Thursday night I passed by the Souk Al-Mubarakiya Festival for the second time to meet up with a friend and while taking a shortcut to avoid the crowds I ended up passing by a very unique pen store. It didn’t look like much from the outside but something caught my eye and I ended up walking in.
The store, not very big maybe 3×4 meters was just covered wall to wall with displays filled with pens and just two brands, Parker and Shaeffer. I was in awe, the displays were filled with a lot of intricate items, like they’ve been gathering up over the years and I had so many questions but the shop keeper was with a customer so I waited overhearing the conversation. The shop keeper was telling the customer how the Parker pen he was buying was made in the USA and was from the last series that was produced in the States back in 1984.
Once the customer left I started talking to the shop keeper who was called Gomes. According to Gomes the store originally opened back in the 50s but he had been working at the store since he came to Kuwait in 1977. It used to be located in a different part of the souk but that building had gotten demolished and they had moved into the current store in 1988. The store still contained a lot of old stock or in other words, vintage pens. Gomes had taken it upon himself to display some of the most vintage pens in the display cases with little hand written notes (in a beautiful handwriting I must say) about the pens. Over the years he’s also collected trinkets from here and there and he kept adding them to the display cases and now they’re all full of random objects that add so much character to the store.
I told him how much I loved the store and how I had been coming to the souk since I was a kid but how I never m
noticed the store even though it was on the main road. I didn’t buy anything since I was on my way to meet up with my friend but I did promise him I would come back. If anyone is interested in visiting the store it’s located across from the Green Land vegetarian restaurant in Souk Al-Mubarakiya. They’re open from 8AM to 1PM and then again from 4PM to 9PM and the store is called Al-Muneefi. Here is the approximate location on [Google Maps]
There’s a small store tucked away in a back street of old Salmiya that I’ve been driving by for years but didn’t go into until last night when curiosity got the better of me. Turned out the store specializes in film making gear and they had a ton of items like dollys, stabilizers, camera sliders, tripods, lights and a bunch of other stuff like Rode and Zoom brand mics, Blackmagic cameras and various tools and accessories. Their prices are also pretty much similar to Amazon. For example, the Blackmagic cameras prices compared to Amazon are as follows:
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
Their price: KD300 (with local warranty)
Amazon price: KD282 (without tax or shipping)
Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
Their price: KD600 (with local warranty)
Amazon price: KD566 (without tax or shipping)
The store is called ‘Media System for Video Equipments’ which is not very catchy at all and they’re located in the area opposite Marina Mall [Map]. They’re open from 9:30AM to 1:30PM and then again from 4:30PM to 9:30PM. Their phone number is 25713384.
Facile in a new local web service that just launched. The service allows you to upload a document so they can print, bind and then deliver them to you. Kinda like an online version of Kinkos. They’re still in beta so if you have any comments let them know. It’s a simple idea and it’s not food related, check them out [Here]
This isn’t a law post but I asked Mark if I could post it and he was ok with it. I was grocery shopping at Sultan Center last year when I found a farmers market stand and what caught my attention were the Alban Dairy products. I fell in love with the brand and I wanted to see the farm for myself but due to my tight schedule I only got to do so last week. It took us around an hour to get to Yasmin Farms where Alban Dairy operates from. As soon as we walked into the farm we spotted a cute little shop that sells a wide range of dairy products, spices, dried fruits and baked goods. Their prices are good too and their banana muffin was delicious.
Their business development executive (Bader) was hospital enough to takes us on a lovely tour around the farm. Our first stop was the cow barn as it was milking time. The cows are milked daily at 6AM and 4PM and the milking has to be done in those times as cows are used to schedules, otherwise they get annoyed and wont produce as much the next day.
The cows walked in a line to be taken into a room where they stood to be milked. Bader explained to us the importance of hygiene at Yasmin Farms and therefore we weren’t allowed to walk anywhere where the cows would pass so that our shoes didn’t carry anything foreign into their territory. After the cows we visited the goats who unlike the cows needed to be lured by food to be milked as they aren’t as obedient. After the goats we went and saw the free range chickens. Free range is when the chickens can roam around freely and the chickens on Yasmin Farms are allowed to roam inside or outside the barn as they wish. Our final stop were the vegetables. I found the cabbage and lettuce fascinating since they were all being grown on little sponges.
Even though I found the farm impressive I was actually more impressed with Bader. His determination to have a clean farm producing all natural products is just amazing, he really makes me proud as a Kuwaiti. He knew the names of every employee we passed by and he is also humble enough to serve random visitors himself. Personally, after touring the farm I will now always prefer to buy their products over others.
The farm was amazing and you can go and visit it yourself every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8AM to 5PM [Map]. All their products are found at Sultan Center and you can also order online. Also make sure you check out their instagram account @albandairy
Bait Al-Othman Museum opened earlier this year but I only got to pass by and check it out yesterday and to my surprise, it turned out to a lot bigger than I was expecting it to be. The museum covers various aspects of Kuwait’s history and showcases them in different rooms that are spread out across the museum. I loved walking around the place because I didn’t know what I would see next, they had a room about Kuwait Airways, a room with old currencies, an old barber shop, a drama room and a lot more other ones all covering historically important aspects related to Kuwait.
Entry fee was just KD1 and there’s a ton of parking outside where you could also see some old vehicles and even a plane. The museum is located in Hawalli behind Al Othman Complex on Bin Khaldoun Street. Visiting hours are 9:30AM to 12:30PM and 4:30PM to 9:00PM. They are open daily except for Friday mornings. Here is the location on [Google Maps]
The photos above are just some of the stuff you will see there since I didn’t want to ruin the experience for you by posting everything.
I was having trouble finding sprinkles for the upcoming “The Belly” post when a friend of mine told me about a place in Shuwaikh that specializes in baking called Tavola. Not sure why sprinkles are difficult to find but I headed out to Shuwaikh looking for Tavola and found it after calling them up and getting directions over the phone.
Once I walked in I headed right to the back to their baking section and I just stood there for a minute or two with my jaw wide open. The employee there asked me if he could help me with anything and I told him I just needed a minute to absorb the place in. It was incredible, they had everything including stuff I didn’t know you could even buy. They had like a million different cupcake and muffin cups, tons of stuff from Wilton like display packaging and stands for your desserts, they had cookie cutters, molds, baking books you name it they had it.
Once I was done picking up what I needed from their baking section I decided to explore the rest of the store. Turns out they’re the dealers for two brands I love:
Boushahri used to be the agent years ago and they also had a little small store at Radisson SAS but then they disappeared. Turns out Tavola picked the brand up and they had a large selection of their products on display at the store.
WMF is used by a lot of luxury hotels worldwide and is a great brand for stainless steel pots, pans and cutlery plus a lot of kitchen accessories. I definitely need to go back and pick up some items for my kitchen.
They’re also the dealers for Bodum, Leonard, Alessi and Peugeot mills. I’m in love with the store, it’s one of those places where I was like I need to share this with everyone.
If you’re interested they’re located in Shuwaikh behind London Market and their phone number is 24825761. They have a map as well as photos of their different products and brands on their Instagram page [Here]
For other places I’ve previously focused on click [Here]
Update: They’re also the dealers for Cuisineart. Also here is their location on [Google Maps]
When I needed some grappling gloves I ended up ordering a pair online since I couldn’t find any locally. Go Sport used to carry the Venom brand but they ran out of stock ages ago and never restocked. Then Nat needed a pair of combat gloves and a friend of hers recommended Sportsline in Salmiya. I hadn’t heard of the place before but turns out they have a huge collection of training gloves.
They mostly carry gloves from the Everlast brand including grappling, training and boxing gloves as well as face protection and hand wraps. One wall in their store is just filled with different kinds of Everlast gear all organized very nicely.
They also have a good collection of boxing bags and gear from the Samurai brand.
Price wise I found them more expensive than Amazon even when including shipping. But if don’t want the hassle of ordering online then this is a good alternative. They’re located in the basement of Al Wataniya Complex in Salmiya. That’s the same building that has the bank CBK, right across the street from NBK and Eureka.
Last night I passed by Solarity, a new shop that revolves around solar powered items. When I found out about the place I thought to myself finally! With all the sun we have solar energy just makes sense. When I passed by the store they were still setting up but I managed to see a whole variety of garden lights and some back packs with solar panels. In the next few weeks they’ll be adding more items since they’ve only received around 20% of their products at the moment.
The official launch is tonight at 5PM and they’re located in Shuwaikh right next to Bike World. If you take the right hand turn after City Center, Tilal Complex will be on your left. At the next intersection take a right and their shop is located around 50 meters after also on the right. I really hope they do well. Here is a link to their Facebook page [Link]
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.
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%:
DJI OSMO, Very limited use (10 times), comes with all standard accessories, original carton, one extra battery and optional external microphone. More info at www.dji.com/osmo Initial contact via email please! ... Read More