In Focus: Alghunaim Photography Store

Posted by Mark

I’m really excited to post about this place since it’s about damn time we get a specialized photography store in Kuwait. Over the weekend I was planning to order a Think Tank bag from Amazon. I didn’t go through with the order since I was planning to go to Dubai today and figured I would get it from there. My trip got cancelled and I was going to order the bag tonight when I found out on twitter about Alghunaim Photography. Talk about the perfect timing!

Alghunaim Photography just recently opened up in Baitak Tower. They’re a small store but they’ve got some very cool brands including Think Tank bags, Manfrotto tripods and bags, National Geographic bags, Hoodman accessories, Kata bags, Lenspen, LockCircle, Datacolor products, Black Rapid camera straps and more. They actually still have more brands on the way but even with what they have right now they’re already my favorite photography store.

The bag I was interested in was the Think Tank Retrospective 5. It’s a small shoulder bag that I wanted for my tiny Panasonic GX1 camera. It costs around KD40 on Amazon and with tax and shipping to Kuwait it was going to end up costing me at least KD50. At Alghunaim they’re selling it for just KD45! The owner is actually trying his best to match his prices to Amazon. With the Manfrotto items for example he told me his prices should be equal to that of Amazon which I think is great. They also have a lot of National Geographic bags although I didn’t spot the tiny one that’s popular with X100 owners.

Another interesting thing the owner is trying to do is create a used camera market. He wants to start displaying and selling used cameras in his store so if you have one you’re planning to sell you should pass by.

I really hope the store does well and I also hope the prices stay the same. They don’t have an online website yet but their store is easy to find and there is a ton of parking as well. They’re located in Baitak Tower in Kuwait City (facing Safat Square) and they’re on the ground floor opposite Starbucks. You can also call them on 99066601 or 90023334.

You could also visit their website [Here]

More pictures below.

Read the rest of this entry »


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In Focus: Al-Sabih Marine

Posted by Mark

I found out about Al-Sabih Marine from my twitter followers and I’m glad I did since I was planning to order a Pelican case from Amzon and it turned out to be cheaper to just buy it locally. .

Al-Sabih Marine is located behind Tilal Complex in Shuwaikh and as soon I walked into the place I spotted their Pelican collection. I was looking for the 1200 model in black but spotted a yellow one on display for KD23. The same case costs around KD10 on Amazon so I asked the salesman if they had any discounts and he told me they did and that the final price would be KD19.5. It also turned out they had it in black which was great. KD19.5 isn’t cheaper than Amazon but it was going to cost me at least KD10 to ship it with Aramex so even though I was paying double the price of Amazon I was still saving money. While I was there I also noted down the prices of the other sized cases just for reference. These prices below are without the discount which I am assuming is a standard 15%:

Pelican 1200 – KD23
Pelican 1300 – KD27
Pelican 1400 – KD38
Pelican 1450 – KD45
Pelican 1490 – KD65
Pelican 1500 – KD52
Pelican 1510 – KD72
Pelican 1550 – KD68
Pelican 1550 DIV – KD99
Pelican 1560 – KD80
Pelican 1600 – KD84

If you’re interested in getting a Pelican case I’m not aware of any other place in Kuwait that sells them for cheaper. Here is a link to their website [Link]

If you don’t know what Pelican cases are just watch the video below.


[YouTube]


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Where to fix your iPhone or iPad

Posted by Mark

I heard about this place that fixes iPhones ages ago but never had a reason to pass by until today. My mum accidentally dropped her iPhone into her coffee and it stopped working so I took it to the Michel Chinese Workshop in Hawalli. That’s the official name of the store but you can call it the iPhone and iPad Workshop. The shop is located in the basement of a complex and is run by a very nice Chinese couple in the front and four young Chinese technicians in a small glass room in the back.

This tiny place kicks ass. They fix whatever problem you have with your iPhone or iPad and at a very reasonable price. They fixed my mums phone for KD15 while one of my twitter followers was able to replace his broken iPad screen for KD30. They’re also fast, it took them less than an hour to diagnose what the problem was with my mums phone and also fix it.

Finding the place isn’t too difficult as long as you know Ibn Khaldoon Street since they’re right on it. Get to Ibn Khaldoon and if you pass McDonalds on your left, keep driving around 100 meters and you’ll spot the above banner on your right hand side. If you’re on Ibn Khaldoon Street and you pass McDonalds on your right then you’ve passed the place. In case you get lost you can call them on 66228596 or 22640666.


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Negochi – Largest hunting store in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

I was in Dajeej the other day when I passed by Negochi whom I briefly posted about last year. The store is known for their rifles but I left the place more impressed with the other stuff they carried like their huge collection of flashlights, binoculars and even their large collection of glow sticks (ravers rejoice!). The place isn’t that big but it’s packed to the brim with a lot of random cool items that I don’t have any use for but wish I did. For those interested they also carry Leatherman tools although their collection is a bit limited.

I took some pictures with my phone cam hence the low quality shots but you can check out more photos on their Facebook page although their pictures seem old since the shop has a lot more items on display now.

Negochi is located off the 6th Ring Road in Dajeej right behind where the new OSN office is located (down the street from their previous location). You could also call them up if you get lost on 97238543 or 24336426.


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In Focus: Lama

Posted by Mark

The Lebanese store Lama recently opened a new and much larger store near my house in Salmiya. They’re mostly known for importing and supplying the local supermarkets with Lebanon fruits, but if you visit their store you’ll also find other interesting food products. Most of the products don’t mean much to anyone except the Lebanese in the same way strangers to Kuwait won’t understand the obsession with Sunkist and KDD Gold for example. But, if you’re Lebanese you’ll be interested to know that Lama carries some of our favorites including Gandour products like Tarboush, Unica, Pik-One Safari, dry biscuits and more. They also carry BonJus, SMEDS, Picon, Lebanese bread from the Wooden Bakery as well as Taanayel dairy products.

If you’re interested in passing by they’re located in the street that’s parallel to Baghdad Street. Just take a right after Dodo and head down until you reach the main road, the store should be in front of you.

For other In Focus posts click [Here]


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In Focus: Bin Nisf

Posted by Mark

For all my hardware needs I usually pass by Ace Hardware since their location is convenient and there’s always a lot of parking. But the hardware section at Ace is pretty small and there are a lot of things I either can’t find or if I do find they just don’t have enough variety. That’s where Bin Nisf comes in.

Bin Nisf is located in Shuwaikh in the street behind where the old IKEA used to be located. I believe it’s the largest hardware store in Kuwait. The place is HUGE. They have everything from screw drivers to car jacks to construction boots. There isn’t anything really they don’t have and the best part is the fact they carry a number of brands. This means if you find an item lets say a drill, you’re not just stuck with that one brand but you can actually compare it to other drills from different brands.

Price wise they’re similar to the rest of the market but unlike the smaller hardware shops on the same street the prices at Bin Nisf are usually fixed unless it’s something that costs over KD25 and then there “might” be room for negotiation depending on what you’re getting. The biggest disadvantage they have is location. There barely is any parking around them and don’t even think about going there in the middle of the week since it’s traffic hell. But, you could do what I do which is park on the same street where A2Z and True Values are located and then just walk 5 minutes to Bin Nisf or pass by on Saturdays. For contact information and a map check out the very outdated Bin Nisf website [Here]


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In Focus: Pet Zone

Posted by Mark

I found about this pet shop and decided to pass by and check it out. They haven’t officially opened yet but already the place looks really great and is by far the best pet shop in Kuwait. I absolutely hate pet shops in Kuwait because all the ones I’ve seen are very dirty with pets shoved into tiny cages and they’re just sickening to visit. Pet Zone on the other hand is one of the nicest looking pet shops I’ve ever seen and they still haven’t even finished the place yet.

The place is 2 floors, on the first floor they have pet food, lots of fish aquariums that will have fish displayed inside (they were still all empty when I was there), a pet grooming area and right in the middle two nicely done displays for guinea pigs and rabbits. Upstairs on the other hand they had pet accessories, birds and one large display that I think will end up housing a python or some other large snake. I think I also saw a room where they shower the pets but not sure.

As I said they still haven’t officially opened, it’s still just a soft launch and so they haven’t received all their animals yet and they were still finalizing their fish displays. But, you can still pass by and check out their pet food and accessories which they have a lot of. According to the employee they should have most of their animals in 2 weeks time. Pet Zone is located near The Avenues, if True Values is on your right, take the first right hand turn after it and drive straight in as if you’re heading to the 60th, Pet Zone will appear on your left hand side. Here is a map I drew which you can use [Map]

Update: The store has moved to a much bigger location [Link]


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In Focus: Dent Xpress

Posted by Mark

A few weeks back Nat accidentally slammed my FJ’s door onto a little pole while opening the door and I ended up with a nasty dent. The usual fix for this would be to take the car to a body shop and have them repair the dent and then repaint the door but I decided to pass by Dent Xpress and see if they could fix it. For those of you who’ve been checking my blog for a few years you might remember Dent Xpress as one of my previous advertisers. They’re a little shop behind Sun City in Shuwaikh that specializes in paint-less dent repair.

I had finished some morning chores that day and decided to pass by Dent Xpress to get an estimate and book an appointment. Once I drove up to their front entrance their employee was standing outside and noticed the dent as I pulled up. After getting a closer look he told me the dent was pretty deep and since my car was black he couldn’t repair it 100%, I told him anything would be better than the current state. I asked him how much it would cost and he told me just KD15 and it would take 30 minutes to repair. Luckily there wasn’t anyone there before me so I told him to go ahead and start on it.

I went and sat down in their cozy little corner and watched the guy work on my dent. It’s really interesting to watch so you don’t get that bored waiting. If you’ve got an iPad with entertainment on it I would bring it along or you could be old fashioned and flip through some magazines they had available. After exactly 30 minutes my FJ’s dent was repaired. Even though the guy said he couldn’t repair it 100% it looked like it was 100% fixed. He told me if I looked closely I could see a tiny little bump. That bump which you couuld only see under a certain light and up really close was basically non existent so it’s a 99% fix even though you really can’t see the tiny bump. I left extremely satisfied which is why I’m currently writing this post. So if you’ve got a dent and need it repaired Dent Xpress would be a good place to stop by before a body shop. They can’t repair all dents and the paint also needs to be factory original but it’s still worth passing by and seeing if they can repair it. Below is a picture of my FJ door before and after the repair.

Their website address is www.dentxpress.com
Their phone numbers are 24837666 and 55787747
Their Facebook page is [Here]


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In Focus: Funoon Centre

Posted by Mark

The post below reminded me I should actually post about the Funoon store. For everyone that’s grown up in Kuwait during the 80′s, this store is a gold mine. They have all the famous Abed Al Hussein Abd Al Rida plays and shows available… on DVD! I picked up the Bye Bye London DVD for just KD3. Quality isn’t DVD quality but it’s better than the VHS tape I had. Only problem I actually had with the DVD is that sound comes out of one speaker only because they took the mono track and assigned it to one side. I would have taken the mono track and repeated on the left and right instead. But anyway that’s a small complaint. They also had Seif Al 3arab (2 DVDs), Bye Bye 3arab, Dars Khoosoosee, Darb Al Zalag and a lot more… all on DVD and all priced at KD3 per DVD.

Not sure how many branches they have but I went to the one off the 5th Ring Road in Salmiya. If Turkish Grill is on your right hand side it’s around 200 meters right after it, on the corner of Amman street.


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In Focus: G-FORCE auto worx

Posted by Mark

I first heard about G-FORCE back when k.thekuwaiti posted about them on my blog back in 2008. I thought the place looked amazing (check above) but I never ended up passing by them until recently. I needed to get some paint work done on my Z4 since the previous paint job I got was starting to peel for some odd reason. My friend recommended I pass by the G-FORCE body shop since their prices were cheaper than the dealers and yet their paint work was better. So I passed by for an estimate and to check out the place.

I passed by them in the Free Trade Zone (behind Villa Moda) and was met by their sales manager. I asked him if I could check out the place first since it was my first time there and he gave me a tour. On the ground floor is their car showroom where they display their Cobras (by Backdraft Racing), Big Bear Choppers bikes (they’re the dealers) and other random but interesting cars for sale. The Cobra on display looked incredible but I figured it was one of those if you have to ask then you can’t afford it kinda cars so I never found out how much they cost. They looked really amazing though. On their top floor they had a whole bunch of items on display ranging from clothing and racing gear to car parts and memorabilia. Turns out they had a ton of cool brands like Sparco, Recaro, HRE wheels, Autoart, some other brands I don’t remember and even Fomula 1 and MotoGP clothing. In one corner they had a signed Rubens Barrichello racing suit which had worn and won in but it wasn’t for sale. At first impression this place looked nothing like a garage should look like and I mean that in a very good way.

Anyway once we were done I went out back and checked out their body shop, it was super clean and organized even though they were busy working on a bunch of cars. I got to check out their DynoJet (yup they have one) and then check out their prep/paint booth which according to k.thekuwaiti is Ferrari approved. Their painter checked out the panels I needed painted on my car and he told me right away what was wrong with the previous paint job. It was a bit too technical for me to understand but basically the previous painter hadn’t prepped the panel properly and so the paint wasn’t sticking to the car. I got a price quote which was better than I expected and booked an appointment to drop my car.

They ended up doing a great job on the paint job and since it turns out they also did mechanical work I had them fix a small oil leak I had. I figured I would post about them so I asked the guy what other services they offered and he told me they did everything from 1000hp upgrades to custom paint jobs and get this… they have something called the G-Force Advanced Driving Academy. Twice a year they take 24 people from Kuwait to the Autodrome track in Dubai where they hire out cars (TT’s, R8′s, single seater racers) and teach them basic to advanced driving techniques. I thought that was pretty cool but again I didn’t ask how much it cost. Anyway if you’re interested to find out more you can visit their website [Here] and their Facebook page [Here].


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