Abdulraouf Murad writes that “for unknown reasons, Mishref Palace has been abandoned for more than 30 years. The palace has several facilities including a swimming pool, a cinema hall, guard’s barracks, a central kitchen, women’s suites, guest rooms, a mosque, car parks, a rose garden and a weapons depot. The palace played a major role in public and political life and witnessed many meetings of leaders and rulers from around the world. In 1900, Mishref Palace was built by the Sheikh Mubarak Al-Subah, the seventh ruler of Kuwait, to be a fortress at its current location, about 12 kilometers southeast of Kuwait City. It was called “Mishref = Overlooker” because it was built on a high ground overlooking the land around. Later on, Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Subah renovated his father’s palace in 1940. In the early 1950s, the palace was rebuilt and modernized.
In this archival footage from 1958, you can see how the palace once looked.
Another historic palace, but which is no longer standing is the Old Bayan Palace. Built by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in 1931, he used the place as a getaway during springtime. It was south of Hawally, which was then visited by Kuwaitis in springtime, and overlooked all of Hawally’s houses and surrounding lands. The number of Hawally residents only increased after the palace was built as people used to go to the palace’s mosque for Friday prayers. The palace was abandoned after the death of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber in 1950 and it was torn down by 1960 to be replaced by the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital.