The metro is the solution

Posted by Mark

highway

Re:Kuwait is back from the dead and with an insightful post on why more highways aren’t the solution to Kuwait’s traffic problems, instead other solutions like the metro is. Check out his post [Here]


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New Ice Skating Rink, Musical Fountains a Skatepark and other new projects

Posted by Mark

iceskating

Awhile back a reader on the blog mentioned that TEC (Touristic Enterprises Company) were building a skatepark, so I emailed the person asking about it as well as a few other things and this is what I found out:

– The new skatepark will be located next to the ice skating rink in Kuwait City. There will be a new sports complex built there and the skatepark will be a part of it. The project is currently on hold because TEC is working with the Diwan Al Amiri to integrate the whole area which will include a new ice skating rink and a new musical fountain with water screens and fire shows. Initially they wanted to build each of the projects separately but the new TEC CEO wants to combine them all into one large project and make it as great as Al Shaheed Park which is right next door. The new project will have to work around the existing Discovery Mall building.

– Regarding the Kuwait Towers, the Amir wants the Kuwait Towers to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site so all work on the interior had to be put on hold. Work will continue after a meeting with UNESCO in Paris where they will receive the rules and specifications required to be approved as a UNESCO site. UNESCO doesn’t mind the exterior as much as the interior but the original plan of the towers had a disco dance floor as well as a bar so they’re waiting to see exactly how much of that can be changed.

entertainmentcity

– As I previously posted, Entertainment City is shutting down. They’re bringing in a firm to do a feasibility study so they can rebuild the park from the ground up. My contact didn’t mention Six Flags and he literally said “we will start re-building it” so my guess is the park will remain with TEC.

– TEC is currently considering turning Shaab Park into a LEGO Theme Park

– There are still around 12 other projects in the pipeline including a world class water park

I found all this very encouraging and exciting except for one aspect, the ice skating rink. I really hope they don’t demolish the current one, I think it’s as important to Kuwait’s History and landscape as are the water towers and Kuwait Towers. I wasn’t able to get access to the 3D renderings of the sports complex project because the contracts with the design firm hasn’t been finalized but if anyone here has them by any chance please email me them.

If I find out any more information on any of the above projects I’ll make sure to share them here on the blog.

Entertainment City photo by Ahmed Al Bather


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Making of the Sabah Al-Ahmad Sea City Marina

Posted by Mark

If you’re into How It’s Made style documentaries then you’ll appreciate this video on the making of the Sabah Al-Ahmad Sea City Marina. The most interesting part for me is the fact that you can take Styrofoam, cover it with cement and then end up with a 20ton floating concrete deck. It’s only 11 minutes long so check it out. [YouTube]

marina


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Kuwait is Building the Largest Museum in the World

Posted by Mark

According to the 40 minute film below, the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center that is currently under construction will be the largest museum in the world once completed. The museum will be located next to Shaab Park on the Gulf Road and include:

– A Natural History Museum
– A Science Museum
– A Museum of Islamic History
– A Space Museum
– A Fine Arts Center
– A 350 seat Theatre


[YouTube]

I knew the project was huge but I didn’t think it would end up being the largest museum in the world. I still find that hard to believe. Check out the film above and for more information on the project including 3D renderings click [Here]

Thanks Arad


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5 Intriguing Reasons to Explore Hawalli in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

hawalli

I’m really not a big fan of Hawalli even though my Vespa has made the traffic much more bearable but a reader thinks it’s worth giving a shot and has published an article on The Culture Trip website about it. Check it out [Here]


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Tour of Al Salam Palace Construction

Posted by Mark

New Kuwait have uploaded a video of a tour of the Al Salam Palace construction site. Al Salam Palace if you aren’t aware is currently being refurbished so that it can be turned into a museum. The video tour is in Arabic and you can watch it above or on [YouTube]

On a side note what is New Kuwait and are they connected to the government? Their website is newkuwaitgov.com and their logo is in English only as “New Kuwait” but their website and all their content is only in Arabic. Why give something an English name and then create just an English logo when all your content is going to be in just Arabic?

Thanks Khaled


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New Telecom Operator?

Posted by Mark

xtra

A few people have emailed me regarding what looks to be a new telecom operator in Kuwait called Xtra. I noticed a few of their outdoor adverts near Avenues and I checked their website and there really isn’t much information there. I don’t think it’s a new telecom operator because we would have heard a lot more about it in the press, but I also can’t figure out what they are.

Based on their website, the prepaid card costs KD5 and it allows you to talk unlimited local calls a day once you spend 300fils that day. It also comes with 3GB internet and unlimited access to social media applications. Here is a link to their [Website]


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How powerful is your passport?

Posted by Mark

passports

Oman completely blows all its neighbors out of the water coming in at 13th place.

1 – United Stated of America (147 visa free countries)
1 – United Kingdom (147 visa free countries)
7 – Canada (140 visa free countries)
13 – Oman (134 visa free countries)
47 – United Arab Emirates (72 visa free countries)
52 – Qatar (66 visa free countries)
54 – Kuwait (64 visa free countries)
57 – Saudi Arabia (61 visa free countries)
59 – India (59 visa free countries)
61 – Bahrain (61 visa free countries)
64 – Egypt (53 visa free countries)
73 – Lebanon (44 visa free countries)

Check out the full list [Here]

Update: It seems they had made a mistake with Oman’s ranking, they’ve updated the list and Oman is now ranked 63 (54 visa free countries). Bahrain was also moved to position 57. Not sure if any other changes were made.

Thanks Musaed


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Bringing malls to the masses

Posted by Mark

marzouq

The Tamdeen chairman Mohammed Al Marzouq recently had an interview with Arabian Business where he mentions a few things that are interesting and a friend mine sent me a few highlights that I thought were interesting:

– Tamdeen are developing a new residential and retail project called Tamdeen Square which will be located near Messilah on the Fahaheel Expressway. 30 of the apartments have already been sold via hearsay. Mohammed Al Marzouq is betting on the fact that skyrocketing house prices, a huge waiting list for government-issued houses and their distance from the city centre means that many Kuwaitis will prefer the convenience of apartment life. The very talented AGI Architects are the designers behind Tamdeen Sqaure.

tamdeensquare

– Tamdeen is taking over development of the stalled tennis project next to 360 Mall and will be completing it as a “massive expansion” of 360 Mall that will include a 4000-seat stadium as the home of the Kuwait Tennis Federation.

– Al Manshar Mall was demolished a few years ago for redevelopment into a much larger, more modern new mall and will now be completed by 2017. The current Al Kout development on the waterfront [with the fountains] has been rebranded as Souq Al Kout while the land side one will simply be Al Kout Mall.

– Tamdeen was formerly working on a 160000-square meter project called the Mall of Kuwait in Sabahiya but then the global economy slipped and the project went dead, but apparently it’s back on.

Check out the full interview on Arabian Business [Here]

Thanks Khaled


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Kuwait Win of the Week: Meiagib Nasser Al-Dossary

Posted by Mark

mail

A reader posted the following story in the community forum and I figured I would share it here as is:

It was a routine day with a regular issue “I didn’t receive my registered mail”. I bought an item and that was shipping via registered mail from Singapore; status is showing that it has reached Kuwait on 10th of March and today was 24-March-2015.

During this gap from 10 to 24, I’ve been to Kaifan Central Post Office, Abu Halifa post office, KOC post office Ahmadi and Ahmadi Post office 3 Times.

Long story short either I was told to go to my area post office which is Ahmadi or simply “Maa Fi” and waived away. During my 3 visits to Ahmadi post office; I heard it a lot “Maa Fi” and few times that it didn’t came.

Luckily one day I was surfing net for any possible help or solution, I came to Ministry of Communication “Postal Sector” Site; on that page is a picture of Asst. Undersecretary and link to the site which is in Arabic and contains some basic info.

Site: http://moc.kw/English/post.html

Randomly I sent a text to Asst. undersecretary Engineer Meiagib Nasser Al-Dossary, and after 45 minutes I got a mobile call from Airport Post office, that guy asked my tracking number and found it in less than two minutes saying that “We received it back from your area Post Office” and you will receive it after 2 days from your own area.

I didn’t almost believed that, kind of shock that a mail I’m searching can be found so easily. I got a call from another guy and asked me same details and asked about problems I faced at area Post Office. I told him that they have found it at airport “returned”.

I believe all thanks to Mr. Meiagib Nasser Al-Dossary (Asst. Undersecretary). After those two calls, I got a call from him “sorry for delay and in future if I need any postal help I can contact him”; that felt very nice.

To check that further, I spread the word out of this help and asked my friends (who are also waiting for their registered mail) to contact him and results was again the same. He was helpful and guided them to write person.

I believe Mr. Meiagib is kind enough to let anyone contact him for help and solve the issues.

It surely can be one of the good things in Kuwait. I hope anyone get help from this incident.

I have a package that I need to pick up this week from the post office, should be routine but we’ll see how it goes.

Photo by Mathai


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