Kuwait Motor Town Race Circuit from Space

Post by Mark

The Kuwait Motor Town Race Circuit is expected to be completed sometime next year but you can already see the layout of the track from space using Google Maps. You can compare the satellite view from top to the rendering below for a better idea of what you’re looking at.

For some reason the track doesn’t show when using a desktop browser but only when accessing the coordinates from your phone. I guess the desktop version of Google Maps isn’t updated yet. So if you want to see the track from your phone, click [Here]


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Kuwait Motor Town Race Circuit is Under Construction!

Post by Mark

Last July I posted the video below as well as renderings of the proposed Kuwait Motor Town race circuit. Not only did the project finally get a green light, but construction is already on the way and 92% of the digging has already been completed. The video below for some reason has been circling social media the past week as if its something new but it’s not new and its no longer accurate.

Kuwait Motor Town will be a world-class race tracking that will feature seven racing circuits. The track will be FIA Grade 1 circuit designed by TILKE, the same people behind a number of popular F1 tracks including Yas Marina and the Baku City Circuit. The circuit will be a state-of-the-art facility that is able to host Formula One and MotoGP races in the future.

The project is being handled by the Amiri Diwan who are behind projects like Al Shaheed Park and the new cultural centre. The circuit is expected to be completed sometime next year and will be located off highway 40, across from Ali Sabah Al Salem. [Google Maps]

The rendering on the very top of this post is currently the latest available rendering but it’s not the final one. I’m trying to get a hold of the final renderings but for now if you’d like to check out videos of the construction work and stay up to date on the project, check out the instagram account @afs_q80

I can’t believe we’re finally getting a race track in Kuwait and not just any race track but a state-of-the-art one. I guess I’m going to need to replace my Datsun with a new car I could use on open track days. This is so exciting!!!

Update: I managed to get the latest renderings of the circuit from Ali Fawaz Al Sabah (@afs_q80) who is the president of the Basil Al Sabah Motor Racing Club. These are the latest but not the final final renderings since more modifications were made. Ali and his team have been working day and night on the project for 9 years trying to get it approved. In the visuals below you’ll find the karting, moto-cross, rally-cross, super-cross, 4×4 technical and ATV circuits as well as the main F1 and Moto-GP circuits. You’ll also see renderings of the mall and hotel. Once you click on a thumbnail you’ll see the description on the bottom left of the image.

You can find the full resolution of the images above [Here]


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Kuwait Motor Town Race Circuit Given Green Light

Post by Mark

Under the direction of His Highness the Amir, the Amiri Diwan has taken on several key projects in Kuwait. The Diwan’s project portfolio includes projects such as the new Al-Jahra Hospital, Al-Shaheed Park and Kuwait’s two cultural centers (Abdullah Al-Salem & Jaber Al-Ahmed) set to be complete by year’s end. On 20 June, the Amiri Diwan announced the awarding of a KD 49 million contract to local developer Bayan National Trading Company to design and build Kuwait’s Motor Town.

According to press reports the project aims at building seven race circuits compatible with international standards. These circuits would enable Kuwait to host Formula 1 and MotoGP races in the future.

The project is located south of the city, in Orafjan, adjacent to the Wafra road. The contract also includes the construction of a pit building and a media center. According to press reports, the project is set to include a hotel and shopping mall at a later stage (not part of the current package). [Source]

motortown1

Hard to believe but it looks like we’re finally getting a race track in Kuwait. Not any racetrack might I add, but a FIA Grade 1 circuit designed by Hermann Tilke, the same guy behind a number of popular F1 tracks including Yas Marina and the Baku City Circuit.

motortown2

I couldn’t find a lot of information on Kuwait Motor Town online other than the video above and a couple of renderings along with the following brief description on the Tilke website:

Kuwait Motor Town shall position itself as a new place making destination with a unique FIA grade 1 circuit as the nucleus of the state of the art facility, which will attract a wide spectrum of people. Whether professional race driver, or families seeking for leisure activities, or club members desiring premium level services, Kuwait Motor Town with its fully integrated portfolio of entertainment assets will create the upmost exciting and innovative automotive experience for the whole region.

I’m not fond of the name Kuwait Motor Town but it will probably change by the time the project is completed and honestly, even if they called it Cupcake Town it doesn’t really matter because end of the day we’re finally getting a race track. Now I just need to convince Alghanim to give me an 80% discount on the Lotus Exige S.

Thanks q8-msc


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Kuwait Race Circuit to Open March 2018

Post by Mark

From what I’ve been hearing, it looks like March is the targeted opening date for the first phase of the Kuwait Motor Town Race Circuit. The first phase will be the main F1/Moto-GP circuit and drag strip while the completion of the rest of the circuits as well as the hotel and mall will follow at a later date. Personally I don’t care about the hotel or the mall, I just want the main track to open so I could take part in open days.

Kuwait Motor Town will have karting, moto-cross, rally-cross, super-cross, 4×4 technical and ATV circuits as well as the main F1/Moto-GP circuit and the drag strip. For previous posts on the Kuwait Motor Town, click [Here]


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Kuwait International Circuit Renderings

Post by Mark

track1

Looks like all my posts today will be car related which I guess is appropriate since theres a Formula 1 race taking place today. There are renderings of a Kuwait racetrack that are being circulated on whatsapp, supposedly of the proposed Kuwait International Circuit. The following text is attached with the images:

تم اعتماد حلبة الكويت الدولية كحلبة للجائزة الكبرى GP للفورمولا ون.
موقعها بيكون على جون الكويت بالقرب من محطة الدوحة للكهرباء. طولها 6.3 كيلو وتتكون من اربع مسارات:
GP Track
West Track
East Track
Outter Track
تتكون من 20 كورنر في الGP
نقطتين DRS
وبتكون عكس عقارب الساعه.
تتضمن مجموعه من المنعطفات التتسلسله ذات التقنيه العاليه..
جميله هذي الحلبه.. بإذن الله نشوفها قريب..

track2

The Arabic text basically talks about the location of the circuit which will be near the Doha power station and the different specs of the race track. Sadly though, these renderings aren’t official nor is the information. This track design was actually done by a Reddit user who goes by the handle Cssnsm and who just likes creating race circuits for fun. In fact, you can check out his original post of this circuit along with a fictional story he created to go along with it [Here]

If you just want to see the renderings, here is the [Link]

I hope we do actually get a race circuit some day, last year a circuit design was finalized and presented to proper authorities for approval but since then haven’t heard anything about it.

Update: A contact just passed me a video of Kuwait Motor Town which supposededly is set to start construction in September. I couldn’t find any information on this online other than this video so not sure how accurate this information is.


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Alfa, Dodge and Porsche

Post by Mark

Yesterday while getting my FJ serviced I decided to pass by the dealerships check out if there was anything interesting. One thing I found surprising was the fact a lot of dealerships still had 2015 cars that were unsold. So for example Jeep had a brand new 2015 Grand Cherokee SRT for a heavily discounted price of KD16,000 while a new 2017 model goes for KD24,000. Same with Nissan who had 2015 model year 370’s selling for a heavily discounted price of KD9,000.

Anyway, the cars below are the ones I figured car fanatics might be interested in:

Read the rest of this entry »


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How to Take Part in an Open Track Day

Post by Mark

Until our local race track opens up end of 2018, our next best option for racing our cars is to take them to an open track day at the Bahrain International Circuit. You don’t need previous experience or a special car to race during open track days, anyone can take part, but the better the car and the better the driver you are, the more enjoyable the experience will be. Hopefully with the information below you’ll find the Bahrain International Circuit a lot more accessible.

What is an open track day?
Around twice a month, the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) allows people to come in and race on their Formula 1 track. The day is split between motorbikes and cars, 30 minutes for the cars, then 30 minutes for the bikes and repeat until the day is over. You don’t actually race against other cars during open track day, in fact you’re not even allowed to over take other cars except in designated areas (the long straights) for safety reasons. What most people do is race against the clock. For example using the app Harry’s GPS Laptimer, I was able to monitor my lap and sector timings so I know if I’m doing better or worse after every lap. You can then compare lap times with friends or against other peoples lap times online.

Can you go alone?
Yes you can, but it would obviously be more fun with a friend, even if that friend isn’t racing, they could still ride passenger with you and during the 30 minute breaks you’ll have someone to chill with. I guess if you’re alone you could read a book but you could also be social and meet other people. On this trip for example in my group we were four guys, when we got to the track we found six other guys also from Kuwait who we knew so we all hung out in the pits together during the breaks. So you could find and interact with other drivers from Kuwait or mingle with drivers from other places like Saudi and Bahrain.

If you’re a female reader and are interested in racing your car, I want to point out that there are usually plenty of other girls during track day either racing or just hanging out with friends. So you can interact and hang out with other women if you want to.

Do you need to have a sports car?
Technically you don’t, as long as your car runs properly they’ll let you race it on the track. There was a Grand Cherokee and an old Caprice during the last open track day, but both of them didn’t stay on the track for long. Also keep in mind there is a reason why there are track versions of sports cars. The Porsche Cayman GT4 is not the same as a regular Cayman, one is made for normal street use the other was created with track racing in mind. Track focused cars will usually have better and stiffer suspension, larger brakes, better tires, better cooling, more power and a bunch of other things.

Do you need previous track experience?
No you don’t. Before you go onto the track it is mandatory you take part in a safety briefing where they will take you through all the rules involved. You can also request to have a professional driver get in your car with you to show you the braking points on the track as well as give you tips on when to turn and other track advice.

Transportation
Since you live in Kuwait, the first thing you need to do is get your car to Bahrain. There are a number of ways of doing that, here are three:

Cheapest Way: You drive your car all the way from Kuwait to Bahrain. The journey would take around 4 to 5 hours depending on how busy the borders are.

Second Cheapest Way: This second option is a popular one, you drive your car to the Saudi border, once you cross the border and you’ll find car trailers waiting on the other side. You put your car on a trailer and have them drive to the Bahrain border. Once the trailer arrives at the Bahraini border, you dismount your car and drive into Bahrain. This way you avoid driving on the Saudi road. The trailer cost is KD40 per direction so going and coming would cost you KD80.

Expensive but Easiest Way: You have a trailer come pick up your car from Kuwait, and then drop it off for you in Bahrain. You get to Bahrain by plane. This is what I did and it’s kinda fine if you do it every now and then, but very expensive to do for every open track day since it costs KD120 per direction (so KD240 in total). There are ways to make this a bit more economical like for example instead of staying at a hotel, I ended up staying at my friends place in Bahrain. The money I saved on the hotel offsets the cost of the shipping by half at least. When the weather gets better in the fall, I might end up shipping my car to Bahrain for a track day, and then leave my car parked at my friends place until the next track day. That way I could do two track days but ship my car once. To transport my car I used a Bahraini company called “Phantom Transportation in the GCC”. The guy to get in touch with is called Saleh and his phone number is +973-66622216. He doesn’t speak English. All you need to ship your car to Bahrain is a power of attorney (tawkeel) and nothing else.

Other Costs

Bahrain International Circuit: The cost of a full open track day at the circuit is KD70. A full track day is from 4PM to 11PM with an hour and half break in between. For more details click [Here]

Helmet: You need one or else they won’t let you race. If you don’t have one thats fine, you can rent one from the track.

Fuel: I filled up like 4 times during the open track day. BIC have a gas station but only provide 95 octane fuel for some reason. If you want 98 octane fuel there is a gas station down the street from BIC after Starbucks that sell it. [Map]

Tires and Brake Pads: Depending on the condition and durability of the tires and how hard you drive, you might need a new set after a track day. I definitely did as you can see in the picture above. Same with the brake pads, they’re a consumable and you’ll be consuming a lot if you’re hard on the brakes.

Plane Ticket and Hotel: Gulf Air and Kuwait Airways fly direct to Bahrain, expect to pay around KD70. Hotel prices vary greatly obviously.

I think thats all there is to it. If you’re into cars and love going fast then I highly recommend you try this at least once in your life. In case you have any questions which I didn’t answer above, let me know in the comments.

Update: When I first published this post I stated that expats can’t get a transit visa from Saudi based on what I was told by the visa office I contacted. But, I was just made aware by a friend that they were able to get transit visa multiple times for Saudi. So I’ve edited the post and I will now be contacting this other visa office for more details on how to get a Saudi transit visa.


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Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Causeway on Track for Completion by 2018

Post by Mark


[YouTube]

The Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Causeway, a key project on the state national development plan, will be among the longest bridge worldwide. It is one track for completion in November 2018. The project, also known as the Subbiyah Causeway, aims to link south and north Kuwait, as well as coping with the increasing traffic jam over the coming three decades.

It consists of two parts: the Main Causeway that will link Kuwait City to the Subbiyah New Town area to the north, stretching 37.5 km, starting from the Ghazali Road intersection and ending at the Subbiyah highway. About 27km of it is a marine bridge structure. The second bridge, Doha Link, will be 12.4 km and will pass through the Kuwait Bay area towards the west, linking the Shuwaikh Port with the Doha motorway.

Up to 59 percent of the Main Causeway has been achieved, and 30 percent in the Doha Link, Assistant Undersecretary for Road Engineering at the Ministry of Public Works Eng. Ahmad Al­Hessan told KUNA. He added that the Doha link aims to end traffic jams in Shuwaikh, and on the Ghazali Road resulting from the trucks using the Port. The Sheikh Jaber Al­Ahmad Causeway also includes two artificial islands, the first to be built on a total area of 300,000 square meters near Kuwait city, and the second near Subbiyah New Town.

They will have government buildings, a marina and green spaces in addition to areas for future investment projects. [Source]

bridge

I’ve been watching their progress for awhile now since I can see a large chunk of the project from outside my window and they’ve been moving along pretty quickly. You can even see the bridge in earth view on [Google Maps].

Thanks Ricardas


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Reviews

Post by Mark

Recommended

Burger Challenge
Applebee’s
Bredz
Burger Boutique
Eighty 6 Bistro
Fauchon
Fuddruckers
Hashi
Gaucho Gril
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Johnny Rockets
Munch
Napket
Nino
Papa John’s Burgers
Prime & Toast
Ruby Tuesday
Slider Station
Sheraton Hotel
Smoke House
The Burger Hub
The Butcher Shop
The Little Oven
The Meat Co.
Wimpy

Food
Cafe: Poshcafe
Chilidog: Nathans Vs Hardees
Chilidog: Johnny Rockets
Chilidog: Fuddruckers
Chinese: Caesars
Chinese: Wildfire
Chinese: Wok Master
Fast Food: Burger King Hammour Royale
Fast Food: Burger King Spicy Chicken Royal w/ Cheese
Fast Food: Hardees Chili Lava
Fast Food: Hardees Turkey & Swiss Sandwich
Fast Food: KFC Fish Zinger
Fast Food: LoFat
Fast Food: Malak Sajj
Fast Food: Marrybrown
Fast Food: McDonalds Best Breakfast in Town
Fast Food: McDonalds Italiano Burger
Fast Food: McDonalds Spring Rolls
Fast Food: Naif’s Puri Fillet
Fast Food: The Pizza Company
Fast Food: Sbarro Sausage & Pepperoni Stromboli
Microwave Meal: Chicken Masala
Microwave Meal: Beef with Classic BBQ Sauce
Microwave Meal: Beef Patty Sandwich Builder
Microwave Meal: Manicotti
Microwave Meal: El Charrito Grande
Microwave Meal: Fried Chicken Meal
Microwave Meal: Chicken Fingers
Other: Baskin Robbins Crunchy Shake
Other: Blenz Coffee
Other: Choowy Goowy Cookies
Other: D*lush
Other: Go Nuts Donuts
Other: Kobe Burger by Auskobe
Other: Lorenzos Chocolate Cheese Cake
Other: Orange Drinks
Restaurant: Al Mayass
Restaurant: Al-Muhallab Seafood
Restaurant: Baba Taher
Restaurant: Burger Bar
Restaurant: Cheeburger Cheeburger
Restaurant: Fauchon Café
Restaurant: IKEA’s Chicken Masala
Restaurant: Le Relais de l’Entrecote
Restaurant: Ricardo – Sheraton
Restaurant: Shatea Al Watyia (Oum Habib)
Restaurant: Slider Station
Shawerma: Al-Ghader
Shawerma: Badar Al Badoor
Shawerma: Burgan
Shawerma: Dodo
Shawerma: Happy Duck
Shawerma: IKEA
Shawerma: Kabab Al Hajat
Shawerma: Mishref Coop Restaurant
Shawerma: Mr Subs
Shawerma: Ranoush Juice – London
Shawerma: Salmiya’s Jewels
Shawerma: Sajj House
Shawerma: Shawermer
Shawerma: Shoo? Shawerma
Shawerma: Villa Fayrouz Express
Shawerma: Weekend
Sushi: Kei, Maki & Kamikaze
Sushi: Maki Restaurant

Movies
Dragon Wars D-War
I Am Legend
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Transformers
Die Hard 4.0
Smokin’ Aces
Big Nothing
The Prestige
Dirty Sanchez – The Movie
Feast
Long Way Round (mini series)
The Sentinel
Hard Candy
American Gun
Stay
Waiting…
Walk the Line
Munich
The Island
Band of Brothers (mini series)
Serenity
Broken Flowers
Lord of War
Saw II
Oliver Twist
The Brothers Grimm
City of God
Jarhead
The Matador
Fucking Åmål
Ichi the Killer
Shutter
Revolver
Straight into Darkness
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Wedding Crashers
Me and You and Everyone We Know
Simple Lies
Dark Water
Constantine
Elf
Creep
Heights
Kill Bill 2
Mysterious Skin
Hot Shots
Hostage
Ocean’s Twelve
Hellboy
Kingdom of Heaven
The Big White
Ôdishon
Inside Deep Throat
The Skeleton Key
The Business
Waterworld
A History of Violence
Born Into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light Kids
Happy Endings
The Bourne Supremacy
The Village
Kicking & Screaming
Unleashed (Danny the Dog)
Be Cool
Ladder 49
Green Street Hooligans
Swordfish
Oldboy
The Devil’s Rejects
Team America
Soul Plane

Automotive
Mercedes E200 [Day 1] [Day 2]
Toyota Corolla
Mercedes SLK [Day 1] [Day 2]
Infiniti M45 [Day 1] [Day 2]
Infiniti G35 [Day 1] [Day 3]
Cadillac BLS
Cadillac CTS
Cadillac Escalade

Other
The Ultimate Water Review Part 2
The Ultimate Water Review Part 1
Zegna iJacket
Canon G11
Archos 7
Apple iPhone
A-Z Maps
N-Bar
AKG K81 DJ
Crest White Strips
Motorola V3x
WD Passport Drive
Philips BodyGroom
Mac & More (Marina Mall)
IPEVO free.1 Skype Phone
Denon AVR-2106
International Veterinary Hospital
Harmony 880 Remote
Jazeera Airways – My Experience
Logitech X-230 Speakers
Sennheiser PX100 Headphones
Kensington Orbit Optical Trackball
The PSP Review
The Sultan Center Website
iPod shuffle


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