Bike Sharing in Kuwait with BYKY

Post by Mark

BYKY, the bike sharing service in the Middle East (also part of the largest international bike sharing network Nextbike) recently installed a bike station near Marina Waves in Salmiya. Bike sharing is a service where bicycles are made available to rent by people for a short period of time, and in cities with a lot of stations, you could use the bikes to ride from one area to another and then park them at the station nearest to you. From what I can tell, in Kuwait we currently have just this one station and it’s clearly placed there to be used for fun and not as a means of transportation.

The first BYKY Station in Kuwait is located near the Salwa Sabah Al-Ahmad Hall [Map] which makes it practical to pick up a bike and ride it down the scenic path to Scientific Center and back.

The price to use the bikes is as follows:
KD1.5 – 30 Minutes
KD2 – 1 Hour
KD2.5 – 2 Hours
KD3 – 3 Hours
KD3.5 – 4 Hours
KD4 – 5 Hours
KD6 – 24 Hours

If you don’t lock the bike when you bring it back to the station, then there is an additional charge of KD1.5. If you don’t return the bike to the station and instead say leave it next to Scientific Center, then there is an additional charge of KD6 for ever 10km you’re away from the station. Payment is made by credit card or Knet.

I’ve reached out to BYKY to find out if they’ll be adding more stations in Kuwait, once they get back to me I’ll update this post.

Update: According to a reader there is a second BYKY Station next to Scientific Center.


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List of Hospitals Currently Under Construction

Post by Mark

There are currently a bunch of new hospitals being constructed and designed at the moment in Kuwait and thanks to a reader, I was able to get a bit of information on them. Below is a list of some of the hospitals currently in the pipeline along with their current status and links with more details on the projects:

Al-Adan Women and Children’s Hospital
Already under construction

Al-Razi Hospital
Under tender but paused right now due to budget constraints

Al-Sabah Hospital
Already under construction

Amiri Hospital
Already under construction

Kuwait Cancer Control Centre
Already under construction

Kuwait Children’s Hospital
Currently in design phase

NBK Cancer Hospital (Oncology and Hematology)
Already complete and awaiting commissioning

New Farwaniya Hospital
Already under construction

New Ibn Sina Hospital
On hold, awaiting budget and likely to kick off 2017-2018

New Jahra Hospital
Already under construction

New Maternity Hospital
Construction to begin any day now

Police Hospital
Was tendered and awarded and now awaiting contract signature to kick off

Sheikh Jaber Hospital
Construction nearly complete

Sheikha Salwa Al-Sabah Center for Stem Cell and Umbilical Cord
Already under construction

Thanks Jassim


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Al Shaheed Park Phase II Nearly Complete

Post by Mark

Work on Phase II of Al Shaheed Park is currently running on schedule and is expected to be completed by April. The new phase will be more than just a park and include a parkour area, a miniature new Kuwait, a miniature old Kuwait, a multipurpose youth complex, tree top climbing obstacles, board and interactive games area, an open air performance center and a skate park.

I really have a hard time understanding why we need a miniature Kuwait in the park since we have the life sized versions of the buildings all around us. There are also going to be new restaurants opening up in the new phase, I believe 5 in total.

One thing I didn’t ask about was parking. I wonder if phase 2 will have it’s own parking or if we’ll have to use the phase 1 parking lot and walk over. Looking at google maps it looks like it will have it’s own underground parking but I’ll double check this and post an update once I get an answer. It would be a pretty long walk from phase 1 if it doesn’t have its own lot.

Update: I just received confirmation that Phase II will have parking for 1000 cars. But, the issue is the parking is going to be divided into different areas because there are two metro lines that are planned to run under the park so the parking was split up to leave room for the two lines. From what I understood this means the parking is going to be a bit annoying or awkward because of the way it’s split up.


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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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