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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Getting paperwork done in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

passport

Getting government related paperwork done can be such an emotional roller coaster. I got a new passport yesterday and all I had to do was move my residency from the old passport to the new one and the processes was just so exhausting. I originally went to the Hawalli Immigration office who then told me to go the Kuwait City office who then told me to go back to the Hawalli office. I was like no way, I just came from there and they said I needed to get the transfer done here. I was then sent from one person to another, to another, to another and had to do lots of pointless waiting around before I finally ended up in a room by myself with all hope lost of getting my stuff done before I travel in a few days. Then suddenly out of the blue, a guy randomly walked in, looked at my papers, signed them, called someone in another department and then sent me to him to get the papers processed. Just like that by mere coincidence I was done.

It’s insane, you literally have to walk on egg shells every time you get sent to someone to get a signature or a stamp. You have to hope they’re in a good mood, you need to make sure you don’t do anything that might aggravate them like stand too close to the desk or interrupt them while they’re whatsapping. It feels like you need a favor from every person you need a signature or stamp from. I hate it.

egov

On the bright side, not sure if many of you know about this but there is a half decent government website with information and forms you need to get various jobs done. It’s the Kuwait Government Online website and the section I’m talking about is called Citizens & Residents. Check it out [Here]


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AbiDoc Relaunched

Posted by Mark

abidoc

AbiDoc is a website that allows you to search, find and book an appointment with a doctor all via their website. They originally launched last year but I wasn’t a fan of the website back then, it felt outdated and really sluggish but now they’ve given it a major facelift and relaunched it. The way it works is very simple, you select what kind of doctor you’re looking for and then select your area and the website will list all the doctors and their available timings.

Not all the clinics and hospitals in Kuwait are available though, only the ones that have signed up with AbiDoc in the same way not all restaurants are available on Talabat. For example I searched for “Physical Therapist” in “Salmiya” and got “Sorry, No Exact Matches Were Found” even though the Fawzia Sultan Rehabilitation Institute is located down the block from my place. Still, the site contains a lot of doctors and the more popular AbiDoc gets the more will want to sign up with them. Check out their new website [Here]


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Old Police Cars on Display

Posted by Mark

oldpolicecars

The other day I noticed a bunch of old police cars on display outside the small police museum in Bneid Al Gar. I’m not sure how long they’ve been there for but they must be recent since I hadn’t noticed them before. Other than the ones pictured, there were two or three more older ones parked to the side.

policemuseum

I haven’t been inside the museum yet but in case you’re interested, they’re open from 8:30AM to 12PM and then again from 4:30PM to 8PM. On Fridays they’re open just from 4:30PM to 8PM. Here is the location on [Google Maps]


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