The Syrian from Spartacus

Post by Mark

Interesting tidbit, the charactar Ashur who they call “the Syrian” on the TV series Spartacus (and who is probably the most hated character on the show) used to live in Kuwait back in the 80s. His real name is Emad Tarabay. I tried to get more details like what school he attended but he wouldn’t share any details with me.

Update: I am aware Emad is originally Lebanese, but on the show they call him “the Syrian”.


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Prada Opening in October

Post by Mark

I’ve gotten confirmation from two different sources that Prada will be opening at 360 Mall this October. I was also told a second branch would be opening at a later stage in Avenues Phase II. The launch date for the 360 Mall Prada store is currently set for October 15th.

Update: My guess is that the Miu Miu space in 360 Mall is actually for Prada as well.


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Florence & Fred & Alshaya

Post by Mark

So I woke up this morning at around 4AM and for some odd reason started thinking about my previous Tesco posts. Originally last year I posted that Alshaya were bringing Tesco to the region. A month later I posted that Sultan Center had signed with Tesco and they were also bringing them to the region. Something didn’t click and it was around 5AM when I started sending out emails and doing a bit of investigating.

What I have managed to piece together is the following but please note this is just my theory based on bits and pieces of information I managed to gather. Last year Tesco representatives came to Kuwait and met with two parties with the aim of finding someone who would give them around 50 stores over a five year period across the MENA region. The two parties they met with were Sultan Center and Alshaya. My guess is that Alshaya signed a confidentiality agreement with Tesco which explains why they got really upset when they read my post. My source took the confidentiality agreement as a done deal which it wasn’t because a month later I posted Sultan Center had also signed with Tesco (Again most likely it was a confidentiality agreement). What I understand now is that Sultan Center is no longer in the picture and that Alshaya have most likely signed with Tesco… but to bring the brand Florence & Fred (F&F) to the region and not the supermarket. F&F is the clothing division of Tesco.

Disappointing news I know but theres light at the end of the tunnel. My opinion is that Alshaya will be bringing F&F to the region so they can build a relationship with Tesco. According to a previous interview with Mohammed Alshaya, he picked Tesco as the one brand he doesn’t have and one which he wants the most. So although it doesn’t look like Carrefour is going to be replaced with a Tesco supermarket anytime soon, I do believe that is the long term goal. By getting the F&F brand they’re putting their foot in the door and if everything goes well which I’m assuming it will, then we can expect Tesco supermarkets in the near future.


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KIPCO Tower Mall

Post by Mark

I passed by KIPCO Tower (formally known as United Tower) which is located on the same street as Al Hamra Tower and Arraya. The tower looks pretty cool and the mall inside although not big is very bright and nicely designed.

It’s not officially open yet but I did walk around just to see what kind of shops are opening up there and I’ve put together a list which you can see below. Majority of them seem to be restaurants:

Upper Crust Pizza
MEZO (a cafe or restaurant)
Cafe November
Dijon (a restaurant)
Bubbleology Tea (UK franchise)
Alpha Wellness (some kind of spa I’m guessing)
Johnny Rockets
KFH

With three malls on that short strip it’s starting to look like Salmiya… which I don’t mind of course. The tower was originally supposed to have residential space but I’m not sure if that happened.


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Rumor: Abercrombie & Fitch coming to Kuwait and the Middle East

Post by Mark

Earlier today I was told that Habchi and Chalhoub are currently in negotiations with Abercrombie & Fitch to bring them to the region. The Chalhoub Group already have a bunch of popular brands in their roster including Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lacoste, Celine and Marc Jacobs so it would be realistic for them to get the brand although I always imagined Alshaya bringing them. I’m actually interested to see how the brand will adapt to the region but my guess is there won’t be much of an issue. For now I’ll leave you with the video above of the A&F guys lipdubbing “Call Me Maybe” while I go do a thousand sit-ups and starve myself. [YouTube]


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Kim Kardashian coming in October

Post by Mark

Back in January I posted that Kim Kardashian would be coming to Kuwait for the launch of Million of Milkshakes by the end of the year and last night she confirmed on twitter that she’s coming in October. I think that’s pretty cool since we don’t get that many celebrities in Kuwait.


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Dean & Deluca Being Renovated

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I passed by Avenues and noticed that Dean & Deluca was closed. I assumed they were expanding their restaurant and so I sent them an email asking about it and turns out they’re creating a new look and adding new areas for pizza and Pasta. The renovation should be completed by September which means they’re sadly going to be closed during Ramadan. I usually pass by them during Ramadan for their ready made dishes but this year I guess I’ll have to make do with my horrible cooking.


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Burger Boutique Reopening Soon

Post by Mark

They’re aiming to reopen again in Arraya hopefully in time for Eid.


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City Centre, Dajeej

Post by Mark

I was in Dajeej today and noticed City Centre was opening up over there. The signs on the main road were covered but the signs on the inside road were uncovered which is where I was able to snap the picture above. Looks like they’ll be competing with Sultan Centre which is located very close by. No idea when they’re opening up but I spotted some food trucks at the loading dock so I’m guessing pretty soon. This will be their third location. Here is a map of the [Location]


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BoConcept will reopen again

Post by Mark

Back in April I posted a rumor that the trendy furniture brand BoConcept might be reopening again under new ownership at Avenues Phase III. Well today I finally got a confirmation that the rumor was true. Turns out Behbehani have taken over the brand and they should be opening at the end of the year.


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