Speed Cameras Rotated

Posted by Mark

speedcamera

On my way to Khiran yesterday I noticed a few of the speed cameras on the 30th had been rotated to face the front of the cars instead of the rear. I didn’t take a photo but a reader sent me the one above and told me he had spotted rotated cameras on the 5th, 6th and 7th Ring Roads as well.

At first I thought they might have something to do with the emergency lanes being available for the public to use but I don’t think thats the case anymore. I found rotated cameras on parts of the highway that didn’t have any emergency lanes so that theory didn’t work. My best guess now is they’ve just rotated some cameras so that people can start slowing down much sooner than before.

Thanks Dragos


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Kuwait’s Air Ambulance Service

Posted by Mark


[YouTube]

Up to 45 patients have been transported to hospitals and clinics by the new airborne transportation service since its launch in January, a Ministry of Health official said on Sunday.

The ministry has prepared specially equipped helicopters to transport patients or people hurt in accidents from the scenes to hospitals or health centers, thus shortening time needed the transfer time needed and evading road traffic. [Source]

The local air ambulance initiative was established by former servicemen, security veterans, and firefighters and went into service early this year. I spotted the air ambulance a couple of days ago flying over Kuwait City probably heading to the Amiri Hospital. Kuwait already had one of the best ambulance services in the region and having the chopper now as part of its arsenal is obviously beneficial to everyone. I’m not sure what kind of situation merits the use of the air ambulance so if anyone has details on that please leave it in the comments.


[YouTube]

There are a couple of videos on YouTube of the helicopter, I’ve shared two with this post.

airambulance


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Yik Yak

Posted by Mark

yikyak

Recently I’ve started using the anonymous social media app Yik Yak and I’m loving it. It’s such a random space where people post whatever they want anonymously. This isn’t the first anonymous social media app but it’s probably one of the best ones I’ve used. For one thing users can up vote or down vote posts so there is a bit of quality control and the app also works depending on your area not just what country you’re in. So in Salmiya it’s usually posts by AUK students while in the city it’s usually posts by people who work there. There is a pretty active community and there is always something interesting to read.

Obviously when you have a bunch of anonymous guys and girls leaving messages you’re going to get lots of dirty stuff and a lot of gossip, but you also get a lot of personal posts like the ones I’ve screenshotted above. So if you’re looking for a social media app where the number of followers you have isn’t important and everyone is equal, give Yik Yak a try. It’s available on both the iPhone and Android devices.


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New Ice Skating Rink, Musical Fountains a Skatepark and other new projects

Posted by Mark

iceskating

Awhile back a reader on the blog mentioned that TEC (Touristic Enterprises Company) were building a skatepark, so I emailed the person asking about it as well as a few other things and this is what I found out:

– The new skatepark will be located next to the ice skating rink in Kuwait City. There will be a new sports complex built there and the skatepark will be a part of it. The project is currently on hold because TEC is working with the Diwan Al Amiri to integrate the whole area which will include a new ice skating rink and a new musical fountain with water screens and fire shows. Initially they wanted to build each of the projects separately but the new TEC CEO wants to combine them all into one large project and make it as great as Al Shaheed Park which is right next door. The new project will have to work around the existing Discovery Mall building.

– Regarding the Kuwait Towers, the Amir wants the Kuwait Towers to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site so all work on the interior had to be put on hold. Work will continue after a meeting with UNESCO in Paris where they will receive the rules and specifications required to be approved as a UNESCO site. UNESCO doesn’t mind the exterior as much as the interior but the original plan of the towers had a disco dance floor as well as a bar so they’re waiting to see exactly how much of that can be changed.

entertainmentcity

– As I previously posted, Entertainment City is shutting down. They’re bringing in a firm to do a feasibility study so they can rebuild the park from the ground up. My contact didn’t mention Six Flags and he literally said “we will start re-building it” so my guess is the park will remain with TEC.

– TEC is currently considering turning Shaab Park into a LEGO Theme Park

– There are still around 12 other projects in the pipeline including a world class water park

I found all this very encouraging and exciting except for one aspect, the ice skating rink. I really hope they don’t demolish the current one, I think it’s as important to Kuwait’s History and landscape as are the water towers and Kuwait Towers. I wasn’t able to get access to the 3D renderings of the sports complex project because the contracts with the design firm hasn’t been finalized but if anyone here has them by any chance please email me them.

If I find out any more information on any of the above projects I’ll make sure to share them here on the blog.

Entertainment City photo by Ahmed Al Bather


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True Story with a Customs Officer

Posted by Mark

madeinchina

A friend of mine who owns a sporting goods shop is importing a new brand of sneakers to Kuwait. So I was over at his place a couple of days back and asked him if the sneakers had arrived yet since I was looking to pick up a pair for myself. My friend told me that they had arrived to Kuwait but they’ve been held in customs for a month now. I was like why? He told me you’re going to laugh at this but basically the sneakers are made in China, and the certificate of origin says they’re made in China. But, the customs officer is refusing to clear the shipment because inside the sneaker tongue it says Made in China but it also says US, UK and EUR. He says it’s misleading and so is holding the shipment at the port.

At first I thought he was kidding but he was actually serious. Obviously the customs officer is looking for a bribe to release the shipments but he could have at least come up with a better excuse for not releasing them.


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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Posted by Mark

This weekend is an interesting one not because of the amount of the events but because of the wide variety of events that are taking place. The biggest thing happening this weekend is GAME Expo 2015. If you’re into video games or cosplay then pass by this event since it’s the largest of its kind that takes place in Kuwait. On Friday my neighborhood gym Desert Fitness are holding their first Olympic Weightlifting meet so I’ll probably be passing by there. Finally if you’re into pilates theres a session taking place this Saturday morning at Al Shaheed Park. Check out the full list of events below:

Thursday
Exhibition: New Species by Hunt Slonem
GAME Expo 2015
Japanese Speech Contest
Workshop: Introduction to Calligraphy
Rooftop Movie: Force Majeure

Friday
GAME Expo 2015
Poptastic the Musical
Olympic Weightlifting Meet
Culinary Event: Searing, Sautéing, and Deglazing
Let’s Go Forward Desert Run

Saturday
GAME Expo 2015
Poptastic the Musical
Pilates at the Park
Guided Tour: Grand Mosque
Rooftop Movie: Locke

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]


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Making of the Sabah Al-Ahmad Sea City Marina

Posted by Mark

If you’re into How It’s Made style documentaries then you’ll appreciate this video on the making of the Sabah Al-Ahmad Sea City Marina. The most interesting part for me is the fact that you can take Styrofoam, cover it with cement and then end up with a 20ton floating concrete deck. It’s only 11 minutes long so check it out. [YouTube]

marina


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Kuwait Airport During the Storm Last Night

Posted by Mark

On the bright side, the government has decided to retender the new airport project after the ministry rejected all the bids back in February. [YouTube]

leak

Thanks Salem


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Magwa Hospital – Ahmadi

Posted by Mark

magwa

I’m in contact with one of my readers who has some old photos of Ahmadi and I’ll be posting some every now and then. Kinda like what I was supposed to do with the KOC Archive posts which I realized I’ve completely forgotten about. Anyway this post is about the Ahmadi Hospital and this is what he had to say about it:

magwa2

Ahmadi Hospital is known to many people especially the oil sector. Ahmadi Hospital was in inaugurated in April 1960 by Kuwait Oil Company and was called then “Southwell Hospital” after Kuwait Oil Company Sir Philip Southwell who was KOC president from 1946 to 1959. Sometime during the 80’s it was changed to “Ahmadi Hospital”

Before the hospital was built in Ahmadi town, KOC had a hospital in Magwa area (North Ahmadi Town, separated with Kuwait airport by the 7th ring road). That is where I was born and many others in that period. Attached are some pictures of Magwa Hospital.

I’ve also uploaded the two photos of the hospital staff in high resolution in case you’re interested in seeing them up close. You can view those [Here] and [Here]


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Emergency Lanes Now Open from 6AM to 10PM

Posted by Mark

emergencylane

According to an instagram post by the Ministry of Interior, the emergency lanes on some of the major highways are now open to the general public to use from 6AM to 10PM as long as you don’t exceed 45km/h. The roads are the ones highlighted in blue in the map above. Their post is in Arabic so I couldn’t understand most of it but looking at the map my best guess is the emergency lanes they’re talking about are on the 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th roads, as well as the 5th and 6th Ring Roads.

Now for a bit of venting…

Why isn’t this information on their website? What about all the expats like me who can’t read Arabic? Why is the road open only from 6AM to 10PM? I mean if it’s open during the whole day why not just keep it open 24/7 instead of making it illegal after 10PM. It just complicates things. And why are they limiting the speed to 45km/h? Why don’t they just pave the road and turn it into a proper lane and again simplify things. It’s as if they still haven’t made up their minds on if they should completely cancel the emergency lanes or keep them.


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