Salon and Spa Booking Apps for Kuwait

Post by Mark

bookingapps

I usually like to call my salon and book an appointment over the phone but if you would rather use an app then I’m aware of three local salon and spa booking apps. From the three, two cater to women and one caters to both men and women. I’ve listed the apps below, in case there is another app I’m not aware of let me know.

Bookr – Men & Women (Android & iOS)
Salony – Only Women (Android & iOS)
The Pretty Book – Only Women (iOS Only)
Zeena – Only Women (Android & iOS)

Update: Added The Pretty Book


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History of the Kuwait National Museum

Post by Mark

kna

An invited competition was launched in 1960 for the construction of a museum in Kuwait City. Michel Ecochard won this project while his work was flourishing, especially in Lebanon. However, between the time of the project and its realisation, a long waiting period elapses. Michel Ecochard expressed doubts about the likelihood of this project being completed at all.

The Museum programme was based around several themes, including areas devoted to the oceans and to the field of culture, another to the oil industry, and a botanical garden. The first section relates to culture and administration; a space dedicated to archaeology, art, ethnography and folk traditions. Offices and storage areas extend into an outdoor exhibition area, with spaces reserved for temporary exhibitions and an auditorium. A separate building is reserved for displays on the theme of “Kuwait, today and tomorrow”, a dome-like structure, connected by a walkway to the main building. One can also gain access from the garden. A space with a high ceiling is able to house the machinery of oil chemistry; the second part of the second storey addresses the scientific and industrial applications of oil, and is covered by a dome structure that stands out from the rest. The main entrance is located between the two buildings.

It is interesting to note that the section of the Museum part devoted to traditional life partially recreates the organisation of the so-called traditional city, with a market for traditional crafts such as tanning, jewellery-making, pottery, weaving, and fishing. Buildings organised around a central patio reproduce forms of traditional habitat. In the area destined to house the zoological and botanical garden, an itinerary encouraging strolling, with the first floor transparent, is provided via ramps and walkways connecting the floors, allowing a view of the botanic garden and a large aquarium. The strength of the architectural design comes from the fact that each section is both independent and connected to everything else, both in the interior and exterior areas.

The architecture is resolutely modern with the use of concrete pillars and beams. The rhythmic façades are punctuated by areas with small rectangles made from work blocks. The architecture has been designed in response to the climate to avoid both the sun and sandstorms. It should be noted that the sun-shade was conceived as a way to create a microclimate and a variation of light according to the coverage needs. The idea is to create protection through a flat roof made of open, light, metal, a “microclimate” in which the museum and its immediate surroundings can function independently of the outside temperature. This is a huge shelter that is 28m high, with widely spaced pillars.

The museum was looted and burned during the 1990 Iraq invasion and it remained in that state until very recently. The museum is now currently under renovation.

museum

All the images and text above were taken from Archnet [Link] They also have a scan of an interesting publication relating to the museum which you can read [Here]

In 2014 I visited the museum and took photos of the inside before renovation work had started, you can check those out [Here]

knaold

The picture above is of the previous Kuwait National Museum. It was also destroyed during the 1990 Iraq invasion.


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Power Cuts and Hotel Stays

Post by Mark

power

Over the weekend I experienced 3 power cuts within a 24 hour period. The first two lasted for just over an hour but the third power cut lasted from 8PM to 4AM. There are now around 7 large power generators spread out in my neighborhood (Block 9, Salmiya) and it doesn’t seem like it’s just my area. I was talking to a friend who lives in Rumaithiya and they’ve had power generators installed on their street for a few weeks now. I don’t know what’s the purpose of all the generators in my area, the power cut was due to a burned cable but that was already fixed.

When I posted about the power cut on twitter a follower suggested I spend a night in the hotel. Did you guys know that the majority of hotels won’t accept single men with local residency? I found that out when I was getting my divorce. I needed to spend a few nights in a hotel and I couldn’t find a hotel that would let me stay. In the end I found a hotel in the city that let me stay a few nights but only because I think the receptionist took pity on me.


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Burger Boutique Opening in Salmiya

Post by Mark

bf

Burger Boutique are opening their second location in The View Tower, the same building as Marks & Spencer and Whole Foods. I only noticed it a couple of days back and according to them they’ll be opening in around a months time. Burger Boutique was what set the trend for locally created burger joints and their only other location is in Arraya Complex in the city. There is a Burger Boutique Black in Murooj as well but that it their more upscale version of the brand and has a different menu. If you don’t know where The View Tower is, here it is on [Google Maps]


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Playing Pokémon Go in Kuwait

Post by Patrick

pokemongo

Over Eid holiday Pokémon Go was officially released in the U.S. For the uninitiated, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality (AR) mobile game, released both on iOS and Android. The point of the game is to walk around your environment to find and catch Pokémon. When you reach level 5, you’re able to fight at Pokémon gyms that are scattered across the country. The first time you do this you get to choose the faction you want to be a part of, Team Instinct (Yellow), Team Valor (Red) or Team Mystic (Blue). Once you choose a faction and beat the gym boss, that gym belongs to your faction. The game is a massive hit in the U.S. and is about to surpass Twitter in daily active users. It seems to be encouraging adults and kids alike to go outside and walk around, and in some cases make new friends. There are a lot of great stories coming out thanks to this game.

poke2

Sadly since we are in Kuwait we can’t really go out for long walks at the moment because it’s super hot outside. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still play it. I’ve noticed that the game works in our malls and other places we spend a lot of time in. My wife was shopping and I decided to try out the app indoors and I ended up catching Jigglypuff and a few other great Pokémon while she was doing her thing. I’ve also used the app at traffic lights but please don’t use it while you’re actually driving unless you’re on a Pokémon date. Mark had a power cut at his apartment over the weekend so he was forced to leave the house and ended up killing time by walking around his neighborhood looking for Pokémon until the power came back on. Kuwait has loads of Pokéstops and Pokémon gyms scattered throughout so we aren’t missing out on anything really.

poke1

Here are some quick tips for first time users:

– In the bottom right side of the screen you’ll find icons of Pokémon that are in your vicinity. If you click on the icon you’ll find up to 3 little footprints under each Pokémon. 3 footprints means the Pokémon is in your area, but not close to where you are, while no footprint means the Pokémon is right next to you.

– When you try to catch a Pokémon you’ll find an AR slider on the top right. Switch this off to switch off your camera, which makes catching Pokémon easier.

– As you’re trying to catch Pokémon, hold the Pokéball and twirl it on screen to add a curve to it which will give you more experience points if you’re successful at catching the Pokémon.

– If you have duplicate Pokémon, click on the ones you don’t want and transfer them over to the Professor to get items necessary to make your Pokémon stronger.

poke3

So how is the quality of the Pokémon Go app itself? Well, to be honest, average. The UI is badly designed and the game is known to crash for a few users. The “game” itself is pretty thin, besides walking around and trying to catch Pokémon, there isn’t much else to do. The only time you ever battle is when you find a gym. There is no way to interact with friends, no way to trade Pokémon and no way to challenge a friend to a battle. But ultimately, the quality of the app itself means little when the experience of using the app is making people happy. At the end of the day, Niantich can update the app some time in the future to add the features that are still missing from this game.

If you’re interested in trying out the game it’s available to download in the U.S. iOS App Store and Android devices. You won’t find it in the Kuwait store since it hasn’t officially launched worldwide.

Posted by Patrick


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Kuwestions Now Working

Post by Mark

kuwestions

When I launched the section Kuwestions last month I quickly found out that a lot of people were having javascript issues and weren’t able to answer any questions. Well, I think I fixed the issue, I’m not getting those errors anymore on my side so please check it out and let me know if you still run into any problems. [Link]


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Inside the Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Hospital

Post by Mark

jaberhospital1

A redditor who’s dad is currently a resident engineer/architect at the Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Hospital shared a few pictures of her recent tagalong with her dad. Some of the pictures show the inside of the hospital which I hadn’t seen until now and it looks like its going to be beautiful when completed. Too bad as an expat I won’t be able to use it. Check out all the pictures [Here]

jaberhospital2

Thanks AK


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Kuwait is a Cheap Place to Live

Post by Mark

watertowers

The 2016 Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey was released recently and Kuwait came out pretty low on the MENA list (which is a good thing). The most expensive place to live in the MENA region turned out to be Dubai and the cheapest place to live turned out to be Jeddah.

Top 10 most expensive cities to live in the MENA region:
1- Dubai, UAE
2- Abu Dhabi, UAE
3- Beirut, Lebanon
4- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
5- Manama, Bahrain
6- Doha, Qatar
7- Cairo, Egypt
8- Muscat, Oman
9- Kuwait City, Kuwait
10- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Mercer’s survey includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment. The survey is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. New York is used as the base city, and all cities are compared against it. Currency movements are measured against the US$. [Source]

The 10 most expensive cities to live in the world are:
1- Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2- Luanda, Angola
3- Zurich, Switzerland
4- Singapore, Singapore
5- Tokyo, Japan
6- Kinshasa, Dem. Rep. of the Congo
7- Shanghai, China
8- Geneva, Switzerland
9- Ndjamena, Chad
10- Beijing, China

If you want to see the full report you need to register on the Mercer website [Here]

via BlogBaladi


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New Taxi App – Abi Taxi

Post by Mark

abitaxi

Haven’t tried using this app yet but hopefully it’s more reliable than the other taxi app I’ve tried using before, Q8 Taxi. I tried ordering a cab with Q8 Taxi when I had to drop off my car for detailing and the drivers kept canceling my taxi request. Whats taking Uber so long to launch in Kuwait??

To download Abi Taxi on your iPhone just search for Abi Taxi in the app store or click [Here]


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The Approved Market Now Online

Post by Mark

aapproved

Last week I posted about how The Approved Market started home delivery and now they’ve launched their online website alongside that service.

Their website features all their in store products and you can pay online using Knet. Delivery is within 24 hours so if you don’t want to drive all the way to the city to pick up an item, you can now order it online. Here is a link to their [Website]

Thanks Ahmad


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