Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

Super tiny list this weekend. One new thing I’ll be doing from now on is adding table top gaming events from Good Game to the list like the Magic: The Gathering event taking place on Friday. If I find out about anything else taking place this weekend I’ll add it to the list but for now this is whats going on:

Thursday
Ramadan Bootcamp by Diet Care
Cooking 101 at The Yard

Friday
Yoga Flow with Rosy
Good Game: Magic: The Gathering

Saturday
Yoga at the Park (Hatha Yoga)

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

Sometimes events get canceled or have details changed so double check info with organizers.


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Wholesome Foods, A New Organic Supermarket

Post by Mark

wholesomefoods1

If you were hoping the American supermarket chain Whole Foods would open in Kuwait one day, well this is the closest thing you’re gonna get. Wholesome Foods is a new supermarket that Saveco have opened up and not only does it have the same name as Whole Foods, it basically has the same interior look and color scheme along with a similar concept (they mostly carry organic and healthy food products).

wholesomefoods2

It’s not a very large place, but it’s two floors and they have a good variety of items you won’t find at other supermarkets. They’re located in Salmiya in The View building where Marks & Spencer is so the place is pretty close to where I live. Since I’m always frustrated with the lack of product range at Sultan I’ll probably be passing by Whole Foods (can we just call it that?) to pick up whatever I can’t find anywhere else.

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If you’re wondering about the prices, they’re similar to Saveco. Whole Foods is open daily from 10AM to 1AM and here is their location on [Google Maps]


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Truefitt & Hill Barbershop Opening in Kuwait

Post by Mark

trufitt

Truefitt & Hill is the oldest barbershop in the world established back in 1805 in London, and they’re opening their first location in the Middle East here in Kuwait at the Symphony Mall. I hadn’t heard of them until a redditor mentioned them and according to him they’ll be opening up by the end of the year.


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Lebanese Food Blogger Comes to Kuwait, Visits Worst Places

Post by Mark

A very popular Lebanese food blogger came to Kuwait as part of his Middle East food tour and guess which restaurants in Kuwait he goes to review? Semsom, Kosebasi, Margherita and the Radisson Blu buffet! Talk about the dumbest things a food blogger can do, you come all the way to Kuwait from Lebanon to review restaurants, and then you go to places that you already have back home? I don’t get it.

A friend on twitter suggested its probably because those places paid him to review them which would make sense and if that is the case that sucks. On the bright side, you can use this video as a reference of where NOT to take guests who are visiting Kuwait, except for Freej Swaileh since that place is legit. The even sadder part is when he asks his local guide if he had a week in Kuwait where he should go, the guide replies saying there are tons of places and then proceeds to mention six of which three are malls. *sigh*

Check out the video on [YouTube]

nogarlicnoonion

Note: Just to clarify, I meant worst places as in worst places that represent the local food scene and not worst places as in the worst food.


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Security Screening Updates at the Kuwait Airport

Post by Mark

According to a recent news report on Al Rai, the Kuwait Airport have updated the security screening stations on departure. The airport increased the security stations from a previous total of four to a new total of six. One station for first/business class passengers as well as flight crew, two for GCC residents and three machines now for expats.

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On a related note, Kuwait Airways no longer flies direct to New York but instead has to stop in Ireland for a security check before continuing to the States. I understood that it’s due to the poor security checks at the Kuwait Airport. United Airlines stopped their Kuwait – Washington route earlier this year and one of the rumored reasons was because of poor airport security and it makes sense now. Last year there were also rumors that British Airways would halt all flights from Kuwait unless security at the airport was improved.


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The Approved Market Now Delivers

Post by Mark

The Approved Market is a small healthy foods supermarket which I frequent often and I found out a couple of days ago that they now have delivery. The cost for delivery is KD1 and you can order by calling or whatsapping 69096438.


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Early Photos of Kuwaiti Landmarks

Post by Mark

preoil1

Found these two photos on @domestic_arch_kw which I hadn’t seen before. The one above is obviously the Kuwait Towers while the one below is the Fatma Mosque.

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Gay, Ex-muslim. Kuwait to anywhere.

Post by Mark

onewayticket

Here’s my situation: I’m a 22 years old guy from Kuwait. I ran away from home because i got in a heated argument with my father one day which hinted that I wasnt as straight as he thinks i am and that i didnt believe in islam (the religion of my family & my country) so I woke up the next morning to him on top of me trying to strangle me since I committed two things that are punishable in Islam by death (1-being homosexual. 2-leaving islam) but I was able to break free and leave the house and never come back.

I lived in public parks for 6 months. Tried to clean up once every while and apply anywhere I can and got a job . Later I was able to afford a car but not a place to rent …weird? I know. But in here nobody will rent you a place unless you’re married because everyone is so concerned that single people will use those apartments to have sex and host parties where alcohol would be involved (which are all illegal, yeah.. the pre-marriage sex the alcohol and the parties).

No idea if this is real or made up but it’s an interesting read nevertheless. [Link]


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Angelina Opening This Week

Post by Mark

angelinakuwait

The popular Parisian tea house Angelina is finally set to open up their first location in Kuwait in the next couple of days. I say finally because their coming soon hoarding had been up for so long I thought they were never gonna open.

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Angelina are well know for their almost pudding-like hot chocolate and is a very popular tourist hotspot in Paris with sometimes long lines of people waiting to get in. Their first branch in Kuwait will be located on the ground floor of Hamra Tower.


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Business Therapy: Why do we have key money?

Post by Loaay

emptyshop

A small shop in Souq Al-Manakh, the marketplace for stock and real estate trading back in the day, would’ve easily sold for KD20 million in the late 70’s and early 80’s. That’s around KD2 million per square meter. Why? Because you could only trade if you had a spot there. Excessive but when small traders were making millions a month, you can see why the amount sounds like a catch. Today, you can easily find shops in major malls being offered for anywhere from KD50,000 – KD500,000 just for key money alone. So when everyone is technically renting the space, why do we have key money in the first place?

The first clue is in the name. I’ll hand over the key of my shop to you for a certain amount. So it’s not about you buying the place as much as it’s for me leaving it, and to you specifically, of course. You could say it started as a form of incentive and a nice way out. But as new and hot places are always in demand, people started to jump on them as a way of making money. For example, it’s quite common to find a shop in a new mall opening only to shut down in nine or twelve months to be sold to someone else for a good hefty profit simply because all spaces are occupied and other businesses want to be in that mall. While that first business may look like a failure to consumers, in reality, the whole thing was just a pop-up shop waiting for the next buyer.

Sometimes, because the buyer is emotionally attached to that location they offer a lot of key money to put their hands on a place believing that when they are ready to leave, they will get their money back and more, which beats putting it in the bank these days. Of course, there’s always the risk of not being able to sell it when you need to, but as with any business there’s always a risk. Sometimes, it’s a personal vendetta. If I don’t want someone from a specific family to have that shop I’ll pay whatever it takes not to give them a chance. Let’s not forget, we are in a tribal society. There are many other reasons why companies and entrepreneurs lean towards paying key money. There are also many policies put in place by some developers to encourage and others to discourage the exchange of key money.

So what should you do if you can’t afford to pay KD300,000 key money for your small café business? Well, you could always focus on a different set of customers that exist somewhere else more affordable. For example, having your café somewhere dead but behind some office buildings and sell to them directly through delivery. Maybe you could encourage complimentary businesses to join you in a new place where you can start a new trend in that area. Alternatively, you could start another business you’re passionate about that’s more cost effective to start. In this case, key money was your ‘barrier to entry’ in marketing terms. Tip: Taking a loan to secure key money is not something I would recommend as you’ll needlessly give yourself sleepless nights and probably a stomach ulcer thinking about all the ‘what ifs.’

Post by Loaay Ahmed, a strategic business therapist since 1995. He currently lives and works in London, UK, while earning his master’s in Service Design and Innovation, and managing knightscapital in Kuwait. For Loaay’s advice on business or work matters, send a short email to loaay@knightscapital.com. Regrettably, only the questions chosen for publishing will be answered.


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