Sabah Al Ahmad City Cultural Centre

Post by Mark

Not to be confused with the Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Center, the Sabah Al Ahmad City Cultural Centre will be located in Sabah Al Ahmad City and feature the following:

– 2 theaters (700 seat & 250 seats for all sorts of theatrical productions)
– 200 seat Conference center with flexibility for hosting conferences with different capacities
– 250 seat Recital hall for music performances
– Children culture center with many cultural activities for children including a 150 seat theater
– Amphitheater for outside performances
– Museum
– Art gallery for hosting art exhibitions
– Library
– Book exhibition for hosting book fairs
– Cultural café
– Oasis: a green air-conditioned large space for public gathering

I originally posted about Sabah Al Ahmad City Cultural Centre back in 2012, but the project disappeared until it was brought back to life last month. It seems Al-Diwan Al-Amiri have taken over the project and its now expected to be completed mid 2018. Al-Diwan Al-Amiri are behind some of the biggest projects in Kuwait like the recently opened Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Center. Check out some of the renderings below:

Thanks q8-msc


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

48 Hours in Kuwait

Post by Mark

A reader recommended I put together a list of places which visitors to Kuwait could check out on a short trip. It was pretty difficult to put the list together since I didn’t want to make the list too long but also struggled with places like Al Shaheed Park (Would tourists want to visit a park?). With that in mind, below is the list of my recommendations. If you have better suggestions which I’m sure you do, let me know in the comments and I might add it to the list.

Places to Visit

Kuwait Towers: I like standing under the towers and looking up more than I like going up to the towers. The observatory deck might be worth checking out if you’re interested in seeing the Kuwait City skyline although I personally don’t think it’s that great of a view. The windows are also usually dirty and at night you can’t see anything outside because the observatory deck is too brightly lit on the inside. The restaurant in the Kuwait Towers isn’t that bad, but there are better places to have a meal.

Water Towers: I recommend the water towers in Adailiya since they’re located inside the park and so you can walk up to them very close. They were also recently painted so they’ll look good in photos (pictured above).

Maritime Museum, Modern Art Museum, Dickson House and the Amricani Cultural Center are all located right next to each other so you can cover them all in 2-3 hours easily since neither of them is that big. [Link]

Souk Mubarkiya: A must visit place if you’re looking for an old traditional market.

The Avenues Mall: I know its a mall but it’s a great one and in the summer it’s probably the best place to go if you want to shop. You’ll find everything there from high end designers to IKEA and a ton of different places to eat at.

Al Shaab Gate: There are a few old city gates left but I’d recommend visiting the one adjacent to Al Shaheed Park since the area around it was recently renovated.

Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre: Beautiful architecture and a large garden with an animated musical fountain to check out. If you’re lucky there might be an event or show taking place during your visit so check their website for tickets. There are also restaurants located at the centre in case you want to have a meal there.

Restaurants

Cocoa Room: My favorite breakfast place and is usually always busy.

Street by Al Makan: Good food, gets pretty busy at night mostly with a younger crowd, located in a trendy area. Also walking distance to Souk Mubarakiya. Pass by Vol.1 located under it for coffee after dinner.

Solo PN: A very popular pizza place thats always busy. Recently won an award for the 3rd best pizza in the world.

Al Shemam: Located right in the middle of Souk Mubarakiya next to the vegetable market. Has great grills (fish, meat and poultry) but is also a pretty ghetto looking place so not for the squeamish (pictured above).

Freej Suwaileh: A very popular and affordable Kuwaiti cuisine restaurant that’s open till 5AM.

Dar Hamad: A high end Kuwaiti cuisine restaurant with a beautiful interior.

Events

There are always events taking place so if you’re looking for one to go to during your visit, make sure you check out the events page [Here]

Off the Beaten Path

Friday Market: A large flea market that takes place on Fridays, usually gets really packed and you can find lots of random things for sale there from old gaming systems to washing machines and furniture. Although you might be tempted, avoid the animals section.

Salem Mubarek Street: A street stretching out around 2KM filled with shops on both sides. Used to be extremely popular in the 80s and early 90s (pictured above).

Al-Rehab Complex: If you’re into video games you’ll love this complex since the mezzanine floor and basement are filled with video game shops. By filled I mean every single shop there is a video game shop, easily over 50 shops.

Ice Skating Rink: Popular in the 80s and early 90s but not very popular nowadays. Worth checking out if you’re looking to cool off during the hot summer months.

House of Mirrors: The House of Mirrors belongs to Lidia al-Qattan, the widow of Khalifa al-Qattan, a renowned Kuwaiti artist. She started decorating one small wall with mirrors and through time more and more walls were decorated until the whole house inside and out was covered with mirrors.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Detailed Tour of the New Kuwait Airport

Post by Mark

If you’re curious to know more about the new Kuwait Airport thats being built, you can watch presentation above (in Arabic) where the presenter takes the audience on a very thorough tour of it. Since its a slideshow and around 20 minutes long most people will find it pretty boring so I’ve taken the liberty to write down some of the highlights:

– Airport will take 6 years to construct
– Entrance to the airport will be from the South, from Subhan
– Transparent LED screens will be used at check-in counters (when screens are off they’re transparent)
– Business and first class passengers have their own entrance
– The airport ceiling was inspired by old Al-Andalus architecture on how to bring day light in
– The same holes in the ceiling that bring day light in during the day, at night have bright projectors inside to mimic day light. So even at night you’ll get the impression there is daylight coming in
– First impression for visitors is important so the arrival area was heavily worked on to make the impression a good one. There will be lots of daylight, large open spaces and even waterfalls in the arrival area
– There will be 37 airplane gates
– 5,200 parking spots


Old airport on the right vs the new airport on the left

– Airport is Metro ready
– Airport will also be future expansion ready. They will build a tunnel for an Automated People Mover (a computer controlled transit system) that will end up connecting to a future terminal when the time comes to build it
– The new airport level of service will be ranked “A” (Excellent). This grade is given based on various factors including the distance between gates, the amount of time you wait at the check-in counters, immigration, security etc..
– Current airport is made to handle 7 million passengers but over 11.5 million passengers use it hence why the level of service is so low
– You can check-in 30 minutes before departure because their baggage boarding system is very efficient and fully automated from the check-in counter to the plane
– On arrival, first bag will be out in 10 minutes after the plane lands while the last bag will be out in 25-30 minutes
– Minimum connect time for transfer bags is 45 minutes
– The new airport will be one of the few world wide with a LEED Gold ranking. Meaning it will be a very green sustainable building. The roof for example will be composed of solar panels that will power around 10% of the airports power while rainwater will also be collected and there are other green features as well

Lots of details as I mentioned so if you’ve got 20 minutes to spare check out the presentation. Also looks like the Metro project is still alive! [YouTube]


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Fountain Shows at the Cultural Centre

Post by Mark

Last week the garden and fountain area of the Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre opened to the public and similar to the popular fountain at Dubai Mall, the fountain at the cultural centre also animates with performances set to light and music.

I wasn’t able to find out which company was responsible for the fountain installation but my guess is its WET Design, the same firm behind the Dubai Mall and Bellagio fountains since they have an office in Dubai. **UPDATE BELOW** Check out the video above of the fountain performing to Adele’s Skyfall track. [YouTube]

Thanks Waleed

Update: Turns out the musical fountain was designed by Watercube Design and not WET Design. They’ve got a much better video of the fountain in action which you can watch below.

Also regarding the schedule of the fountain shows I was told the following but haven’t been able to verify it yet:

Basically every hour from 2pm until 6pm then after 6pm there is a performance every 30 min (until 10:30 if i’m not wrong). They only turn it on if there are people so if the place is empty they skip it.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Inside the New Kuwait Airways Plane

Post by Mark

The new Kuwait Airways 777-300ER plane arrived to Kuwait over the weekend and will start operating on the Kuwait – London route soon.

You can get a peek at the interior of the new plane by watching the video above which was taken by Kuwait Airwyas pilot @capt_feras. According to information I found online the new plane has four classes, First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class. Below is more detailed information on all the classes along with photos taken by @eng_burezq:

Economy Class Cabin
236 seats
3-3-3 seat layout
32 inch seat pitch
18.5 inch seat width
In-flight Wi-Fi
Audio Video on demand Touchscreen monitor
USB port & laptop power

Premium Economy Cabin
54 seats
3-3-3 seat layout
35 inch seat pitch
18.5 inch seat width
In-flight Wi-Fi
Audio Video on demand Touchscreen monitor
USB port & laptop power

Business Class Cabin
36 seats
2-2-2 seat layout
62 inch seat pitch
21 inch seat width
In-flight Wi-Fi
180° Full Flat Bed
Audio Video on demand Touchscreen monitor
USB port & laptop power

First Class Cabin
8 seats
1-2-1 seat layout
84 inch seat pitch
22 inch seat width
In-flight Wi-Fi
180° Full Flat Bed
Audio Video on demand Touchscreen monitor
USB port & laptop power

Update: Below is another video the shows the interior pretty well


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Local Bus Routes on Google Maps

Post by Mark

busroutes

A redditor has mapped out some of the most important bus routes onto Google Maps. If you use the bus (or ever thought about going on what) you can check the routes out [Here]

routes

KPTC already have a similar thing where they’ve mapped out the routes onto Google Maps as well, the only difference is with the KPTC version you need to go through the routes one by one to see the actual route while with the redditors version all the routes are displayed on the map at the same time and you can just select the one that interests you. Here is a link to the KPTC version. [Link]

citybusymap

CityBus also have their bus routes online but its in Flash (why?) and it’s made to look like a subway map and is just not as easy to understand. You can view that map [Here]

Thanks bluzomby!


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Become a Qout Market Vendor

Post by Mark

qout

The fourth season of Qout Market took place yesterday at their new location in Al Shaheed Park and today they started accepting vendor applications for their upcoming markets.

If you’re interested in taking part, head over to their website and fill out the vendor application form [Here]

Supposedly there are very limited spaces available this year so good luck.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre Garden and Fountain Area Now Open

Post by Mark

jaccgarden

The garden and fountain area where the restaurants are located at the Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre is now open. The timings are as follows:

Weekdays 8AM to 11PM
Weekends 8AM to 12AM

A few of the restaurants are also currently open including Beit Shoukri, Shishawarma, Googoosh, Kashounat Al-Bait and The Chocolate Gate.

To stay up to date on the cultural centre, you can follow their official instagram account @jacc_kw

Photo on top by @nosa50


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Flying Drones Over Homes Now Illegal

Post by Mark

drones

Governments all over the world are still trying to figure out how to control the use of drones due to their rising popularity, and Kuwait is no different. Early this year I shared a proposal by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on limiting the use of drones in Kuwait. One of their proposals was to ban the use of drones over congested areas or private properties and it seems this is now officially a law. According to a new article on the MOI website, they state that it’s now against the law to fly drones over homes or other private properties which don’t belong to you. Violating this law will result in either a prison sentence of up to 3 years, a KD3,000 fine, or both.

Personally, I have mixed feelings against this law. I can certainly understand where they’re coming from, it would be fairly easy to spy on people using drones and I’m sure a lot of “voyuerists” are already doing this. But, I don’t really like the idea of banning everyone from flying drones because some people are misusing it. That would be like banning all telescopes because some people use it to spy on their neighbors. I would prefer they punish abusers severely and let everybody else continue to fly drones wherever they want. But since this is Kuwait and law enforcement isn’t that great, then it makes sense to just ban everyone since that would be easier option of the two to enforce.

The article on the MOI website is only available in Arabic and I haven’t been able to find an English version of it yet. The english articles on the MOI website haven’t been updated since May for some reason, so if you can’t read Arabic you’re going to have use Google Translate like I did. Here is the [Link]

Thanks Adly!


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Kuwait Business Center Works!

Post by Mark

kbc1

This is just a quick follow up on my previous post on KBC. Back in October I posted about the new initiative by the Ministry of Commerce called Kuwait Business Center (KBC). They setup KBC to make it easy for individuals to establish a company in Kuwait by allowing them to apply for one online, and then just visit their offices once to sign some papers. Since I posted about KBC I’ve had two friends set up businesses using their services and they’ve lived up to their promise.

In both cases, setting up a company took around 10 days and just one visit to their main office in Ishbilia. The KBC staff according to my friends were also very nice and helpful. So if you’re planning to open up a company in Kuwait, this is currently the most efficient way to do so. Check out the KBC website [Here]


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Page 3 of 18512345678910Last



Contribute

If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
[Email Me]