Kuwait City in the Future

Post by Mark


A reader was watching a Lexus car concept video and noticed something peculiar. The last scene of the video shows the concept car driving off into a futuristic city but on closer inspection, the city features buildings from Kuwait. If you enlarge the video full screen and look carefully you can spot Al Hamra Tower, Arraya Tower 1, Arraya Tower 2 and KIPCO Tower (there might be more). So it kinda looks like Kuwait City in the future, check out the video [Here]

Thanks Sulaiman

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A Tesla in Kuwait

Post by Mark


Over the weekend I found out that Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah (the owner of Cinemagics), had purchased a Tesla electric car from the States Netherlands and had it shipped to Kuwait. So right away I gave him a call and asked him if he’d let me take it out for a spin and he agreed so I took it out yesterday morning.


Before anyone comments about how useless a Tesla is in Kuwait because gas is so cheap, you need to understand that the Tesla is more than just an electric car, it’s not just about saving on fuel prices. The easiest way for me to explain it might be comparing it to the iPhone, what the iPhone did to the phone market the Tesla is trying to do for the car market. They’re reinventing what a car should be and thats what makes Tesla so great a company and Elon Musk a great innovator. One easy example is with the Tesla’s control panel. If you look at the picture above you’ll see a huge ass screen in the dashboard, that screen is the size of around two iPads stuck together. It’s a gorgeous high resolution display with a very clean very Apple like interface that allows you to control every aspect of the car as well as display a variety of information all at once. In the photo above for example I had my blog opened up in the web browser and taking up the whole screen but you could have it take up half the screen if you want with the other half displaying your radio or maybe the map. My point is if you read my car reviews from just this year alone you’ll notice one of my biggest complaints is how I felt the user interface in most of the cars I drove were so outdated and ugly. The Tesla on the other hand is doing it right.


The first question I asked Nasser and the first question everyone asks him is how does the car get charged in Kuwait? Basically there are two ways, the first is using a regular power plug like the ones found inside your apartments. You just plug the car to a power outlet and it charges at a speed of 7KM an hour. The second way is to have an electrician install a multiphase power plug which will increase the speed of charging to 55KM an hour. On a full charge the car can last over 400KM which is more than four trips from Kuwait City down to the chalets in Bnaider and back. So for regular day to day use you probably only need to charge the car just once a week. That’s better mileage than what I can get out of a full tank of gas on my car. In any case Nasser installed a charging point outside his office building so he could charge it there if he wants to as well.


I only had the car for like an hour but all I really wanted to experience was what it was like driving an electric car and also better understand how the regenerative braking worked. The Tesla as you can imagine doesn’t make any sounds. Only when accelerating really hard can you hear a gentle electric whine like something from Star Trek but other than that it’s a completely silent car. The Tesla I drove is the P85D which is all wheel drive and has two motors with a combined power equivalent to 762HP. It’s really fast and it can hit 0-100KM/h in 3.1 seconds which is insane considering how understated the car looks and the fact it’s a 4-door family sedan. Regenerative braking was also very interesting to experience, it’s an energy recovering mechanism that allows the Tesla to recharge the batteries using the energy recovered while braking. Usually when you want to slow down with regular cars you take your foot off the gas pedal and then press the brakes. With the Tesla when you lift your foot off the gas the regenerative braking kicks in and starts slowing you down without you having to press the brakes. It feels like engine braking, like slowing down by downshifting in a regular car. If you want to use the brakes you can of course but using regenerative braking allows you to recover the energy and make your brake pads last longer. The interior of the car felt premium, lots of leather and suede. According to Nasser he didn’t have any issues with the AC during the summer which is another concern I had with the car.

The Tesla P85D starts at around KD31,000 without shipping to Kuwait which is actually not that expensive when you consider the technology and performance involved with the car. Getting it registered might be a bit of headache although it should be a bit easier now since there’s already a Tesla in Kuwait. When Nasser went to register the car they had the Tesla on the computer as a gasoline powered car so that caused delays. Overall it’s a pretty cool car and nobody should be worried about getting one in Kuwait.

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Citybus Not Getting Hybrids

Post by Mark


One of my readers sent me the picture above of a new Citybus thats currently on the road. What caught my attention was the fact it had solar panels on the roof and the message “735w solar cells” on the side. I thought Citybus might finally be getting some new hybrid buses, that is buses that run on fossil fuel and clean electric power. So I gave Citybus a call to find out if that was the case and it sadly turns out it wasn’t.


The bus pictured above is currently being weather tested for the local market and is by the Irish company Wright. It’s not a hybrid but a regular diesel vehicle. According to the person I spoke to, the solar panels are just there to recharge the bus batteries and is not for any energy saving purposes. Oh well that was a downer. I was hoping this was the first step in eradicating the horribly polluting buses currently on the roads. Looks like that’s not going to happen.

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Kuwait bans home delivery services to reduce traffic

Post by Mark


Kuwait has suspended home delivery licences in a bid to reduce traffic in the crammed capital.

The Interior Ministry is preparing to regulate home delivery services because it requires too many vehicles to be on the roads, Kuwait Times said. [Source]

Here’s one more last funny article for the day but this time I’m also gonna share my friends rant below (who’s Kuwaiti by the way for those of you who want to tell him to get the fuck out).

Yes, Kuwait, keep chipping away at our quality of life instead of doing anything serious to remedy the dire situation of our roads.

Metro? Let’s keep delaying that indefinitely… Because, you know, talking about it since the 1970s has brought us that much closer to realizing it.

Public transportation reforms? Forget that, bus drivers seem to drive with contempt and face it, who would want to ride one of those dilapidated deathtraps?

New highways? With an average completion time of seven years for a stretch of a few short kilometers and haphazardly-marked diversions, you might as well do nothing at all.

License regulation? Please, with rampant nepotism and string-pulling guaranteeing that every untrained moron with a pulse gets one, I don’t believe shit. Just take it all out on the expats the way you normally do, government.

Funny as it is, I’m dreading going back to Kuwait almost purely because of the road situation. People seem to actively disregard the rules and do things their own way because they know that our hilariously inept police force isn’t going to do jack about it except pass unimplemented law after unimplemented law, we have over 1.5 million cars on a road network with a carrying capacity of around seven hundred thousand vehicles, round-the-clock traffic ensures that what should be a ten-minute trip takes at least an hour, there’s no emission control or any form of environmental regulation and my chances of being killed because of someone else’s idiocy are exacerbated to the nth degree.

For a country with the potential and resources to make something absolutely incredible of itself, it’s moments like this that make me want to facepalm until my face bleeds.

– Khaled

Update: According to the news article on the Ministry of Commerce website, the ban is temporary and only because the MOI are currently overburdened with requests [Source]. So it looks like Kuwait Times are making shit up. Also it looks like Arabian Business is now making shit up because their source (Kuwait Times) never mentioned anything about traffic being the reason for the ban.

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No Speak English – Kuwait to Paris 2015

Post by Mark


The Kuwait to London guys which I posted about last year are doing a Kuwait to Paris trip this year. Last year we got a ton of great videos (check here and here) but so far this year I’ve only seen the one above which was taken off a German news broadcast.

Based on the route displayed on the side of one of the guys car, they started their journey from Turkey and will drive through Europe all the way to Paris, then up to London, then back down to Spain before crossing the Mediterranean Sea and ending their journey in Morocco.

If anyone comes across more videos please send them to me.


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Kuwait International Circuit Proposal

Post by Mark


A design proposal for a local racetrack has been finalized and presented to the proper authorities for approval. The racetrack was designed by Apex Circuit Design, the same group behind the design of the Dubai Autodrome and the Bahrain International Kart Circuit among other projects. Based on the screenshots available, the project contains a FIA/FIM Race Circuit thats 5.65KM long along with a pit/paddock solution, hospitality for 5000 guests, 42 garage bays and is F1/MotoGP compliant. There is also a FIA/CIK Kart Race Circuit thats 1.39KM long, a 1/4 Mile 2 Lane Drag Strip, and Education campus and a Nordic Standard Road Safety Center.

Not sure Kuwait will ever be able to host an F1 race due to the lack of alcohol, but a racetrack is still definitely something that is extremely important to have here so hopefully this project gets approved and implemented. Check out the leaked screenshots below:

Thanks AK

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The 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible

Post by Mark


I’ve been driving the new Mustang for over three weeks now while vacationing in sunny California and I’ve driven the car over 5,000KM in these three weeks. I figured it was about time I write a review but in summary, I’ll tell you I’m impressed.

Before coming to LA I had decided that I wanted to rent a Ford Mustang convertible. I knew I wanted a convertible and figured if I got a Mustang I’ll also be able to get a post out of it since the car was on my to do list anyway. All rental companies usually promise you a certain vehicle or similar one and I really didn’t want to rent a Mustang but then end up with an ugly Chrysler convertible. So I called up a few rental places to see if any could guarantee me a Mustang and found one that did. Turned out they were located right next to the Glendale Fighting Club, Ronda Rousey‘s gym so that was pretty cool.


The Mustang I’ve been driving isn’t fully loaded, it doesn’t have a navigation screen and the sound system is pretty shit. But, the car was still a lot of fun to drive and I drove it, a lot. I had the 4-cylinder 2.3L turbo engine which pumps out 310hp while saving me a ton of money on fuel yet still sounding pretty good in the process. Fuel economy is one of the things I loved about the car even though its not an option anybody cares for in Kuwait. The second thing I loved about the car is how comfortable it was. I drove the car on a three day long road trip from LA up the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) to San Francisco and then east into Yosemite National Park before heading back down to LA for a night and then driving back out again the next day to Las Vegas for the weekend and then back again. Thats a lot of continuous hours sitting down over a bunch of days and not once did I feel uncomfortable or have any kind of back pain. And thats coming from a person who hates sitting in the same spot for a long time. It blew my mind away and I truly believe the Mustang has to be one of the most comfortable sport cars in the market right now. It’s a great daily drive on both the open roads where the car is fairly fast but also easy to drive in traffic and god damn have I been spending time in traffic here. It’s horrendous! Literally every trip takes me between 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes and I’m not exaggerating. I actually miss Kuwait traffic. A LOT.


The car does have some faults though like the convertible soft top doesn’t have a great seal for one thing. On the highway it brings in a lot of outside noise and when getting my car washed, water was somehow managing to find it’s way inside the car. It’s also super slow to open and close and it will only work if you’re at a complete stop. Since we’re in Kuwait you shouldn’t get the convertible anyway plus the hard top version looks better. The second issue I had with the car was the quality of the material. The car I rented had only a few thousand miles on it yet two weeks in with the car I noticed one of the buttons on the steering wheel had started peeling. Kinda makes me concerned about the interiors long term durability. Finally the last major issue I had with the car was the legroom. Well it’s a half problem, nobody can sit behind me while I’m driving not unless I’d have to change my seating position which I obviously wouldn’t want to. But, on the other hand, I had a friend who sat in the back behind the passenger seat for five and a half hours on our way to Vegas and she didn’t complain at all so it can’t be that bad.

Would I get the car? I want to say yes but I’ll have to say no. The kind of people who tend to buy and drive Mustangs in Kuwait are… not sure how I can say this politely… I just won’t say anything. The other issue is the price. The Mustang starts at KD11,700 for the V6 engine in Kuwait while the version I drove starts at KD13,700. If you want a convertible the dealer has one available right now but they’re selling it for KD18,500. I don’t think they’re worth that much money frankly. In any case if you want to find out more about the car, check out the dealers website [Here]

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The Desert Wants Kuwait Back

Post by Mark


The recent dust storm covered some highways out in the desert with sand so deep that cars were getting stuck in it.


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Car Crashes into X-Cite Electronics

Post by Mark


A couple of nights back a car accidentally crashed into the X-Cite store in Hawally. The incident took place right after futoor when the showroom was empty and so no one got hurt. Their new store is located on a busy roundabout so this probably isn’t going to be the last time this happens.


It actually reminds me of this shop in Salmiya called Beirut that was located at a traffic intersection. So many people drove into the shop the owner ended up installing a steel barrier outside to stop the cars from crashing in.

Thanks Khaled

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The Volkswagen Golf GTI

Post by Mark

Last week after posting my review on the Lexus IS 350 I got a phone call from VW regarding the Golf since I had left a comment about how they don’t want me to drive their cars. Awhile back I had sent them a couple of emails requesting to test drive the car but no one had ever gotten back to me. Actually one person did the first time I sent an email and they told me they didn’t have the car available for a test drive, but they’d call me back once they did. The second email just never got through due it turns out to a technical glitch from their side. The marketing manager was fairly apologetic about that and told me they had a Golf GTI ready and that I could pass by and pick it up anytime I wanted to. So an hour later I was leaving the VW dealership in a hot red hatch for the weekend.

I have a personal connection with the Golf. My granddad in Lebanon had the original Golf MKI which my family used to use during our summer holidays. It was a great car, compact and really reliable. The car I believe was a 1977 model but stayed in the family up until the late 90s. When I moved to Lebanon for university my first car was also a Golf, the MKIII. It was the car I learned to drive on and in the two years I had it, I managed to get 14 flat tires (stupid potholes) and 7 accidents. Sounds bad but it’s because of the Golf I’m a much better driver today. The car then moved on to my sister who continued the tradition of carelessly driving into giant potholes as well as hitting other cars. Sadly though, she still sucks at driving today. The Golf took a lot of abuse before we finally sold it. I still miss the car and wish I still had it but it’s probably in a better place now. Since then the Golf has gone through four facelifts and the current model is the Golf MKVII.

So yeah I love Golfs and I was in love with the current model even before driving it. And now after spending the weekend with the car I’m seriously contemplating getting one. I tend to do this with every car I test drive which isn’t healthy obviously, I even did it with the Ferrari 458 Spider and the McLaren. You can just imagine the conversation I had in my head trying to convince myself how it’s possible the 458 could replace my FJ Cruiser as my daily driver. Most of the time though the itch wears off a few days later and I start looking for another car to test drive. This time, I’m not sure if the feeling is going to go away.

The new Golf GTI is just a blast to drive. The seating position is fantastic, the handling is ridiculous and it just takes a few minutes to feel super confident driving it. I was also driving like a douche, cutting people off and trying to squeeze between cars. Its how I used to drive my own Golf and I guess I was just reliving the old days. Because of the extremely accurate handling, Golfs are known to be great for “inbetweens” which is the art of trying to squeeze yourself between two cars by creating a new lane between them. Luckily, no sideview mirrors were lost in the making of this review. Seriously though the car is so much fun to drive and the more powerful Golf R is supposed to be even more fun which is insane.

One thing that surprised the hell out of me was the car’s AC. I wouldn’t usually mention the AC in a review but this past weekend the weather was really hot and the car spent a lot of time parked in the sun yet the AC was so powerful it would give Toyota a run for their money. On the other hand I found the sound system disappointing with really boomy bass, a small claustrophobic screen and no navigation. For those of you who’re interested in the back seats, there’s pretty good legroom and like all Golf’s the rear seats fold down turning the already large trunk into an IKEA friendly one.

There are two Golf’s available to purchase in Kuwait, the Golf GTI and the Golf R (they don’t get standard non GTI or R Golfs). The Golf GTI in Kuwait comes fully loaded with features such as the performance package, auto parking, rearview camera and sunroof and costs KD10,600. If I was getting the GTI I would custom order it (which is possible) and not have the auto parking option (because I can park myself) and instead get the upgraded sound system with navigation. The Golf R is the most powerful version of the Golf with more horsepower than the GTI, an all wheel drive system, upgraded sound system with navigation and leather seats. But the Golf R also costs KD14,800.

I’m having a real hard time trying to decide if I’d be willing to swap my FJ for the Golf. I’ve already been researching Golf bike mounts and roof bars that can hold wakeboards. But, I’ve also kinda gotten used to being able to drive over anything and on anything so thats going to be something hard to let go of. If you’re interested in test driving the Golf or if you’re looking for more information, then check out the dealers website [Here]

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