Ramadan Buffets in Kuwait 2014

Posted by Mark

ramadan

Below is a list of buffet prices (and in some cases set menus) of various restaurants around Kuwait. I tried to get a variety of styles of restaurants ranging from American franchises, to hotels to Arabic restaurants but if you want to include a restaurant on this list, leave the details in the comments below. What I’ve done this year as well is mention how much the price has increased or decreased over the previous year just for fun. If you don’t see any red or green number next to the price it either means the restaurant kept the same price as last year or they’re new to the list.

Abdel Wahab
Buffet Price: KD10 (+1.250)
Telephone: 1821000

Al Noukhaza Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD11.950 (-2.000)
Telephone: 24757775 or 1823888

Avanti Palace
Set Menu Price: KD3.5
Telephone: 25751081

Cafe Blanc – The Avenues
Buffet Price: KD7.750 (Buffets only on weekends) (+0.250)
Telephone: 22597568

Courtyard by Marriott
Buffet Price: KD12 (+3.000)
Telephone: 22997000

Crowne Plaza – Al Ahmadi Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD12.5
Telephone: 24757775

Hilton Resort – Teatro Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD15
Telephone: 22256222

Jumeirah Messilah Beach – Garden Cafe
Buffet Price: KD16 (+2.000)
Telephone: 22269600

JW Marriott
Buffet Price: KD13 (+1.000)
Telephone: 22455550

Leila
Set Menu Price: KD8
Telephone: 22996414

Movenpick – Free Zone – Bays Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD13.5 (+2.600)
Telephone: 24610033

Movenpick – Al Bida’a – Breeze Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD14
Telephone: 22253100

Naranj
Buffet Price: KD12.5 (+0.500)
Telephone: 22268666

Paul
Set Menu Price: KD7.900 (+0.650)
Telephone: 22597044

Qasr Al-Saraya
Buffet Price: KD8 (+0.500)
Telephone: 25711101

Radisson Blu – Al Bustan Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD13 or KD11 after 10PM
Telephone: 25673000

Red Lobster
Set Menu Price: KD7.950
Telephone: 22200536

Ruby Tuesday
Set Menu Price: KD5.750 (+0.750)
Telephone: 22444454

Sakura
All You Can Eat Price: KD14.950 1st 10 days of Ramadan (+2.000)
Buffet Price: KD15.950 11th day onwards(+2.000)
Telephone: 24757775 or 1823888

Sheraton – Coral Tent
Buffet Price: KD17.250
Telephone: 22422055

Symphony Style Hotel – Luna Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD14
Telephone: 25770000

THE One
Buffet Price: KD9.500 or KD4.750 for kids under 12
Telephone: 22244511

The Southern
Set Menu Price: KD9.5

Villa Fairouz – The Avenues
Buffet Price: KD12.5 (+1.000)
Telephone: 22597200

Zafran
Buffet Price: KD7.5 or KD4 for kids 5-10
Telephone: 25750647

Zahr El Laymoun – 360 Mall
Buffet Price: KD8 (+0.500)
Telephone: 25309511


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Kuwait Metro Project is Back from the Dead

Posted by Mark

kuwaitmetro

Kuwait will tender the much-delayed USD multi-billion metro rail project in its next five-year development plan, according to the Gulf emirate’s minister of state for development and planning.

Hind Al Sabeeh said other major projects to be included in the 2014-2018 plan involve Mubarak port, the media city the privatisation of schools, university and cooperatives.

“The next development plan includes the tendering of large projects in Kuwait such as the Metro and rail projects,” she told the Saudi satellite TV new channel Al Arabiya on Sunday night. Her comments were published by Kuwaiti newspapers. [Source]

metro

A couple of years ago the expected operational date was 2020 but I’m guessing that date will now be pushed back since they really haven’t started on anything yet. The above is a rendering of how a metro station would look like while the metro map below shows where all the metro stops will be located.

You can view a higher resolution version of the map [Here]

metromap

Finally below is a video presentation of the planned metro project.

Kuwait Rapid Transit & Rail Road Systems ENG from Designa Comunicacion on Vimeo.


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Tidbits: Kuwait Aviation History

Posted by Mark

kacclub

Last week someone told me that the top floors of the Kuwait Airways Building in Kuwait City used to be a club called Al Hamra back when clubs were legal. So I spent all day yesterday trying to find information on it online but I couldn’t find anything. Instead, the whole research somehow turned into history lesson on Kuwait’s aviation history and I ended u finding a lot of interesting information most of which I hadn’t heard before. I already shared the vintage timetables in a separate post below but I’ll now combine the rest of my random findings here.

Al-Nugra Airport
This was Kuwait’s second airport and it was located in Nuzha.

1947-1948 KOC develops new Al-Nugra (Al-Mayass) airport, located in Nuzha district. Open for daylight operations only. Airlines open offices in Kuwait city to handle ticketing and cargo operations for the Arab expatriate community. Al-Nugra airport steadily developed with new concrete buildings and hangar. [Source]

I couldn’t find any decent photos of the airport but I did find the video below.


[YouTube]

Kuwait Airport 1975
I found the images below on Flickr and they’re dated 1975 but I’m not sure if they’re photos of Al-Nugra Airport or the location of our current airport which started in 1961.

1961 State of Kuwait declares independence. Phase One of new Mugwa Airport begins operation. Airlines serving Mugwa include BOAC, Lufthansa, KLM, United Arab Airlines, Saudi Arab Airlines, Syrian Arab Airlines, Air India, and Lebanese carriers MEA, TMA and LIA. Facilities comprise passenger terminal (Terminal 1), 2,200-metre asphalt runway, parking apron, and control tower equipped to handle operations round-the-clock. [Source]

Photos [Source]

It’s most likely the site of our current airport but the only reason I am having doubts on the location is because in 1979 the current airport was completed but in the aerial photo above I can’t see any signs of the new airport construction taking place.

Trans Arabia Airways
Trans Arabia Airways was a Kuwaiti carrier that started operating in 1959 out of Beirut to Kuwait with an ex-Australian National Airways DC-4. By 1964 the the fleet consisted of three Douglas DC-6Bs and they flying to: Beirut, Bahrain, Cairo, Jerusalem, Damascus, Doha, Jeddah, as well as Frankfurt, London and Rome. In 1964 they were purchased and absorbed by Kuwait Airways. [Source]

The Kuwait Airport by Kenzo Tange
This isn’t new information since I already posted it years ago but I still think the photos are worth sharing again. Our current airport was originally designed by the legendary Japanese architect Kenzo Tange and was completed in 1979. The airport originally looked completely different and a lot nicer as you can see in the photos below. The British architect and critic Stephen Gardiner wrote in 1985 that it was “the most beautiful airport in the world” because of its “breathtaking simplicity of color and shape.” It is “white sculptured space as cool as an ice-cube, as enormous as a vat intake of pure air, as light as a tent, as canvas hung from cables and sails.”

Photos [Source]


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Vintage Kuwait Airways Timetables

Posted by Mark

kuwaitairwaysfleet

While I was researching for a post I found a page with old Kuwait Airways timetables dating back to 1959. According to that timetable Kuwait Airways was flying to the following destinations back then:

Abadan
Bahrain
Basra
Beirut
Bombay
Cairo
Damascus
Dhahran
Jerusalem
Karachi

I also found the image above of their fleet inside one of the timetables which I thought was very cool. Check out all the timetables [Here]


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Review: The Southern

Posted by Mark

southern1

Near the end of last year a friend of mine told me about a new restaurant that was opening called The Southern. I checked out their Facebook page and started following them, waiting for the day they would announce their opening. That day finally came last week so I headed out to Mahboulah to try them out.

The Southern is a small restaurant owned by a Kuwaiti couple and focuses on Southern (American) classic dishes. Both mums of the couple are American with one mum originally from North Carolina and the other from Kentucky so most of the dishes served at The Southern are based on recipes taken from their mums. The fact that their head chef is American also helps keep everything as authentic as possible. The interior of the restaurant is designed by the very talented Lab100 design studio, the same studio behind the design of Ubon and Rio. I loved everything about the way it looked and once the weather gets cooler they will even have outdoor seating.

southern2

When I arrived to the restaurant the waitress told me I was their first lunch time customer. They had soft launched a week earlier with just dinner and they had just started opening for lunch on the day I passed by. I always prefer having lunch at a restaurant I’m reviewing just for the simple fact the photos always come out better. Their menu isn’t very big with just 3 starters, 5 main courses and 3 desserts. Since I was alone I decided to skip the starters and instead have 3 main courses and a dessert. I ended up ordering the following:

southern3

Bayou Fried Shrimps KD3.75
Spicy Pulled BBQ Chicken Sliders KD2.95
Sloppy Joe Sliders KD2.8
Southern Biscuits (side dish) KD0.750
Baked Mashed Potatoes (side dish) KD0.750
Soft Drink KD0.500

southern4

The first thing that arrived was the Bayou fried shrimps. I found the dish unexciting both in presentation and flavor. It was good but it just wasn’t special, it was too similar to regular breaded shrimp I could have anywhere else because there were no new flavors in it for me to explore. The portion was also small and it would make more sense having it as a starter than a main. After the fried shrimps things took a giant leap forward. The next dish that arrived was the pulled bbq chicken sliders and I fell in love. It was delicious and full of flavor, even the buns were perfect and I was just starting to think to myself how I would come back for it when they brought over the sloppy joe sliders.

southern5

Their sloppy joe sliders were ridiculously good. Right after taking the first bite I took my beloved pulled chicken sliders dish and put it across from me on the other side of the table. Even though I had ordered three main courses I knew right away that it would be the sloppy joe sliders that I would fully consume. It was the third main course I was having but it was so good I couldn’t stop eating it (obviously I wasn’t dieting that day). Once I was done I ordered the fried blueberry pie which I just realized they didn’t charge me for (it’s KD1.750). I was having a hard time deciding between the peach cobbler and the pie but ended up going with the pie because I was looking for something sweeter. The pie took around 10 minutes to prepare and it came hot with ice cream on the side. It was pretty light and crispy but I was also curious to try their cobbler and if I wasn’t so full already I would have ordered that as well.

southern6

Overall I had a great experience and I would go back again for sure (on a cheat day). The only negative feedback I have is with the waitress who had trouble answering some of my questions regarding some of the dishes. But, they had only been open for a week so that kinda makes it ok I guess plus she was friendly and bubbly which is always more important. Their regular timings are from 11AM to 11PM but in Ramadan they’re open from 6.30pm to 8pm and then again from 11pm to 3am. They also have a set menu for Ramadan which is KD9 per person if you prefer that. For more information including their location, check out their page on [Facebook]


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Why going gluten free isn’t a fad, its free health care

Posted by Amy Freeman

bread

Post by Amy Freeman

I thought I would follow up last weeks post with some points on why I believe gluten isn’t necessary as part of anyone’s regular diet. This kinda leads on from why I believe that the ‘Paleo’ or ‘Whole Food’ nutrition is benefiting everyone not just for improved body composition, but for overall general health and wellbeing.

Gluten free seems to be a term that is thrown around a lot these days which has some people interested and others rolling their eyes thinking it’s another fad. Gluten is the protein in wheat and cereals that gives dough it’s elasticity and therefore bread it’s addictive, soft, chewy, air light texture.

So why is gluten getting such bad press now?

Well in the 2009 study published in Gastroenterology, it showed that celiac disease has increased in 50 years from 1 in 650 people to 1 in 120 people.

This is largely down to the difference in the wheat we are now consuming compared to our parents and grandparents.

In order to meet the demand for factories with the amount of processed food, the increased population and increased general consumption, wheat farmers now use a hybridized grain that grows fast, is bug resistant and contains new proteins that were never in original wheat plants. These new proteins are not easily digested causing widespread gluten intolerance, high rates of celiac disease, increased inflammation and really bad side effects.

After seeing the transformation in many clients that had never thought gluten had been an issue for them until they cut it out and all of a sudden saw bloating disappear and health issues lessen, I believe that many people have an intolerance of some kind to it and luckily most people I know whether friends, family or clients seem to be aware that they do feel better overall when they don’t have it as part of their regular diet.

It is also very apparent in supermarkets these days with the vast amount of gluten free products this is becoming a very adopted way of living for people and I can say i have noticed that the cost of gluten free products (in Kuwait) now compared to 2-3 years ages also validates that. 2-3 years ago it was a ridiculous amount of money for quinoa and gluten free flour options and after studying the supermarkets at places like Sultan Center and SaveCo, the prices are substantially lower than they used to be because of the many more market players of gluten free products.

So for those that may not be aware of some of the classic side effects that gluten can cause on your body this may help identify some tell tail signs:

- Bloating after eating bread, pasta or wheat based products. Bread for most is a standout.

- Irritable bowel episodes

- Constipation and or diarrhea

- Inflammation in the joints. I’ve even read celiac websites that have said white specs have showed up on an MRI of a patients brain that was found to be gluten and the cause of the patients migraines.

- Severe acne

- Headaches/migraines

-Skin irritation/Eczema

Just to finish be aware that when you opt for some gluten free products, they often will have more sugar, fat and fillers in them to make up for the lack of texture and taste from real wheat so always read the ingredients and make sure you are aware of what they are using instead of wheat and don’t be blinded by the gluten free label. This is kind of the same as fat free products. When something is taken out it has to be replaced, just be aware and make sure that you aren’t replacing your wheat with a chemical concoction of god know what.

Happy Training Kuwait

Post by Amy Freeman, a Strength and Conditioning Coach from New Zealand and currently a Personal Trainer at Inspire Pure Fitness in Kuwait.

Photo by jmlpyt


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Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center Project

Posted by Mark

museum1

Last week I posted about the demolition of the Al-Maidan Cultural Center and the construction that is taking place there. Because of the fact the construction was moving very fast I assumed the project belonged to Al-Diwan Al-Amiri, turns out I was right. A reader sent me an email with full details on this project and it turns out its going to be a museums district.

museum2

The project that will occupy the site next to Shaab Park will house four world class museums, a fine art center, a theatre and two information centers. The project will compliment the Kuwait’s Cultural Center that’s located in Kuwait City which I previously posted about [Here]

museum3

The project will consist of six main buildings:
- A Natural History Museum
- A Science Museum
- A Museum of Islamic History
- A Space Museum
- A Fine Arts Center
- A 350 seat Theatre

museum4

The Natural History Museum will feature:
- Wildlife and Biodiversity
- Arabian Wildlife
- Pre-History
- Earth and Environment

museum5

The Science Museum will feature:
- Experimental Atrium
- Technology and Transport
- Health and Medicine
- Human Body and Mind

museum6

The Space Museum will feature:
- Planetary Science
- Space Exploration

museum7

The project is expected to be completed in 20 months which is why the construction has been taking place day and night.

Based on my previous personal experience with Al-Diwan Al-Amiri, I have full confidence that this project will be completed on time and look spectacular. The best part about this (for me) is the fact these museums will be located down the street from my house. I’m super excited.


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Expats vs Locals Across the Gulf

Posted by Mark

watertowers

Arabian Business published some figures comparing the percentage of expats to locals across the Gulf. I’ve taken the liberty to list them below with the country with the highest percentage of locals on top and the lowest on the bottom. No surprises really except for Bahrain which I assumed had a larger expat population.

KSA: Total population 29,595,084. 68 percent locals and 32 percent expatriates.
Oman: Total population 3,770,473. 56 percent locals and 44 percent expatriates.
Bahrain: Total population 1,217,701. 49 percent locals and 51 percent expatriates.
Kuwait: Total population 3,823,728. 30 percent locals and 70 percent expatriates.
Qatar: Total population 1,836,676. 14 percent locals and 86 percent expatriates.
UAE: Total population 9,036,488. 13 percent locals and 87 percent expatriates.


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The State of the P2BK Village Today

Posted by Mark

p2bkentrance

Yesterday a reader sent me photos he took a couple of days ago of the Proud 2 Be Kuwaiti village in Mishref. It seems after the event was over it turned into an abandoned village with no one willing to clean it up. The images of the garbage covered village had already been circulating around social media so I decided to pass by myself this morning and check it out myself.

middlearea

When I first arrived to the P2BK main gate I quickly recognized the scene from one of the photos I had been sent. Outside the village wall, the area between the P2BK village and the Remal Sand Park area looked like it had been hit by a tornado. There was trash everywhere, overturned stands, painted sculptures lying all over the place and lots of broken gypsum boards. It was a disaster.

Then I proceeded through the main gates into the P2BK village and the scene wasn’t as bad inside. The place is abandoned and it’s outdoor so obviously it’s not going to be in pristine condition.

village

There was trash lying around mostly in corners or up against the walls but the majority of the space in the village was just empty. It was windy this morning so while walking around there was lots of banging of doors that hadn’t been closed. Lots of doors had fallen off their hinges even but the majority were just flapping with the wind.

Once I was done wandering around the village I decided to head across to the Remal Sand Park area. The Remal Sand Park was the largest sand sculpture park when open and even though the space is abandoned and the park long closed, majority of the sand sculptures are still up and in excellent condition. They definitely didn’t just use sand and water to build these things.

sandpark

The majority of this space like the village was empty and clean of trash except for one side, where I spotted a bunch of overturned stands and broken gypsum boards strewn across the floor. I have no idea why there is so much broken gypsum boards everywhere, I think that made up the majority of the litter at the park and village.

Generally, both areas weren’t that bad with the biggest issue being the space between the Remal Sand Park and the P2BK village. As I was about to leave in my car I noticed the wind was blowing garbage into this area from one direction. I looked in that direction and noticed two large garbage bins, one was overflowing with garbage, the other empty but there was garbage on the floor all around.

garbage

You can also see a trail of garbage from these two bins towards the area between the P2BK and Sand Park. I realized what was happening, whenever there was strong wind, garbage was flying from these bins towards the village where they gathered outside the village walls. I continued driving past those two bins and spotted another large pile of trash in the area behind the sand park.

So is the situation bad? Yes, but just as bad as it is anywhere else in Kuwait. I think what makes this situation different is the name of the event, Proud 2 Be Kuwaiti and here you have the event over and the place looking like a junk yard. Most of it is not their fault, at least garbage wise which seems to fly towards their space from the large dumpsters nearby. But the broken gypsum boards everywhere and overturned stands and decorations, those are their fault. It shouldn’t be difficult to clean up but the question is then what? Well I think I have a solution.

P2BK Village Idea
I think this area should be turned into a paint ball park. It literally looks like a small village which ads realism and it also means lots of hiding places. A round of MILSIM there would be amazing.

bikepark

Remal Sand Park Idea
Unlike the village, the ground here is just sand so I came up with an idea which I think would work and it’s something we don’t have in Kuwait, a mountain bike park. Mountain bikes are meant for off-road trails which we really don’t have any in Kuwait (maybe just the Mutla Ridges). In the US and in Europe you can find mountain bike parks which are man-made trails with various obstacles to recreate riding your bike on a mountain trail. The picture above is an example of one. There are already some elevations and tunnels in the current sand park, all you would need to do is compound the sand in some areas, add floodlights to make it usable during the evenings, add maybe a few ramps, maybe some wooden boards here and there and you’ll end up with a great looking mountain bike park surrounded by beautiful large sand sculptures.

So thats what I’d like to see happen to the village and sand park. If you have any better ideas just leave them in the comments.

fluffy

On my way out of the fair grounds I kept spotting white fluffy stuff all over the sidewalks everywhere. At first I thought they were some kind of tacky decorations but on closer inspection I realized they were tissues, papers and white nylon bags that were caught in the weeds that had grown from the sidewalks. If anything I thought that was a bigger issue since its in everyones face on their way in and out of the fair grounds. Depressing.


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A Story About the Twenty Dinars Note

Posted by Mark

20kd

Uwe is a well known photographer in the local advertising scene and he’s lived in Kuwait since 1983. I’ve known him for a few years and awhile back when I posted about the new Kuwaiti currency he emailed me a very interesting story regarding the photo of the Court Complex on the back of the old KD20 bank note which I thought was interesting to share. This is what he told me:

Shortly before the invasion I was contracted to photograph the Court Complex which was to be used as part of the design on the soon to be introduced KD20 bank note. I headed to the Court Complex on a Friday morning with someone from the Central Bank to shoot the building. We parked our Toyota 4-Runner on the side and I got up on top of it with my camera and tripod to take photos. A short while after two police cars with sirens on showed up and told me to get down from the roof of the car. They asked us what we were doing and when we told them they asked for our permission papers. THe person who was with me from the Central Bank had forgotten to bring the permission papers with him so the police took me into the court house and held me there until the person went and fetched the permission slip and came back. It took him 7 hours to bring that paper! From then on whenever I look at the KD20 note I remember that messed up Friday.

On a side note, why does the Central Bank of Kuwait website ask you if you want to visit their old website or their new one? Why not just automatically load the new one?


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