New Sultan Center Locations

Posted by Mark


Sultan Center seems to be expanding since they recently opened their Promenade Mall location in Hawali and now they’ve got two more locations opening up. The one above is at the Alfa gas station on the Gulf Road next to Shaab Park. That location has been empty ever since Alfa took over that gas station years ago and it seems Sultan Center have now taken it over and are opening an “Express” location there.


The second location they’re opening up is a pretty surprising one, they’re opening in Bneid Al Gar in the Massaleh Towers. I say surprising because the other than the Massaleh Towers, the area around them is pretty ghetto.

Thanks Jamal & Patrick

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No More Volumetric Weight with MyUS

Posted by Mark


Just an FYI for those of you who use mail forwarding companies to ship items from the States. MyUS which I’ve previously posted about [Here] now no longer calculate volumetric weight, instead they calculate the cost of your shipment based on actual weight. What this means is you now pay a lot cheaper for shipping since if your box is huge or tiny it doesn’t matter anymore. [Link]

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Lulu Hypermarket Now Online

Posted by Mark


A reader just emailed me letting me know that LuLu now have an online web store. I just checked it out and sadly their food and household products sections are still under construction and the majority items that are online are electronics. We don’t need another online electronics store, what we need is a proper online grocery store similar to Taw9eel but with more products.

Thanks Donny

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Best Online Store in Kuwait 2015

Posted by Mark



Man, do you ever wonder whether you’ve become a misanthrope because of the internet or the internet just feeds your misanthropy? Do you ever wonder what ‘misanthrope’ means? (if so, you’re the reason misanthropes exist).

These days I’m so lazy or unwilling to physically see other humans that not only will I not go to a restaurant to eat, I won’t even pick it up to take home. Not only am I unwilling to pick it up, but I’m also unwilling to get out of my car. Not only am I unwilling to get out of my car, but now, I’m also unwilling to speak to another human on the phone. I exaggerate of course, but not much.

And that’s why, the greatest website/app in the entire middle east is Talabat. Oh heavens, what a convenient little bastard you are. Somehow, some tenacious person convinced various restaurants to outsource online ordering to their website. And I’m sure some had reservations about doing it too. Among my circle of friends, we talk about new restaurants on Talabat as though we had actually been there without having to actually be there. So successful was this enterprise that it had been sold for what we in the FU industry call FU-money. Nary a week goes by without some restaurant relenting and joining this Khaleeji monolith. In my eyes, there is no competitor.

Of course, it’s not without its faults. Namely there are some crap restaurants with crap names and crap descriptions of their food (sandwish anyone?). But these are outweighed by the review section, which I frequently read not for actual reviews from people whose opinions are valuable, but rather for the hilarity of their review.

For example, “The food tastes disgusting and is not what the meal is supposed to taste like. Delivery took too long. Small portions. It just was terrible. 3 stars”. THREE STARS!!! AND THE FOOD WAS DISGUSTING BAHAHAHAHAH.

Or my personal favourite (translated), “the delivery was late. The burgers were cold. Totally unpleasant. 5 stars.” Hilarious.

Runner up:
The other day, I wanted to buy Batman Arkham Knight, conveniently checked the price online and conveniently bought it from PSN. THREE DAYS LATER the download finished. Very inconvenient. I could have just gone online and bought it from Blink. And replaced my toaster and bought some cups and wax for the car. But I didn’t, instead I had three days of disappointment, untoasted bread and an unwaxed car.

Shoutout to for having a website so slow, you’d think the server is on the bloody moon.


Once you get beyond the first page, I think the website looks ugly and outdated. But, there is no denying that Talabat is the most successful online business in Kuwait and they’ve got KD50,000,000 to prove it.

Runner up:
The runner up really should be since their website looks a ton better than Blinks and they have much more products. But, I just find Xcite more intimidating to use and I’ve run into the oddest issues with them. Did you know up until a few weeks ago you couldn’t even browse their website from your phone. If you tried to you would get a message forcing you to download their app. They weren’t recommending you to use their app which is a common practice but instead they completely lock you out from their website if you were browsing from your mobile phone. So stupid. Thankfully after I complained about how ridiculous that was, they now allow you to browse their site from your phone. If you’re wondering why I don’t use their app instead, well I used to but then one day when I wanted to buy something I had to create an account which is fine but they started asking me what my nationality was and if I was married or not. I couldn’t tell if those questions were mandatory or not to answer so I just ended up filling all the fields with dummy information and created a fake account to try it out. Turns out the personal questions were not mandatory to answer, but then I ran into another problem. Once you create an account with their app you can’t log out and create another one. So now I permanently get greeted by the app as “Hello Jdjdjd Jdjdjd”. I should probably delete it and reinstall it but I’m just too lazy to do so.

Blink on the other hand, although the website is ugly as shit is actually easier to use and find stuff plus their prices are mostly cheaper in my experience. I think it’s probably easier to use because when you land at the website they ask you which section you want to browse. So if you click on video games you end up in their video game section with all the product highlights and side bar sections being gaming related. On Xcite you have to dig deep for whatever you want. I generally use Blink for two things mainly, buying iTunes cards or buying video games. They seem to have ridiculously good deals every now and then and even when they don’t their prices generally reflect Hawalli prices (ie cheapest market prices) without having to go to Hawalli myself and get it. Convenient.

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Best Shopping Mall in Kuwait 2015

Posted by Mark




Winner: The Avenues (anytime before you and your friends show up)
I often amuse myself by thinking of Kuwait in different ages. For example, the technique boys and girls would use to secretly flirt in recent history (BB, bluetooth, throwing your number at another human being, high-risk chase with the intention of shouting at your future wife from your car into her car); but more often, I like to split it up into the Ages of Malls. There was The Age of Fanar, followed by The Age of Sharq, followed by The Age of Marina. The age before Fanar was only darkness but today we’re in The Age of Avenues. And sure, 360 is trying, but meh, who cares? The interesting thing about Avenues is that because of it’s massive size, it kept opening new phases years after the first phase and overcame this…mall-ecular stagnation.

And my goodness, what a goddamn mall it is. It has literally everything you could ever need/want. When people visit Kuwait from the west, I always end up taking them to Avenues. We’ve reduced all of western consumerism and fitted it into this outdoor shopaholic theme park with a roof over it. That’s craziness.

But I’ll be honest with you, I’m a guy who goes to the mall with shit to do. All business. I do it and leave. I don’t do the zombie shuffle like a lethargic dancer in Thriller. In fact, when I’m swiftly moving from one end of the goddamn mall to the other goddamn side, and you and your possé are all dressed thematically the same, standing shoulder to shoulder forming some sort of slow moving linear amoeba, I imagine kicking each one of you off a cliff. You’d probably fall slow just to annoy the bitch out of me.

Which is why I cannot strongly advocate more, going to the mall on a morning. Before people show up. Minimum stabbing risk. Plenty of parking, plenty of room to quickly get errands done and restock of the plenty of supplies I need to keep myself from the public, plenty plenty plenty and what better good do you expect from a mall than plenty of plenty.

Avenues Tip:
Less this (Link)
More this (Link)

Runner up: 360 Mall
How could anyone not like 360 mall? It’s never got traffic on the way there and if you can survive parking somewhere, it has probably the most worthwhile unique places in kuwait (not original unique, but single-location unique). It has some good shops. It has some great restaurants I like eating at. It has a great Nespresso store I drink at for free by acting like i’m going to buy a sleeve or two before feeling guilty and buying a sleeve or two. And it’s close to my friend Aziz Humaidhi’s house. Aziz you scumbag, call me man.


Winner: The Avenues
The winner for this category was an easy one and not because the other malls suck (obviously many do) but because Avenues is so way ahead of everything else. It’s a place I also take tourists even though I personally hate going to malls when I travel. I hate malls everywhere actually, except in Kuwait. What I think really makes Avenues special though is the beautiful Grand Avenues. Like Nima I tend to go to the malls when I need something but I actually enjoy going to Grand Avenues to just walk around and window shop. Occasionally I’ll also sit at Veranda and have tea with a friend while watching the same people go up and down over and over. I don’t like Phase I or II on the other hand, they look like any other mall and I tend to refer to them as the ghetto cuz really thats what they are compared to Grand Avenues. Prestige I don’t even think anyone ever goes there and the old souk area is usually filled by people you never see in the other phases. But thats also what makes Avenues so great, it’s so big and the sections are so different, there is something for everyone. It’s a modern day landmark for Kuwait.

Runner up: Marina Crescent (on a Friday morning when the weather is great)
I love Marina Crescent on Friday mornings, it gets packed with people all outdoor enjoying the beautiful weather and having breakfast. It doesn’t feel like you’re in Kuwait and mostly because we spend all year round avoiding the outdoor weather. The rest of the mall isn’t special, it used to be when they used to open the roofs but now its just bleh.

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Vetrina App

Posted by Mark


Vetrina is a new app that was launched just over a week ago and it’s basically a Kuwait instagram shop directory. Since there are a ton of instagram accounts selling products in Kuwait, it makes it difficult to find what you’re looking for especially since there is no proper search feature built into instagram (People shouldn’t really be selling stuff on instagram anyway, they should have an online store but that’s another subject for another day). What Vetrina does is take all these instagram shops and organizes them in categories making it easy to find what you want. It’s pretty cool but one annoying aspect is that none of the products I looked at had their prices listed, instead it just said “Ask For Price”. That automatically kills the impulse buy factor for me.

The app just launched so I’m sure the price issue will probably be resolved further down the line. The app is available for iPhone and Android devices and you can check out their website for more details [Link]

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Best Local Store 2015

Posted by Mark



Winner: Good Game
I’ve been seeing a lot of party games at gatherings in recent years. There was Monopoly Deal for a while and then the more entertaining Kuwaiti knockoff. I’m sure a lot of you have heard of Cards Against Humanity, the fart joke of the party game market. Garbage. I seriously can’t stand that game. It’s like watching a compilation of “thats what she said” jokes.

So what better opportunity to tell you about Good Game, a shop in Sanabil Tower specialising in all types of tabletop games. If it has dice, a board, cards, figures or any combination of them, chances are they sell it there. They have an absurd collection of games fillings their walls with varying degrees of difficulty and complexity, they have something for everyone, nerd or non-nerd alike.

The place is great. Everyone who works in the shop has played nearly if not every game and are able to answer questions or recommend a game based what you tell them you like. I love that it became the light to which all nerds in kuwait fluttered. The place is more than a shop, it’s become something more than that. It’s become a community.

Runner up: Orchidaceae
On Mr. Mark’s recommendation, I went to Orchidaceae a few months ago to get flowers for my wife (for my cat to nibble to pieces). It is hidden away in the reinhabited industrial MadMax wasteland that is Shuwaikh. Great design, the staff know their business and they aren’t quick to recommend things they know are impractical. Surprisingly affordable insta-class.


Winner: Good Game
First full disclosure, the owner of Good Game is a really good friend of mine as well as Nima. Actually, the first time I met the owner is when Nima invited me over to play the Game of Thrones board game with him and a couple of other people around two years back (what a complicated board game that was, I still don’t understand it). The owner loves board games, like REALLY loves them which is why he opened up Good Game in the first place. What I love about the shop and the reason I chose it as a winner is the fact that it has become more than just a place where you go and buy stuff. Anyone with money can open a store but what Good Game has done is create a wonderful community. Pass by anytime during the evening and you’ll find a group of guys sitting in the store playing board games, if you pass by on weekends it’s even more packed. The shop has created a space where people into board games can go socialize and pass time. In a place like Kuwait where we’re always looking for something to do, Good Game is a treasure.

Runner up: Pet Zone
If it wasn’t for the community aspect of Good Game I personally would have chosen Pet Zone as the winner. We really are lucky to have a pet shop this huge here in Kuwait especially considering dogs aren’t really loved over here. If you have a pet and you’ve never been to Pet Zone in Shuwaikh then please make sure you do.

Location: Good Game is located in Al-Sanabil Tower in Sharq, on Mezzanine 2. Here is the location on [Google Maps]

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New Renderings of Avenues Phase 4 and Map

Posted by Mark


I managed to get a hold of some new renderings of Avenues Phase 4 from the marketing department at Avenues as well as a map to help visualize where everything will be located.

You can download the hires version of two maps [Here] and [Here]

I’ve already posted some renderings before but they sent me new ones I hadn’t seen before so I’m sharing them all below along with a little snippet of information which they had emailed me. Based on the map it looks Avenues will be around 20% larger than it’s current state once the final phase is completed.

Avenues Phase IV includes expansions of existing districts that have been highly popular with visitors, including Prestige, Grand Avenue and The Souk. New districts with modern and diverse concepts will also be included to build on the shopping and entertainment experience. The new districts include Arcadia, The Grand Plaza, The Forum, Electra and The Cinema, as well as a five star hotel and another four star hotel.

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Avenues Phase 4 Updates

Posted by Mark

The Mabanee 2014 annual report recently got released and with it some updated information on the Avenues Phase 4 project:

– There will be two hotels not one, a five-star hotel and a four-star hotel
– The final new districts are: Arcadia, Electra, The Forum, The Grand Plaza and The Cinema
– Grand Avenue, Prestige and the Souk will all be expanded as well
– The new opening has been pushed back to the first quarter of 2018

Mabanee, the mall’s owning company is also building The Avenues Riyadh, The Avenues Khobar and The Avenues Bahrain. The total Phase 4 expansion will be adding 400 new stores to the Avenues, taking the total up to approximately 1200 stores. I honestly have no idea what else is still left to open, we pretty much have everything already as it is.

Check out my previous posts on the Avenues Phase 4 [Here]

Thanks Khaled

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Opt-Out of SMS Ads

Posted by Mark


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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