The Promenade Ice Skating Rink

Posted by Mark

iceskatingrink

A new ice skating rink opened up inside the Promenade mall in Hawalli and I think it’s the only other ice skating rink in Kuwait not including the main one in Kuwait City. I passed by yesterday to check it out and it turned out to be bigger than I expected it to be but A LOT smaller than the Kuwait City one. One hour of ice skating costs KD6 and that includes the ice skates and a helmet. It’s not just for kids, it’s for ages 7 and up so adults can skate there as well. The same floor has the trampoline park (which I think is just for kids) and yesterday when I passed by during the day it was super packed. Kids must be loving it. Anyway if you’re interested in ice skating I’d personally recommend the ice skating rink in Kuwait City but if you want to check this out you can call them on 22277138. Here is the location of the mall on [Google Maps]


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How do I solve the garbage issue in Salmiya?

Posted by Mark

garbage1

There is currently a major garbage crisis in Lebanon and it made me think about the one I have in my backyard here in Kuwait. I’ve got this landfill behind my building which has been a garbage dump for years. I’ve posted about it a bunch of times (check this for example from 2010) and the issue hasn’t gotten sorted yet. I mean it gets sorted when I post about it, but then a week later it goes back to garbage overflowing everywhere. I took the picture above at 4PM, that’s just the garbage accumulated since morning, imagine how much garbage there will be by the end of the night!

So what do I need to do to get this shit solved? Do I have to post a picture on the blog everyday of the garbage dump and hope that the international embarrassment it will bring to Kuwait will get someone to act on it? Should I set up a live video stream of the dump and have it displayed in my blogs sidebar? Seriously I’m open to suggestions (don’t tell me to move or GTFO). Thankfully there is the Deera app but it gets annoying having to report this issue every single day.

The bigger issue is this has become the norm in Kuwait. It’s normal to see garbage on the floor everywhere or dumpsters overflowing. I miss the old anti littering campaigns from the 80s. They should bring those back.


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Pick Yo now in Qurtuba

Posted by Mark

pickyo

Ever since I discovered their pistachio and choco biscuit toppings I’ve been addicted. It’s the only thing messing up my clean eating, and now they’re conveniently located off the 4th Ring Road on my way back home from Avenues. Sucks. [Map]


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Human Rights Watch: Kuwait DNA tests violate right to privacy

Posted by Mark

Many measures could potentially be useful in protecting against terrorist attacks, but potential usefulness is not enough to justify a massive infringement on human rights,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director. “I suppose videotaping every user of a public toilet could be useful too, but that kind of intrusion is hardly necessary or proportionate, and neither is compulsory DNA testing.

Human Rights Watch published a press release yesterday on Kuwait’s decision to capture every Kuwaiti citizens and residents DNA. In summary, it’s an invasion to privacy and doesn’t really do much in terms of security. Check out their press release [Here]


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The Approved Market – Guilt Free Grocery Shopping

Posted by Mark

approvedmarket1

A new supermarket opened up recently called “The Approved Market”. It’s a small supermarket where all the items they sell are considered healthy hence their tag line “Guilt Free Grocery Shopping”. I passed by earlier today to check it out and I think the place has potential since for the most part they had a bunch of products and brands I hadn’t seen in other local supermarkets. But, on the other hand, the range of products isn’t that vast with the majority of the items consisting of chips or jar food items like jams, honey, butters, etc. They of course did have other items like healthy breads, quinoa based products (like pasta and risotto), salad dressing and even alkaline water, but those items were few and far between.

approvedmarket2

The place looks great and is definitely worth passing by and checking it out. They’re located in Sanabil Tower in Sharq and are open daily from 10AM to 10PM. Here is their location on [Google Maps]


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Kuwait International Circuit Proposal

Posted by Mark

circuit1

A design proposal for a local racetrack has been finalized and presented to the proper authorities for approval. The racetrack was designed by Apex Circuit Design, the same group behind the design of the Dubai Autodrome and the Bahrain International Kart Circuit among other projects. Based on the screenshots available, the project contains a FIA/FIM Race Circuit thats 5.65KM long along with a pit/paddock solution, hospitality for 5000 guests, 42 garage bays and is F1/MotoGP compliant. There is also a FIA/CIK Kart Race Circuit thats 1.39KM long, a 1/4 Mile 2 Lane Drag Strip, and Education campus and a Nordic Standard Road Safety Center.

Not sure Kuwait will ever be able to host an F1 race due to the lack of alcohol, but a racetrack is still definitely something that is extremely important to have here so hopefully this project gets approved and implemented. Check out the leaked screenshots below:

Thanks AK


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The 248AM Awards Winners List – 2015

Posted by Mark

Now that we’ve completed the awards, below is a round up of all the winners from this year:

Best Coffee Shop – VOL.1
Best Local Store – Good Game
Best Shopping Mall – The Avenues
Best Bank – Nobody
Best Online Store – Talabat
Best Gym – Circuit+
Best Movie Theater – Cinemagics
Best Leisure Activity (Children) – Kuwait Little League
Best Leisure Activity (Adults) – The Secret Garden
Best Restaurant – EDO Shaab
Best Restaurant (Casual Dining) – GIA
Best Internet Provider – WIMD
Best Customer Care – OSN & Al-Sayer

Just out of curiosity, I ran a survey under the most interesting categories and I asked you readers to vote on who you thought was the best. Below is the result of those surveys, we’ll call them the people’s choice:

Best Restaurant
1- OFK
2- EDO Shaab

Best Restaurant – Casual Dining
1- Solo Pizza
2- GIA

Best Coffee Shop
1- Starbucks
2- Caribou Coffee

Best Internet Provider
1- Zain
2- WIMD

Best Gym
1- Al Corniche Club
2- Platinum

Best Local Store
1- AAB World
2- X-Cite

Best Online Store
1-Talabat
2- Blink

Best Shopping Mall
1- The Avenues
2- 360 Mall

Best Bank
1- NBK
2- KFH


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Best Customer Care in Kuwait 2015

Posted by Mark

service

osn

nima

Winner: OSN
A few months ago, I received a phone call from OSN. And I thought, “OSN…OSN…why does that sound familiar…oh yeah! The satellite thing…holy shit I’m still paying that?” Evidently I wasn’t; my credit card expired. Hence the call from their customer service. The lady was exceedingly polite and very accommodating. I could just change my card number right then and there with her on the phone. No transfers to different departments or website or god forbid, an office thats open from “I’m too busy to drive there” to “I cannot be bothered right now.”

It had literally been months since I last turned on my OSN receiver. But the convenience, and the cost make it hard to decline. And their customer service as always been top notch with me. I’ve never had major issues and when I have had minor ones, they’ve dealt with it in the most professional manner you can imagine. I briefly played with the idea of cancelling the subscription and seeing how long before my wife would notice, as she insists on keeping it. But at the time, the wife was pregnant, and the vision of her reaction to my little social experiment was more than enough to sway me back to just giving up my new card details.

Happy wife, happy life everyone.

Note: The above incident was several months ago, and OSN has yet to be watched. I will be diligently updating you all every 150 days. Stay tuned.

Runner up: Al-Sayer
When you buy a car in Kuwait, you don’t buy a car. You buy into a relationship with your dealer. Whereas in most other places I’ve lived, you could go to Kingsway Honda if the guys at Carter Honda are total Oakley-wearing douchebags high-fiving each other and patting each other on the butt. Here, your love for a car and insistence on buying it is weighed against future irritation you will experience if you buy it. That’s why certain brands with cats on them have such a bad rap. Brands like that should only be for people who have a crush on their service representative. You’re not buying the car, you’re buying the service. And in most cases, service is enfuriating.

At a certain level, I’m sure the people selling Toyota and Lexus know their cars are not exactly known for their personality or looks. They simply make good good cars. But that’s not enough and they know it. That’s why they bend over backwards to give the best possible service they can. In the same week I had flat tires on two cars, a Lexus and a german brand of which Hitler was particularly fond of. Lexus, replaced the tires and rims and did a full service on the car the same day I brought the car in, before I could even schedule an appointment for the other car. They even towed the car and waived the charge. Bunch of sweeties over at Sayer.

mark

Winner: Al-Sayer
For this category there are two winners because I personally love Al-Sayer and think they should be number 1. I’ve had my Toyota going into 5 years now and my experience with the dealer has been great, so great that I actually took the time to write about how great they are on my blog [Here]. Everything I wrote in that post still stands true today and I can’t think of any other company better deserving of this award.

Runner up: McDonalds
McDonalds in Kuwait has by far the best customer service of any fast food joint anywhere in the world. Seriously.


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Things to do in Lebanon this Eid (Part 1)

Posted by Mark

Lots of people travel to Lebanon during Eid because its so close, so this year I decided to ask two friends of mine to put together their recommendations on what to do and where to go. My friends also happen to have the two most popular blogs in Lebanon, Najib runs BlogBaladi.com while Gino runs Ginosblog.com. First up is Najib’s recommendations, check them out below and then make sure you check out his blog [Here]

lecrep

La Creperie Jounieh
For those of you who don’t know La Creperie yet, it’s is one of Lebanon’s most authentic and beautiful restaurants and has been serving great food since 1968. The restaurant was recently renovated and relaunched and is originally an 18th century picturesque Ottoman house that offers a breathtaking view across the Jounieh Bay. An ideal place for a late afternoon meal, sunset drinks or a Sunday family lunch. [Link]

Garden State
One of the hottest outdoor venues this summer in Beirut holding a different theme on a daily basis. Thursday is the busiest with pop music from the 80s and 90s, Sundays are chill out Apero Electro with live cooking. Wednesday is a dog-friendly day where everyone can bring his dog. [Link]

beer

Colonel Beer
A local microbrewery and restaurant located in the heart of Batroun. Colonel Beer is only few meters away from the beach and you can enjoy BBQs, freshly brewed beer, local artists and a great atmosphere. [Link]

Burgers at Smoking Bun
The best street burger in Beirut. [Link]

Helado Ice Cream
My favorite icecream shop in Lebanon. The flavors are quite original and delicious. There’s Baileys, Whiskey, Green Apple, Fig, Lotus, Oreo and others. Make sure you drop by on your way back from the beach. [Link]

Taanayel Ecolodge
A traditional village located in the heart of the Bekaa. A great place to walk around and enjoy nature, have great food at Al Khan Al Makssoud and have fun with the various outdoor activities. [Link]

Karting at RPM
RPM (Racing Park Mtein) is the newest and hottest karting circuit in Lebanon. It’s a long drive from Beirut (1 hour or more) but it’s totally worth it and there’s a lot of sightseeing to do on the way to Mtein. [Link]

Mir Amin Palace
The Chouf is one of the best-preserved and most beautiful areas in Lebanon. It boasts the biggest Cedars forest in Lebanon, historical palaces built by the Emirs of Lebanon (most notably the magnificent Beiteddine palace), as well as beautiful old Lebanese houses, monasteries and attractions. It’s the perfect getaway from the city. The Mir Amin Palace Hotel is the ideal place to stay when you’re planning a weekend in the Chouf. [Link]

Pinea Campus
A gorgeous campsite surrounded by a large stone pines forest and located in Haitoura area in Jezzine (South Lebanon). It’s a great spot for camping, enjoying outdoor activities like ATVing, Skeet/Trap shooting (Tiro), mountain biking, horseback riding and Hiking and chill grills on Sunday. [Link]

chez

Chez Sami’s Seafood Restaurant
Check out Chez Sami’s new terrace (Chez Sami Le Deck) and enjoy a splendid view while having the most delicious seafood. [Link]


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Traveling During Eid?

Posted by Mark

Good Luck! [YouTube]

aiprot


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