What’s open at Al Hamra Tower Mall?

Posted by Mark

The Q80 High Street blog has pictures of all the stores and restaurants that are currently open at Al Hamra Tower and pictures of ones that are opening soon. I personally need to pass by and check out the Adidas Originals store since it’s the first one in Kuwait. You can check out her post [Here]


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DigitalRev for all my photography gear

Posted by Mark

Last month I posted about how a friend ordered photography gear from DigitalRev.com and ended up paying just KD12 for customs. Shipping was free, they cover warranty in Kuwait and more importantly their prices are either similar or cheaper than Amazon. Since I posted about them I know of at least 3 other friends who ordered gear from DigitalRev as well as two other forum users and everyone reported the same thing, that DigitalRev is basically the best place online to order photography gear from.

There are a few advantages to ordering with DigitalRev over for example Amazon. First of all shipping to Kuwait is for free and they use DHL to ship the items so they arrived in just a few days. That’s quicker than the Amazon+Aramex combo. Plus you have to pay Aramex while they ship the stuff for free. Secondly on average people are paying just KD8 for customs which is pretty cool, I was expecting at least double that. The items are also wrapped as if DigitalRev are aware of the state of the postal service here because their packaging are drop proof. The items arrive in a box and inside that box the item is rolled in a ton of bubble wrap. So if the box is thrown around you don’t have to worry about anything getting damaged.

Not sure why I only recently found out about DigitalRev but I guess it’s better late than never. They’re selling the D800 for example for $150 more expensive than Amazon but with Amazon you pay tax which is $320. That means DigitalRev are selling the D800 for $170 cheaper and that includes DHL delivery to Kuwait. If that’s not a good deal I’m not sure what is!

Anyway you can check them out [Here]

Update: Ignore my last example since I can’t calculate to save my life!


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Sneak Peek: Al Hamra Tower Mall

Posted by Mark

I was visiting one of the soon to open stores at the Al Hamra Tower Mall and decided to snap some pictures of the interior. The mall looks amazing, it’s a lot bigger than I expected (5 floors) and it’s also bright because of the natural daylight that comes in from the skylight. It looks very elegant, I really think it looks great. The mall is officially opening after tomorrow (Tuesday, May 1st) so just two more days left. Here are some pictures:

Update: I just found out the official name which is Al Hamra Luxury Center.


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Wolf Designs available in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

I’m a fan of Wolf Designs products mainly because they’re a family owned business that dates back nearly 200 years and also because their products are pretty affordable and well made. I purchased a Wolf Designs watch box from Amazon awhile back and then a few months ago I emailed them to find out if there were any stores in London that carried their brand (there wasn’t) which is why I was pretty surprised when I found out a local place called Violet Concept Store carried them.

I passed by the store yesterday honestly not really expecting much since I figured they’d have a couple of items and that they’d be overpriced but I turned out to be wrong. They had a pretty large collection of Wolf Designs watch boxes and winders and they were very reasonably priced compared to Amazon. To give you a rough idea about their prices, the watch box I bought from Amazon cost around KD30 and another KD30 to ship it with Aramex while they’re selling the exact same box for just KD35. It was a Homer Simpson “Doh!” moment but they only recently opened while I bought my box over a year ago so I didn’t feel too bad.

So if you’re interested, they’re located in Sanabil Tower (near Amiri Hospital in Kuwait City) and they’re open only on weekdays from 2pm to 8pm. They also carry a small collection of Wolf Designs jewelery boxes and drawer inserts if that interests you. Here is a link to their website [Link]


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Manfrotto 190XPROB Tripod

Posted by Mark

Over the weekend I had a project I needed to shoot which would require low light shots and very low angles so I decided to pass by Alghunaim Photo and pick up a tripod. There were a few tripods too choose from but only two fit my budget. The first one I checked out was the Manfrotto 290 series with the quick release ball head. The ball head is the upper part of the tripod which connects to your camera (picture near end of post). Generally you can choose I think between 3 types of heads but I like the ball head due to it’s ease of use. Anyway the 290 was pretty stable, easy and quick to operate but my issue with it was that it wouldn’t go down low enough since 38cm from the ground was the lowest it could go. It was disappointing since price wise at KD45 including the ball head I found it really affordable (for a quality tripod that is).

The second tripod I tried was the 190XPROB. This tripod didn’t go as high as the 290 series but it could go down a lot lower to around 8cm from the ground. It was also slightly smaller and lighter but not by that much. Since I was looking for a tripod that could go very low I ended up getting this one for KD35 WITHOUT the head. The cheapest ball head would set you back another KD25 on top of that price so you’re actually paying around KD60 for this tripod which isn’t cheap specially if like me you won’t be using it that much. But it’s made in Italy and really should last a lifetime so I decided to bite the bullet and just get it. After using the tripod for my project over the weekend I actually found it a bit complicated to use. Maybe finicky is the right word here. Each one of the tripod’s leg adjusts to 4 or 5 different angles and I ended up spending a lot of time trying to get all three legs to open at the same angle. If one of the angles differs then the tripod would end up being slanted. But even though I ran into that issue I had no regrets getting it since I found it very versatile specially since I was able to lower the tripod down so much that my camera was just a couple of inches off the ground. It would really be perfect for anyone wanting to shoot ants or other insects.

If you’re interested in buying a Manfrotto tripod Alghunaim Photo is the local dealer. But, you might be better off waiting until the end of the month before passing by since they’re currently out of stock on most of the items and their new shipment arrives end of the month. Their prices are similar or cheaper than Amazon’s listed price which is amazing. If you know what you want then I guess you could pass by and reserve your tripod. When I checked they had the 190XPROB in stock but only the high end ball heads (KD60 and up).


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An alternative to Amazon when it comes to photography gear

Posted by Mark

A friend of mine recently ordered a camera lens from the website DigitalRev (made famous by the very entertaining Kai) and had it shipped directly to Kuwait. It cost him less than the Amazon price, they included free FedEx shipping, it was delivered to him in just 4 days, he paid only KD12 customs fee AND the lens included local warranty. How cool is that?

Here are some more details regarding the whole thing:

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G Lens
Kuwait: KD603
Amazon: KD525
DigitalRev: KD476

If he placed the order on Amazon he would have had to pay the 8% NY tax, then the Aramex shipping fee to Kuwait plus local customs and the package would have taken around 10 days to get here. He also wouldn’t have any local warranty.

On the other hand he paid KD476 to order it from DigitalRev, he didn’t have to pay tax neither did he have to pay any shipping fees. They shipped it for him from Hong Kong to Kuwait directly via FedEx and it took 4 days from the day he placed the order for the lens to be in his hands. In addition FedEx handled the customs and he had to pay only KD12 in total. Now more importantly DigitalRev will offer you warranty for your lens in Kuwait. The way it works is if the item is defective, you take it to the local dealer who will give you the estimate for the repair. You then send the estimate to DigitalRev who will approve it (based on warranty conditions).

I’m actually surprised at how easy and convenient this is. From now on if I ever need anything photography related that’s too expensive locally I’m just going to order it from them. Here is their [Website]

Thanks Cajie


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GOLLA Camera Bags

Posted by Mark

Before getting my Think Tank camera bag one of the brands I was checking online was GOLLA. They had some cool looking bags at decent prices and yesterday while shopping I noticed Eureka in Salmiya carries the brand. Their prices are more expensive than Amazon but if you count tax and shipping it turns out to be around the same or cheaper buying them here. Check out the GOLLA website [Here]


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Canon and Nikon Lens Prices

Posted by Mark

For those of you who were asking for the prices of Nikon and Canon lenses I got the full price list from A.A.B International and I’ve listed them below. If you don’t already have a 50mm prime lens you should really pick one up. Both the Canon and Nikon 50mm f/1.8 are under KD40 and it’s a must have lens.

Read the rest of this entry »


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One day offer on Sigma lenses for Canon and Nikon

Posted by Mark

A.A.B International Photographic Company (they really need to get a smaller name) is having a one day sale this Thursday 15th of March where they will be dropping the prices of their Sigma items to try and compete with Amazon’s pricing. I was able to obtain their discounted prices and I’ve listed them all comparing them to Amazon’s prices. If you’re interested check out their Facebook page for more information [Here]

The prices are listed below after the jump.

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Shipping items to Aramex that are valued at over $2,500

Posted by Mark

According to the Aramex Shop & Ship FAQ the maximum value allowed per package to be shipped from the US should not exceed $2,500. Packages that are over $2,500 must come with an Export Declaration Form from the shipper or the merchant. Sounds complicated but turns out it’s not.

If you send an item that’s worth over $2,500 to your Shop&Ship account it will get marked as a high value shipment and be placed on hold. You will then receive an email from Aramex telling you that they’ve placed your item on hold and that you would need to visit their US Export Regulations page on the Shop&Ship website. You will then have to do the following:

- Download and open the “Written Authorization Sample” word document that’s linked at the bottom of that page.

- Fill your name in the field “Principal Party in Interest”. It should be the same name as the Shop & Ship account holder.

- Fill your physical address. By this they mean your Kuwait address and NOT your US forwarding mailbox.

- Place your signature in the signature field.

- Leave rest of the fields blank to be filled by Aramex.

- Finally send the word document along with the package tracking number to KWISNSTeam@aramex.com

And that’s it. A pretty simple process that would delay your shipment a couple of days but nothing drastic.


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