Renderings of the New Kuwait Airways Terminal

Post by Mark

Not to be confused with the new and huge Terminal 2 airport thats being constructed, and also not to be confused with the new Jazeera Airways terminal thats also under construction, this third terminal that’s also under construction is meant to alleviate the pressure from our current airport until the new main terminal 2 is completed sometime in 2020.

This terminal will be exclusive to Kuwait Airways and is being built adjacent to the cargo terminal. It’s expected to be completed and in operation by Q1 of next year. And yes we currently have three new terminals under construction.

For more photos and information, click [Here]

Thanks ChaoticTranquility


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Wataniya Airways to Launch Beirut Flights Next Month

Post by Mark

Kuwait Wataniya Airways announced launching flights to Beirut, Lebanon, as of November 9, with four flights weekly to and from Kuwait International Airport.[Source]

Has anyone flown with Wataniya Airways? If yes then how was your experience? They’re currently running a buy one get one free offer on all their destinations. [Link]


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Travel Essential: Amazon Fire Stick

Post by Mark

One the most essential items I now pack when traveling is my little Amazon Fire Stick. The Fire Stick is a tiny streaming media device thats a bit larger than a USB memory stick and has NetFlix, Hulu, Amazon Video, HBO GO and more all installed on it. Unlike my Apple TV, the Fire Stick is a lot more portable and easier to connect since you just plug the stick directly into an empty HDMI and USB port behind the TV. Whenever I check into a hotel or airbnb, one of the first things I do after unpacking is just plugging my Stick into the TV and connecting it to the wifi so I can have access to all my TV shows.

The only reason I don’t use my Fire Stick instead of the Apple TV at home is because it’s a bit sluggish compared to the Apple TV and I tend to AirPlay a lot of things from my phone or MacBook onto the Apple TV which I can’t do with the Fire Stick. Well actually that’s not accurate, I did get an app that enables AirPlay on the Fire Stick but its pretty buggy and doesn’t work the way it should every time. But anyway, one of the best things about the Fire Stick is the price, it costs just KD12 on Amazon so it’s not that big of an investment. Also if you have Amazon Prime then you already have access to Amazon Video (and music) so you don’t really need Netflix or Hulu if you don’t want them.

If you’re interested in picking one up, here is the link for it on [Amazon]


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Jazeera Airways Reveals New Interior

Post by Mark

Jazeera Airways recently rebranded their identity, and as part of the rebranding process, Jazeera revealed they will also be giving their plane interiors a new look.

One of the biggest complaints about their current interiors is how aged they look so the facelift is a much needed one. They’re still sticking with leather seats but instead of the light grey color they’re currently using, they’ll instead be going with a blue tone.

The new interior is currently being rolled out and the whole process should be completed before the end of the year.


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The New Jazeera Airways Terminal

Post by Mark

This new terminal is currently being constructed to the left of the existing airport and is expected to be completed sometime next year. This terminal is completely different from the new airport/terminal that is being constructed near the Sheikh Saad Airport.

The Jazeera Airways Airport Terminal aims to both alleviate the current overcrowding at Kuwait International Airport and meet the requirements of travelers in Kuwait for many more years to come.

One of the largest-scale and most important infrastructure projects currently under construction in Kuwait, the new terminal will divert 1.5 million passengers a year from the extremely busy airport once it opens in early 2018. This will increase to over 2.5 million travelers per year in the next few years.

I couldn’t find any more pictures but you could read more about the design over [Here]


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Kuwait Airways Ranked the Noisiest and Dirtiest Airline at Heathrow

Post by Mark

A few days ago, Heathrow released its latest “Fly Quiet and Clean” report which shows which airlines are using the quietest and cleanest aircrafts at their airport. The report also shows which airlines are using the noisiest and dirtiest (pollution wise) aircrafts and Kuwait Airways topped that list.

At first I thought it was because Kuwait Airways was flying their old planes to London but I just checked the route while writing up this post and they’re actually flying their new 777 planes. Since this report is for Q2 of this year which runs from April to June, I figured Kuwait Airways might have been running their older 747 planes back then. So I asked a friend of mine who’s a flight attendant with Kuwait Airways and flies the Kuwait London route and I was right. Kuwait Airways has only been using their new 777 plane on that route for just the past two months. This means Kuwait Airways should end up much higher on the list in the next report because of their quieter and less polluting new planes.

Anyway you can see the full rankings over [Here]


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Airport Taxi Car #1

Post by Mark

Just a random tidbit. If you’re ever taking an official airport taxi back home keep a lookout for taxi car #1 (they’re marked on the side). The cab is easy to spot and you’ve probably already seen it before since its the only one with a satellite dish on the roof. The cab is driven by Abou Ali who is currently the longest working taxi driver at the airport. He originally started picking up passengers from the airport back in 1964, before the current airport even existed. That’s more than 50 years ago if you can’t do the math.

I actually used to dislike taking airport cabs back home since they seemed to always avoid highways. But most of the drivers are actually pretty interesting to talk to since they’ve all been working at the airport for many years and have tons of interesting stories to share. So next time you take an airport taxi, don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with the driver.


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Hiking Lebanon

Post by Mark

Over the years I’ve posted about different things to do in Lebanon and different places to go, but I’ve never really posted about any outdoor activities you could do (well except for paragliding and ATVing, but that was ages ago). I tend to like doing one outdoor activity whenever I go down to Lebanon, usually camping, but if I don’t have enough time then hiking. Hiking is actually something thats really easy to do in Lebanon and doesn’t require much in terms of prep, you just need transportation and a good pair of hiking shoes (or old sneakers). If you’re interested in hiking the next time you’re in Lebanon, below are two places I highly recommend.

Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature Reserve
The Tannourine reserve is a really great place to go hike and for a number of reasons. Firstly if you enjoy driving then you’ll enjoy the drive to the Tannourine village. The roads are long and winding with beautiful views so I’d highly recommend you rent a convertible for it. Secondly because the reserve is so high up the mountain, even during hot summer months the weather up there is bearable. Finally and most importantly, the reserve is beautiful and filled with huge cedar trees throughout the trail.

The reserve is also pretty well organized. The website isn’t that great but once you get to the reserve you get handed a map at the entrance along with a explanation of all the trails available. There are three trails available with the shortest lasting an hour and the longest nearly three hours. The hike isn’t that difficult although there are some areas that are steep, so you need to be a bit fit or else you’re gonna keep stopping for breaks. The trails are also clearly marked with wide paths and various signs at various intersections so it’s really difficult to get lost. The entrance fee is just 5,000LL (KD1) and the reserve is on Google Maps so it’s really easy to find. For more information you can check out the reserve website [Here]

Shouf Biosphere Reserve
The Shouf reserve is really easy to get to if you’re staying in the Beirut area. If you try to head to the Tannourine reserve during the middle of the week it could easily take you up to 3 hours while the Shouf reserve would take you half that. Like the Tannourine reserve, there are 3 main hiking trails with the shortest lasting just 20 minutes and the longest over 3 hours. But the trails are pretty tough due to the fact that the first half involves a very steep uphill climb to get to the top of the mountain. The trail is actually so tough that you really don’t get to enjoy the beautiful forest until you start making your way back down. The trails also aren’t clearly marked and there are barely any signs. Most of the time you’ll wonder if you’re heading in the right direction or if you’ve veered off the trail and are heading into the middle of nowhere. But its because of that I like this trail, it’s more exciting and feels like a proper adventure. You’ll spend a lot of time on the trail second guessing yourself, wondering if you should have gone left instead of right or right instead of left.

The biosphere’s website is also pretty well put together with a lot of information on all the different trails available as well as information on where to stay or where to eat in the area. The entrance fee to the reserve is 7,000LL and its also easy to find on Google Maps. For more information you can check out the biosphere website [Here]

If you’re really into hiking and camping, and have a bit of time then you could attempt one of the official Lebanese Mountain Trail hikes. The LMT trail is 470km long and divided up into 26 sections. You can get more information on the LMT by clicking [Here]

Like I mentioned at the start of the post, whats great about the two reserves I shared is that they’re easy to get to and very doable if you’re in Lebanon for the just the weekend. It’s a perfect escape from the city and great stress reliever. And best of all, both reserves are close enough that you’ll still have enough time to get back to the city and party after sundown.


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Dubai Must Visit: Tomini Classics

Post by Mark

Over the weekend while in Dubai I passed by Tomini Classics with a friend of mine. Tomini is a classic car dealership and my friend wanted to check out a 1971 Jaguar E-Type and asked me if I wanted to join him, obviously I did. As soon as we walked into the showroom the first car the greeted us was a 1964 Ferrari 330 P4 race car. An insane car but the whole showroom was filled with insane cars. Because its Ferraris 70th anniversary, they filled the showroom with classic Ferraris. It was like walking around in a museum except everything was for sale. They had Testarossa’s, a Berlinetta Boxer, GT4, 308GTB and a lot more and they were all in excellent like new condition! It was mind blowing, just one classic Ferrari next to another. They also had some vintage Maserati’s, Lambo’s and even a Lotus out on display but most of their collection was hidden inside what they call “the vault”.

The vault is their large garage where they store the cars that have already been purchased as well as cars that are not on display in the main showroom. Photography is strictly not allowed inside so I’m gonna try and describe it the best I can. From all the car museums I’ve been to, and I’ve been to many, I don’t recall a single one that had so many great cars all in one place. Sure the Petersen Automotive Museum has some great cars, but they’re mostly great because of their historical significance. They’re cars with great stories, but not necessarily cars I would want to own. The vault at Tomini on the other hand is what my garage would look like if my last name was Zuckerberg. They had maybe half a dozen E-Types, a ton of vintage air cooled Porsches from the 60s all the way through the 80s (including at least two 356’s), they had a Pantera, a few more vintage Maserati’s, a couple of 60’s Mercedes SL’s, a Lamborghini Espada, the 1982 Ferrari Formula 1 car and even more but this is just what I remember right now. They also had a couple of new cars like the new Ferrari LaFerrari Spider and Porsche 918 Spyder. But the car that caught me by surprise the most was the Renault 5 Turbo 2. I had never seen one in person and I couldn’t believe they had one in their vault. It’s not that popular of a car and compared to the classic Ferrari’s and Lambo’s it kinda seems out of place. But it has a strong cult following especially if you grew up in Europe or in a place with a lot of European cars like Lebanon in my case. It’s definitely a car you would want to have in your collection.

In conclusion, that was some crazy shit. If you’re into cars especially classic ones then I’d highly highly recommend you drop by Tomini the next time you’re in Dubai. It seriously felt like visiting the best car museum in the world and the best part is… everything is for sale if you can afford it. To check out all the cars they have you can visit their website and flip through their for sale list as well as the sold list (which contains some of the cars I saw in the vault). Their website is tominiclassics.com. You can also follow them on instagram @tominiclassicsdubai


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Conveyorgate

Post by Mark

I had a plan. I was supposed to fly out of Kuwait Airport at 5AM via Qatar Airways, land in Doha, spend an hour and a half killing time before my second flight to Nice (France) also via Qatar Airways. I would have landed in Nice at 2PM, around the same time my best friend’s flight would have also landed. We were gonna pick up our rental, drive down the coast of France all the way to Marseilles, stopping along the way for some beach time and food.

Great plan if it wasn’t for the fact the Kuwait Airport luggage conveyer belt for check-in stopped working this morning. It was a disaster with bags pilled up all around and check-in taking far longer than it usually would. My flight ended up taking off over an hour late and by the time I landed in Doha, I had around 10 minutes to make it to my next flight. I realized I had a 90% I wouldn’t make the flight and let my friends know that before I took off from Kuwait. I stayed calm, I figured stressing wouldn’t solve anything and I accepted the fact I was gonna miss my flight.

Luckily, once I got out of the plane there was a Qatar Airways employee waiting for me, she told me we had to rush to my plane because they were waiting for me. I sent my friends a message letting them know I was miraculously gonna make it. While we were running to my gate the employee tells me they printed me a new boarding pass, just as she is giving it to me she notices something, the boarding pass was for August 18th.. the next day. Because my flight from Kuwait was delayed, they issued me a ticket for the next flight to Nice which was the same time but for the next day. I was devastated. I wanted to continue running to my gate but she told me it was too late, they would have closed it by now. I was mentally ready to miss the flight but then had my hopes raised only to be disappointed again. It sucked.

I stayed calm, I didn’t get upset or angry, I was a bit annoyed definitely but calm. We went to the transfer desk because I asked if there was a way I could get to Nice earlier. While waiting there everyone around me was screaming at the employees and I was just thinking how this must be the shittiest job in the world having to deal with all these frustrated and angry customers. The thing I found the most surprising was how they were finding me alternative flights to Nice. I thought there was some kind of sophisticated mechanism, a smart software with some sort of algorithm that would figure out the fastest way to get a person to a destination. But it wasn’t anything like that, it kinda seemed very manual.

First they came back to me telling me I could fly out through Zurich and I’d arrive in Nice 10AM the next day. I then asked if there was a flight via Paris, so they checked and came back to me 15 minutes later telling me there was, but it had a 12 hour layover and I’d arrive to Nice the next day at 8AM. I then asked them what about flights via London. They got back to me telling me there was a flight via London and I’d end up in Nice at 2AM, but the flight from London to Nice was fully booked. I told them they could put me in economy and that I didn’t care but she said it was against their policy. I told her to try at least, so she left and came back 15 minutes later, this time telling me there was another flight from London and I could be in Nice by 11:30PM. And thats the flight I’m taking now, boarding actually starts in around 30 minutes. Kinda weird that I had to come up with routes when I would assume their software could do that.

Overall, a pretty dramatic morning for what should have been a routine trip. At least I’m flying out now on A380 (my original flight was a Dreamliner), I think there is a bar with a lounge onboard which should be pretty cool. I was actually just thinking how Qatar Airways put me on a more expensive flight so I could still get to Nice today which was pretty nice of them. It wasn’t their fault that the conveyor belt at the airport stopped working, they could have just kept me on tomorrows flight. So definitely a good experience for a shitty situation.


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