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Ever wondered what sports excite the people of Kuwait?

It’s not all about oil and skyscrapers!

Soccer undoubtedly holds the top spot in this Arabian country.

But which other sports capture the hearts of Kuwaitis?

Let’s dive into the most popular sports in Kuwait in our list.

Most Popular Sports in Kuwait:

  1. Soccer
  2. Basketball
  3. Cricket
  4. Athletics
  5. Cycling
  6. Rugby
  7. Fencing
  8. Taekwondo
  9. Tennis
  10. Swimming

#1 Soccer

soccer
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Kuwait: 1950s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Kuwait: Bader Al-Mutawa (Kuwaiti)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Kuwait: 250,000

Soccer is the undisputed king of sports in Kuwait. Its widespread appeal and passionate fan base make it an integral part of the country’s culture.

The Kuwait Premier League is the nation’s top-tier soccer league, featuring intense competition between clubs across the country. Bader Al-Mutawa, the Kuwaiti forward with an impressive international goal tally, is beloved by fans.

Kuwait’s 1980 AFC Asian Cup victory remains etched in the nation’s sporting history. Soccer’s importance in Kuwait’s sports landscape is deeply rooted and shows no signs of wavering.

#2 Basketball

Basketball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Kuwait: 1960s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Kuwait: Naser Alrefai (Kuwaiti)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Kuwait: 50,000

Basketball is another immensely popular sport in Kuwait, particularly amongst the younger generation. The sport’s dynamic and energetic nature has made it a favorite among local sports enthusiasts.

The Kuwaiti Division I Basketball League serves as the country’s premier basketball league, with teams from various regions competing intensely. Naser Alrefai, a standout Kuwaiti basketball player, has been influential in the local scene.

Kuwaitis love to watch NBA games with American basketball players, and the sport continues to grow in popularity within the country.

#3 Cricket

Cricket
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Kuwait: 1980s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Kuwait: Mohammad Amin (Kuwaiti)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Kuwait: 40,000

Cricket in Kuwait originally gained popularity with the influx of South Asian expatriates, and over time, the sport’s following has expanded to native Kuwaitis.

The Kuwait Cricket Association oversees tournaments and leagues in the country, catering to both amateurs and professionals. Mohammad Amin, a talented batsman, is an admired figure in Kuwaiti cricket.

National cricket teams from Asia and beyond visit Kuwait to play friendly matches, further boosting the sport’s profile in the country. Cricket continues to be an essential part of the sporting scene in Kuwait.

#4 Athletics

Marathon running
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Kuwait: 1960s
  • 🌟Most Famous Athlete from Kuwait: Fawzi Al-Shammari (Kuwaiti)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Kuwait: 100,000

Athletics has a strong presence in Kuwait, with a steady rise in participation and interest over the years. The sport encompasses various disciplines, from track and field events to marathons and triathlons.

Kuwait Athletics Federation oversees athletics events in the country, organizing competitions and nurturing young talents. Fawzi Al-Shammari, a sprinter who represented Kuwait at multiple international championships, stands out among Kuwaiti athletes.

Local and international athletics events, such as the Gulf Cooperation Council Athletics Championships and the Asian Athletics Championships, are followed with immense interest in Kuwait, showcasing the sport’s significance in the country.

#5 Cycling

Cycling
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Kuwait: 1980s
  • 🌟Most Famous Cyclist from Kuwait: Abdulhadi Alajmi (Kuwaiti)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Cycling Enthusiasts in Kuwait: 60,000

Cycling in Kuwait has gained traction over the years, thanks to the country’s growing interest in fitness and outdoor activities. Both recreational and competitive cycling continue to gain popularity.

While Kuwait does not have a prominent professional cycling league, enthusiasts often participate in local competitions and challenges. Cyclist Abdulhadi Alajmi, who represented Kuwait on international stages, has garnered attention for his talent.

Cycling events, such as the Tour de France, are closely followed by Kuwaiti sports fans. The sport’s growth reflects the society’s growing emphasis on health, wellbeing, and exploration of Kuwait’s diverse landscape.

#6 Rugby

Rugby
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Kuwait: 1970s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Kuwait: N/A
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Rugby Enthusiasts in Kuwait: 20,000

Although not as popular as soccer or basketball, rugby in Kuwait has steadily gained a dedicated following, primarily among the expatriate community in the country.

Kuwait’s national rugby team participates in various regional competitions, showcasing their skills and fostering a sense of camaraderie. Even without a widely recognized star player, the sport continues to grow, attracting new enthusiasts.

International rugby events, such as the Rugby World Cup and Six Nations Championship, are closely followed by rugby fans in Kuwait, demonstrating the sport’s increasing influence within the nation’s diverse sporting culture.

#7 Fencing

Fencing
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Kuwait: 1990s
  • 🌟Most Famous Fencer from Kuwait: N/A
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Fencing Enthusiasts in Kuwait: 5,000

Fencing, while less known in Kuwait compared to other sports, intrigues a niche community passionate about the discipline and elegance the sport represents.

The Kuwait Fencing Federation, established in 1986, oversees the sport’s development and promotion in the nation. Although Kuwait has yet to produce a world-renowned fencing star, the country is steadily building a foundation for future talents.

Major fencing competitions like the FIE World Championships and the Olympic Games captivate fencing enthusiasts in Kuwait, gradually expanding the sport’s foothold in the country’s sports arena.

#8 Taekwondo

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Kuwait: 1980s
  • 🌟Most Famous Taekwondo Athlete from Kuwait: N/A
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Taekwondo Enthusiasts in Kuwait: 15,000

Taekwondo, a martial art originating in Korea, has found its way into Kuwait’s sporting community, attracting interest for its combination of self-defense, discipline, and physical fitness.

The Kuwait Taekwondo Federation promotes the sport, organizes local tournaments, and nurtures upcoming talents. While Kuwait is still developing recognized taekwondo athletes on the world stage, the foundation for success is actively being laid.

International taekwondo events, such as the World Taekwondo Championships and Olympic competitions, inspire Kuwaiti enthusiasts, gradually solidifying the martial art’s place in the nation’s sports spectrum.

#9 Tennis

Tennis
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Kuwait: 1960s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Kuwait: Abdullah Maqdes (Kuwaiti)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Kuwait: 30,000

Tennis is enjoyed by a dedicated community in Kuwait, who appreciate the sport’s blend of raw athleticism, strategy, and finesse. As a result, tennis courts and clubs can be found all around the country.

While Kuwait does not have a major professional tennis league, local tournaments and competitions are organized by the Kuwait Tennis Federation. Kuwaiti player Abdullah Maqdes gained attention in international tennis circuits, representing the potential of Kuwaiti talents.

Grand Slam tournaments and international tennis events are avidly followed by Kuwaiti tennis enthusiasts, ensuring that the sport continues to maintain a presence in the nation’s sports arena.

#10 Swimming

Open water swimming
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Kuwait: 1970s
  • 🌟Most Famous Swimmer from Kuwait: Faisal Aljasem (Kuwaiti)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Swimming Enthusiasts in Kuwait: 100,000

Swimming has a significant following in Kuwait, with citizens and expatriates alike attracted to its fitness benefits and competitive nature. Kuwait’s hot climate and vast coastline make swimming an ideal sport for leisure and competition.

The Kuwait Swimming Association oversees the development and promotion of swimming in the country. Faisal Aljasem, a notable Kuwaiti swimmer, has represented Kuwait in various international events, drawing attention to Kuwaiti swimming talents.

Major swimming competitions like the World Swimming Championships and the Olympic Games captivate swimming enthusiasts in Kuwait, bolstering the sport’s presence in the country’s sporting scene.

FAQ

What is the most popular sport in Kuwait?

Soccer, or football, reigns as the most popular sport in Kuwait, deeply embedded in the nation’s culture, with a substantial following and numerous players participating at various levels.

What is the national sport of Kuwait?

The national sport of Kuwait is soccer (football), which occupies a significant place in the country’s cultural and sporting traditions, enjoying immense support from the population.

What are the most watched sports in Kuwait?

The most watched sports in Kuwait include soccer (football), basketball, cricket, athletics, and tennis, each boasting considerable viewership and fan bases, reflecting the nation’s diverse sporting interests.

I'm a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. I run stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton, took part in the German Mini Golf Championships, started learning 'real' Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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