Located on an islet in the Gulf off the southeastern end of Failaka and about 25 km (15 mi) east of Ra's al Ard. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Middle East Navigation Aids Service. Admiralty D7588; NGA 29184.
Jazirat Miskan (Maskan, Mashkan) (1)
1918. Inactive. 1-story station buildings clustered around a courtyard; the light was apparently shown from a mast. The photo at right was taken in 2008 by the Kuwaiti-Slovak Archeological Mission, and a Bing satellite view shows the buildings of the station. According to Kuwait's environmental agency, the station was "managed by Ibrahem Bu-Rashid who lived in the island along with his family to guide ships sailing in the Gulf at night." Apparently his descendents still live at the station. Another Bing satellite view shows the modern light (focal plane 11 m (36 ft); four white flashes every 30 s), which is on a small skeletal tower about 400 m (1/4 mi) southeast. Miskan is a small island off the northwestern end of Failaka Island, about 20 km (13 mi) northeast of Ra's al Ard. The historic lighthouse is near the northwestern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Operator: Kuwait Ports Authority. Admiralty D7603; NGA 29224.
Jazirat Umm an Naml (Umm al Namil)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 10 s. 16 m (52 ft) skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Abdulaziz Al-Shalabi has a very distant view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the northeastern tip of an island about 16 km (10 mi) west of Ra's al Ard, marking the approach to the port of Al Jahra at the western end of Kuwait Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Operator: Kuwait Ports Authority. Admiralty D7601.8.
Miskan Light
Miskan Light Station, Kuwait Bay, 2008
Creative Commons photo copyright Kuwaiti-Slovak Archeological Mission
Mina ad Dawhah
Date unknown. Active; focal plane at least 23 m (75 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. Approx. 23 m (75 ft) (or taller) white tower, described by NGA only as a "white beacon." No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Mina ad Dawhah is a port at the west end of Kuwait Bay; originally commercial, it served the U.S. Army's Camp Doha base during the Iraq War. Located in the midst of the harbor facilities of Mina ad Dawhah. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7602.9; NGA 29211.

Kuwait City Lighthouses
Ash Shuwaykh Port Control
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two white flashes every 15 s. Light atop a 3-story white concrete harbor control building, seen in the foreground of Tareq Al-Obaid's photo. A more distant view is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Ash Shuwaykh is Kuwait's commercial (non-petroleum) port. Located at the end of the breakwater quay in downtown Kuwait City. Site status unknown. Operator: Kuwait Ports Authority. Admiralty D7599.1.
* Ra's Ajuza (?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); green light flashing the Morse Code for "KHC" every 30 s. This light i s(or was) probably shown from a communications tower atop a weather station building; Abu Barak has a photo, and another photo and a third photo are available, but Google's satellite view does not show these structures at all. Located on a short pier on the northernmost point of downtown Kuwait. Site status unknown, but the tower can be seen from shore. Operator: unknown. Admiralty D7594; NGA 29216.
* Ra's al Ard (3?)
Date unknown (station established 1915). Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 5 s. 22 m (72 ft) square skeletal tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands. A distant view is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The Center for Research and Studies on Kuwait has a historic photo of an earlier light, probably the original, mounted on a stone pyramid. According to the caption, that lighthouse was built by the British Steam Navigation Company. A photo of the point shows a square beacon on the east breakwater of the ferry terminal that may be a reconstruction of the original. Ra's al Ard is a promontory projecting into the Gulf at the east end of Kuwait City. Located on the tip of the promontory. Site appears to be open, tower closed. Operator: Middle East Navigation Aids Service. ARLHS KUW-002; Admiralty D7592; NGA 29220.

Southern Kuwait Lighthouses
Ash Shu'aybah Port Control
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; three white flashes every 15 s. The light is apparently mounted atop a very tall triangular concrete harbor control tower. A photo and a distant view are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater at Ash Shu'aybah, a major petroleum port at the end of the Eighth Ring Road about 50 km (30 mi) south of downtown Kuwait City. Site status unknown. Operator: Kuwait Ports Authority. Admiralty D7581.9.
Jazirat Al Kubr (Kubbar, Khubbar)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower. The tower is painted black, but it is wrapped with two white daymarks so that it shows black and white horizontal bands from a distance. A photo is at the top of this page, there's a 2009 photo and a second 2009 photo, and an older aerial photo is also available, but the tower is not seen in Google's distant satellite view. A modern communications tower now dwarfs the lighthouse. Located on an islet in the Gulf about 45 km (28 mi) southeast of Ra's al Ard. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Middle East Navigation Aids Service. ARLHS KUW-001; Admiralty D7573; NGA 29176.
Jazirat Qaruh (Garub)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) skeletal tower, painted with horizontal red and white bands. The light is carried on the shorter of two towers seen in a photo of the island. Google has only a fuzzy satellite view. Qaruh is a small island about 25 km (15 mi) east of Mina Saids. During the First Gulf War, this was the first Kuwaiti territory taken by Coalition forces. Accessible only by boat. Operator: unknown. Site status unknown. Admiralty D7569; NGA 29316.
Umm al Maradim (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 22 m (72 ft) skeletal tower, painted with horizontal red and white bands. The light is carried on the shorter of two towers seen in an aerial view of the island. The view at right, an undated photo posted by the Kuwati government, shows a previous tower that may have been similar to the Kubbar Island lighthouse. Umm al Maradim is in the center of the Gulf at the southern limit of Kuwaiti sovereignty, about 80 km (50 mi) east of Mina Saids, Kuwait, and a similar distance west of Bushehr, Iran. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Operator: Middle East Navigation Aids Service. Admiralty D7568; NGA 29324.
Umm al Maradim Light
Umm al Maradim Light (tower on the right)
photo (no longer online) from the Center for Research and Studies on Kuwait

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Al Kout is not listed as an aid to navigation.

Adjoining pages: East: Iran | South: Eastern Saudi Arabia

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Posted August 6, 2009. Checked and revised April 13, 2014. Lighthouses: 11. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.