Kuwait Marriott Hotel (Ramada al Salaam Hotel)

Post by Mark

mariott1

The Kuwait Marriott Hotel used to be located in Shuwaikh where the KPC building is located right now. [Google Maps]

In 1972, Santa Paula was sold to “Oceanic Sun Line Special Shipping Company Inc” of Greece and she was renamed Stella Polaris. It was intended for her to become a cruise ship. Although she arrived in Piraeus on December 11, she remained laid up until 1976, when she was obtained by the Marriott Group, and four Kuwaiti companies. She was sent to Rijeka, Yugoslavia (today’s Croatia) where she was converted for the use as a luxury floating hotel in Kuwait City. She arrived in Kuwait in September 1978 having been renamed the “Kuwait Marriott Hotel.” On October 17 workers commenced to raise the harbour bed at her specially prepared berth as hull was to remain to be permanently grounded. This was completed and she officially opened as a hotel on February 1, 1980. In 1989 she was renamed the “Ramada al Salam Hotel” but soon disaster would hit this fine vessel!

However, when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991 the ship was attacked and she was bombed and set ablaze totally destroying this once magnificent ship. Upon inspection she was considered a total loss. Many of her machinery spares, which somehow remained in perfect order were sold and were used for her sister ship, the ex Santa Rosa by Regency Cruises as she was being rebuilt as the SS Regent Rainbow. Today this fine totally rebuilt ship continues to sail on as the SS “The Emerald.” The “Ramada al Salaam Hotel,” ex Santa Paula was scrapped in 2002, however it is said that parts of the ship are still visible at her final resting place. [Source]

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I wonder if it’s true that some of the ship parts are still visible. I never thought of going and checking it out.

Here are pictures of the hotel before it’s destruction:

Here are pictures of the hotel after it’s destruction:

Pictures collected from various sources online.


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Milestone: 10,000 Posts

Post by Mark

I was planning on doing something special for my 10,000th post on the blog but I just realized today that I passed that marker a few months back without even realizing it. As of this post I’ve published exactly 10,329 posts on the blog and since it launched around 11 years ago, that averages to more than 3 posts a day if you ignore the weekends. Considering this is Kuwait where very little goes on I still surprise myself on a daily basis that I’m still finding stuff to write about.

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The blog back in 2005

I used to think I was lucky that I was finding content on a daily basis and it was only a couple of years back did I realize that hold on a second, maybe this isn’t luck, maybe I just have a skill that allows me to discover stuff. I think it’s probably a combination of my creative side, mixed in with my extreme curiosity for things and probably a bit of ADHD and OCD on the side to top it all off.

248am-2006
The blog back in 2006

Another interesting figure, 199,363 comments have been posted so far, this doesn’t include deleted spam which is amounts to around 2.5 million.

The blog started off as a side project to another blog I had and was never meant to last this long. I have no idea when I’m going to stop blogging, but that day will most likely be sooner than later. For now I’m still here.


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Kuwaiti woman enters Guinness book with biggest digital album

Post by Mark

worldrecord

Dr. Eman Al-Shammari entered Guinness Book of World Records with the biggest digital photo album, adding another entry of Kuwait in the most famous reference book.

By organizing an anti-bullying campaign under the slogan (Shame on You), Al-Shammari received late on Monday a letter from Guinness Book of World Records after collecting the biggest digital photo album of different people with a sign expressing Kuwait’s keenness on fighting sectarian, ethnic, and school bullying.

The voluntary campaign managed to collect more than 13,000 photos of people carrying a sign that read (Shame on You) to help victims of bullying, especially children, to face such conduct, whether in schools or anywhere else, Al-Shammari told KUNA. [Source]

There must have been something lost in translation cuz I doubt the record is for the biggest digital photo album when most people have more than 13,000 photos on their phone. Unless the record is very specific one, the kind you can submit yourself to Guinness via their website so the record would be “the biggest digital photo album of different people holding a sign up with the message Shame on You”. Thats the only way this makes any sense.

Since we are on the subject, if you’d like to see all the Guinness World Records Kuwait has broken then click [Here]

The most random one is Fastest time to undress a male mannequin..


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Have you seen this anywhere?

Post by Mark

sneakercleaner

I used to go through at least three of these sneaker cleaners a month but for some reason Sultan Center stopped getting them. I’ve gone through my emergency supply and I’m now down to my very last bottle. So if anyone has seen this specific sneaker cleaner anywhere in Kuwait please let me know. I gifted a bottle to a friend of mine and I’m now thinking to ask for it back, thats how desperate I am.

Update: Thanks to a reader found a few of these cleaners left at Sultan Center in Promenade Mall so ended up buying the whole bunch.

sneakercleaner


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Event: Art of Can

Post by Mark

artofcan

Since its Ramadan there aren’t really any events taking place so figured I’d highlight the one and only event I am aware of taking place this week. Red Bull are hosting their Art of Can exhibition at 360 Mall until June 25th, so if you’re looking for an event to pass by then this is one. For more info click [Here]


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Sukar Boutique

Post by Mark

sukar1

Sukar Boutique is a new dessert shop that opened up at 360 Mall a couple of months back. The reason it caught my attention was the fact they carried different desserts from different local brands, kinda like a “best of”. For example they carry cookies from Choowy Goowy, molten cakes from Chocolateness, pies from The Pastry Shop and cakes from Opera. All together I think they carry around 20 different brands.

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They have a mini Caribou Coffee as part of the boutique and tables to sit on so the whole setup is like a small cafe. They have one location right now which is on the mezzanine floor of 360 Mall but my guess they’ll be opening a few more of these boutiques all around Kuwait. Sukar originally started off as a sweets Ramadan Expo, then they launched a magazine dedicated to sweets and now this boutique. If you want to find out more about them you can check out their instagram account @sukar_group


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Iftar at the Kuwait Towers

Post by Mark

kuwaittowersdinner

Last night I had an Iftar dinner at the Kuwait Towers and to my surprise it wasn’t that bad. Firstly, if you try and get a hold of them via telephone thats not going to happen because I tried calling them for two days over and over to book a table but I couldn’t get a hold of anyone. Not an operator, not their reservation desk, nothing and I tried calling at different times of the day like 12PM, 4PM, 6PM, 8PM etc.. and all with the same results. Luckily when we got there it wasn’t that packed (yes there were people) and we managed to get a table right next to the window.

The interior actually doesn’t look that bad at night since it was nicely lit with not very bright lighting. The service was probably the most impressive thing about the place, the staff there were pretty professional, knew exactly what they were doing and it felt like we were dining at a 5 star hotel restaurant. When it came to the food that was also a lot better than I was expecting (in buffet standards). There were a bunch of different mains to choose from from traditional Arabic ones to more international ones with quite a good selection of seafood, meat and chicken dishes to choose from.

The only issue I had with the whole place was the price. I was expecting the buffet to cost somewhere between KD12 to KD15 per person based on the kind of food that was served but it turned out to be KD19 per person which ties it with Jumeirah for the most expensive Iftar buffet in Kuwait. **UPDATE BELOW** I think they also have the most expensive soft drinks in Kuwait since a can of coke costs KD1.5. You shouldn’t be drinking soft drinks anyway so I guess thats a good preventative measure. I think it’s not a bad place to go to if you’ve got an out of town visitor and if you keep your restaurant bill you’re allowed access to the the Kuwait Towers observation deck for free which is usually a KD3 cost per person. Overall I left impressed.

Update: Ok turns out I can’t calculate for shit nor can my friend. 28 divided by 2 is 14 and not 19. The buffet turned out to be KD14 per person which means its actually not expensive and what I was expecting the buffet to cost.


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Is this the new Kuwait Airways branding?

Post by Mark

kuwaitairways1

Yesterday images started floating around on whatsapp and instagram of what looks like the new branding for Kuwait Airways. I personally doubt it’s their new branding just because the presentation seems too shallow and because I highly doubt the agency they’re working with would prematurely share the work before an official launch. Not only that but Kuwait Airways sent out the RFP (Request For Proposal) in mid March and they were going to select an agency by mid April so two months isn’t enough time to rebrand an airline.

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The agency behind this presentation is Argentinian based DHNN and a few days ago they uploaded a few slides of their Kuwait Airways work to their Behance portfolio. Most likely DHNN was one of the agencies that was pitching for the job but didn’t get it and these few slides are just from their initial pitch.

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In any case I’ve attached a few images from the presentation to this post but you could see all the slides that were released on Behance [Here]


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Kuwait has the world’s second most light-polluted skies

Post by Mark

lightpollution

Light pollution has intensified in the past half-century, increasing about 6% each year in North America and Europe, according to research published using a previous atlas created 15 years ago by the same researchers. That atlas, and the new study, define “light-polluted skies” as having a luminance of 14 or more microcandelas per square meter—about 10% higher than normal night sky brightness levels.

The new atlas shows that now, more than 80% of the world experiences light-polluted night skies, which includes roughly 83% of Earth’s population, and more than 99% of Europeans and Americans. By population, Singapore has the world’s most light-polluted skies, followed by Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates—all densely populated countries. Africa has the dimmest skies; the top 10 least polluted countries are on the continent.

Kuwait’s on a roll… [Link]

Thanks D. Basu


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Ramadan 2016 Commercials

Post by Mark

In summary, they’re all terrible with most being so bad I couldn’t even watch them all the way through. The only one that stuck out for me was the commercial above and most because it was a bit weird (and it wasn’t a musical). As of now I’ve collected 32 of this years Ramadan commercials and put them up on a YouTube playlist. I wouldn’t recommend it but in case you’re interested in watching some of them, just click [Here]

seedawi


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