Opt-Out of SMS Ads

Posted by Mark

teavana

I’m not a big fan of SMS ads because brands subscribe to them without my permission and there never seems to be a way to unsubscribe from them. Two days ago I got an SMS ad from Teavana, one of the only brands I don’t mind getting ads from since one time their ad was like come by and pick up 100g of free tea (which I did). But, in their latest ad I noticed they’ve now added an “opt-out” option at the end. I’m not going to opt-out of their SMS’s but I think every brand should have this option since it’s so much more professional and as a consumer, I don’t end up hating a brand because of their spam (I’m looking at you BMW). I’ll be filing this under Kuwait win of the week.


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Sneak Peek: Al Shaheed Park

Posted by Mark

shaheedtop

Last week I posted a link to an article on Al Shaheed Park which contained beautiful photos as well as a bit of information on the park. Well on Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited for a walk-around tour of the park which still hasn’t opened to the public and I have to say, it’s as impressive as the pictures made it out to be.

In this post I’m going to try and share some information that I think hasn’t been shared yet anywhere as well as answering some questions some readers asked under my previous post. First here is a photo from the park map listing all the different spaces:

map

The primary areas of the park are the two museums, the Habitat Museum and the Remembrance Museum. The Habitat Museum will house information on Kuwait’s environment, animals, birds, vegetation and weather, while the Remembrance Museum will house an interactive exhibit on the historical battles of Kuwait and the Gulf War. There are a bunch of other sections as well which are also important.

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The Aviary for example is a large open enclosure for the birds, mostly migratory ones. There is a very modern and beautiful mosque located in the park. There is a 3KM cushioned jogging track that goes all around the park. There is a large lake that is used to irrigate the whole park. There is a flag pole which will replace the one that used to be in Kuwait City near the Sheraton roundabout. There is a community garden and a bunch of restaurants and cafes all around the park. There is also a two storey underground parking which will be used by the park visitors and Al Tijaria Tower across the street.

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As of this post they hadn’t finalized how the park will function. By that I mean they’re not sure if it should be an open to everyone no entrance fee public park like a park should be or a park with some sort of entrance fee, or maybe a park with no entrance fee but a very controlled environment. If the choice was left up to me I’d probably go with the no entrance option but with a VERY VERY controlled environment with lots of security cameras and security guards everywhere. Why? Here’s why…

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Al Shaheed Park is beautiful in person as it is in those wonderful photos that were posted on ArchDaily. It’s also a very fragile park with glass railings everywhere, glass windows all over the place and there are even very thin and pretty lights that look like flowers all around the park. Basically it’s a place that can easily be vandalized. Now there will be guides at the park who will take people around to see the various spaces and museums, they’ve also recently decided to triple the amount of security at the park and there will also be supervisors stationed there. But will that be enough? I’m not sure and neither are they. For now they’re going to be opening the park to the public with no entrance fee and little control so they could see what will happen. If everything remains civil then they’ll keep it that way, if all hell breaks loose then they’ll consider alternative options.

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One area of the park which I think could be a big hit are the restaurants and cafes. Right now they don’t have any operators and there is a tender taking place but if the right brands take over these restaurants and cafes then I think the park could be even a bigger hit. Some the restaurant spaces looked a bit casual, others a bit more formal but all looked fantastic.

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I asked about the maintenance of the park since the majority of the government projects when completed end up falling apart years later. They assured me that they’ve signed a maintenance contract and if anything breaks or if a light goes out it will get replaced right away.

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Although the exterior of the buildings look great I thought the interiors looked even better, or at least if you’re like me and think retro is cool. I fell in love with some of the furniture and if the security doesn’t end up being so tight I might end up leaving the park with two chairs, a table and a lamp. So take note park people, tighten up the security detail.

When is the park opening? Very soon. They didn’t want to give me an exact date since they’re currently doing some minor fixes to the park but what I understood is that its probably going to open sometime next month but don’t take my word for it.

Anyway this is the information I thought was interesting to share but if you have any questions let me know below and I’ll try to answer it myself or have someone connected to the park answer it. Also I like to point out again that if you haven’t checked the ArchDaily post already then do so for much nicer photos.

Finally if you’re Kuwaiti, bilingual and are aged between 18 and 30 then you can apply to be a tour guide at the park [Here]


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Al Shaheed Park by Ricardo Camacho

Posted by Mark

shaheedpark1

Portuguese architect Ricardo Camacho and the popular architecture website ArchDaily have put together an intellectual expose on how the new Al Shaheed Park was conceptualized. Ricardo is the architect behind Al Shaheed Park and although I have yet to see it in person, based on the photos on ArchDaily I am already head over heels in love.

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This has to be the most beautiful place in Kuwait at the moment, it just looks so stunning. In the article Ricardo takes us on a tour of the park explaining all the elements and buildings but even if you don’t want to read you can still enjoy flipping through all the photos.

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Also someone needs to tell the people at Al Tijaria Tower across the street that the huge advert on the side of their building has turned their building into an eyesore. Someone should also put Ricardo in charge of all of Kuwait City including the new Kuwait Airways building. Anyway check out the article and photos on Al Shaheed Park [Here]


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New Luxury Outlet Mall and More

Posted by Mark

Yesterday during a press conference Tamdeen, the group behind 360 Mall, Al Kout and Fanar announced a new large scale project in Khiran. Tamdeen Group owns a massive block of land in Khiran which they’re planning to develop as:



– Kuwait’s first luxury outlet mall
– Two high-rise residential towers
– One furnished apartments tower
– A five-star resort with an internationally branded spa
– A marina to house over 900 boats (largest in Kuwait)
– Outdoor space



Tamdeen have tapped RTKL, the same architects behind 360, for this project. No completion date announced yet but they’ve released photos of the project which I’ve attached to this post.



I think the idea of a luxury outlet mall is fantastic, as well as the five star resort since we don’t have anything like it at the moment. Check out the press release [Here]

Thanks Khaled


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Mishwarna by LOYAC

Posted by Mark

“Mishwarna” is a new weekly YouTube show produced by LOYAC and hosted by two of their interns. The show is all about finding new and interesting things around Kuwait and sharing their discoveries with their viewers. They upload a new episode every Thursday and the one above is their third. If you like the show then you’ll have to subscribe to their YouTube channel to be notified on new episodes. [YouTube]

loyac


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Abandoned Zoo Project

Posted by Mark

abandonedzoo

There is this huge compound off the 6th Ring Road that has always captured my attention as I drove by it. The compound is surrounded by a wooden fence resembling something you’d see in Games of Thrones with watch towers every 50 meters or so. I finally decided to get a closer look but once I approached I noticed signs all over the fence warning people of electrocution and that they were being monitored by security cameras.

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I drove around the compound but couldn’t find a way in so I resorted to just snapping photos from the outside and through whatever holes I could find in the fence.

While driving around the compound I ran into some workers in a lot next door and according to them it’s an abandoned zoo project. If anyone has any information on this let me know. Here is the location on [Google Maps]


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Tour of Al Shaheed Park

Posted by Mark

The Al Shaheed Park renovation in Kuwait City has been completed and the park is getting ready to open up any day now. The video above gives a small glimpse of the renovated park that will now contain a museum, a memorial and 800 underground parking spaces. The Al Shaheed Park project was commissioned by the Amiri Diwan who are also behind the new Kuwait Cultural Center, Shaab Museums and Al Jahra Hospital. [YouTube]

via Frankom

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The Talabat Story

Posted by Mark

hungry

Last week the local food delivery company Talabat was sold for KD50,000,000 making it the largest purchase of an internet company in the Middle East to date. I think everyone (including me) was shocked with the acquisition, at least with the price it got sold for so I thought I would share an interesting article that talks about the sale as well as how Talabat started. Check it out [Here]


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Inside the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre

Posted by Mark

Back in May of last year I shared renderings of the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre that’s currently under construction in Kuwait City where the flag square used to be. The cultural centre will include theatres, concert halls, cinemas, conference and exhibition halls, a library archive and a public park.

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Previously I had only seen external photos of the building but a reader made me aware that SSH, the architecture and engineering firm working on the project have now published internal shots of the centre.

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Another bit of information I also just found out is that the cultural centre will have at least 9 theaters of which 8 are indoor and 1 outdoor. Of the 9 theaters, the larges one will be able to hold 2,000 people while the smallest up to 200.

theater3

I haven’t shared all the photos here just a few but if you want to see photos of all the theaters click [Here]


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Guy Digs Hole Finds Tank

Posted by Mark

burriedtank

A citizen was digging a hole in Jaber Al-Ahmad area when he ended up finding a buried tank! Makes me wonder how much remnants of the Gulf War is still out there… Just last year we found a rusted bullet belt filled with ammunition on the roof of my building while changing the location of my WiMD receiver. [Link]

Update: According to a few readers, the instagram source is incorrect and the tank was actually found while excavating an oil field in the desert.


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