Issue 1000 - 18 Sep 2015
Like the Al-Thani of Qatar, Kuwait’s Al-Sabah ruling family have their origins in central Arabia and settled in Kuwait in the mid-18th century. It was one of the first dynastic monarchies in the Gulf, but not the most stable, having had several succession crises. Mubarak the Great took power in 1896 after killing two of his brothers, and ruled until 1915 – he broke the power of Kuwait’s merchant families, who had enjoyed supremacy over the rulers. All successive emirs are descendants of Mubarak. Since 1915, heirs have traditionally been chosen from the Al-Salem and Al-Jaber branches.