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]


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Indoor Tanning for Men

Post by Mark

tanning

Just a heads up for guys who might be interested in indoor tanning, the mens salon ‘Spaloon’ now has a standup tanning booth available for use. It’s the Hapro Luxura V7 model and because it’s a standup booth it allows you to more evenly tan when compared to regular tanning beds. This is the only place I am aware of that has indoor tanning for men (if I’m wrong let me know). The price is steep most likely due to the lack of competition. A session (up to you how long you want it but average is around 8 minutes) costs KD15. If you buy a package of 5 the price drops down to KD10 a session. To find out more you can check out Spaloon on instagram @spaloonkuwait


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Two Kuwaiti Teens Perform in Austria’s Got Talent

Post by Mark

kuwaitisgottalent

Two Kuwaiti teen brothers living in Vienna, Hussain Al Qallaf (13) and Thunayan Al Qallaf (15) preformed with their band “Diverse Trio” on the popular Austrian show, Got Talent (Die Große Chance De Chöre). They even went as far as making it to the semi finals.

You can check out a couple of videos below, the first one is of their audition tape and when they perform the song ‘It Will Rain’ by Bruno Mars in round 1 of the show.

The second video below is of them performing ‘Im not the only one’ by Sam Smith during the semi finals.

You can also check out their bio on the Got Talent website [Here] (its in German)

Thanks Salem!


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Running Up a KD3,000+ Phone Bill by Mistake

Post by Mark

zainbill

I spotted a post on the reddit front page two nights ago about a guy from Kuwait who ran up a KD3,000 phone bill accidentally and I was going to post about it yesterday but the redditor ended up deleting his post. But last night he posted it again so here I am writing about it.

You can read his full story [Here] but I’ll summarize it for this post. A guy borrows his friends sim card since his friend had a Zain plan that included 10GB of roaming internet. He takes the sim card goes to Azerbaijan where he uses the internet all day long since 10GB is a lot of bandwidth and he wasn’t worried about consuming it all. What the guy and his friend didn’t realize was that Azerbaijan wasn’t part of the countries where he could take advantage of the 10GB of roaming internet so when he checked his phone bill he noticed it was over KD2,500. He freaked out and posted about it on reddit and then a followup saying when he last checked it had gone up even further to over KD3,000.

The guy is pretty screwed because he didn’t read the fine print and the worst part is, its not even his sim card it’s his friends.

Now the odd thing I find here is how his mobile operator in this case Zain allow him to rack up such a high bill. I have a Zain line I never use but I keep since I’ve had that number since 1996 and when I don’t pay my bill for a couple of months I get a phone call from accounting telling me I need to pay KD15 or they’ll disconnect my line. And thats just over KD15. If someones phone bill every month is say KD20 a month on average and suddenly in a week it hits KD1,000, wouldn’t that arouse suspicion? Shouldn’t some kind of alarm go off at Zain (or any other operator) when something like this happens? They would then freeze the account until they could contact the owner of the number to confirm they’re aware of what they’re doing or make sure their phone didn’t get stolen etc..

I had an incident once with Burgan Bank when they blocked my ATM card for security reasons because it was used in two different countries within 24 hours. I had used it once in the Kuwait Airport to exchange money and then again in London to buy a train ticket. I thought that was a bit extreme but the point is companies usually have security measures they take to make sure the customer is protected. I thought telecom operators would have similar security measures but I guess they don’t? Would be great if anyone can shed some light on this.


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VOL.1 at Mayar

Post by Mark

vol1-1

Over the weekend I passed by the new VOL.1 thats opening up in Mayar Complex to get a sneak peek. I was curious to see how the place was turning out so I asked the owner if I could drop by and check it out. The new location is going to be located in Shuwaikh and is around 3 to 4 times the size of their current location in the city. The new space has a much larger circular bar and the same bench style seating surrounding the walls. The new location also has an second floor which will contain their offices as well as a small space where they’ll be holding classes or coffee cupping sessions. They’re expecting to open sometime next month but no specific date has been set yet.

mayar1

The Mayar Complex where VOL.1 is located is surprisingly a pretty good looking space. I didn’t think it was going to turn out the way it did and I love the way they’ve used marble everywhere. I took a walk around it and a bunch of shops have already opened with a bunch of others opening soon. There is going to a gym there, two spinning studios, a bunch of fashion and accessories stores and a few restaurants. The only issue I have with the complex is there isn’t enough parking, but thats to be expected I guess. Here is the location on [Google Maps]


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Deraya Exploratory Campaign

Post by Mark

sensors

I’m sure many of you have noticed strange looking devices similar to the ones above lying all over Kuwait. These devices are part of KOC’s exploratory campaign called Deraya to explore Kuwait’s geological layers. Over 50,000 of these devices have been placed all around Kuwait so that specialized vehicles like the one pictured below can perform seismic surveys.

seismicvibrator

When I first started seeing these trucks rolling up and down the Gulf Road I though they were electric generators but turns out they’re actually seismic vibrators. These trucks drive around Kuwait and stop at various locations to perform seismic vibrations which are then picked up by the sensors.

The aim of this campaign is to study and record data about Kuwait’s different underground layers to form a basis for future studies. KOC have a video explaining the whole process which you can watch above. It’s in Arabic but it’s an animation so you can still figure out whats going on.


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Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre Events are Now Online

Post by Mark

events

The Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre website just got a facelift along with an updated events page that now lists all the upcoming events that will be taking place there as well as the option to purchase tickets. Check out [Here]

Thanks Fatima


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Elsewhere, the Experimental Space

Post by Mark

elsewhere

Elsewhere is a a new ingenious concept that opened up next to Elevation Burger on the Seif strip. The concept is actually owned by TABCo, the company that owns Elevation (who are one of my advertisers). It’s an experimental space created for local entrepreneurs who have ideas and concepts they want to try out for limited time periods. Currently the space is occupied by Richard’s Coffee for the next 76 days whom I wrote about a couple of weeks back.

The space doesn’t have to be occupied by a coffee shop or a food related concept, they’re open to different ideas like fashion, retail or even some sort of activity. Even the amount of time you could rent the spot for is flexible, it can be as little as you want it to be as long as its an idea that will help bring traffic to the area. The rent is very reasonable as well for the space/location. I’m not sure I can share it on the blog because I’m assuming it’s not a one price for all, but I can say that they’re definitely not profiting from the rent. The rent is low to attract the interesting concepts who in return will bring traffic to the area and indirectly promote and bring traffic to Elevation Burger next door. It’s a smart marketing idea.

Currently nobody is lined up to take the spot after Richard’s, so if you’re interested in renting the spot you could contact them on elsewhere@tabcofood.com.


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List of Specialty Coffee Shops in Kuwait

Post by Mark

arabicacoffee

When I first started putting this list together it was because I was planning to visit them all and maybe review them. But I didn’t think there were this many already and so I don’t think that plan is possible anymore. Below is a list of all the speciality coffee shops I’m aware of, let me know if I missed any:

Speciality Coffee Shops
Amo Cafe
Arabica
ASPRO + PRO Coffee Bar
Awake Coffee
BLAKK Coffee
Bon Coffee
Boost Cafe
BRW
But First Coffee
CAF
Caffeine
Caveman Coffee
Cova Specialty Coffee
Cropped Coffee
CRL Bar
Days*Cafe
Dose Cafe
Etsi Kafe Lab
Force Bar
Grace
His Majesty
Jumo
Keys Coffee Shop
Kôfē – Espresso Bar
Let’s Coffee
Majnoon Qahwa
Mood Coffee Bar
Muse Coffeesphere
Muse Espresso Bar
New Brew Coffee
Not Just Coffee
Pause Coffee
Perhaps Some Coffee
Pirate Cafe
Richard’s Coffee
Savage Coffees
Seven Grams Coffee Lab
Shots
Shuwaikh Coffee
SIP
Street Cafe
The Breeze Cafe
Three and Barista
Toby’s Estate
Vibes Coffee
Vol 1
Wish Cafe

Speciality Roasters
48 East
Earth’s Roastery
Coffee Villains
The Lab Roastery

On a side note, anyone know where I can find the Rattleware coffee shot glass in Kuwait? Got it!

Update: I’ve updated the list


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Truefitt & Hill Barbershop Now Open

Post by Mark

truefitt

Truefitt & Hill is the oldest barbershop in the world established back in 1805 in London, and they recently opened their first location in the Middle East at Symphony Mall. Their prices surprisingly are fairly reasonable, similar to other local barbershops with a haircut costing KD10 and a shave KD5. For some reason I was expecting them to charge a lot more since in London a shave costs around KD12 and a haircut around KD20. Thats double the price of Kuwait.

Their phone number is 25770770 and they’re on instagram @truefittandhillkuwait


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