Hessah Al Mubarak Real Estate Development Project

Post by Mark

kipco1

Back in April I noticed a large area of land was being cleared opposite The Green Island on the Gulf Road. The area turned out was being prepped for a new real estate project by KIPCO and a few days ago they launched the project officially with press releases and interviews. KIPCO are aware of how unique and rare this plot of space is which is why they will be setting an example with the high level of planning and construction and from what I’ve read and seen, looks like they’re on track. They’re basically building a whole neighborhood from the ground up. This was my favorite bit from the press release:

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The land plot measures 227,066 sqm, of which close to 50% is dedicated to public services and amenities. This includes gardens, open public spaces, urban plazas, streets, multi-story public parking and utilities. Gardens and green areas across the project have been allocated 23,400 sqm. [Source]

kipco3

Finally someone is doing it right and based on the photos it looks like there will also be sidewalks. You would think sidewalks would be something common but just try walking around a residential neighborhood like Salmiya or Salwa, no sidewalks to walk on.. at all. Also good to see lots of space being utilized for gardens and public spaces. In the 80s when I was a kid, me and my friends used to play in empty sand lots in our neighborhoods, football, marbles, whatever but today kids don’t have those spaces. All the empty plots have either been replaced with towering buildings or are filled with cars so it’s great that KIPCO are putting aside 50% of the land for public services and amenities.

Check out the video of the project below which should give you a much clearer overview of the whole project.


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Latest on the Cultural Centre

Post by Mark

culturalcenter

I dropped by the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre late last week to check out the progress. On this latest trip I passed by the fountain area which I wasn’t aware of previously. It wasn’t in the original renderings and the area has a large fountain in the middle surrounded by 18 restaurants and shops. On top of the restaurants is a walkway which reminded me of the High Line in New York since it was surrounded by greenery and pools of water. The high path overlooks the fountain area and leads all the way to the back of the four main structures. I shot a video of the fountain area which you can see in the video below.

I’m trying to get a list of all the places that will be opening up there but still haven’t received them yet. One source of mine has informed me the soft launch is now on October 15th. Even though there is still lots of work taking place near the fountain area, the main buildings are basically done. I walked into one of them and it was sparkling clean with workers busy still cleaning. Another contact of mine also involved in the project has denied they will be soft launching on October 15th and instead plans are still underway for an October 31st launch. We’ll have to see which one turns out to be right.

I don’t have any information on what performances will be taking part at the Cultural Center nor do I even know if there is a website for it. If I find out anything I’ll surely post it.


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Jumo Now Permanently at Sadu House

Post by Mark

jumo

Back in August I posted about the Jumo Coffee Shop that was a temporary pop up in the open courtyard inside the Sadu House. The setup was meant to be temporary until end of August before they moved to their permanent location, a small room also inside the Sadu House but not nearly as pretty or spacious. The temporary setup ended up extending beyond the original deadline and now they’ve gotten approval to remain there permanently.

So if you’re looking for an independent coffee shop with a beautiful setup to chill at in the evenings (or during the day) then check them out. They’re open daily from 7AM to 10PM and 3PM to 10PM on weekends. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and their instagram is @jumocoffee.


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New Tavola Location

Post by Mark

tavola1

Tavola is one of my favorite kitchen related stores since they carry a number of great brands like WMF, Wilton, Zwilling J.A.Henckels, Le Creuset, Cuisine Art, Bodum, Peugeot mills and Joseph Joseph. The only issue I had with them was that they were located in the industrial area of Shuwaikh past highway 60 and so getting there was always a journey.

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But, just before the Eid holidays Tavola opened a new much larger location in Tilal Complex, which is also in Shuwaikh but an easier location to get to. The new location is divided into two floors with all their brands located on the lower floor while the top floor is dedicated to their Wilton baking products as well as two large rooms where they hold baking workshops.

If you want to know what brands they carry the full list is available on their website [Here]. On the other hand if you want to know more on their baking workshops they’re posting the schedules up on their instagram account @tavolakuwait


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Why Kuwait is the “Worst Country for Expats”

Post by Mark

sad

Last week I posted about the Expat Insider survey that revealed Kuwait as the “Worst Country for Expats“. A lot of people agreed with the findings but a lot of people were also up in arms about it. But, I don’t think many people actually took the time to go through the survey and understand how Kuwait ended up at the bottom of the list. So what I’ve done is create a cheat sheet of a sort. I went through the 188 pages of the survey and picked out all the areas were Kuwait performed the worst in and I’ve listed them below. Once you see the breakdown the whole thing starts to make a lot more sense.

Read the rest of this entry »


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From Ghana to Kuwait, Abdulai 1 Year Later

Post by Mark

ghana1

A year ago today, I posted about my trip into the middle of the desert so I could meet Abdulai Shani, a teacher from Ghana who came to Kuwait with the promise of being a security guard, only to find out once he arrived that he would be a shepherd and earn a 1/3 of what he was told he would get. It was a sad story but one that ended on a happy note since thanks to one of my readers, Abdulai got a much better job working and living in the city far away from the desert and his shabby tent.

Since it’s been a year I figured I’d post a quick follow up on Abdulai’s current status. We still chat every few months and when we last spoke a couple of weeks ago he was still working the same job but instead of living in Mahboula he nows lives in Salmiya. He’s happy and continues to check the blog often and even leaves comments every now and then.

If you’ve missed the previous two posts on Abdulai, here are the links:
From Ghana to Kuwait, One Man’s Story
From Ghana to Kuwait, to Mahboula


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The New Fuel Prices

Post by Mark

gaskuwait

Starting September 1st the price of fuel will be increased considerably in Kuwait. I’ve put together a table below showing the current/old prices, the new prices and the change in percentage. Premium 91 fuel got the smallest increase while Ultra 98 got the largest increase. That makes sense since whoever is filling their car with Ultra 98 fuel can afford to pay more for it. Check out the prices below:

fuelprices

Update: If you want to know what fuel type to use for your car, KNPC have a nifty guide to help you, check it out [Here]


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Join Staged in Kuwait

Post by Mark

sik

Staged in Kuwait are getting ready to start their 5th season, continuing the long legacy of community theatre in Kuwait that started in 1948 out in Ahmadi at The Kuwait Little Theatre. New season means new tryouts and Staged in Kuwait are holding ones for their choir and comedy teams as well as auditions for this years pantomime. If you’re interested to be part of this talented team, follow the links below:

Sing with Kuwait’s Contemporary Show Choir
Come Try Out for the SIK Comedy Team
Panto Auditions


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Conrad Hotel and Hilton Garden Inn Coming to Kuwait

Post by Mark

conrad

Back in April I posted that Conrad Hotel and Hilton Garden Inn both might be coming to Kuwait as part of The Avenues phase 4 expansion and today this news was officially announced. Conrad Hotel will be part of The Prestige section of the mall while Hilton Garden Inn will be connected to the new section of the mall thats being built called The Forum.

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Hilton Garden Inn will also be the brand’s largest hotel in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region with 430 rooms. According to the article, both hotels will be opening in 2019. Here is the link to the article [Link]


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Tourist Electronic Visa Application

Post by Mark

evisa

Even though the MOI website looks like it was designed by a high school student back in 1998, it still gets updated every so often with new features. The latest feature added to the website is the ability for tourists visiting Kuwait to apply for a visa online (eVisa). There is a very short list on the website of nationalities that can use this service, but those nationalities should find this service useful since it will speed up the entry process. Here is the direct link to the eVisa page [Link]


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