How to Renew Your Driving License in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Yesterday I got my driving license renewed for the first time in like a decade. Previously they’d renew the license for 10 years but now its year by year which is super annoying but whatever, there isn’t anything I can do about it. What I wanted to write about was the required documents you need to renew your license, and the process you have to go through at the traffic department since the information on e.gov.kw is inaccurate. This way if anyone is googling information, they’ll hopefully end up on this page. So lets begin.

Required Documents:
– Civil ID Copy
– Passport Copy (photo page and visa page)
– Work Permit Copy
– Your Company’s Notarized Signatures (e3timad tawkee3)
– Two Personal Photos, Blue Background 6×4
– Your Expired License

Once you have all your documents head to the traffic department near you, I live in Salmiya so I headed to the traffic department in Jabriya. As an expat I can only renew my license in the afternoon starting from 4PM. Get there early. On arrival first thing you need to do is go to the typists who are usually located near the main entrance. Tell them you want to renew your license and hand them all your paperwork. They’ll type out the correct form with your details and then staple all the documents together. They’ll charge KD1 for this process not including making copies of any documents. You could ask them what you have to do next and they’ll point you in that direction.

The next step is to hand your paper over to the license renewal desk (it’s marked) and in my case was located inside the main hall of the traffic department. Make sure you don’t have any fines, if you do they’ll make you go settle them first. If you don’t have any fines they’ll print out a paper for you stating that. The next step is to get your documents signed by the officer in charge. The officer wasn’t at his desk when I went so they told me to go to another officer outside the main hall sitting at the front desk. When I went there I swear there was a queue with around 100 people in it. I couldn’t see the end of the line kind of queue and I’m not exaggerating. While standing there in shock and regretting not bringing my Nintendo Switch with me, I spotted an officer nearby so I went up to him just to make sure this was the line I had to stand in. So I went up to him and in English asked him where I should get this signed. He told me he doesn’t speak English, then I pointed at the document and he said go stand in that line. So I pointed to the line and was like this line?? He then asked me if I had my old license with me, and I showed him, then he asked to see a few other documents which I showed him. He then told me to get a KD1 stamp which I did. He stuck the stamp on my form, took all the documents, went behind the desk and had the officer there sign my document. That was super nice of him and I got to avoid standing in line for an hour. So good luck with this step.

Once you have the documents signed you head over to the driving license renewal desk again and hand them the papers. You’ll now have to sit and wait for your name to be called out. If your license is already expired then they’ll call your name out and tell you to go pay a KD5 fine. This fine will only pop-up at this stage, you can’t get it paid before the process. Once you pay the fine you come back and give your papers again. After a short while they’ll call your name again and send you to a room to get your photo taken. Once you get it taken you’ll have to wait for your license to get printed.

When I was there yesterday they were having technical issues with the license printing machine so I had to wait two hours to get my license printed. The employees actually stayed late after their working hours to make sure everybody got their license printed including the main officer. They were pretty apologetic about the delay. Thankfully there was a Formula 1 race taking place last night, and so I got to watch it live on my phone while I waited which wasn’t too bad.

So there you have it, this is what you need to do to renew your license.


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Al Shaheed Park Phase 2 Now Open

Post by Mark

Al Shaheed Park Phase 2 officially opened yesterday and just in time before the weather got too hot for outdoor activities. The new extension includes 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. Just like phase 1, phase 2 is open daily from 5AM to 10PM. For more details, check out the Al Shaheed Park on instagram @alshaheedpark

Photo via Green Studios


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Beehive Installation with Just Bee

Post by Mark

Just Bee is a local honey business that provides raw and local Kuwaiti honey. You might have come across them at Qout Market but what a lot of people don’t know is they are promoters of urban beekeeping and that they have a beehive installation service. Just Bee don’t have their own beehive location, all their honey that is sold is produced from beehive hosting. This past season for example, their honey was harvested from 8 different locations that includes people’s homes, chalets and farms (Salmiya, Khaitan, Sharq, Qurtuba, Messila, Abu Al Hasania, Nuwaiseeb and Wafra).

At Just Bee we promote Urban Beekeeping and our vision is to be able to provide our community with honey from every area in Kuwait, to do that we need to team up, and we do that by allowing locals to host beehives for us.

So how does it work?
The first thing they do is come over to your home and do a site consultation. The beekeeper needs to asses the space, check how suitable it is or not for the bees, and recommend needed shelter for the bees to protect them from the cold in the winter and the heat in the summer. They usually ask the host to let them set up a minimum of 6 hives so that it’s worth their time and effort.

All the work is on them, they handle the installation and all the costs involved with the hives. They also supervise the hives by visiting them as much as every two weeks. By the end of the season, they harvest the honey and give you 10% of the honey that has been produced as a barter for the space that you have given them to set up the hives.

The honey is then branded with the name of the Area, making their honey literally come from the homes of the people.

Kuwait produced these beautiful and varying colors of honey! In order from the left: Abdili, Nuwaiseeb, Sharq, Zahra, Egaila & Mishref

How many times do they harvest honey?
There are 2 seasons of harvest during the year:

– June/July where they harvest the Multifloral Honey, usually light in color and crystalizes within a month or so. Varies colorfully from one area to another.

– December where they harvest the better known Sidr Honey from the Ziziphus/Sidr tree that produces the Knarr, Jujube fruit. It is much darker and remains liquid if not, a lot of other floral sources are mixed in when the bees are gathering nectar to produce the honey.

Depending on the season, each beehive can produce between 3KG to 5KG of honey.

I love this idea a lot and if I had a home with a garden I would have definitely hosted some hives. If you on the other hand live in a home or have a chalet or farm and love honey, then get in touch with Just Bee and host a hive. Their instagram account is @justbeekw and their website is justbeekw.co


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@PK_Spark Was Arrested

Post by Mark

@PK_Spark is the 19 year old parkour guy I posted about awhile back, where him and his friends snuck onto the roof of Hamra Tower and started sliding around. Around 10 days ago, he sent me a link to his latest video where he snuck into the new NBK tower thats being constructed across the street from Hamra Tower where he climbed up to the highest crane. I was going to post the video on the blog but then it suddenly disappeared along with all his social media accounts. I thought the video might have gotten him in trouble and turns out that was the case. A few days later, his social media accounts came back online and he posted the following message on his instagram:

I got arrested by the CID ( criminal investigation department) and they throw me in jail, all that was because of my crane climbs and rooftops stuff at least m free right now but the bad news is no more rooftops till I leave this country.

I learned something from this experience ( freedom is expensive ) don’t lose it.

It’s messed up that he got arrested, but it shouldn’t be a surprise since he was basically trespassing onto private property and then sharing video of it. In any case he’s back out now, just no more dangerous rooftops stunts for awhile which is a good thing. If you want to see some of his videos, you can check out his instagram account @pk_spark or his YouTube channel [Here]


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Kuwait 39th Happiest Country

Post by Mark

sad

The 2017 edition of the World Happiness Report was released yesterday and Kuwait moved up two spots from 41 to 39. The highest Kuwait has ever been was 31 and that was back in 2012. Since then, Kuwait has slowly been dropping down the list until last year it hit its lowest ranking at 41, so 39 this year is technically an improvement.

Below is a list comparing Kuwait’s ranking to some other countries in the region including the highest ranked and lowest.

1. Norway
21. United Arab Emirates
35. Qatar
37. Saudi Arabia
39. Kuwait
41. Bahrain
155. Central African Republic

The scoring is based on a number of factors including answers submitted by people who were asked to assess their satisfaction with their current lives on a scale of 0 to 10. For a more detailed explanation as well as the full list of rankings, you can download the World Happiness Report from [Here]


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Habitat Museum Now Open

Post by Mark

The Habitat Museum at Al Shaheed Park is now officially open to the public. The museum showcases the unique beauty of Kuwait’s plants and animal life by taking visitors on a journey through the local ecosystem. It’s located in the same building as the escalators that take you to the parking lot (the far end one) and right across from the restaurant Table Otto.

The opening hours are:
Monday to Friday: 4PM to 9PM
Saturdays: 12PM to 7PM
Sundays: Closed

For more photos of the interior taken by the photographer Niccolò Guasti, click [Here]


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WiMD is Now B.Wireless

Post by Mark

Over the past couple of months I’ve been getting emails and tweets from readers asking me if the internet provider WiMD shutdown. None of their social media accounts work anymore so people are assuming they must have closed down. Well the answer is no, they haven’t closed down. Instead, WiMD have just done a pretty terrible job at letting people know that they’ve renamed and rebranded to B.Wireless.

Last year WiMD purchased the internet provider GulfNet and a couple of months ago WiMD rebranded GulfNet to B.Online, then rebranded WiMD to B.Wireless and then created a mother company called B.Global which both now fall under. It’s kinda B.Confusing just because of the fact the names are so generic and they renamed their social media accounts but didn’t really tell anyone. I’m a WiMD customer and I didn’t even get an email letting me know about the rebranding or renaming. The only reason I found out is because their marketing manager had told me they were going to rebrand and then sent me the presentation to check out. Not even the WiMD website mentions the renaming.

So if you want WiMD, their new social media accounts are:
Instagram: @bwirelesskw
Twitter: @bwirelesskw

Their website is still wimd.com.kw


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Watch Live Cricket Matches

Post by Mark

Last night I was listening to some great tracks on my way home from dinner and somehow found myself outside the Entertainment City gates at around 10:30 in the evening. As I was u-turning to head back home, I noticed the lights at the TACK Cricket Ground were on so I decided to check and see what was going on. Turns out there was a cricket game taking place so I stayed and watched it until they were done.

The TACK Cricket Ground is actually pretty sweet, they’ve got real grass first of all which I love, but they’ve also got super bright floodlights lighting up the whole area so they could play at night. Super practical during the hot summer months.

I asked a friend of mine who’s involved in the local cricket league if there was a game schedule online and turns out there was. If you’re interested in watching live cricket matches, then head over to the Kuwait Cricket website and check out their schedule [Here]


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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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