50 Days in Kuwait with Anna

Post by Mark

If you’re a regular at the coffee shop Arabica, you might have noticed an American barista working there a few months ago called Anna. She was here temporarily as part of a barista exchange program, and after she went back to Japan she wrote about her experiences in Kuwait. You can check out the quick Q&A [Here]


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Staged in Kuwait Auditions

Post by Mark

Staged in Kuwait, the local community theatre group are looking for singers and actors to take part in their upcoming productions over the next two months. Their auditions are very informal and friendly so if this is something you think you might be interested in, their first audition is this coming Tuesday. For more information, click [Here]


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Free Yacht Driving Courses

Post by Mark

It seems a lot of people who own/drive/borrow yachts in Kuwait have very basic understanding of how to boat and have no idea what do in case of emergencies, not to mention the basic principles of navigating and driving a boat. So to promote safety on the waters in Kuwait, Al Kout is launching Marsa Al Kout Boat School. The Boat School will be organized in partnership with Maritime Concept Sea School and International Yacht Training, and will provide internationally recognized power-boating and yachting courses for residents of Kuwait free of charge.

The first question I asked them once I got their email was if there was a catch and there isn’t. The school will run from September 17th to October 7th and be divided into four groups with a limited number of people per group. The first two groups already filled up and only the third and fourth groups still have available spots. The course is 12 hours long and divided across 3 lessons (2 theory and 1 practical on the boat). After the course the instructor asses you using a test, and if you pass you get certified.

To sign up or for more information, you can call Al Kout on 23930101.


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Niqashna – A Community Platform for Open Debates

Post by Mark

Niqashna is a platform for open debated that was launched early this year. In the first season they held three debates that discussed the following Kuwait related topics:

Debate 1: Arranged Marriage vs Love Marriage
Debate 2: Should children of Kuwaiti women be granted citizenship?
Debate 3: Kuwait’s Demographics: An imminent crisis or a potential opportunity

Niqashna is now starting their second season with their first debate being held this coming Wednesday. The subject of discussion is “Developing the Islands: Do you support ‘open’ tourism for Kuwait’s islands?”. It should prove to be a very interesting discussion, so if you’re interested in going to it, you can get more details [Here]

Also make sure you check out and follow the Niqashna instagram account @niqashna


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How to be an Instagram “Influencer” Overnight

Post by Mark

Want to be an instagram influencer? Nowadays buying fake followers, likes and even comments takes only a few clicks of a button. So when I read an article on fake influencers on mediakix last week, I thought it would be worth sharing since instagram influencers are a pretty big thing in Kuwait. The ability to buy followers and engagement so easily now is making it harder for brands to find authentic influencers to deal with which in return is effecting legit influencers as well.

To make things even more complicated, there are support groups of a sort that make it even harder for brands to figure out if the engagement is real or not. Say you want to be a travel blogger, you could join one of these “support groups” which include other travel bloggers and then whenever you post a picture the other travel bloggers will leave comments on your photos and you would do the same back whenever they post a picture.

What I found interesting about this specific article is how they used around $300 to create and build a fake instagram account, and then got brand sponsorship deals. So if the whole influencer situation facinates you, check out the article [Here]


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A Century of Kuwaiti Creativity

Post by Mark

moma

Selections, the bi-monthly cultural magazine posted a short article on Kuwait’s Modern Art Museum. One bit of information that caught my attention was the fact the building used to be an important school before, a fact I wasn’t aware of:

Interestingly, the museum is housed in one of Kuwait’s few pre-World War Two era buildings, an imposing former school that educated some of the country’s most prominent figures, including the current Emir Sheikh Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Today, the unique building is managed by the National Committee of Culture, Arts and Literature, which is responsible for maintaining the collection and permanent displays on site.

You can check out the full article on the Selections website [Here]

Thanks cognitoas


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Kuwait is One of the Fastest Growing Travel Destinations

Post by Mark

According to a recent article in The Telegraph, Kuwait is one of the top 20 fastest growing travel destinations in the world. The article doesn’t mention why or how that came to be, and I also couldn’t find their original source of data, so I don’t really have more more information other than the ranking. Kuwait was also the only Arab country to appear on the list which you can check out below:

The top 20 fastest growing travel destinations
1- Sierra Leone +310%
2- Nepal +39.7%
3- Iceland +39%
4- South Korea +30.3%
5- Moldova +28.6%
6- Chile +26%
7- Vietnam +24.6%
8- Japan +21.8%
9- Liechtenstein +21.7%
10- Kiribati +21.6%
11- Kuwait +20.7%
12- Madagascar +20%
13- Cyprus +19.8%
14- Georgia +19%
15- Turks & Caicos +17.5%
16- Cook Islands +17.1%
17- Slovakia +16.9%
18- Kenya +16.8%
19- Tanzania +15.6%
20- Indonesia +15.5%

For the full article click [Here]

Thanks Hind!


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Eidiya ATMs at Avenues

Post by Mark

The Central Bank has placed eight ATM machines around Avenues to dispense money for Eidiya’s. The ATM machines can dispense KD1 and KD5 notes in addition to the usual KD10 and KD20 notes. Four of the machines are located in Grand Avenue (pictured above) while the other four are located in the 2nd Avenue near H&M.

Distributing money (eidiya) to children during Eid is a popular tradition not just in Kuwait but throughout the Gulf.

Thanks LadyB!


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Gatwa W Gahwa, the First Cat Cafe in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Gatwa W Gahwa is a cat cafe thats soft launching this coming Saturday. They’re located in the basement of Galleria 2000 in Salmiya and they have around 10 cats which you can hang out and play with. The idea of a cat cafe isn’t new, I got to experience one around 5 years ago when I was in Japan, but this will be the first cat cafe in Kuwait and only the second in the region.

The price for spending time and playing with the cats is KD3.5 for half an hour or KD5 for an hour. They will be offering discounts for those who wish to stay longer and even a monthly membership for those who want to come in everyday. You’ll also be able to book the whole place for book readings or even cat yoga. I was there earlier today and the cats are super cute and really playful. I was pretty surprised at how beautiful some of the cats were, for some reason when I heard they were rescued cats I was expecting to find a cafe fill with street cats but instead all the cats I interacted with were so cute and fluffy.

They’re soft opening from this Saturday and their timings during Ramadan will be 12PM to 4PM and then 8PM to 12AM. After Ramadan their working hours will be 11AM to 10PM. They’ll also have an online reservation system up and running this weekend. For more information check out their instagram account @catcafeq8

PS: Remember Abdulai? He now works at the Cat Cafe!

Update: Their website and reservation system is now online [Here]


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Behind the Scenes of the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre

Post by Mark

The Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre is currently one of the largest cultural and science projects in the world and once complete will house four museums, Natural History, Science, Islamic and Space.

Construction of the museums was already completed and currently the exhibits are being fitted. As you can imagine, there is a lot of logistics that goes into a project of this magnitude. Here is an excerpt from a recent article on the museum fit-out specialist BECK who are working on this project:

On international projects, there is a greater demand for technology, the use of more demanding and higher materials specifications, higher density of exhibits to floor space, the need for continuous communication on every level and the need for staff to be on location 100 per cent of the time.

This is illustrated at the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salam Cultural Centre where one small area is a live rain forest with soil, irrigation and newly planted trees (combined with specially manufactured scenically created trees and plants), which all back up to a one million litre aquarium with acrylic panels that are 500mm thick to contain the water.

“We have more than 150 multi-media requirements and about 20 films to be shot. Because of the climate there are only really two months that you can film in Kuwait – January and February – to get a good quality image. So, if you have a two-year project you have four months to do all your filming. If you miss that slot you delay the project for a year.” [Source]

If you’re interested in reading more articles similar to that then here are a few you could go through, if you know of any more let me know about them:

BECK – international museum fit-out: breaking the boundaries of what’s possible
International museum fit-out – UK specialists taking on the world
The Hub – from UK blockbusters to mega projects abroad

The cultural centre is slated to open by the end of the year. For renderings and more information on the project, click [Here]


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