Ghaliah Sells 40% Stake for $20 Million

Posted by Mark


Ghaliah for those of you who don’t know are a locally established social media agency that launched back in 2011. Today they’re the largest digital agency in Kuwait handling the majority of the social media accounts of companies in Kuwait as well as manage most of the local celebrity instagrammers. Early last week they sold 40% stake in the company to a local investor (Al Bahar Group) for a sum of $20,000,000. That makes Ghaliah the latest web related startup in Kuwait to hit it big. The other two I could think of right now are Talabat and FishFishMe. Ghaliah will now be using most of the new funding to expand their services to New York and Dubai (they’re already in Saudi Arabia and Qatar) as well as introduce new services.

As I’ve said before, a good idea is a good idea even if you’re based in Kuwait. If anything, I think because of the amount of free time people have in Kuwait, it makes perfect sense to start a side business here (and many people do). On a side note does anyone wanna pay me a few million for my blog? Will include lots of Shani in the deal.

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How to get your hands on Munchos

Posted by Mark


I was talking to a friend yesterday and somehow we ended up talking about the popular Munchos chips from the 80s. He was telling me they’re nearly impossible to get nowadays because they sell out before they even hit the supermarket shelves. They’re in real high demand and so they’re always out of stock.

But, turns out there is a way to get them by using a Munchos dealer.

So the Munchos dealer is basically a Fico mandoub and the way it works is pretty simple. You add him on whatsapp and you send him a message letting him know how many boxes of Munchos you want. Once he gets a supply he’ll contact you and you’ll then be able to pick up a box. So if you’re interested in Munchos, the number you can contact is 50273636. I don’t know what his name is I just have him saved as Munchos Dealer. So now I have a Munchos Dealer to go along with my Mango Dealer. I love Kuwait.

Photo from Kaifii

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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Posted by Mark

This weekend, specifically Saturday is just insane with a ton of interesting events taking place. Probably the most oddest thing however is the K-Pop World Festival thats taking place in Mishref. That’s definitely something worth checking out. Check out the full list below:

Study for a Domiciled Gallery
Family Exhibition
Ramadan Food Exhibition
Sukar Ramadan Sweets Expo
Health Informatics

Family Exhibition
Ramadan Food Exhibition
Sukar Ramadan Sweets Expo

Family Exhibition
Ramadan Food Exhibition
Sukar Ramadan Sweets Expo
Yoga for K’SPATH
Concert: Taksim Trio
Ride With Us
It’s Story Time
K-Pop World Festival
Reddit Meetup

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

Update: The K-Pop World Festival venue has changed, the event is now taking place at the Korean Embassy

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Recommend a Health Insurance Company

Posted by Mark

I canceled my medical insurance around three years back because I wasn’t really using it. Dumb move obviously since I got raped with the hospital bill last month for my broken ankle. I paid KD450 just for the two screws alone and thats not including the surgery, hospital stay or anything else! So now I’m back looking for an insurance company to sign up to. If you guys can recommend an insurance company based on your personal experience that would be super helpful to me and to anybody else who might be interested in getting medical insurance.

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Kuwait – Through Our Eyes – Part 2

Posted by Mark

Last year British Airways aired the first part of its four part series on Kuwait onboard all their flights. The film was well received and since then the team has been busy working on part two of the series which they just released last night. Check it out above or on [YouTube]


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Step inside $190M ‘ghost’ stadium

Posted by Mark


If you check the sports page on right this moment, the current featured article is on Kuwait’s abandoned Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium. The stadium which was completed back in 2007 has only been used once since then for an officially sanctioned match.

I just read the article and I’m still confused to why the stadium is closed. Supposedly what I heard is what everyone else had heard which is the stadium had a structural fault. But, according to the article, the contractor and the stadium’s security chief have both denied there is any kind of fault in the building. Yet the article also states that the Amiri Diwan have now taken over the project and have hired a new contractor who is currently in the process of repairing the building. So was there a fault or wasn’t there a fault? I don’t get it. Check out the article on CNN [Here]

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We’re all on the same side here

Posted by Mark


A couple of days back I posted a letter from a British teacher who was deported for driving without a Kuwaiti license. The post ended up gaining a lot of attention (nearly doubling my blogs traffic) as well as creating a heated discussion in the comments section of the post.

I managed to stay out of the conversation but I just wanted to clarify a few points. Firstly the teacher never said he was an English teacher, people assumed he was an English teacher or that he even taught in English just because he mentioned he was British. Originally when the teacher first contacted me, he shared a photo of a letter he wrote when in the prison cell. The letter was in Arabic which I couldn’t read so I told him to resend it in English which is what I ended up posting on the blog.

If you’d like to read his original letter in Arabic click [Here]


Based on the amount of attention the letter garnered it’s clear that deportation is a sensitive issue. Having your life taken away from you for a minor wrongdoing is just too extreme and it puts everyone on the edge. I’ve personally highlighted these overkill punishments a number of times on the blog and I’ll say it again, I find them ridiculous. How does barbecuing get your deported? Unless you’re barbecuing a wild boar outside the gates of Bayan Palace while cracking open a 6-pack of beer with some friends, barbecuing shouldn’t get you deported. It certainly doesn’t deserve a stiffer and harsher punishment than a person caught running a red light.

One final thing I’d also like to say, just because expats complain doesn’t mean they hate Kuwait. “If you don’t like it leave” is a bullshit statement. If people accepted everything that was given to them then there wouldn’t be any progress or improvement. If you’re out dining and you find a bug in your dish do you not complain? It doesn’t mean you hate the restaurant if you do, and the manager definitely wouldn’t tell you to leave and never come back if you don’t like it (insert Benihana joke here). Expats are as much part of Kuwait as Kuwaitis are and we all want to see it get better. We’re all on team Kuwait.

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The Volkswagen Golf GTI

Posted by Mark

Last week after posting my review on the Lexus IS 350 I got a phone call from VW regarding the Golf since I had left a comment about how they don’t want me to drive their cars. Awhile back I had sent them a couple of emails requesting to test drive the car but no one had ever gotten back to me. Actually one person did the first time I sent an email and they told me they didn’t have the car available for a test drive, but they’d call me back once they did. The second email just never got through due it turns out to a technical glitch from their side. The marketing manager was fairly apologetic about that and told me they had a Golf GTI ready and that I could pass by and pick it up anytime I wanted to. So an hour later I was leaving the VW dealership in a hot red hatch for the weekend.

I have a personal connection with the Golf. My granddad in Lebanon had the original Golf MKI which my family used to use during our summer holidays. It was a great car, compact and really reliable. The car I believe was a 1977 model but stayed in the family up until the late 90s. When I moved to Lebanon for university my first car was also a Golf, the MKIII. It was the car I learned to drive on and in the two years I had it, I managed to get 14 flat tires (stupid potholes) and 7 accidents. Sounds bad but it’s because of the Golf I’m a much better driver today. The car then moved on to my sister who continued the tradition of carelessly driving into giant potholes as well as hitting other cars. Sadly though, she still sucks at driving today. The Golf took a lot of abuse before we finally sold it. I still miss the car and wish I still had it but it’s probably in a better place now. Since then the Golf has gone through four facelifts and the current model is the Golf MKVII.

So yeah I love Golfs and I was in love with the current model even before driving it. And now after spending the weekend with the car I’m seriously contemplating getting one. I tend to do this with every car I test drive which isn’t healthy obviously, I even did it with the Ferrari 458 Spider and the McLaren. You can just imagine the conversation I had in my head trying to convince myself how it’s possible the 458 could replace my FJ Cruiser as my daily driver. Most of the time though the itch wears off a few days later and I start looking for another car to test drive. This time, I’m not sure if the feeling is going to go away.

The new Golf GTI is just a blast to drive. The seating position is fantastic, the handling is ridiculous and it just takes a few minutes to feel super confident driving it. I was also driving like a douche, cutting people off and trying to squeeze between cars. Its how I used to drive my own Golf and I guess I was just reliving the old days. Because of the extremely accurate handling, Golfs are known to be great for “inbetweens” which is the art of trying to squeeze yourself between two cars by creating a new lane between them. Luckily, no sideview mirrors were lost in the making of this review. Seriously though the car is so much fun to drive and the more powerful Golf R is supposed to be even more fun which is insane.

One thing that surprised the hell out of me was the car’s AC. I wouldn’t usually mention the AC in a review but this past weekend the weather was really hot and the car spent a lot of time parked in the sun yet the AC was so powerful it would give Toyota a run for their money. On the other hand I found the sound system disappointing with really boomy bass, a small claustrophobic screen and no navigation. For those of you who’re interested in the back seats, there’s pretty good legroom and like all Golf’s the rear seats fold down turning the already large trunk into an IKEA friendly one.

There are two Golf’s available to purchase in Kuwait, the Golf GTI and the Golf R (they don’t get standard non GTI or R Golfs). The Golf GTI in Kuwait comes fully loaded with features such as the performance package, auto parking, rearview camera and sunroof and costs KD10,600. If I was getting the GTI I would custom order it (which is possible) and not have the auto parking option (because I can park myself) and instead get the upgraded sound system with navigation. The Golf R is the most powerful version of the Golf with more horsepower than the GTI, an all wheel drive system, upgraded sound system with navigation and leather seats. But the Golf R also costs KD14,800.

I’m having a real hard time trying to decide if I’d be willing to swap my FJ for the Golf. I’ve already been researching Golf bike mounts and roof bars that can hold wakeboards. But, I’ve also kinda gotten used to being able to drive over anything and on anything so thats going to be something hard to let go of. If you’re interested in test driving the Golf or if you’re looking for more information, then check out the dealers website [Here]

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Museum of Modern Art, Kuwait

Posted by Mark


I still haven’t been to the Museum of Modern Art in Kuwait but after receiving the image above it looks like I’m headed there in the morning to check it out. There is currently a study being exhibited at the museum and based on the photo above it looks like a beautiful setup. For details on the exhibit click [Here]

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Getting Deported Sucks

Posted by Mark


Last week when I posted about the teachers getting deported for working illegally, I received many emails from teachers on the subject. One email that caught my attention was from a British teacher who had gotten deported for driving without a Kuwaiti license. I thought that was a sort of an urban legend or a law at least the police were being “selective” on who they apply it to. I’ve always wondered how the deportation process works, do they give you time to pack? Do you get to close your bank accounts and transfer your money? Do you get a court hearing even? Well this is what the teacher had to say on this subject (I’ve posted two of his emails below):

I am a British teacher working in Kuwait who has been deported for not having a Kuwaiti driving license. I am not a criminal and have many parents, students and people who will vouch for my good character. I have been treated like a dog in the deportation center where there are no human rights – you are seen as a worthless animal. This abuse must stop.


I have a British and International driving license, I have not had an accident in 12 years and have never been in trouble with the authorities before.

I was stopped by the police and immediately they started shouting at me, and swearing at me, I showed them my license and they said no that is not enough. My daughter was with me who was crying, I called my friend to collect her, they took me to the police station, booked me in and then to the prison in Talha. I was treated like a piece of shit by the police, I told them I want to speak to my embassy who visited me and said if I stay and wait for a decision I will be here for a long time, so it is better to leave. I told my family to pack up there things and take the same flight as me.

Whilst in prison I was not allowed to use the bathroom, we slept in filthy conditions and ate on the floor like animals, all for not having a Kuwaiti license – which incidentally the standards are much lower compared to British driving standards.

All the people getting deported where not criminals, there where business men, designers, sales executives, teachers, all whom contribute in a positive way to the country, yet we are being deported.

This needs to stop.

I know that this story is going around on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I now have to start my life again, no job, no money, no house of my own, no school for my kids, I will get back on my feet, I accept i have broken the law, but is this sentence not too harsh for such an offense.

I have to agree, I also believe this sentence is too harsh for such an offense in a similar way to how I found the KD1,000 fine for illegally barbecuing to be out of proportion (and later replace by deportation), or how you could get deported for fighting in public or merely being annoying on a jetski. I have no idea why the answer to everything is deportation but whatever their reason might be, I hope I never end up on the wrong end of the stick.

Photo from Kuwait Times

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