Bayt Lothan Closing Down, Turning into Mall

Post by Mark

baytlothan1

Although the title sounds like a joke it isn’t. Bayt Lothan, the non-profit organization that has become an important community center hosting a variety of workshops and events is being evicted from their current property in Salmiya. They’ve been active from that location for the past 20 years but late last year they were told they would have to move out by the end of March.

baytlothan2

Even though the current Bayt Lothan house used to belong to one of the former Amirs, the current owners want the house back so they could turn it into something commercial. The rumor is that the house will be demolished and a mall will be built in it’s place although based on the land size I think it will probably be turned into a food complex.

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Q8 Books whom are located in Bayt Lothan are also being forced to leave although they don’t have anywhere to go. Q8 Books is hoping someone could provide them with space as Bayt Lothan were providing the space to them for free. So not only does it suck that Bayt Lothan is being pushed out but Q8 Books as well. Both are very important culturally and it’s sad to see this happening.

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We don’t need more malls and we definitely don’t need more food complexes.


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Did InfoConnect Get Cancelled?

Post by Mark

InfoConnect takes place at the end of January every year and its usually the best time to renew your internet subscription since all the internet providers and mobile phone operators have the best deals. InfoConnect was supposed to take place from January 24th to the 30th of this month but a couple of weeks ago a small messaged popped up on their website stating:

INFOCONNECT/INFOBIZ exhibitions have been postponed. New Dates will be advised in due course.

offers

Yesterday I heard from a friend that InfoConnect has now been canceled for this year. Supposedly the internet providers came together and decided they would rather not pay the exhibition fees and instead offer their discounted prices directly to consumers. The three big players, Qualitynet, Fast Telco and KEMS have already started teasing their offers on their instagram accounts. That actually sucks since we don’t have that many interesting expos that take place at the fair grounds, and InfoConnect was one that a lot of people went to. In any case once all the ISP’s have their offers up I’ll post a comparison chart like I do every year.


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Five Guys Opening in Al Tijaria

Post by Mark

fiveguys

I heard through the grapevine that Five Guys are opening their first location in Kuwait at Al Tijaria Tower in the city. I passed by yesterday to see if I could find a coming soon hoarding and didn’t find one, but I did find a large location in the basement that was under construction. Five Guys already opened in Dubai back in May and so it makes sense that we are next in line.


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Teachers Working Illegally in Kuwait

Post by Mark

teacher

Last month I read an article about teachers being deported after public authority inspectors started doing random checks at schools and finding out many of them were working on visit visas. I didn’t think of it much at first since I thought these incidents were taking place at random no-name schools around the country.

Last night though I found out from a teacher friend that some of the top ranked schools in Kuwait were being busted with one of the American schools in Hawalli having had 30 teachers deported. Another American school made 50 teachers not come into school for 3 days because they were expecting an inspection.

My guess is after the child sex offender was found working at a local American school, the government probably ran an investigation to see how he slipped through their background checks and realized that he was working here illegally. Obviously this is the fault of the schools but what I don’t understand is why they don’t get the teachers proper work permits in the first place. Is it to save money or are schools having visa issues like every other company in Kuwait?


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McDonald’s “Create Your Taste” Launching in Kuwait

Post by Mark

cyt

I didn’t know what “Create Your Taste” was until last week when someone in Australia built a colossal burger and the video below went viral. Now it turns out the same concept is launching in Kuwait by the end of the week.


[YouTube]

The way it works is pretty simple, you go up to the “Create Your Taste” kiosk at a McDonald’s and you create your own burger using a touch display. You choose the kind of bun you want, the amount of patties, the different types of cheeses, how many cheeses, the sauces etc.. etc.. and you then head to the cashier and pick up your creation. The guy in Australia basically tried to build the largest burger the kiosk would let him and ended up with the burger below.

mcdonalds

Right now it looks like they’re launching the concept at the Gulf Road location since I spotted the kiosks set up there. Should be interesting to see what some kids are going to end up building.


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Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers Opening in Kuwait

Post by Mark

raising

No idea who Raising Cane’s are honestly but I just read that Alshaya decided to bring them to the Middle East. I’m guessing Alshaya probably wanted to bring a chicken franchise to the region and Chick-fil-A would have been too controversial so they ended up with Raising Cane’s. According to the article, Raising Cane’s will open their first location in Avenues this July (probably at the recently closed Olive Garden or Red Lobster locations. [Link]

Thanks James


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Sultanchef Opening at Symphony Mall

Post by Mark

sultanchef

The Turkish Steakhouse Sultanchef is opening a new location at the Symphony Style Mall in Salmiya. It’s the same location where Bubba Gump Shrimp was previously supposed to open so not sure whats going on there. Koryokwan, the Korean restaurant was also supposed to open in the basement below that spot but don’t think thats happening as well since they’ve removed the Koryokwan logo from the hoardings.

Sultanchef is very popular and their current location in Kuwait City is always packed so my guess is they’ll be brining a lot of footfall to the very dead Symphony Style Mall. If you haven’t already, check out my review of Sultanchef [Here]


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No More Bunny

Post by Mark

hungrybunny1

Hungry Bunny is a popular burger franchise that used to be open back in Kuwait during the 80s pre Burger King and McDonalds days. When Al Homaizi got the Burger King franchise, they shutdown all the Hungry Bunny locations and killed the brand. But the original creator of Hungry Bunny ended up launching the brand in Saudi Arabia and then a few years ago brought the brand back to Kuwait. Al Homaizi Group sued them and it now seems Hungry Bunny has been told to stop using the bunny logo until a verdict is reached in the court case.

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I passed by Hungry Bunny for a quick bite yesterday and the majority of the items had the Hungry Bunny logo without the bunny (like in the placemats pictured above). But, some items like the burger wrapper still had the bunny on them. According to the shop manager this is just a temporary issue and the bunny will be coming back soon. They’ve even removed the bunny from the shop signage as well so it’s a pretty awkward mess right now.

Update: Al Homaizi have commented with the following:

Dear Mark and Loyal Hungry Bunny Customers,

It is great to see Hungry Bunny still having that nostalgic feeling within Kuwait and we thank you for your post which we appreciate and are proud of as the founders of the Hungry Bunny brand.

With regards to your post, we would like to mention that Hungry Bunny was developed in 1982 by Al Homaizi Foodstuff Co. in Kuwait and is 100% Kuwaiti.

As the first local franchise in Kuwait, Hungry Bunny led the way and opened the doors to decades of innovative local concepts within Kuwait which we are very proud to see are still growing today.

The Hungry Bunny restaurants that launched in and outside of Kuwait following 1997 were not the original Hungry Bunny developed by Al Homaizi Foodstuff Co.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal Hungry Bunny customers! We would love to hear more about your experiences and memories that you, your family and your friends had in the 80’s and 90’s at the much-loved Hungry Bunny.

Please share your memories with us by sending us an email to HungryBunny@koutfood.com

Best Wishes,

Al Homaizi Foodstuff Co.
Member of Kout Food Group, Kuwait


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Kuwait Towers Reopening Next Month

Post by Mark

kuwaittowers

After being closed to the public for nearly three years, the Kuwait Towers is set to reopen its doors next month according to Al Rai TV talk show presenter Abdullah Boftain. I’m really curious to see what and how much they’ve changed the inside especially since it’s being considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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Entertainment City Shutting Down

Post by Mark

entertainmentcity

Earlier tonight I heard a rumor that Entertainment City was shutting down to get privatized and that Six Flags was going to take it over. A few moments ago I got confirmation from a source at Touristic Enterprises Company that the rumors regarding the privatization are true, Entertainment City is sadly going to be shutdown.

The whole park had fallen into disrepair over the years with many popular rides not working like the Water Log, Oasis Express (AKA the Death Train) and the observation tower. The only thing left really was our childhood memories and I have many of those since I’ve been frequenting the park ever since it opened back in 1984.

My source wasn’t able to confirm if Six Flags was actually taking over but it wouldn’t be too far fetched of an idea since last year they announced they were opening in Dubai. But then again, we neither have the tourists nor the popular number of the UAE so I can’t imagine it being feasible for them to open in Kuwait.

Image Source


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