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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Al Shaheed Park Phase II Nearly Complete

Post by Mark

Work on Phase II of Al Shaheed Park is currently running on schedule and is expected to be completed by April. The new phase will be more than just a park and include 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.

I really have a hard time understanding why we need a miniature Kuwait in the park since we have the life sized versions of the buildings all around us. There are also going to be new restaurants opening up in the new phase, I believe 5 in total.

One thing I didn’t ask about was parking. I wonder if phase 2 will have it’s own parking or if we’ll have to use the phase 1 parking lot and walk over. Looking at google maps it looks like it will have it’s own underground parking but I’ll double check this and post an update once I get an answer. It would be a pretty long walk from phase 1 if it doesn’t have its own lot.

Update: I just received confirmation that Phase II will have parking for 1000 cars. But, the issue is the parking is going to be divided into different areas because there are two metro lines that are planned to run under the park so the parking was split up to leave room for the two lines. From what I understood this means the parking is going to be a bit annoying or awkward because of the way it’s split up.


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Salem Al Mubarak Street Transformation Project

Post by Mark

Some of you might have already heard about this but for those of you who haven’t, a proposal was put forward to transform Salem Al Mubarak street in old Salmiya (where I live basically) to a pedestrian only street with brand new futuristic looking buildings.

As someone who’s lived on this very street for 30+ years, and as someone who truly loves and experiences this street every single day, I can with full confidence say… none of this is ever gonna materialize.

There is a higher chance that Kuwait will beat UAE to building the first city on Mars, than there is for old Salmiya to transform into this wonderland.

I’m not being pessimistic, I’m just being realistic.

The street is in shambles and the municipality doesn’t care, nobody cares and these renderings to me are a joke, they’re making a mockery of the current situation. It’s like some rich kid passing through some poor village in Africa and decides to stop to take a selfie with some street kids pretending to be helping them out for his instagram account before driving off in his convoy to a luxury resort.

It’s insulting.

There is no way on earth the transformation project will ever happen without demolishing the whole area, kicking out all the low income expats and then rebuilding the street from the ground up, the main street AND all the back streets as well. The metro project? That’s gonna happen. The railway project? That’s gonna happen. Kuwait building a city on Mars? That’s gonna happen. But this Salmiya project, it’s never gonna happen.

If you want to see more renderings on this concept as well as get more information, check out this thread I started on [SkyScraperCity]


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Kuwait Online Shopping Websites (Updated List)

Post by Mark

mrbabu

A couple of years back I put together a list of local online shopping stores and ever since I’ve been quietly updating it. But now it got to the point where I also felt I needed to organize the list properly which is why I decided to create a new updated list.

Below are all the local online shopping websites I am aware of. If there are any missing let me know in the comments, the websites have to be based in Kuwait and allow you to purchase items directly from it.

Read the rest of this entry »


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Argania Complex in Shuwaikh

Post by Mark

By now its clear that Shuwaikh has become the new hotspot. VOL.1 and Super/Foods were already giving me a reason to start heading there, ARABICA is soft launching this weekend as well (invite only) and more and more places are planning to open up in that block. Argania is another new complex that is also opening up in a couple of months in that area and it looks to be pretty cool as well:

“Argania, short for Argania Spinosa, is the Latin name for the Argan tree, found in the southwestern region of Morocco. Presenting to businesses and the public a unique escape directly within the heart of a thriving commercial zone, Argania has been designed in line with its traditional Moroccan roots, complemented by soothing water and landscape features.”

The project’s external garden and space is inspired by morrocan architecture. It is a mixed use development with retail and F&B outlets. Expected opening date end of Q1, 2017. Project is owned and developed by ALARGAN International Real Estate Company (www.alargan.com)


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