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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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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Order Groceries Online with Saveco

Posted by Mark


A friend made me aware you can order groceries online from Saveco supermarket. At the moment they only have their Tesco products and the website isn’t that great really but I guess you have to start from somewhere. Actually, I take that back, you either do something right or you don’t and right now I don’t know why Saveco has bothered with an online website if it only includes a tiny fraction of their products and just one brand. [Link]

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LuLu Hypermarket Salmiya Now Open

Posted by Mark


Lulu Hypermarket opened up their Salmiya location this weekend and I passed by last night to check it out. I have to say, opening up Lulu in the new Al Salam Mall had to be the worst idea in the world and I’ll tell you why.

The Lulu in Qurain has a parking lot the size of 6 football fields and it’s always packed. Same with the Lulu in Al Rai which has parking in front, on the side and a super huge parking lot in the back the size of 4 football fields. Their Salmiya location has a parking lot that is too tiny for the mall itself to begin with yet alone a mall with Lulu in it. The whole are around the mall is now jam packed with cars parked in every conceivable spot be it in the middle of the main road or on top of sidewalks. The traffic around the mall has also increased considerably and there are now traffic jams where there rarely used to be any cars before. The ridiculous part is there used to be a multistory parking lot behind the mall but for some reason they decided to demolish it.

The other issue is the amount of people who want to shop at this Lulu. When I went yesterday you literally couldn’t shop. I was without a trolley walking around and I had difficulty maneuvering through the crowd. If you did decide to do some shopping then you were met with the longest supermarket cashier queue I had ever seen (check the picture above).

I’m not sure if its currently super packed because they just opened but I hope thats the case. I think its probably always going to be super packed because it’s the closest Lulu for everyone living in the heavily populated areas of Jabriya, Hawalli, Salmiya and Salwa. As it is right now though it’s just insane.

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Avenues Opening in Bahrain

Posted by Mark


Avenues is so big you’re now going to need to fly to get from one side to the other.

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Review: Borderlinx vs MyUS

Posted by Mark

Borderlinx and MyUS are both companies that offer US forwarding mailboxes so you can shop online, mail stuff to your US address and then have them forward it to your home in Kuwait. I’ve been using Aramex Shop&Ship since 2001 for my regular day to day shopping but a few years ago I signed up to Borderlinx since sometimes I needed my shipments to get to Kuwait fast and Shop&Ship is just too slow. Everything was fine and dandy until I realized Borderlinx was taking an 8.5% customs clearance fee on top of the 5% customs fee which I thought was absurd. So, I decided to try an alternative and I signed up to MyUS last month. This review is strictly Borderlinx vs MyUS and doesn’t include Shop&Ship because Shop&Ship is a lot cheaper as well as a lot slower (apples vs oranges).


MyUS has been around since 1997, I first heard about them back in 2001 but ended up going with the much more affordable Shop&Ship instead. The reason I never signed up to MyUS even years later was their expensive shipping prices and fees. MyUS have different membership fees, the standard involves paying just $10 to open an account and no annual fee, but you don’t get the best shipping rates and you can’t consolidate your packages. To get the best deal you would have to sign up to their “premium” package but that costs $20 to setup and either $7 a month or $60 a year in membership fees. Recently though I found out that MyUS had special rates for credit card holders (which I posted here) where they not only waved all the setup fees but also offered additional discounts on shipping. I ended up signing up with my AMEX card which entitled me to free membership for 2 years as well as 30% off all my shipments.

Since I’m heading to SoleDXB next weekend I decided to order a backpack for the trip. I couldn’t risk shipping it with Shop&Ship and have it arrive after my trip so I sent it to MyUS mailbox instead. It was a bit risky since I hadn’t used my MyUS account yet but figured this would be the best way to test them out.


MyUS allows you to customize a lot of different account options if you want to, for example they deal with a variety of shipping companies but if you have a preference you can say always use DHL or always use FedEx but by default its set on “Least Expensive Option”. You can also setup your account to ship packages as soon as they arrive or hold them until you choose to ship them. For an extra fee you can have them photograph the item for you, ship same day, add fragile stickers, add extra packing, discard shoe boxes and a bunch of more options. The different settings can be a bit overwhelming but you can not bother with them at all if you don’t want to.

Once my package got delivered to MyUS it popped up in my account on the same day. I then logged into my account and told them to ship it for me and this is where things weren’t as pretty as Borderlinx. With Borderlinx before you give the shipping order you’ll know exactly how much the shipping fee would cost as well as the customs fee, with MyUS you won’t know until your package is already shipped. I found that a bit uncomfortable since I’m not used to saying ship without knowing exactly how much it’s going to cost me. In any case a few hours later I got an email saying my package was shipped with FedEx and my credit card was charged. So I logged into my account to check and see how much it cost me. Based on the size of the package and weight, the package cost $93.74 to ship with insurance. With my 30% AMEX discount the price went down to $67.42. I took the package dimensions and weight and plugged them into the Borderlinx shipping cost calculator and ended up with an $85 shipping fee without insurance. Not a bad amount of savings but I was now worried about the customs fee. Borderlinx quoted me $52 for customs while with MyUS I needed to wait until the package arrived to Kuwait to find out. Three days later my package arrived to Kuwait and the total customs fee was around $30, I was relieved.

I saved around $40 by using MyUS over Borderlinx and the package arrived just as fast. MyUS has now officially become my go to mailbox for when I need my packages ASAP. I still find it uncomfortable to have them charge my credit card without knowing how much it’s going to cost me first but I’m just going to have to get used to it I guess. If you’re interested in signing up, make sure you check my previous post on MyUS to know how much you can save using which credit card. [Link]

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The New AAB World

Posted by Mark


I passed by Bang & Olufsen in Symphony Mall the other the night to see when they were getting the new BeoPlay A2 when I spotted a new AAB World store on the lower level. It turns out the store has been open for two months now and it’s their largest store yet. AAB World are a photography store and I’ve dealt with them on a number of occasions either for product reviews on the blog or for personal purchases.


The branch I used to frequent often was in the basement of Shamiya Coop and that location is really tiny so having this large store in my neighborhood makes things a lot more convenient. This location is so big they practically have each one of their products on display for you to check out including all their studio lights and camera stabilizers (for the movie buffs).


So if you’re interested in checking it out, they’re open from 9AM to 1PM and then again from 4PM to 10PM.

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Moving from Borderlinx to MyUS

Posted by Mark

I don’t know how long Borderlinx have been doing this but I just found out the other day they’re charging a 8.5% customs clearance fee for the items you ship with them. Thats in addition to the 5% customs charge for the Kuwaiti authorities. I chatted with their help desk and explained how illogical it was to charge an 8.5% clearance fee when the actual customs fee is only 5% but they didn’t seem to think it was odd so I’ve decided to stop using Borderlinx and instead start using MyUS.com.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Borderlinx and MyUS are mail forwarding companies. You sign up with them and they provide you with a US mailing address so you can shop online and mail stuff to your US mailbox. They’ll then ship the stuff for you from the US mailbox to Kuwait.


I always used to consider MyUS as a more expensive option but my friend sent me a link to their Visa Card offer page and with the savings they’re offering the prices actually become pretty reasonable. I don’t have a Visa card sadly so I replaced Visa with Mastercard in the URL and ended up with the Mastercard savings page which isn’t anywhere as good as the Visa offer but is still better than nothing.

Visa Card Holders
– Waived set-up fee ($20 Savings)
– Complimentary Premium Membership for two years (a $120 USD value)
– Save 25% on shipping for first month
– Save 20% with future shipments
Here is the [Link]

Mastercard Holders
– Waived set-up fee ($20 Savings)
– Complimentary Premium Membership for one year (a USD $60 savings)
– 20% off already discounted DHL & FedEx shipping rates for your first month
– 15% off shipping rates after your first month
– Dedicated Customer Service
Here is the [Link]

I’m still using the Shop & Ship for when I am not in a hurry and want to pay the cheapest rate but for my urgent packages I’m going to start using MyUS instead of Borderlinx. I’ll post a followup sometime down the line once I’ve started using it properly and let you guys know how it turns out.

Update: Found the American Express page and turns out it’s even a better deal:

American Express Card Holders
– Waived set-up fee ($20 Savings)
– Complimentary Premium Membership for two years (a $120 USD value)
– Save 30% with future shipments

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Lillywhites is Opening in Kuwait

Posted by Mark


Lillywhites, UK’s oldest and the world’s largest sports store is going to be opening soon in Kuwait. They will be replacing all the current Go Sport locations in Kuwait including the huge Avenues location which is currently undergoing a major facelift in preparation for the opening sometime next month. If the brand sounds familiar it could be because you’ve seen their store in London which has been at Piccadilly Circus since 1863.

Full disclosure: I’m currently involved in this project but was only able to post about it now

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If you want to fly a kite

Posted by Mark


I found a store the other day that sold a variety of different sized kites. Since the weather is still bearable I thought some of you might be interested in flying them on the weekends. The store had a variety of kites ranging from small cheap ones that cost just KD5 to more proper and expensive ones that start at KD26 and go all the way up to KD170. I took a few photos of the kites they had for sale which you can check out below.

The store is called Wind Rider and it’s located on the Mezzanine floor of Al Muthana Complex in the back near the praying area. They’re open from 10AM to 1PM and 5PM to 9:30PM except on Fridays when they’re open only in the evenings. Their phone number is 2474788 or 6707010.

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