Salem Al Mubarak Street Transformation Project

Post by Mark

Some of you might have already heard about this but for those of you who haven’t, a proposal was put forward to transform Salem Al Mubarak street in old Salmiya (where I live basically) to a pedestrian only street with brand new futuristic looking buildings.

As someone who’s lived on this very street for 30+ years, and as someone who truly loves and experiences this street every single day, I can with full confidence say… none of this is ever gonna materialize.

There is a higher chance that Kuwait will beat UAE to building the first city on Mars, than there is for old Salmiya to transform into this wonderland.

I’m not being pessimistic, I’m just being realistic.

The street is in shambles and the municipality doesn’t care, nobody cares and these renderings to me are a joke, they’re making a mockery of the current situation. It’s like some rich kid passing through some poor village in Africa and decides to stop to take a selfie with some street kids pretending to be helping them out for his instagram account before driving off in his convoy to a luxury resort.

It’s insulting.

There is no way on earth the transformation project will ever happen without demolishing the whole area, kicking out all the low income expats and then rebuilding the street from the ground up, the main street AND all the back streets as well. The metro project? That’s gonna happen. The railway project? That’s gonna happen. Kuwait building a city on Mars? That’s gonna happen. But this Salmiya project, it’s never gonna happen.

If you want to see more renderings on this concept as well as get more information, check out this thread I started on [SkyScraperCity]


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Kuwait Online Shopping Websites (Updated List)

Post by Mark

mrbabu

A couple of years back I put together a list of local online shopping websites and ever since I’ve been quietly updating it. But now it got to the point where I also felt I needed to organize the list properly which is why I decided to create a new updated list.

Below are all the local online shopping websites I am aware of. If there are any missing let me know in the comments, the websites have to be based in Kuwait and allow you to purchase items directly from it.

Read the rest of this entry »


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Argania Complex in Shuwaikh

Post by Mark

By now its clear that Shuwaikh has become the new hotspot. VOL.1 and Super/Foods were already giving me a reason to start heading there, ARABICA is soft launching this weekend as well (invite only) and more and more places are planning to open up in that block. Argania is another new complex that is also opening up in a couple of months in that area and it looks to be pretty cool as well:

“Argania, short for Argania Spinosa, is the Latin name for the Argan tree, found in the southwestern region of Morocco. Presenting to businesses and the public a unique escape directly within the heart of a thriving commercial zone, Argania has been designed in line with its traditional Moroccan roots, complemented by soothing water and landscape features.”

The project’s external garden and space is inspired by morrocan architecture. It is a mixed use development with retail and F&B outlets. Expected opening date end of Q1, 2017. Project is owned and developed by ALARGAN International Real Estate Company (www.alargan.com)


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VOL.1 Shuwaikh Now Open

Post by Mark

The new VOL.1 location in Mayar Complex (what I prefer calling VOL.2) is now open daily from 12PM to 7PM. I was invited to the pre-launch event a few weeks back and I fell in love with the place. Not only is it the best looking coffee shop I’ve ever been to, but I also think it has one of the best looking interiors of any place I’ve been to in Kuwait.

A video posted by VOL.1 (@vol_1kuwait) on

Here is the location for Mayar Complex [Google Maps]. Super/Foods is located in the same building so you could stop by Super/Foods for a bite and then VOL.1 for coffee. Thinking about it, thats probably what I’m gonna do for lunch today.


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How To Get Your Car Plates Back After Parking Illegally

Post by Mark

noplates

As you’re probably aware by now, cops are resorting to remove the license plates of illegally parked cars in an effort to stop the habit. A reader last week left a comment under one of my old posts detailing the process involved in getting back the plates and I’ve went ahead and summarized it into bullets points below:

– Cops took his car plates after he illegally parked in old Salmiya

– They left a ticket and a sticker on the windshield with information on which traffic station to go to

– After waiting for a few days he went to the traffic station in Jabriya where he presented them with his traffic ticket and paid a fine of KD20. He then had to get a signature from the supervisor and after that was told to come back the next day

– Next day he headed back to Jabriya where they told him to go to the Salmiya traffic station instead

– After getting to the Salmiya traffic station he had to get another signature from the supervisor there

– After getting the signature he then had to go to another room where an officer gave him back his plates and asked him to sign a document stating he received his car plates

– You don’t get your screws back so you need to pass by a hardware store before you head back to your car with your plates to screw them back on

The process seems like such a hassle I hope I never get my plates taken. Not that I park illegally anyway, but in Salmiya there are some parking spot you might think are legal but are most likely illegal (Exhibit A).

Thanks RJP


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Contemporary Dance Classes in Kuwait

Post by Mark

I get emails every so often asking if I know a places that teaches hip-hop or contemporary dance, so figured I’d post about it incase anyone ever googles the question. The only place I am aware of that offers contemporary or hip-hop dance classes is the Loyac Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA). They have the following dance classes:

Children:
Ballet
Popping

Adults:
Contemporary
Popping
Hip-hop
Breakdancing
Bollywood

If you’d like more information you could check out their instagram account @lapaloyac or call them on 97239408


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Cultural Centre is on Fire

Post by Mark


Photo by @kuwait1

Damn.

Update: Here is a video, looks like it could be just the roof.

For more videos, I’m retweeting a bunch on my twitter account @mark248am

Update2: Looks like fire is out and was only exterior superficial damage to one of the four main structures which hadn’t opened yet. The main theater building wasn’t affected.

Update3: Below is a video from inside the building that was on fire. As you can see there doesn’t look like there was any interior damage.

Update4: I drove by the cultural centre an hour ago and there were like 50 workers on the roof already working on it.


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PostaPlus (MyBox) Update

Post by Mark

postaplus

Last month I posted a complaint about how my past few shipments with PostaPlus had taken twice as long to arrive than usual. While previously packages would take around a week to get delivered to Kuwait after arriving to my US mailbox, my past three shipments had taken 11, 13 and 21 days. But things are back to normal now since I received two packages since that post, one had taken 6 days from my US mailbox to my door, the other 7.

During that time I was in contact with PostaPlus who investigated the delays and they sent me the explanation below:

1. Weather conditions: Europe (Our transit HUB) has experienced bad weather conditions that had caused flights to be cancelled.
2. Change in customs management structure, if you recall there was a big situation going on and has caused some key people to be removed, henceforth situation was unstable and extra security has been added on shipments.

So everything is back to normal, now if they can only hurry up an implement Knet payments everything would be perfect.


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Tips for Eating at Habra Beef Canteen

Post by Mark

So Habra is officially my new favorite restaurant in Kuwait alongside Table Otto. I’ve been going to both on a weekly basis now but realized Habra needed a dedicated post with some tips so here it goes.

Getting a Table
Get there early! If you’ve been holding out on Habra until it starts dying down, well good luck with that. So far the least amount of time I’ve waited was 1h 15min, while the longest I’ve waited was last night which was 2h 45min. I haven’t even tried going there on a weekend. They only have 5 tables, 2 of them fit 4 people, 2 fit 2 people (or 3 really squeezed), and the last one is a communal table that holds around 12. The place is tiny and the host currently has the most dangerous job in the world, seriously the amount of people who get into fights with him on a daily basis, I’d hate to have his job. So get there early, put your name on the list and then head over to Coffee Boulevard and go coffeeshop hopping.

Ordering
Order what you want when you want it. The food doesn’t take long to be prepared and served so they have a habit of bringing you a large number of your dishes all at once. Last week I got into an argument with the waiter because they served me and my friend all 5 of our starters and 3 of our mains at the same time. We literally had no room on the table to put all the items and it’s just physically impossible to eat everything at once. So this is the best tip I can give you, order the first few dishes you want to have first, like all your starters. Once you’re done with your starters, order your mains. Nothing takes long to be served, I think 6 minutes is the longest you have to wait for a dish to get served. Trust me, you’ll have a better experience this way.

What to Order
I always order different things but the items below are staples that will always be included:
– Bone marrow (I can’t say this enough, don’t share! Everyone order your own)
– Four and a half hour braised rib
– Three-way Kalbi
– Foil-baked mushrooms

What Not to Order
Resist the urge to order their charred cantaloupe dessert. It sounds good but there is no way on earth you can eat it. I’ve ordered it twice and twice I was just going to take the cantaloupe and hit someone with it. It’s nearly impossible to eat which is a shame because it has potential. My tip for them is to remove the cantaloupe from the shell by chopping it up, then put it back in the shell, top if off with the rest of the ingredients and serve it like that. Or just remove it from the menu completely.

Vegetarians/Vegans
lol

Bathroom
They don’t have one, you’re meant to use the one in the parking lot a few stories above them. Takes forever to get up there and the bathrooms are super gross. So if you need to use the bathroom, get it done somewhere else before your dinner or after. The bathroom in the basement of Crystal Tower is the closest nicest bathroom, while the bathroom at Arabica is the coolest because of their high-tech toilet. Be nice and order coffee if you’re gonna use that one (they have decaf).

Parking
I hate the parking lot in the Habra building since leaving it takes forever and the elevators are the slowest. Personally, I like to park behind Arabica and head to Habra walking. The walk back after a big meal is always appreciated and there is no long queue when leaving the parking.

So these are my tips, if you’d like to read my previous post on Habra then click [Here]


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Kuwait Olympic Village is a Go

Post by Mark

The first time I heard about this project was back in 2011 but it looks like it got approved and is going to be constructed since it’s currently in a tendering stage.

The Kuwait Olympic Village development comprises a Stadium, Team Games Hall, Individual Games Hall, Racquet Games Hall, Swimming Complex, Training Field & Track, International Zone, Athletes Residential Block, Mosque, Olympic Flame Tower, Concourse and Existing Substation.

So many cool projects are coming to life, the metro project is also supposed to start construction this year, I hope thats still happening. For more renderings of the Kuwait Olympic Village, click [Here]

Thanks Mohamed


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