Movies Now Showing in Kuwait

Post by Mark


The movies below are now showing at Cinescape and Grand Cinemas:

New This Week:
Deepwater Horizon (7.2)
Storks (7.2)
The Light Between Oceans (7.3) ♦

Other Movies Showing:
Ben-Hur (5.6)
Blair Witch (6.0)
Don’t Breathe (8.3) ♦
Havenhurst (5.8)
Hellions (4.3)
Mechanic: Resurrection (6.5)
Pete’s Dragon (7.3)
The Magnificent Seven (7.0) ★
Lights Out (6.7)
Snowden (6.2) ♦
Sully (7.9)
The Secret Life of Pets (6.8)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.
★ is for movies I’m interested in. ♦ implies movie might contain censorship.

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Hessah Al Mubarak Real Estate Development Project

Post by Mark


Back in April I noticed a large area of land was being cleared opposite The Green Island on the Gulf Road. The area turned out was being prepped for a new real estate project by KIPCO and a few days ago they launched the project officially with press releases and interviews. KIPCO are aware of how unique and rare this plot of space is which is why they will be setting an example with the high level of planning and construction and from what I’ve read and seen, looks like they’re on track. They’re basically building a whole neighborhood from the ground up. This was my favorite bit from the press release:


The land plot measures 227,066 sqm, of which close to 50% is dedicated to public services and amenities. This includes gardens, open public spaces, urban plazas, streets, multi-story public parking and utilities. Gardens and green areas across the project have been allocated 23,400 sqm. [Source]


Finally someone is doing it right and based on the photos it looks like there will also be sidewalks. You would think sidewalks would be something common but just try walking around a residential neighborhood like Salmiya or Salwa, no sidewalks to walk on.. at all. Also good to see lots of space being utilized for gardens and public spaces. In the 80s when I was a kid, me and my friends used to play in empty sand lots in our neighborhoods, football, marbles, whatever but today kids don’t have those spaces. All the empty plots have either been replaced with towering buildings or are filled with cars so it’s great that KIPCO are putting aside 50% of the land for public services and amenities.

Check out the video of the project below which should give you a much clearer overview of the whole project.

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Kuwait Lawyers Fight World’s First Mandatory DNA Sampling Law

Post by Mark

Lawyers in Kuwait have issued a legal challenge to the only law in the world forcing citizens and visitors to give samples of their DNA to the government. [Source]

Thank god, I was starting to worry that everyone was OK with this.

via @SultanAlQassemi

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Listen to This – A Music Column

Post by Amin Fari


Yoo!! It’s Amin Fari, or MR.FARI, or just plain Fari. You might’ve caught a few of my shows here in Kuwait, (I’d be the one with a guitar, rocking a man-bun and a fedora), but, just in case you haven’t, I’ll do the one-liner quick intro. I’m a singer/songwriter who studied music in LA and moved to Kuwait in 2013 wanting nothing more than to see the Kuwait music industry grow. Mark has graciously allowed me to contribute to the blog to keep you posted on what’s going on in Kuwait, musically speaking, and to help get the word out. Let’s Jam!

As the temperatures in Kuwait begin to drop, and the weather starts to get better, a few things start to happen; people become friendlier, they become more outgoing, and more outdoor events start to pop up – and in those events, musicians come out to play. It’s as though musicians are birds that come out to serenade the people, making their experience of being outside all the more enjoyable.

And, like every bird-watcher, I observe, looking for new trends. I look for new musicians making their way onto the scene, possible venues where musicians can play, their social media presence, and how they’re promoting their work. This column is really about an observer of Music Culture, one who also happens to participate in the scene, giving you the inside scoop.

Now, in keeping with this bird metaphor, the summer season provides a time for birds to hideout, (I know, this is getting a little too deep with the bird metaphor, but stay with me). Given Kuwait’s scorching summer temperatures, it’s the perfect time for musicians to step back from the performing scene, work in the studio, and publish their music online. So, let’s talk about some of this summer’s latest additions to the scene.

First up, “EE LAA”, a song by Flipperachi and Daffy. Why am I talking about “EE LAA”? Because, you guys know Daffy from his other hit, “Samboosa”, and this summer he gave us “EE LAA”, which took over the Middle East. He put together a great campaign which revolved around people breakdancing to the song, got KIA and a whole bunch of others to sponsor, and it went viral. And thus, I cannot talk music in Kuwait without tipping my hat to them, and giving them props for their success. Here is the link to check out their music video “EE LAA”:

Another great upcoming musician that I highly recommend you check out is Mahmoud Kamel – you know, the guy who coordinated the music programs for Bayt Lothan. Since the closing down of Bayt Lothan, he seems to be concentrating more on his own music, and, because his role at Bayt Lothan was one of our main support systems as musicians in Kuwait, I think it’s only fair that we return the favor. Here is his cover of “ROXANNE” by The Police. Enjoy:

The next premiere I’d like to talk about is the album RUSH by Omar Afuni. I am really excited about this project because it is a great expression of Pop, and I know that he wrote himself, taking on, pretty much, all the work, with only 2 or 3 key people, putting out a really great body of music. You can check out his music video here, which is really cool because it pokes fun at all the generic ideas of what Pop is, and what makes a great video, and, you should just watch it, it really is worth it.

Next up, Adel Qattan’s Born Digital. I think it’s really interesting because he takes Omar Afuni, takes him out of Pop, and puts him in a whole different type of Rock world. Now, I’ve seen Adel work with Jazz, Reggae, Latin music, but Born Digital is really the expression that he loves the most. So, I’m excited for his project, and to see where it goes. Please check it out and let him know what you think.

Now, before I let you go, we need to talk. It’s about us. Yes, “us”. “You” the fans, and “us” the musicians. As I work in the music industry, I hear a lot of commentary from people and artists that there is no music scene in Kuwait. But, I believe, that in order to have a thriving music scene, there needs to be a loyal fan-base helping to build it. So it is important that you take the time to link up with these artists, because one cannot expect to have a strong music scene with fans only coming out to show their support at its prime. We are all used to being fans of a particular artist or venue, but what I am asking of you is a little bit different. I am asking you to be a fan of a scene. Go support all the musicians and the venues that you can, whether or not they hold a special place in your heart, that way, the whole music scene can feel that they are being heard and supported. Take the time to engage with these artists and comment on their social media, be friends with them. Follow their links and their performances because, even though without them there is no music, more importantly, without fans music doesn’t live, either. So, you guessed it, the scene needs you to survive. So go support local music.

Love, Music and Peace

Post by Amin FARI
Are you a musician looking to perform? On the flipside, are you a host looking for musicians to book? Or maybe you’ve just got an awesome idea you’d like to share? Get in touch / Instagram: @xxmrfarixx

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Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro Opening in Kuwait *UPDATED*

Post by Mark


Thomas Keller is a popular American chef who currently hold 7 Michelin stars (3 at Per Se, 3 at The French Laundry, and 1 at Bouchon). Alshya are bringing his casual dining French-inspired Bouchon Bistro to Kuwait and they’ll be opening the restaurant at Avenues in place of where the Cavalli Caffè used to be located. I don’t have an idea on when they’re opening but the last time I passed by the Cavalli location it didn’t look like any work had started.


Update: I was just informed they’re sadly bringing Bouchon Bakery and NOT Bouchon Bistro. This sucks since I was actually pretty excited about the bistro. We don’t need more Macarons!

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List of Restaurants Opening at the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre

Post by Mark


As I mentioned earlier in the week, there are 18 restaurants opening up at the new Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre and thanks to a reader, I got the names of the restaurants that are opening there. They are the following:

Haleeb Wa Heil
Villa Fayrouz
Cocoa Room
The Chocolate Gate
Baker & Spice
Kashwanat Al Bait
Cafe Meem
Burger Boutique
Over Jar
Days Cafe
Beit Shakry
My Fair Grill
Cafe Organic
The Bowl
She Shawerma

All the restaurants are local creations since that was one of the main requirements of the Amiri Diwan. Also note I might have misspelled some of the restaurants since the list I got was in Arabic.

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iPhone 7 Prices in Kuwait

Post by Mark


Below are the current prices of the iPhone 7 in Kuwait, the cheapest online seems to be Best Electronics. Check out the list below and if I’m missing a website let me know.

Best Electronics
iPhone 7 32GB: KD238
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: KD326

iPhone 7 32GB: KD259
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: KD375

iPhone 7 32GB: KD240
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: N/A

Mr Babu
iPhone 7 32GB: KD239
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: KD329

iPhone 7 32GB: KD270
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: KD370

iPhone 7 32GB: KD245
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: N/A

iPhone 7 32GB: KD240
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: N/A

iPhone 7 32GB: KD240
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: KD330

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Table Otto Opening Next Week

Post by Mark


Table Otto is the new restaurant by Kuwaiti chef Faisal Al Nashmi, the same guy behind Street by Almakan. I was invited to a tasting last night and I think it’s one of the nicest looking spots in the city.


The restaurant is an American Brasserie which I know sounds odd but from what I tried last night, it works. Table Otto is currently set to soft launch this coming Sunday from 7PM to 10PM and they’re located in Al Shaheed Park opposite the Habitat Museum. Once they officially open up I’ll pass by again so I could write a proper review but for now you can check out their instagram account @table.otto

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Wataniya Airways Flight Destinations

Post by Mark

Back in August I posted that a Wataniya Airways representative contacted me to let me know they were planning to make a comeback sometime around December/January and it looks like they’re on track. Although no official announcement has been made, the Wataniya Airways website is now up and they’ve listed their flight destinations which are the following:

Saudi Arabia

Sadly, no European destinations which is what I think was their issue the first time around. Instead of competing with Kuwait Airways with direct flights to European destinations, they were flying regional and competing with a bunch of low cost airlines. I’m sure it has to do with the fact their current planes can’t do long haul flight but if they did fly to London for example, they would only be competing with Kuwait Airways and British Airways with direct flights. On the other hand, by flying to Dubai they’re competing with Kuwait Airways, FlyDubai, Jazeera Airways, Air Arabia and Emirates.

But I’ve never run an airline so I’m probably wrong. Here is a link to their [Website]

For those of you who don’t know Wataniya Airways, they’re a local carrier that launched back in 2009 as a premium airline but ended up losing money and shutting down. Wikipedia have a good summary of the airlines history which you can read [Here]

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Latest on the Cultural Centre

Post by Mark


I dropped by the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre late last week to check out the progress. On this latest trip I passed by the fountain area which I wasn’t aware of previously. It wasn’t in the original renderings and the area has a large fountain in the middle surrounded by 18 restaurants and shops. On top of the restaurants is a walkway which reminded me of the High Line in New York since it was surrounded by greenery and pools of water. The high path overlooks the fountain area and leads all the way to the back of the four main structures. I shot a video of the fountain area which you can see in the video below.

I’m trying to get a list of all the places that will be opening up there but still haven’t received them yet. One source of mine has informed me the soft launch is now on October 15th. Even though there is still lots of work taking place near the fountain area, the main buildings are basically done. I walked into one of them and it was sparkling clean with workers busy still cleaning. Another contact of mine also involved in the project has denied they will be soft launching on October 15th and instead plans are still underway for an October 31st launch. We’ll have to see which one turns out to be right.

I don’t have any information on what performances will be taking part at the Cultural Center nor do I even know if there is a website for it. If I find out anything I’ll surely post it.

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