Kuwait Pearl Divers

Kuwait Pearl Divers

Pearl-diving trips were held annually under the patronage of the Kuwaiti Emir in order to keep alive traditions that accompanied the once important national trade of pearl diving, prior to the discovery of oil.

Historically, the best natural pearls come from here. The pearls from this region have an exceptional sheen thanks to the mixture of salty and sweet waters in the Gulf.

 Kuwait inaugurated the Pearl Diving Festival, which aimed to recreate the traditional pearl divers routes. 

Kuwait has staged more than 30 pearl diving trips over the past couple of years within ongoing plans to revive pearling and other pre-oil activities that had formed the backbone of living for the Gulf country before the discovery of oil. However, with the advent of the Covid pandemic, 2019 was the last of the current pearl diving trips sanctioned by the Kuwaiti Emir.

One of the wealthiest nations, it has just staged its 31st pearling expedition in which 228 men set sail aboard 13 Arabian dhows (wooden boats) on a pearl diving trip that lasted more than three weeks.

Because of the pollution of the Persian Gulf from drilling for oil and leaks from the drilling the waters are not healthy enough to continue to produce strong oysters. Over fishing in the area, dredges up the young oysters along with other fish catches and they don't survive. 

It seems this is the story with so many of the past premier pearling waters. What was once a major clean industry has been supplanted by more current desires. There are a number of organizations that are working to change these conditions. More on those in a future blog.

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