Dear Coffeeshops

Post by Mark

Clearly we have too many coffeeshops at the moment but I actually like that, I think we’ve found a sort of a loophole in the system. Since we can’t open bars in Kuwait people are opening coffeeshops with the same vibe as a bar, just coffee instead of alcohol, and it’s working.

My only issue is why is everyone opening a coffeeshop in Kuwait City right next to 20 other already good coffeeshops?

Earlier today I wanted to have coffee with a friend of mine in Jabriya and we realized there wasn’t any good coffee place in the area, so I recommended we drive down all the way to the city to Arabica. Then a couple of hours ago I was supposed to meet another friend over coffee in Salmiya, and the only place I could think of was Magnet, which I actually like don’t get me wrong. It’s just once you’re outside of the city you wouldn’t think there was a speciality coffee trend in Kuwait, it’s non existent.

So dear coffeeshops, please open up outside of Kuwait City closer to where people live. Thank you.

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Kuwait Motor Town Race Circuit is Under Construction!

Post by Mark

Last July I posted the video below as well as renderings of the proposed Kuwait Motor Town race circuit. Not only did the project finally get a green light, but construction is already on the way and 92% of the digging has already been completed. The video below for some reason has been circling social media the past week as if its something new but it’s not new and its no longer accurate.

Kuwait Motor Town will be a world-class race tracking that will feature seven racing circuits. The track will be FIA Grade 1 circuit designed by TILKE, the same people behind a number of popular F1 tracks including Yas Marina and the Baku City Circuit. The circuit will be a state-of-the-art facility that is able to host Formula One and MotoGP races in the future.

The project is being handled by the Amiri Diwan who are behind projects like Al Shaheed Park and the new cultural centre. The circuit is expected to be completed sometime next year and will be located off highway 40, across from Ali Sabah Al Salem. [Google Maps]

The rendering on the very top of this post is currently the latest available rendering but it’s not the final one. I’m trying to get a hold of the final renderings but for now if you’d like to check out videos of the construction work and stay up to date on the project, check out the instagram account @afs_q80

I can’t believe we’re finally getting a race track in Kuwait and not just any race track but a state-of-the-art one. I guess I’m going to need to replace my Datsun with a new car I could use on open track days. This is so exciting!!!

Update: I managed to get the latest renderings of the circuit from Ali Fawaz Al Sabah (@afs_q80) who is the president of the Basil Al Sabah Motor Racing Club. These are the latest but not the final final renderings since more modifications were made. Ali and his team have been working day and night on the project for 9 years trying to get it approved. In the visuals below you’ll find the karting, moto-cross, rally-cross, super-cross, 4×4 technical and ATV circuits as well as the main F1 and Moto-GP circuits. You’ll also see renderings of the mall and hotel. Once you click on a thumbnail you’ll see the description on the bottom left of the image.

You can find the full resolution of the images above [Here]

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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

The Shakshooka farmers market is back this weekend and instead of their usual location at the Secret Garden, they’re instead heading over to Al-Khaled Complex a few streets further down. A few other cool events are happening this weekend so check out the full list below:

Exhibition: Until – Ghadah Alkandari
Kuwait Motor Show
A Gulf Abridged
Global Game Jam 2017
Five: Open Mic Night

Kuwait Motor Show
A Gulf Abridged
Global Game Jam 2017
Tai Chi in the Park
Good Game: Magic – The Gathering
Salwa- Walk and Socialize Meetup
Gulf Run Car Show and Live Music
X-Fighter Monster Trucks Show

Kuwait Motor Show
Global Game Jam 2017
Yoga with the 3
Guided Tour: Arab Organization Headquarters
Failaka Ceramics Trip
Madeenah Tour: Salem Al Mubarak Street
LOYAC Blood Drive
Gulf Run Car Show and Live Music
X-Fighter Monster Trucks Show

If you’d like to share an event on the blog [Email Me]
For a full list of upcoming events click [Here]

Sometimes events get canceled or have details changed so always double check with the organizers.

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Movies Now Showing in Kuwait

Post by Mark

The movies below are now showing at either Cinescape, Grand Cinemas and Sky Cinemas:

New This Week:
Ballerina (6.8)
xXx: Return of Xander Cage (5.6) ♦

Other Movies Showing:
A Monster Calls (7.8)
Assassin’s Creed (6.7)
Hacksaw Ridge (8.8)
La La Land (8.9) ♦
Moana (8.2)
Passengers (6.7) ♦
Patriots Day (7.2)
The Great Wall (6.0)
Sing (7.3)
Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania (N/A)
Warrior’s Gate (5.5)
Within (5.3)

The movies below are now showing at the Scientific Center IMAX theater:

A Beautiful Planet 3D (7.9)
Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough (7.6)
Humpback Whales 3D (7.2)
Journey to Space 3D (6.5)
Kenya 3D: Animal Kingdom (6.0)
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D (N/A)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.
★ is for movies I’m interested in. ♦ implies movie might contain censorship.

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The Mandarin by EDO

Post by Mark

The Mandarin is a new little neighborhood shop that was opened last week by the popular Japanese restaurant EDO. It’s a small store which carries a variety of EDO food items including sushi rolls, salads and their popular ice creams, but they also carry items EDO use in the kitchen as well as a large assortment of different teas and tea accessories.

Currently they’re still in a soft launch phase and so are open from 1PM to 9PM. They’re located right next to the OVO restaurant in Bneid Al-Gar. Here is the location on [Google Maps] and you could also get a bit more info from the EDO instagram account @edo_restaurant

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Learn Archery at the Mayadeen Shooting Complex

Post by Mark

Here is another new activity if you’re looking for something new to experience. the Mayadeen Shooting Complex is now offering archery lessons. The lessons are open to every one, men, women, Kuwaitis and expats. The cost is KD7 for 30 minutes and all equipment is supplied. Long term coaching is also available.

Previously, archery lessons were only available to Kuwaitis at the Kuwait Shooting Federation so its great that Mayadeen is now offering it to everyone. For more information check out the Mayadeen Shooting Complex instagram account @mayadeenq8

Thanks Rajesh

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The New Kuwait Airways Crew Uniforms

Post by Mark

According to a source of mine, the Kuwait Airways flight attendants will start wearing their new uniforms starting next month. The new uniforms are supposedly by Armani and feature a number of different variations for the crew to choose from. Kuwait Airways posted the picture above on their instagram account but I was also able to get the images below that show the variations. If you’ve got clearer shots let me know since the ones below were photos taken off another phone.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Soon – Free Internet Around Kuwait with Sama

Post by Mark

For the past five years, WiMD has been my home internet provider. Before they came about, the fastest connection I could get at my place was 2Mbps so I’m a huge WiMD fan and feel I owe my sanity to them. When I first met them five years ago I was told they were working on setting up a WiFI network all around Kuwait, and now that project is finally launching.

WiMD is launching a new product next month called “Sama” which will cover various areas around Kuwait providing free internet to the public over WiFi. Currently Sama is covering Souk Mubarakiya, Al Shaheed Park and around 8km of ocean front. In the future Sama will cover Al Shaheed Park phase 2, around 40km of ocean front and other various projects around Kuwait.

Sama will officially launch next month but they’re currently testing out the Souk Mubarakiya location and have given me a code to share on the blog so my readers could access the network and try it out. Here is the information required to connect to Sama in Souk Mubarakiya:

Network Name: Sama Mubarakiya
Access Code: 7550682976

This code can be accessed by multiple users at the same time and the login screen will look similar to the screenshot above, depending on the time of day you’ll see a different sky. If you do try it out please share some feedback.

Also a little bit of information. Last year WiMD bought Gulfnet and this Thursday they’re actually launching the new brand for both companies at a private press conference at the Gulfnet head quarters. So I’m looking forward to that as well.

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CATS Broadway Show Coming to Kuwait

Post by Mark

The popular CATS Broadway show is coming to Kuwait next month and will be holding shows at the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre from February 9th to February 12th. The musical just premiered in Dubai last night at the newly opened Dubai Opera and looks like Kuwait will be part of their world tour as well.

Tickets are still not on sale but once they’re available it would be interesting to see how they compare to Dubai which are listed as follows:

Diamond – KD104 (1250 AED)
Premium – KD75 (900 AED)
A Reserve – KD56 (675 AED)

Diamond seats in the Dubai Opera are right in front of the stage. If you’re interested in watching CATS here in Kuwait, keep checking the cultural centre website for tickets availability [Here]

Note: After Dubai, CATS is heading to Qatar first and then Kuwait.

Thanks demma1

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The Making of a Post

Post by Mark

Whenever I meet people, a common question I’m usually asked is how I find stuff to write about every day. There really isn’t that much generally going on in Kuwait so it’s hard to imagine how I could find content on a daily basis to write about. Up until a few years ago I used to think I was just getting lucky everyday finding content but then someone made me realize that after all these years its probably a skill and not luck. I guess my curious and nosy nature combined with my obsessive tendencies turned out to be a perfect combo to run a blog.

There are generally two main ways I find things to write about:

1) People email me or tell me about something
2) I discover things myself while going about my day to day routine

The first thing I do when I find a topic to write about is enter it into Evernote. My memory is terrible and my blog is very important for me so I can’t risk forgetting a topic. I like Evernote because I have it open on all my computers at home and work as well as on my phone. Anytime I add a topic to my list it synchronizes across all my computers and phone. I took a screenshot of part of my current Evernote list (pictured below) to give you an idea of how it looks like. It might look vague but I just need a word or two to remind me of the topic.

Every morning I get up around 8-9 and open my list and decide what I am going to write about. Usually the further down the list the item is the less important it is or the less time sensitive it is. If its not time sensitive like the note “salmiya 1976” which is a video from 1976 that shows old Salmiya, then I just leave it for a slow news day. A slow news day is a day when I don’t have much to post about either because I’m still waiting on some info or because I don’t think I have a quality post for the day.

Today for example I want to post about two things, “CRL Bar” which is a new cereal bar that opened up in Kuwait and “wifi kuwait” which is a project to provide wifi all over Kuwait. For both of these posts I’m still waiting on some information so they’re not ready hence why I am here writing this post which is sort of a blog filler. I came up with this post idea to keep things moving along on the blog until I get the information I need for the other two posts.

Another popular question I get is how do I decide what restaurants to write about or what event to go to. The events part is pretty easy, if I think it’s going to be fun for me or if the subject interests me then I’ll go. 99% of the time I don’t go to any event. With restaurants, its more tricky. I get emailed by restaurant owners all the time asking me to come by and try their place but unless its an interesting or new concept, I tend not be interested. I also go to restaurants based on word of mouth or the chef behind the concept. So for example when I heard Faisal Al Nashmi was opening a new restaurant called Table Otto, I wanted to go try it out because I love his other concept Street. But with HABRA for example, I wasn’t interested in trying it out until I started hearing how great it was from all my friends.

Time wise I generally don’t spend a lot of it writing. I kinda pre-write posts in my head and then sit down on the computer in the morning and type them out. I always feel like I’m working against the clock so I’m always rushing my posts out and generally spend anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes writing them up. I don’t feel like I have the luxury of sitting and perfecting a post because I need to have content out every single day. I run the blog as if I am competing with other hundreds of other blogs and I need to get my posts out right away before they do. Even though there aren’t any other blogs around today anymore, I still blog as if there so I stay on my toes. I still go by the idiom “You snooze you lose” since it used to happen before where I’d sleep on a post and then another blogger would write about it before me.

So there you have it, a behind the scenes look into the making of my posts. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

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If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
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