Boulevard Salmiya Update

Post by Mark

boulevard1

Last April I managed to sneak in and get some photos of the Boulevard while it was still under construction but on Thursday I was given an official tour of the project along with some new information.

boulevard2

A couple of months back I posted that Boulevard in Salmiya was going to be opening up in 3 months time but that is no longer the case. Originally the plan was to open the park on National Day and the rest of the project (the mall and outdoor restaurants) would open by the end of the year. Now though the plan is to have the whole project open up at the same time around Q3 or Q4 of 2016.

boulevard3

While touring the mall I managed to find a list of all the stores that are currently due to open at Boulevard and I’ve listed them all down below. Some interesting ones to note are Sears, Sultan Center and Jarir Bookstore. Oh and the old school Iranian restaurant Baba Taher is planning to open there as well.

boulevard4

Check out the full list of stores below.

Read the rest of this entry »


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Drone No Fly Zones Around Kuwait

Post by Mark

noflyzones

Kuwait’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is now coordinating with popular drone manufacturer DJI in outlining no fly zones around Kuwait. DJI drones have a safety feature that would stop drones from accidentally entering no fly zones and their map now includes different locations around Kuwait. The no fly zones around Kuwait are mostly military zones, oil fields and VVIP locations. You can check out the map of no fly zones by clicking [Here]

Thanks Abdulwahab


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How powerful is your passport? (2016)

Post by Mark

passport

Henley & Partners released their Visa Restrictions Index for 2016 and the list hasn’t really changed much from last year with Kuwait still trailing behind UAE as the second best Arab passport with visa free access to 82 countries. Here are some highlights:

1 – Germany (177)
6 – Canada (172)
38 – United Arab Emirates (122)
57 – Kuwait (82)
60 – Qatar (79)
65 – Bahrain (73)
67 – Oman (71)
69 – Saudi Arabia (69)
85 – India (52)
88 – Egypt (49)
90 – Jordan (47)
96 – Lebanon (39)
104 – Afghanistan (25)

So glad I have the Canadian passport and not the Lebanese one! If you want to see how powerful your passport is, check out the full list [Here]

via Exotic Kuwait


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Fork Fed: Does Time Matter?

Post by Fork Fed

clcok

For many years we’ve heard our parents tell us to have our breakfast, because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don’t have dinner and sleep, you’ll get fat! Are all these claims really true? Well, that’s the beauty of research and science – we come to new conclusions everyday! The current research shows that when you choose to have your meals is not really correlated with your weight. I found that to be quite interesting because I, for one, hate having food when I wake up and could usually satisfy any hunger I may have with a coffee and banana.

So, you’re probably thinking what nutrient timing is really about? The idea really started with athletes and body builders to be more specific. Nutrient timing mostly referred to the anabolic window also known as the 15-30 minutes post workout where one could load on carbs and protein to replenish their muscle stores. Research has later on shown that we do not all need to be consuming a high carb high protein meal post workout to replenish our stores within 15-30 minutes, and we can actually do it within an hour or more. Again, this is RESEARCH and research is ongoing. As for consuming a meal before working out, that is only necessary depending on the intensity of your workout. Many research papers have shown that exercising in a semi-fasted state can actually help burn more fat. Again, timing your meals will all depend on what your goals are.

Let’s take a look at breakfast. Have people that changed their habits and consumed breakfast lost weight in comparison to those that opt not to have breakfast? The quick answer is it depends. The idea behind having a meal “breakfast” before lunch is to be able to better control your portion at lunch. If I choose to not have breakfast then by the time lunchtime comes around I will probably overeat and/or make wrong dietary choices. If you are not used to having a meal for breakfast and can somewhat control your hunger by lunchtime then having breakfast may lead to an over consumption of calories. Therefore you might not necessarily lose weight.

As for having dinner before going to sleep, no science has shown that it can lead to weight gain. While completely eliminating carbs at dinner or night time has not been associated with significant weight loss either. On the contrary, some research has shown that consuming carbs can actually help with relaxation and the release of serotonin at night.

So you’re probably thinking what could we further do to enhance our lifestyle and lose some weight? It all boils down to the number of calories you eat! Of course quality is important, but when it comes to weight control specifically, it doesn’t really matter when you have certain foods. As long as you stay within a certain caloric requirement for weight loss (food in is less than energy burnt) then you’ll be losing weight. Now, to stay on track and avoid falling of the bandwagon, it is important that you focus on whole grains and lean protein as well has healthy fats with lots of fruits and veggies to stay full all day! It’s not when you eat your food, it’s how much you choose to eat that will really make an impact.

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.

Image Source


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Quality of Living in our Region 2016

Post by Mark

sultan

Mercer’s 2016 Quality of Living rankings were just released and it’s not that much different from last years. Nearly everyone in the region dropped a couple of spots but Kuwait managed to move up one point to 124th place world wide. Regionally though Kuwait still trails behind UAE, Oman and Qatar.

1 – Vienna, Austria
75 – Dubai, UAE (-1)
81 – Abu Dhabi, UAE (-4)
107 – Muscat, Oman (-3)
110 – Doha, Qatar (-2)
124 – Kuwait City, Kuwait (+1)
133 – Manama, Bahrain (-3)
164 – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (+1)
165 – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (+1)
230 – Baghdad, Iraq

Check out the full list over [Here]

Photo by Mohammed Al Sultan


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Kuwait Towers Reopening March 8th

Post by Mark

The Kuwait Towers will be reopening next month to the public on March 8th with the actual opening ceremony (which will include fireworks) on March 5th. Oddly though, according to the general manager of the Kuwait Towers Mubarak Al Anezi, the refurbishing of the restaurant and observation deck took only two months to complete. So why were the towers closed for 4 years?


[YouTube]

Thanks Sala6a


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Smoking Banned in Malls Starting This Week

Post by Mark

A smoking ban inside malls will be implemented this week, a source at the Environment Public Authority (EPA) said, reminding that smokers indoors would have to pay a fine ranging between KD 50 and KD 100.

The penalty would also apply on those who smoke electronic cigarettes inside restaurants or cafes, the sources said. Meanwhile, an owner of a restaurant or cafe that allows smoking inside his or her facility risks paying up to KD 5,000, the source added.

An office for environmental police has been allocated in malls around Kuwait to monitor and make sure that the anti-smoking law is applied, the sources said, adding that the officers would intervene instantly should customers refuse to cooperate. Mall administrations were allowed to set up special cabins for smokers. [Source]

Sounds like déjà vu.


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Internet Prices in Kuwait – 2016

Post by Mark

Even though InfoConnect got canceled this year, the local internet providers still decided to introduce special offers and discounted prices. I took the liberty to list all the internet prices in a table to make it easy to compare. Most of the internet providers are providing additional benefits like scratch and win cards or gifts, so make sure you visit their website for more details. The list above is based on the yearly prices and taken from the internet providers websites. This year I’ve also decided to add mobile internet prices to the list due to the fact that their connection speeds and prices have become extremely competitive with the regular internet providers. Check out the list below:

internet2016


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Fork Fed: It’s NOT All About the Numbers

Post by Fork Fed

scale

Recently, I decided to measure my body fat percent on a body composition machine and boy oh boy was I nowhere near happy by the numbers. I’ve been going to my workouts religiously and watching what I eat, for the most part. My pant size has gone down 2 sizes, I’m much more toned and definitely stronger than I’ve ever been before. Why haven’t my numbers changed?? Here are some reasons as to why numbers do not really reflect that change that is DEFINITELY going on within you.

Equipment used to measure body fat percent is not always accurate!
The most common of all equipment to measure body fat percent is the bioelectrical impedance, and despite the fact that this machine is commonly available and easy to use, it is probably the least accurate way to measure body fat percentages. Bioelectrical impedance works by sending electrical impulses through the body and measuring how long they take to return; the quicker the return of the impulses are equates to a leaner body (fat hinders the movement of the impulses). This technique is not always accurate because hydration levels can also affect how fast the electrical impulses move through the body. The more hydrated you are the faster the impulses move; therefore if your body was somewhat dehydrated, you will be getting a false reading in regards to your body fat percent. The calipers are probably the most accurate, BUT you need to have a skilled person taking measurements and the measurements need to be taken in the same place at different times to ensure accuracy. It can be hard to remember the exact skin-fold that was measured previously.

The scale and BMI are the worst measures of weight loss.
Both the scale and body mass index (BMI) do not take your muscle mass into account. Therefore if you are someone that is working out and doing a lot of resistance training – you are building muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. So, your weight might increase or stay the same regardless of the fact that you are actually losing fat and dropping in size. If you are not exercising and only restricting your food then using a scale to monitor your weight loss could actually be beneficial. Although to be completely honest with you, I do not like the term weight loss and prefer to focus on fat loss. Taking a look at BMI, it is a calculation of your weight and height. It does not take into account how much of your weight actually comes from muscle or fat, therefore it is the worst indication of whether or not you are at a healthy weight range.

The numbers may frustrate you, but don’t let them bring you down! Numbers do not always reflect everything. As long as you feel good about yourself, then that is all that matters. Make sure you are exercising, eating and sleeping well. Remember, any change you make should be a lifestyle one and not a temporary one. I hope this helps you if you’ve been let down by your weight.

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.

Image Source


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Did Your ATM Card Stop Working Recently?

Post by Mark

chip

In the past two months I’ve had three different KNET cards fail on me because the security chip on them stopped working. The first time it happened I didn’t think much of it, I just went to NBK and got a new ATM card made. But, a few days after getting my new card it stopped working again with the exact same chip error. I was kinda embarrassed to go back to the same branch cuz I thought maybe I had done something wrong but I couldn’t think of any change I did in the way I was handling my ATM cards. Still, I went back to a different NBK branch and had them print another card for me. Everything was fine until last week my card stopped working again with the same chip error as before. So I went back to NBK and this time the employee at the front desk asked me if I had used my card at a gas station? She proceeded to tell me that they’ve been having a lot of chip failures because the gas station card machines were ruining the chips. She wasn’t talking about the KNET machines which you use to pay at gas stations, but the second machine they slip your card into after you’re done paying. Thats when it hit me, every time my card failed I had used it to fill up gas at the Alfa gas station on the Gulf Road (Shaab).

I’m not sure if this applies to all gas stations or just the Alfa ones, but in my case my chip cards were getting ruined because of that one Alfa gas station on my way home. As you can imagine its extremely annoying to have your ATM card just stop working but this is exactly why I have two bank accounts with two different banks, it’s for unfortunate situations like this. And even though NBK can print a new card for me while I wait, I still have to keep creating a new account for my online banking every time I get a new card and I am so over filling in answers to different security questions.

So if you’ve had ATM card failures recently now you know why. I’m going to be paying only cash at the gas stations until this issue gets sorted out.


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