Arby’s Coming to Kuwait This Year

Post by Mark

arbys

Restaurant group Arby’s is reportedly planning to open 25 locations in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia over the next seven years in its first international expansion since 2010.

The Middle East locations will be owned and operated by Johnny Rockets regional franchise owner Kharafi Global, Arby’s chief executive Paul Brown told Bloomberg. The first is expected to open in Kuwait this year. [Source]

A&W
Arby’s
Chick-fil-A
In-N-Out
Wendy’s

My wish list is getting shorter.


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How I Became a Slave in Kuwait

Post by Mark

welcometokuwait

On landing in Kuwait, immigration officials confiscated her documents, along with those of all the other women.

The moment the immigration officials saw that I had a domestic work visa, they took away my passport and I was taken to a room where dozens of other girls were locked up.

They spent the night without food, water or blankets amid the wintry temperatures. Though gravely uneasy, she tried to comfort herself with thoughts that things would be better in the morning.

I was released the following morning when a lady by the name Hanan who introduced herself as our employment agent came to pick us up.

A clickbait title and a story is one we’ve heard over and over, but one thing caught my interest in the article and it’s the paragraph above. Why are immigration officials confiscating the passports of domestic workers and then locking them up in rooms overnight without food and water? I find it disturbing because it gives the impressions that the local authorities condone this trade.

Here is a link to the article and full story [Link]


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Bachelors in Salmiya Block 12 Forced to Leave

Post by Mark

block12

Responding to complaints filed by citizens living in block 12 in Salmiya concerning being surrounded by ‘bachelors,’ the municipality recently launched a campaign in the area, giving bachelors three-day eviction ultimatums before disconnecting electricity as instructed by municipality director Ahmad Al-Manfouhi.

Head of the inspection team Ritadh Al-Rabee’ said that the team distributed 20 warning notices to house inhabited by bachelors and said that electricity would be disconnected and owners would be fined. He added that once the ultimatum is over, the municipality teams would be escorted by a police force to evict residents. “The law will be equally applied to everyone without any wasta,” he stressed, noting that if any officials intervene, their names and positions would be reported to the municipality director. [Source]

This doesn’t make any sense at all plus is really unfair and then to top it off they’re giving them just 3 days to move out? WTF?


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KTV and Chill

Post by Mark

The daily said in less than one week following the suspension of two presenters Ghada Al-Sarraj and Bedour Sadek due to heated argument between them on air in front of guest during the live program Sabah Al-Khair Ya Kuwait (Good Morning Kuwait) on KTV 1, another decision has been issued to suspend two other presenters Masha’al Al-Zinkawi and Ahmed Al-Wasmi following a controversial dialogue between them while on air during the Masa’a Al-Khair Ya Kuwait (Good Evening Kuwait) last Sunday. [Source]

The “heated argument” in question that got Ghada and Bedour suspended is posted above. I can’t believe that got them suspended, I wouldn’t have even given them a slap on the wrist. If anything that was probably the most entertaining thing to happen on KTV since WWE fighter Big Van Vader attacked a KTV anchor live on air.

ktv


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Airport Employees Should be Banned from Using their Phones

Post by Mark

MP Yousef Al-Zalzalah strongly criticized the passport counter staff at Kuwait International Airport, saying that their behavior with arriving passengers is very ‘reckless’.

Zalzalah also suggested that MoI should send these employees to get training courses at Dubai airport on how to deal with the public and passengers. “The airport is visitors’ first encounter of Kuwait and they should get a first impression that they are in a hospitable country,” he said, noting that contrarily, airport passport clerks seem to insist on giving a very bad impression about Kuwait with the way they deal with passengers.

Zalzalah also suggested that these employees should be banned from using their mobile phones on duty, because according to him, 95 percent of these employees’ time was spent on mobile phones while they only spend five percent of their working hours actually doing their jobs. [Source]

Is there anyone that hasn’t yet complained about the immigration officers? Yet nothing seems to be getting done about it.


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Kuwait to test tourists’ DNA before letting them in

Post by Mark

Kuwait is taking homeland security to new heights — or, as some see it — new lows.

Later this year, the Persian Gulf nation will require its citizens, temporary residents and tourists to submit DNA samples to a $400 million security database.

Kuwait’s National Assembly passed the law in July, a month after an ISIS suicide bomber killed 27 people and injured 227 in the country’s capital.
“We are prepared to approve anything needed to boost security measures in the country,” Jamal al-Omar, a parliament member, told Agence France-Presse.

The government will collect saliva and blood samples from anyone living there. Tourists will have to submit their own samples before entering the country.

Disobeying the law will cost you. Those who refuse to provide samples can face up to a year in jail and a $33,000 fine; falsifying DNA samples will result in seven years behind bars.

While the Kuwait’s department of criminal evidence insists that the database won’t affect personal freedoms, the law has sparked outrage. Some travelers tweeted that they won’t be returning to the country anytime soon. [Source]

This is going to be great for the local tourism industry.

Update: Newsweek has also posted about this [Here]

Visitors to Kuwait will also have to provide DNA samples to the government. When arriving by plane, visitors will stop at a center at Kuwait International Airport to have their DNA sample taken. Bruce Schneier, a prominent American privacy and cybersecurity specialist, says that the collection will likely be a standard cheek swab.

For citizens, the Kuwaiti government will have mobile centers to collect samples. Anyone faking the DNA samples faces up to a maximum seven years in prison.


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No More Minimum Order Amount for Delivery

Post by Mark

minimumorder

A new policy was introduced this month by the Ministry of Commerce stipulating that restaurants can no longer have a minimum order amount for delivery. They’ve also added that delivery charges can also not exceed 250fils if the delivery location is within the restaurants area and 500fils if outside it.

I know from a friend of mine who has a business that they’re not too happy about the change but from a consumer point of view this seems like good news. Talabat has already started contacting all the restaurants letting them know of this change but a lot still have a “Minimum Order Amount” in place. According to Talabat “it will take a considerable amount of time for the remaining restaurants to adhere to this new regulation.”

I rarely order delivery so not sure how bad the charges are or the minimum order amounts but I’m assuming they must have been ridiculous for them to create this new policy. I tried to find an English (or Arabic) source for this news but I couldn’t so if you find one let me know so I can link to it.


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Ooredoo Buying Fasttelco

Post by Mark

ooredoofasttelco

I just received an internal Fasstelco memo (which I can’t share) announcing that Ooredoo will be purchasing 100% of their shares. The memo doesn’t go into much detail on what will become of Fasttelco, if they will continue to be run as a separate entity and keep their brand or if they’ll be merged under Ooredoo which is what I think will most likely happen.

Ooredoo customers are probably going to benefit the most out of this since to my understanding all the telecom operators get their internet from the internet providers. By becoming an internet provider themselves, they can reduce their costs or offer more speed and bandwidth for the same price. Ooredoo just became a lot more interesting.


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Sawaber to be Demolished Soon

Post by Mark

sawabar

I just found out via Kuwait Times that the Sawaber complexes are being prepared for demolition soon. I think I’m more sad about Sawaber getting demolished than I am about Bayt Lothan. Why demolish the buildings instead of restoring them? They’re beautiful buildings, with huge apartments (295 square meters), lots of outdoor space and most importantly, they’re located right in the heart of the city. I’d love to live there and I’m sure many others would as well.

You can check out the article on Kuwait Times [Here], but if you’re looking for an interesting historical read on Sawaber, check out this research paper called “The Destruction of Modernist Heritage: The Myth of Al-Sawaber” by Asseel Al-Ragam [PDF]


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Mail to be Privatized

Post by Mark

Ministry of Communications (MOC) prepares to undergo the largest privatization process in its history after a proposal has been already made to privatize the mail sector, long distance calls and landlines and their infrastructure, Undersecretary Hameed Al-Qattan said. Qattan added that the once established, the Telecom and Information Technology Authority would be responsible for offering those services for privatization.

Once those projects see the light, the MOC would only be responsible for marine transportations, he said. [Source]

I hope this means we’ll finally have a proper mail service.


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