Kuwait will be a Huge Travel Destination in the Next 10 Years

Posted by Mark

kuwaithotspot

Based on data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the home swapping site “Love Home Swap” compiled a top 50 up-and-coming countries to watch list and Kuwait came in #15 as a new and upcoming holiday destination. Business Insider has even picked up the story further adding to the credibility of the list. So strange, check out the top 50 destinations [Here]

Thanks Taz


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1st Healthy City in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

yarmouk

Yarmouk became the first healthy city in Kuwait this month by fulfilling the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO). Some of the requirements they fulfilled included:

– Fighting against obesity
– Having a walk marathon
– Beautification and cleaning of the city
– Setting up a well-equipped walking track
– Planted trees
– Saved power and water
– Washed streets with water and soap
– Organized exhibitions for young entrepreneurs a
– Established an environment-friendly park
– Organized cultural, social, educational and health symposiums and lectures
– Urged people to donate blood
– Combatted smoking
– Fighting swine flu

I think thats really great now if only the same formula could be applied to my area or other areas around Kuwait. Checkout the article on KUNA [Here]

Photo by Samira


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The Emergency Lane Confusion

Posted by Mark

copemergencylane

I have no idea whats going on with the emergency lane situation in Kuwait but there seriously seems to be some major confusion. The other day an article in the Arab Times said the following:

Jail, 3-Mth Vehicle Seizure For Emergency Lane Violators
Director of Public Relations and Moral Guidance Department and Acting Director of Security Media Department, Brigadier Adel Al-Hashash has announced the activation of a traffic law which punishes motorists who use the emergency lanes, reports Al-Shahed daily.

Al-Hashash explained those who drive in the emergency lanes will be detained at police stations for between 24 and 48 hours and the Al-Anba daily added their vehicles will be impounded for three months. He denied motorists were allowed to use the emergency lanes because of traffic congestion. He added, the Interior Ministry’s media department had earlier issued a statement in this regard. He said the law was activated on May 19 and the security authorities will implement this law in its strict sense.[Source]

First of all it seems no one gives a crap about that new law because over the weekend during heavy traffic on the Fahaheel Expressway not only were people using both the left and right emergency lanes, they were using it even when there was a police car in front of them (pictured above). No one was afraid of getting stopped, fined or punished. But then again, I’ve seen people run red lights in front of cops with no reaction from the cops so don’t know why I was surprised by this.

If that wasn’t bad enough, today there is another article in the Arab Times but this one contradicts the statement I highlighted in bold and italics in the article above. I’ve copy pasted this new article below:

Move To Reduce Congestion
Ministry of Interior has permitted the use of safety lanes on certain roads at specific times to reduce congestion.

In a statement, the ministry indicated roads specified for this purpose include King Faisal Expressway from the Sixth Ring Road, King Abdul-Aziz Road from the Sixth Ring Road to First Ring Road, and Al- Maghrib Highway from King Fahad Road to the First Ring Road.

The permitted timings are 6:00am-9:00am and 12:30pm-3:30pm, noting the times specified are the busiest in the country because Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti employees and students leave and return from the schools, institutes and universities during the period.

The statement added the decision was based on directives from the Interior Minister and Acting Minister of Awqaf Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah and the Undersecretary Lieutenant General Suleiman Fahad Al-Fahad.

The road users can only use the safety lanes during the specific period and at specified locations to follow regulations, reiterating the lane is originally for ambulances, fire engines, police cars and civil defense but other vehicles can use it now, as instructed, and the speed limit is 45 km/h. [Source]

So a few days after one person issues a statement saying that no one is allowed to use the emergency lane not even during rush hour, another person releases another statement contradicting the the first person. Talk about lack of communication and confusion on this subject.


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Kuwait 11th Happiest Country in the World

Posted by Mark

happykuwait

Kuwait is tied in 11th place in the latest report from Gallup on the happiest countries in the world. I guess the Happy Kuwait video did Kuwait a lot of good.

happyrank

Survey Methods
Results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults in each country, aged 15 and older, conducted in 2013 in 138 countries and areas. For results based on the total global sample, the margin of sampling error is less than ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level. For results based on country-level samples, the margin of error ranges from a low of ±2.1 to a high of ±5.3. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Check out the full report [Here]

Thanks BeeJay


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The new banknotes presentation

Posted by Mark

moneypresent

Yesterday the Central Bank of Kuwait introduced the new banknotes at a press event and now the presentation that was shared at that event is available online for everyone to watch. The presentation is in Arabic and talks about the reasons why the new banknotes were introduced, the images that were chosen for each banknote and the new security features amongst other things. The new banknotes will be officially launched next month on June 29th. Check out the full presentation below.


[YouTube]


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Wataniya Telecom to become Ooredoo

Posted by Mark

ooredoo

According to an invitation I received, Wataniya will launch the Ooredoo brand tomorrow night at a press event. They’ve already started rebranding their stores in preparation and I expect everyones phones display will start showing Ooredoo starting Thursday morning.

Ooredoo is a brand name that was introduced last year to replace the former name Qtel which is the Qatari telecom that owns Wataniya. Ooredoo currently has 95 million subscribers and they will grow overnight to 97 once Wataniya rebrands.


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Donate your old laptop

Posted by Mark

rwanda

Local group OXAdventure is heading to Rwanda this August and want to collect as many laptops as they can. They want to give the laptops to the students so that instead of three or more students sharing the same computer, every individual student would have their own to use freely.

So if you have an old laptop contact OXAdventure either by calling them on 99896666 or emailing them on info@oxadventure.com


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Sneak Peek: Kuwait Cultural Centre

Posted by Mark

kc1

Last month when I posted my photographic journey of Salam Palace I mentioned that right next door to the palace a huge project is currently under construction. I was shown renderings of the buildings and they looked out of this world but due to the secretive nature of this project (they want it to be a surprise to everyone) I wasn’t allowed to take any photos to share on the blog. Luckily with a little help from a friend of mine (thanks Khaled!), I was able to source out the images of the project online.

kc2

The site of the huge project is the old flag square opposite the church in Kuwait City [Map] and when completed will house four structures, an opera house, a music center, a theatre and a library. The official name for this cultural centre I believe will be “Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre”. The buildings will be made out of titanium shells and will have no pillars at all on the inside. When I met with Al-Diwan Al-Amiri they told me the project was expected to be completed in 18 months and I truely believe that will be possible due to the amount of resources they’ve assigned for this project. The project is already two months ahead of schedule.

kc3

As you can see from the images this project looks really stunning and like nothing else we have ever done in Kuwait. Its also located on the coastal road so it’s in clear sight for everyone to see. This is the quality of design all government projects should have but sadly don’t and I personally can’t wait until the project is completed.

kc4

kc5

kc6

Enjoy the renderings, I found them [Here]


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This is not the new KD1 note

Posted by Mark

KD1

The image of the note above has been circulating on whatsapp and instagram as the new KD1 bank note that will be released at the start of Ramadan. The problem is the image thats circulating is not the new banknote, it’s actually a commemorative banknote issued back in 2001 on the 10th anniversary of Liberation Day. For details on this banknote and others visit the Central Bank of Kuwait website [Here]


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The New SAVECO Supermarket

Posted by Mark

saveco1

SAVECO is a new supermarket that opened up in Al Rai right next to Lu&Lu hypermarket. A friend had recently passed by and told me it was worth checking out so I passed by yesterday during the day and ended up leaving pleasantly surprised.

I’m not sure when exactly the supermarket opened, but I’m guessing it was sometime this year. The place is immaculate, extremely tidy and the aisles are super wide. My favorite section is probably the health and beauty section where all the shelves are backlit making everything look really good.

saveco2

I’m not sure how the supermarket compares in product selection to other supermarkets. I do all my shopping at Sultan Center and it seems every supermarket in Kuwait has more products and a larger variety than they do. There is one brand of dish washing soap which I really really love (Dawn with Olay), I love it so much that when I realized Sultan were not restocking it anymore I went to 3 other Sultan branches to buy up whatever remaining stock they had. I thought the brand discontinued their partnership with Olay since Sultan just started bringing regular Dawn but yesterday I found shelf after shelf of it at SAVECO. They also had a huge selection of none dairy milk like soy, almond, hazelnut, rice etc.. again this might be normal all around Kuwait but compared to my supermarket the selection was a lot bigger.

backentrace

Going all the way to Al Rai to shop isn’t practical for me but the supermarket looks great and as a friend put it, it feels very therapeutic shopping there. The biggest issue is probably parking but if you come in from their back entrance avoiding the whole 4th Ring Road entry and parking mess you’ll be a lot better off. Check out the map above of how to get there using the road 55 entrance. Also here is the location on [Google Maps]


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