Jazeera Airways to London and Paris

Post by Mark

Jazeera Airways hoped to synergies its processes with Kuwait Airways, including operations at Kuwait International and using the Kuwaiti national carrier’s long-haul network to feed its own regional flights.

According to Hubbard, the low-cost hybrid carrier is looking at starting flights to London, Paris and possibly Singapore, if it can no longer purchase a controlling state in Kuwait Airways.

I wouldn’t mind flying to London with Jazeera Airways as long as the planes are clean. I stopped flying with them to Beirut and Dubai simply because the plane interiors got so old and worn out.


Jazeera Airways plans to build its own terminal, including valet parking — an oddity for low-cost airlines in Europe but not the Gulf where a hybrid model has seen the introduction of business seats and included baggage allowance.

The terminal construction, built onto the four gates Jazeera Airways is operating from at Kuwait International, will likely start in the first quarter 2016 and take a year to complete at a cost of €20 million (Dh112.67 million), Hubbard said.

There has been talk on Jazeera building their own terminal for some time now, in fact there are two Jazeera terminal renderings I am aware of which I’ve shared in this post. If they have their own entrance separate from the current airport thats going to be a huge plus for sure until the new airport is built. Check out the full article [Here]

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Paid to Look Pretty

Post by Mark


Essena O’Neill had half a million followers and made an income off her posts. She boldly quit the platform last week to bring attention to problems spawned from social media.

I generally don’t link to articles I read on Facebook but I felt this one relates a lot with whats going on in Kuwait with most of the female celebrity instagrammers. [Link]


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Man Killed Over a PlayStation

Post by Mark

Some of you might have already seen the video above of a fight taking place on the streets of Hawalli where a person gets run down and killed by a driver of a pick-up truck. According to Arab Times the fight was over a Sony PlayStation:

The deceased was hit and killed with a pick-up driven by a Kuwaiti youth in the course of a fight between a group of Kuwaitis and Egyptian nationals at the commercial complex. The prime suspect who’s in his 20s admitted knocking the late Egyptian down with a vehicle in an attempt to free his friend during a fight over KD 19 price difference of a Play Station. [Source]

The original news report stated the fight started in Rehab Complex and that’s what I had originally heard as well but, the video shows the fight taking place in front of Al-Muhallab Mall. How did the fight end up all the way there? Also, I had originally heard the fight was over a game and not a PlayStation console, specifically the new Call of Duty: Black Ops III game.


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Burger & Lobster Opening This Month

Post by Mark

According to their Kuwait instagram page, as of this post Burger & Lobster at the Avenues are set to open in just 9 days. As I’ve previously mentioned, Burger & Lobster’s menu consists of just 3 dishes, a hamburger, a whole lobster and a lobster roll. All three dishes are priced the same, £20 in the UK and $20 in the US so I’m still curious to know what the pricing will be like in Kuwait. To check out some teaser photos of the place plus keep track of their launch date check out their instagram page [Here]

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Guitar Hero Live Review

Post by Patrick


For those of you who don’t know, I was in charge of posting video game related posts in the now defunct Entertainment section of the blog. Since Mark merged that section with the rest of the blog, I’ll now be writing about video games in the B-Sides section while posting reviews of major game releases here on the main page. Last week Mark was able to hook me up with his contact at X-Cite who will now be sending me games to review on the blog every now and then, first up is Guitar Hero Live.

Guitar Hero became a massive phenomenon when it was first introduced back in 2005. Six games were released, 12 if you include the specialized versions of the series like Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Guitar Hero Smash Hits. All those games were released within the span of seven years between 2005 to 2011. That’s nearly two games a year, which is a crazy number for such a short period of time. So when Activision announced Guitar Hero Live, it wasn’t a surprise that most people felt skeptical about it.

My only real experience with Guitar Hero prior to this was Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock at a friends house. And all I remember of that game was playing Muse’s Knights of Cydonia over and over again, trying to get a perfect score. It was a lot of fun and I could see why people obsessed over it and why Activision milked it for all its worth.

Guitar Hero Live is meant to be a fresh new take on the whole franchise. A reinvention. There are two main aspects to the game. Guitar Hero Live and Guitar Hero TV. Guitar Hero Live is the single player “campaign” mode where you play as a guitarist for different bands that Activision created for this mode. Each band plays a specific genre of rock, so the folk-indie band for example plays songs from real bands like The Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men.

Like the name suggests, you’ll be playing live shows with these bands. Activision filmed a lot of footage to flesh out this part of the game. If you’re doing well in the song crowds will cheer, bop their heads to the song and your bandmates will be rocking out. If you start screwing up, crowds will start booing and yelling things at you while your band mates look on at you in disappointment or just insult you in some way.

I enjoyed this mode, it’s fun, it’s silly. The presentation is great, it feels fantastic when you’re playing a really challenging part of a song and the crowd erupts in joyful glee when you nail it. I just wish there were more songs and that it lasted longer. I’m also confused to why Rihanna and Skrillex would be in this guitar focused game, but they are.


After you’re done with Guitar Hero Live, you’ll be spending a chunk of your time in Guitar Hero TV. Guitar Hero TV is an online only mode and is equivalent to old school MTV. You’ll find two channels that play music videos non-stop throughout the day. Each channel has their own set of programs. So there’s a program that just plays heavy metal songs while another just plays indie hits. These channels play music videos all day and you can jump in and play whenever you feel like it. Since this mode is online you’ll be competing simultaneously with other players who are playing that same song. At the end of each song you gain experience points and coins. Every time you level up you unlock various things like special abilities and player card designs. You’ll be able to spend coins in various ways, for example you can spend coins to increase specific stats like how often your special ability recharges. You can also spend coins to buy more play tokens (which I’ll discuss in a little bit).

Guitar Hero TV also includes the song catalogue which includes over 100 tracks. To play any of these songs you need to use a play token. The biggest point of focus in this mode are the play tokens. Every time you play a song, you use a play token. They’re limited. There are three ways to get play tokens. Every time you level up, the game gives you a bunch of tokens. If you save up enough coins you can buy them. Or you can use real money and buy tokens. The game also offers 24 hour unlimited play for the entire song catalogue for $6. One word to describe play tokens would be “controversial”. Some people hate it, some people get it. I’m in the latter. The reasoning behind Activisions micro-transactions in Guitar Hero Live is that they want to avoid what they did in the last generation. They don’t want to keep releasing Guitar Hero games or release a ton of paid DLC like Rock Band. Instead they want to build Guitar Hero Live as a platform. New songs that will be added to the game will be added for free. This direction doesn’t seem so bad compared to Rock Band where each song costs $2. We’ll see how it works out in the long-term but so far I’m optimistic.


Putting all that aside, the game is fun. If you weren’t a fan before, I doubt this will change your opinion of it. But if you did enjoy the previous games, this game feels like a step up and a step in the right direction. I had a blast playing on my own and I also had fun playing the game in a group (Mark really sucks at it btw). If you attach a mic to the console, lyrics will pop up on screen and the game will keep score on vocals. You don’t actually have to own a proper mic either. A Playstation Camera or headphones/earphones (like the iPhone ones) with mics work. There’s also an official Guitar Hero Live iPhone app you can download on your phone that will connect to the game and turn your phone into a mic. You can also get a second guitar to add a second player and compete against one another. The game also does well for people who don’t normally play video games. I had guests over on the weekend and one of my guests doesn’t normally play any video games, but they were hooked on Guitar Hero the moment they grabbed the guitar.


My biggest concern isn’t with the actual game but with the plastic guitar. The guitar itself looks good and it feels good to hold. But after playing the game over the weekend, one of the buttons was already giving me problems. Thankfully it was an easy fix. I had to open up the fret board (11 screws) and I found that there was some dirt on the inside of the button. Once I put it back together, the guitar was working like new.

Overall the game is a ton of fun and it’s something I’ll be playing for quite some time, especially when I have guests over. Hopefully they’ll add some Queens of the Stone Age or Foo Fighters, because this game could definitely use more of that. There’s a bit of an imbalance when it comes to the song selection in the game, there are too many recent hits and not enough grunge and alternative songs.

You can find Guitar Hero Live at X-Cite for KD31.9 which is a pretty great deal since it’s being sold for $99 in the U.S. My review copy of Guitar Hero Live was also provided by X-Cite.


Post by Patrick

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360 Mall: New Renderings and Video of Expansion

Post by Mark

360 Mall have released new renderings as well as a video showcasing their upcoming mall expansion which will include a tennis complex, a hotel and additional shopping. The tennis complex will have a combined stadium seating for over 7,600 people across two main arenas, each with the capacity to hold 4,000 and 1,600 people respectively, eight indoor courts with over 500 seats and eight outdoor courts with 1,500 seats. The tennis arena will be called “The Sheikh Jaber Al Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah International Tennis Complex” and is expected to become one of the world’s best tennis facilities.


In summary, we should basically all start learning tennis so we could take advantage of the facilities once they open up.

On a side note I’ve managed to confirm that Bloomingdale’s will be opening up where the exhibition hall at 360 Mall is located right now. What I wasn’t aware of was that the exhibition hall is actually three floors tall but because they hadn’t installed the escalators yet, it never showed. Regarding the 5-star hotel thats opening up in the new expansion, all the renderings are pointing towards Hyatt making a comeback to Kuwait. I’m still trying to get confirmation on this but I haven’t been able to as of now. My contact just confirmed the hotel that will be opening is Grand Hyatt and that an official announcement will be made shortly.





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Kuwait Law: How a Law Becomes a Law

Post by Fajer Ahmed


There have been a lot of “legal” changes in Kuwait in the past year, and mostly for the positive. But, the law in Kuwait is not always accessible in English to the large number of foreigners in the country. Therefore there are many topics which I believe would be beneficial to my readers, but I never know where to start, which is why I have decided to start right from the beginning, to the inception of law.

I will try to explain how law is born, in a simple understandable form to all humans, because that is how the law is supposed to be (so the lawyers reading this, I apologize for not using your exclusive lingo!!)

Kuwait is unique in the region being one if the first countries to have a democratic legal system. The system has not changed since it came into place in 1962, and therefore because of democracy, decision making needs to go through a process of steps before it can become “law”, unlike other countries. (An example of this that makes me very proud is that Kuwait is the first country in the GCC that has a law for the rights of domestic workers, it’s brand new too!)

The steps for a law to become a law are as follows:
1) a drat law is suggested by a parliament member or by the government
2) draft law goes to a committee in the parliament (there’s different committees responsible for different things like “education” “health” and so on)
3) committee drafts the law and approves
4) the law is discussed in a session (those for and those against get to speak with equal love)
5) the parliament vote for the law
6) the Amir approves and ratifies the law
7) if the Amir doesn’t approve a law, the parliament can reintroduce the law for voting
8) printed in the daily newspaper (http://kuwaitalyawm.media.gov.kw/)
9) wait a period of time before the law becomes a Law

So when you hear absurd things in the news like a parliament member has suggested “no more yoga in Kuwait, cause people are bending in front of each other” or “men can’t wear the color pink” or “Kuwaitis get 3 day weekends, while expats work 25 hours a day”, please understand it is not law and just a suggestion by a parliament member that a lot of people voted for. Also please understand that the Kuwaiti constitution gives the people living in Kuwait a lot of rights (and obligations) and no parliament or ministry can take away those rights. They are the guidelines for any new law.

With that said, it is very important to know who you are voting for during elections, and a good way to do that is through the non-biased www.raqib50.com, a website that allows you to track different parliament members in Kuwait, current and previous, track their attendance, see what they have proposed and their work in their committees. I hope that was helpful, the media isn’t always positive and can really influence the way we perceive the country even though a lot of positive changes are right in front of us.

Feel free to email me ask@fajerthelawyer.com with any legal questions. I do not have the capacity to answer everyone for free (but I try), and I am happy to announce that I am currently working with a great team and therefore we are able to reply back to all emails with a reasonable time frame.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.

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SOLO Pizza Napulitana Wins 3rd Best Pizza in the World

Post by Mark


SOLO PN, the local pizza joint were recently invited to compete in a pizza competition at the Italian Cuisine World Summit 2015 that was held in Dubai. At first they ended up winning first place in the GCC under three categories, Best Pizza Napoletana, Best Special Pizza and the Fastest Pizzaiuolo. That took them to the world finals in which they ended up coming in third place. A pretty impressive achievement by itself but the fact that it’s by a pizza joint based out of tiny Kuwait is even more impressive. I’m sure it caught everyone by surprise. Check out their instagram account for more details. [Link]

Thanks teenum

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Stories by Zain

Post by Mark


Zain have just started an interesting project, they’ve found a creative way of using instagram to tell children stories. Their first story is called Zain and the Stars and you can read it by going to the instagram account @zain_andthestars on you phone. Once you open the account you start reading the story by scrolling down. They’ll be uploading a new story every month under a different account with the hope of having a large library of good Arabic books by the end of the project. Whenever there is a new story they’ll be announcing it on their @zainkuwait account but for now, check out their first one by visiting @zain_andthestars from your phone.

Note: The stories are in Arabic

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Buying Digital Cards in Kuwait

Post by Patrick


Buying digital games is becoming a more realistic option with this recent generation of consoles. This is mainly due to the fact that the consoles all have big enough storage, support external hard drives and because our internet speeds are pretty decent so buying a physical copy of a game isn’t necessary anymore. This is positive, especially in Kuwait where games are expensive and since not every game is sometimes even available. On top of that Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft discount a bunch of games for their consoles throughout the year. The problem for us in this region is that our gaming consoles only accept credit cards from the region you have your location set, which will always either be the U.S. or the U.K. So it’s good to know what websites offer digital codes that could be sent directly to your email.

Keep in mind that the only websites that support KNET are local. So if you’re planning on purchasing a digital code from Amazon, be prepared to use your credit card. So what’s the advantage of buying a digital code off Amazon? Well if you’re buying the $10 PSN card, it costs $9.99 which is equivalent to about KD3. $10 PSN cards in Kuwait go for KD3.750 to KD4 depending on the site you choose. If you have a credit card then there aren’t many disadvantages to getting a digital code from Amazon, the only one I can think of is that if you’re an owner of a Nintendo console, you’re out of luck since Amazon doesn’t sell digital codes for the Nintendo consoles.

For those who want to use Knet, we’re not short on options when it comes to local websites. Currently the websites that offer digital codes (to my knowledge) are Blink, X-Cite and GamesQ8. Digumz sells cards, but it’s unclear if they email the digital codes or not. The website that seems to have the best deals when it comes to PSN and Nintendo cards is X-Cite, but their Microsoft cards are more expensive than the others. GamesQ8 is generally pricier than the other websites and will only send you the digital codes through email only during their working hours.

It’s also important to note that if you’re looking for iTunes cards, both Blink and GamesQ8 currently sell digital codes.

Posted by Patrick

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