Local Volunteering Programs

Post by Mark

Loyac just kicked off registration for their “Service is My Joy” program. The program aims to bring young people to serve their community and draw smiles on the faces of others, through volunteering in various centers such as:

KACCH
Abeer 2
Down Syndrome Center
Kuwait Red Crescent
Kuwait Society for the Handicapped
Al-Kharafi Center
Foster Care Center
Elderly Care Center

Registration Terms:
– For youth of 15-27 years
– All nationalities are welcome

For registration and details contact:

Yusra Al Essa
Assistant Manager – Local Volunteering Programs

Telephone: +965 – 25727399 ext – 102
Email: servicemyjoy@loyac.org
Address: LoYAC – Bayt Lothan – Next to Marina Mall – Salmiya

You could also sign up online by clicking [Here]

via Bloyac


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Kuwait Little League 2011/2012 season registration is now open

Post by Mark

The Kuwait Little League Baseball and Softball is an organization that has been working with the children of Kuwait since the early 1980s. They function strictly with the efforts of volunteers and are a non-profit organization with all the income going towards the maintenance of the field and the equipment needed for the players.

They recently moved to baseball fields inside the Hunting and Equestrian club andast year they had about 400 players (boys and girls) who were divided into 25 teams. During the 2010/2011 season, the Kuwait Little League established the first Challenger Division in the Middle East and Africa. The Challenger Division is for children with physical and developmental challenges. They had two teams in this division and as a result were featured on the Little League International website [Here]

If you’re interested in signing up your children to the Kuwait Little League they’ve just opened registration for the 2011/2012 season. Below is the list of divisions with their ages:

Tee Ball – Boys and Girls – 5 to 7 years old
Minors – Boys and Girls – 8 to 10 years old
Majors – Boys and Girls – 11 to 12 years old
Juniors – Boys and Girls – 13 to 14 years old
Seniors – Boys and Girls – 15 to 18 years old
Softball – Girls only – 11 to 18 years old
Challenger* – Boys and Girls – 7 to 12 years old

*This is a division for children with special needs

To sign up visit the Kuwait Little League website and click on “Register Online Now” [Link]


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Planetarium

Post by Mark

The Kuwait National Planetarium is one of those things that not a lot of people know too much about. I personally like the planetarium for two reasons, the first is because it’s located in the Kuwait National Museum which is a must see. Most of the museum is closed because it was never repaired after the Iraqi invasion but even so I love going there and remembering how beautiful it was back in the 80’s. It also looks a bit creepy at night all burnt and abandoned which can also be nice in it’s little weird way. The second reason I like the planetarium is because it’s actually interesting and well taken care of. Since not a lot of people go there the place is in great shape and the tech is pretty up to date since it only got rebuilt around 10 years ago and just recently they installed a new projection system.

They’re open Monday to Saturday with morning and afternoon shows at the following timings:

Morning Shows
9:30 / 10:30 / 11:30 / 12:00

Afternoon Shows
5:00 / 5:45 / 6:30

No morning shows on Friday. Saturday mornings shows are at 9:30 and 10:30 only. Sundays they’re closed. For more information you can call them on 22451195 and 22456534 The entrance is free!

Here is the location on [Google Maps]

Information and photos collected from Mathai and My Travels, My Experiences.


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Biking

Post by Mark

I know this might sound a bit odd but the weather at night isn’t bad at all for riding your bike. I used to ride my bike only during winter but the past 2 weeks I’ve been riding it in our current summer heat and I’ve really been enjoying it. It’s really not as hot at night as it is during the day.

The first time I went riding was last week when the weather was very humid. I dropped my car in Kuwait City to get detailed and since I needed to leave it there overnight I ended up riding back home on my bike. I thought the humidity would bother me but it actually helped keep me cool. Then this week I started riding my bike to the gym and back home. It’s a 30-40 minute ride (depending on the headwind) from my house in Salmiya all the way to my gym which is just before the Kuwait Towers. Because I take the Gulf Road sea path the weather is a bit cooler and I don’t end up feeling too hot or bothered.

So if you’re looking for an activity to do in the summer then biking can be a good one. There are a bunch of places in Kuwait that sell bikes but my favorite brands are Cannondale, Trek and Specialized. The Cannondale dealer is Sultan Motor Sports (tel 24826723) but they don’t bring a large variety of models sadly. The Trek dealer is Extreme Sports (tel 22254567) and they have a very large and nice showroom in Tilal Complex in Shuwaikh (pictured above) as well as a decent website [Here]. The Specialized brand of bikes I haven’t been able to find in Kuwait yet. You can also find some bikes at Go Sport in Avenues including a few Trek models and there are a few shops in Salmiya that carry new and used bicycles, you can find them with Google maps [Here]

There is also a bike club which organize rides nearly every week. You can check out their website [Here]

I think I’m going to continue to ride to the gym all summer long. If you have a bike you really should take it out. Keep in mind I’m talking about night time riding here (7PM and onwards) and not daytime riding. I would highly recommend not riding during the day!


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Rent a Harley

Post by Mark

I’m not a big Harley fan since I prefer sports bikes and Vespas but I know a lot of you might be interested in this. According to a reader it seems you can rent Harleys from the Harley Davidson dealer. This is the email I received with minor editing:

I am sure you might be knowing about this, but just wanted to add in your activities, renting a Harley Davidson. The 2011 models are out and I rented a Fatboy this weekend for only KD72 (KD36 a day for a KD6,895 bike is really good). There are three other bikes available for rent as well: The Sportster Nightster for KD54, Street Glide and Road King Classic for KD81.

Please note these prices are for 2 day rental since they are closed on Fridays. You need to rent the bikes on Thursday and return them on Saturday and you get these special rates. Or you can rent on a daily bases and the rates are: Nightster – KD30, Fatboy – KD40, Street Glide and Road King Classic – KD45.

It was the best experience with friends having different bikes like Ducati, MV Agusta, Kawasaki, Honda, however the Harley stood out and was an amazing and comfortable ride throughout the day. Looking forward to rent another one again and try out all their models.

The staff at Harley Davidson is also very friendly and helped me select the best ride. You can contact Mr. Marlon, he will help you in the best way possible – 24823041 /2 / 3.

To rent a bike all you need to have is a valid bike license, your civil ID, the rental amount and KD250 on your credit card (or cash) as a deposit. All bikes are fully insured and they also provide you with a helmet (6 different helmets to choose from).

That’s actually not a bad activity especially with this great weather. So I’ve gone ahead and added this post on renting Harleys to the activities page.

Thanks Fahad


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Flight Experience

Post by Mark

I just found out about this new activity from a forum user. Flight Experience is a company that allows you to experience flying in the cockpit of a Boeing 737. The cockpit is very realistic and provides you with a 180° view of the outside world. You can choose to fly in out of 24,000 airports and you can even fly around famous landmarks like London Bridge or the Sydney Opera House. The sessions vary in length and are either 30mins, 45mins, 60mins or 90mins and each session is led by a trained flight simulator instructor (most of whom are actual pilots).

The sessions start from KD39 and they are currently in the soft launch phase and are preparing for their full opening sometime by the end of the month. You can also get a video of your flight plus a picture of you in the cockpit (at an extra cost). The picture on top of this post is of the actual flight simulator cockpit.

Flight Experience is located on the last floor of 360 right on top of TGIF. Here is a link to their website [Link]

Thanks Burhan


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Desert Ops Tactical Paintball

Post by Mark

Back in May I posted about MILSIM and how I took part in one of their Tactical Military Simulation Games. It was amazing! I was totally surprised we had something like that in Kuwait, it was lots of fun, the weapons were very cool and realistic and the location the simulation took place at (old abandoned prison) was something right out of Call of Duty. Now this year my friends at MILSIM (which is short for Military Simulation) have introduced something new called Desert Ops Tactical Paintball for the trigger happy people. Unlike the Tactical Military Simulation Games which require a lot of patience, skill, strategy and discipline, Desert Ops Tactical Paintball is a faster paced game that’s easier to get into right from the start.

The MILSIM Paintball is located in an area near Mutlaa. You can sign up and come as an individual or group. Price is KD15 for a full day of playing. A bag of 500 balls is for KD10 and can be shared amongst the players. You need to book in advance and you can do that from their website [Here]

They have another field opening up at Shaab Park in mid January. It’s going to be the first Milsim Airsoft and Milsim Tactical Paintball field in the region. Basically real life Call of Duty stuff and it’s going to be located right near my home so I can’t wait.

For the advanced players who are interested in the Tactical Military Simulation Games (pic above) which I took part in back in May, if you’re willing to take a 2 day training program at desert Ops to get familiar with the MILSIM game play and gear then you can also email them [Here]


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Kart Racing

Post by Mark

I passed by with some friends last night to the Pro Kart Racing track off the 6th ring road. The track is located next to the drift track and a motocross track but to get to that whole area is a bit tricky since you need to take an unofficial exit off the 6th ring road but I’ve got a link to the area on Google Maps at the end of this post to help you out.

The track opened up a few months ago but the weather now is perfect for it. You don’t need a driving license to race on their track, you just need to be 14 years old or older. The cost is KD5 for an 8 minute session which is a lot longer than it sounds and I would say is 4 or 5 laps around their large track. The last time I had done go karting was in Lebanon back in 1995 so don’t really have much experience with it. The karts seemed pretty fast once they picked up speed but acceleration was pretty weak. The karts mostly had incredible grip on the track which made my ride back home in the FJ seem like I was driving a boat.

We raced at night which I highly do not recommend. They had issues last night with their flood lights (some were not working) which resulted in patches of the track that were pitch dark. Even the patches that were lit up weren’t really that bright. I would imagine things would be a lot more fun during the day since other than the fact you would actually be able to see the track but you would also be able to see your friends. Since they open up at 5PM there really isn’t much daylight hours so you would have to get there early.

The track is fairly big with a lot of great turns and a good amount of straights. One of the guys in our group races on the Bahraini national karting team and he obviously kicked all our asses. I came before last on my first try since my first couple of laps I was still getting used to the karts and then managed to pick up pace on my last laps. My second race was a total disaster since I came in last. After my good last laps in my first race I came in to the second race too confident and ended up going into the turns too fast and spinning out. I spun out at least 6 times and by then I was just too far behind to catch up.

Karting was a lot of fun but next time I would definitely want to go back during the day. Here is the location on the [Map] and here is a link to their [Website]. They’re open daily starting from 5PM, each race session is KD5.


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Discover Scuba Diving with the Kuwait Diving Team

Post by Mark

Since the weather is currently great I figured I would try a new activity this week which is scuba diving. I had never scuba dived before and have always been wanting to try it out but never really had a chance until today. I woke up early and headed to the Kuwait Science Club next to 360 Mall with Nat. There we met up with some members of the Kuwait Diving Team who were going to take us through the Discover Scuba Diving course.

The first thing we had to do was sit and watch a short video about scuba diving. After that we were verbally instructed on the basics of scuba diving, some safety advice and given a bunch of other information before we headed to the pool for a live test.

The idea behind the Discover Scuba Diving course is to give you an idea of what it’s like to breathe underwater. When I first put the air regulator in my mouth it felt a little uncomfortable but I quickly got used to the idea of breathing in and out from my mouth. The scuba gear on your back isn’t as heavy as it looks which was surprising since I thought it would be much heavier than that.

We spent a short period of time in the shallow end of the pool practicing how to breathe, how to put the regulator in and out of our mouth under water, how to signal if everything is ok or if we need help, etc… We then proceeded to swim to the deep end which goes down to 5 meters and we then spent the rest of the time at the bottom there swimming, throwing a small toy torpedo around and generally getting comfortable swimming, breathing and spending time deep in the water without going out.

It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Nat is going to continue scuba diving by taking the open water course with them but I on the other hand don’t think will have time for scuba diving with all my other activities.

The Kuwait Diving Team guys are really great, they love what they do and they’re extremely dedicated. If they aren’t spending their time instructing they’re out in the sea saving the coral reefs, recovering sunken ships or performing some other environmental heroism. The Discover Scuba Diving course is free and runs for around 3 hours. Once you take the course and feel like scuba diving is something you want to get into then you can sign up to the Open Water / Advance course which is KD140. That course involves 5 pool dives, 5 classroom sessions and 4 open water sea dives. Once you complete that course you would get your scuba diving certificate and will be able to go diving with other certified scuba divers without a need for an instructor.

For more information or to setup an appointment for a Discover Scuba Diving course you can contact PADI Instructor Meshari Alkhabbaz on 97900714.


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Sidekick Academy

Post by Mark

Me and Nat passed by Sidekick Academy earlier tonight and signed up to their courses. Nat’s going to be taking their Be-Safe womens program which I previously posted about while I’ll be taking private lessons in mixed martial arts.

It was my first time passing by their training facility and I was really impressed. The place is huge and feels like a great place to train in. They also told me Royce Gracie will be coming back to Kuwait in around 2 months time which is great.

So now I’m pretty much set up with activities on a daily basis. I’ve got Core Fitness four times a week, mixed martial arts once a week and I’ll be building and racing radio controlled cars with Pro-Hobbies also once a week. And people say there is nothing to do in Kuwait…

Update: Here are the prices if anyone is interested

Program Pricing (6 times a week)
1 month = KD70
3 months = KD200
6 months = KD375
1 year = KD720

Be Safe Program (twice a week/women only)
1 month = KD45

Private Lessons (per hour)
KD10 = Private lesson with a red belt instructor
KD20 = Private lesson with a brown belt instructor
KD30 = Private lesson with a black belt instructor

Their phone number is 99965562 99975562

Update: Sorry I posted their wrong phone number, the correct number is 99975562


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