Kuwait Vision 2035 Film

Post by Mark

As promised, here is the video I spoke about yesterday morning on Kuwait’s vision for 2035. The video is pretty long at 23 minutes so if you want to skip to the interesting parts forward to minute 13:48. Just to give you an idea of how large Bubiyan Island is, Manhattan New York is 87 square kilometres while Bubiyan is 863 square kilometres. It’s literally ten times larger so you can imagine how wasted the space is right now.

Watching the video gives me the impression that fixing Kuwait is going to be such a difficult task that they decided it might be easier to just build a new Kuwait from scratch on Bubiyan. I’m curious to know if alcohol be legal on the islands? My guess it would have to be if they’re hoping to attract tourism. [YouTube]

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Kuwait Islands Project 2035

Post by Mark

island1

Yesterday the Amir was presented a video showing a proposed project for developing the Kuwaiti islands Boubyan, Failaka, Awha, Warba and Miskan. I watched the video late last night and I’m in complete awe. The video presentation is around 20 minutes long and showcases ideas on what could be done to our islands. It was pretty inspirational and really made me realize how lucky we are to have all these islands around us. But, it also made me realize how we are under utilizing the islands even though there is so much potential.

I don’t have permission to share the video just yet, I was told it should be launching officially sometime today so for now I’ll just share some screenshots below. I’ve already uploaded the video online so once I get the green light I’ll share it right away.

Read the rest of this entry »


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I finally got it, The Kuwait Urbanization

Post by Mark

kuwaiturbanization1

I’ve had my eye on this rare and hard to find book ever since I found out about it a few years ago. It’s by the architect and planner Saba Shiber who joined the Kuwait Ministry of Public Works in 1960. The book dates back to 1964 and lays out the plan by Saba for Kuwait’s urbanization. The book features his research, sketches, plans, photos and visions he had for Kuwait.

kuwaiturbanization2

A couple of weeks ago I miraculously managed to get my hands on a copy of the book for a ridiculously good deal. I had a saved search on eBay in case the book ever popped up and it did once or twice but the asking prices were ridiculous like KD300 or so. Not that it wasn’t a fair value but it was a lot more than what I wanted to pay. Then a few days before the new year a seller in France put up a hard cover version of the book for sale and the starting bid was just KD50! So I waited and waited and nobody was bidding on it so I finally came in last minute and picked it up myself for KD50. I couldn’t believe I scored such a great deal on the book. Shipping cost me KD14.5 with Aramex so overall I really feel like I got a steal. Best Christmas gift ever thats for sure.

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If you’re interested in the book I’ve previously typed out the preface written by Saba and published it [Here]. I also have a PDF version of the book (166MB) uploaded to my server and you can download that from [Here]


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Flammable Building Panels

Post by Mark

building

One of the theories behind why The Address fire in Dubai spread so quickly was because of the flammable exterior building panels. The panels are similar to the ones seen all over Kuwait on many skyscrapers and other buildings like Coops and Hospitals. I personally think the grey colored panels should be banned for esthetic reasons. They’re like white Toyota Corollas, practical and affordable but look bland and lack any kind of personality.

buildingpannels

Now, because of The Address fire I found out that theres even a better reason to ban them, they’re extremely flammable. According to the Daily Mail, the metal cladding has a very flammable plastic core and has been banned in the UK since 1980. In the UAE they were banned on new buildings in 2013 after a high-rise caught fire in 2012. So if its not for cosmetic reasons, I hope the panels get banned in Kuwait for safety reasons.

Update: Gizmodo have an article on this as well [Link]


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Visiting the Botanical Gardens

Post by Mark

botanical

Earlier this year I posted about how the Bayan Palace now has a Botanical Garden. Supposedly the gardens are open to the public on Thursdays after 4PM but you’re required to get permission to visit them. Does anyone have more details on this or know how to get permission?


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Tour the New Al Jahra Hospital

Post by Mark

This video was uploaded back in April but I just saw it now. It looks ginormous. The new hospital should be completed by 2018. [YouTube]

jahrahospital

Thanks lovelykuwait


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Kuwait to ban expats aged over 50

Post by Mark

happykuwait

Expats in Kuwait aged over 50 will be forced to leave the country under a new measure announced to reduce the number of foreign workers, Arabic daily Al Anba reported.

The age limit would apply to people working for the Kuwaiti government and in professions where vacancies can be filled by Kuwaitis.

It would be implemented from March 1 and cover all nationalities, a government source reportedly said. [Source]

Based on the wording of the article this doesn’t seem like a proposal but instead something that has already gotten an approval. Damn.

But, keep in mind Arabian Business aren’t really a reliable source and have a habit of making shit up. I mean they mention an Al Anba report in their article yet link to Arab Times…


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Do you tip?

Post by Mark

Out of curiosity do you guys leave tips at restaurants? Someone on reddit was asking for info on Kuwait because he was planning to move here and a person replied with a few pointers with one being that tipping isn’t something we do in Kuwait. I hope thats not true.

I tend to tip anywhere between 10-20% depending on the quality of service. It’s obviously not mandatory but the salaries of waiters in Kuwait (and anywhere else for that matter) isn’t very high so most live off the tips. The tips are also generally shared amongst the staff so that way the chefs in the kitchen also get a cut from the tip pool. So if you aren’t tipping you really should be.


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November Cat Adoption Campaign at K’s PATH

Post by Patrick

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Ever since I was a kid, I loved having a pet. I’ve had a turtle, rabbits, birds and a dog (not all at once thankfully). Ever since getting married my wife and I have been debating whether or not we should bring a pet into our family. Problem was, my wife loves cats and I was never a cat person, I love dogs. My opinions of cats were pretty generalized. They’re independent, have an attitude and just aren’t really affectionate (at least not as much as dogs). But, owning a dog would have been challenging because of our work schedule among other annoyances (like walking a dog in the heat). So I decided to research different cat breeds and discovered that even though cats can’t be as affectionate as dogs, they can still be loving and they can still be great companions, but only if you pick the right breed for you.

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Last week, as chance would have it, K’s PATH posted a picture on Instagram of a lovely Balinese kitten. Balinese cats are related to the Siamese and they’re similar in temperament and in looks. They’re also Hypoallergenic which means they’re good cats to own if you have allergies to them (like both my wife and I do). The Balinese are also very vocal and love to communicate with their owners, they’re friendly and don’t mind having anyone petting them or playing with them. And even though they are independent to a certain degree, Balinese enjoy chilling on the couch with their owners.

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So the next day after seeing the Instagram post I called K’s Path. The process for adopting a cat from them is pretty extensive, but simple. You book an appointment for an interview at their facilities in the morning from 10AM to 1PM either on Wednesday, Friday or Saturdays. The entire family (or whoever is going to interact with the cat extensively) has to go. So I made an appointment and my wife and I drove up there Friday morning. The drive was pretty long, about an hour or so from where we live in Salwa. Once we got there we were met by friendly staff and their offices are pretty laid back with cats relaxing or playing out in the open. We were interviewed for about 30 minutes and asked various questions from our history with pets, what kind of environment our house is like, if we have any knowledge on raising cats and so on. Once we were done with the interview, we were taken to a room with the Balinese kitten. They do this to make sure that the kitten would interact well with us and to make sure that it’s the kitten we actually wanted. The Balinese was sharing a room with a couple of other kittens and we got the chance to play around with all of them and even though I nearly picked a different kitten, we were certain we wanted the Balinese.

Once we were done with that room we went back to the interview room to finish up the process. Normally the charge to adopt a cat is KD35, which includes vaccinations, neutering, and a microchip. But if you adopt a cat in November, the fee is just KD10 and if you don’t bring an animal carrier, K’s PATH would supply you with a used one for an extra charge of KD5.

So if you were ever on the fence about owning a cat, pay them a visit this month. I’m absolutely in love with the kitten we got (named him Link, duh) and couldn’t be happier.

Visit the K’s PATH website or instagram account for more information.

Posted by Patrick


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Inside the Kuwait Pavilion – Expo Milano 2015

Post by Mark

I had been hearing a lot of great things all summer long on the Kuwait Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 and I just got to see what all the fuss was about with the video above. It looks beautiful and really tastefully done. By the end of the expo over 1.5 million people had gone through the pavilion and it had been nominated for various awards including the most beautiful pavilion. [Video]

pavilion


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