The Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Post by Mark

Around six years ago, Ferrari launched the Ferrari FF model. It was a hatchback Ferrari with rear seats that could comfortably carry two large adults, but could also be folded down creating a ton of storage space for those ever important trips to IKEA. It was a very practically Ferrari and quickly became the daily driver for a lot of serious car guys including Chris Harris and YouTube car blogger Shmee. Then two years ago, Ferrari released an updated FF and called it the GTC4Lusso. The car pretty much looked the same with just a minor exterior facelift and the biggest changes coming under the hood and the interior.

People either loved or hated the way the FF looked like and it’s the same with the GTC4Lusso. Personally, I think its a great looking car and it reminds me a lot of the now classic BMW Z3 Coupe which was also controversial in the looks department.

Five minutes after driving out of the dealership I felt right at home in the Lusso. The car didn’t feel intimidating at all and I right away understood why so many people chose it as their daily driver. This is going to sound strange but the last time I remember a car being this comfortable to drive was the Mercedes S-Class. The way the Lusso drove over potholes and road imperfections, the way it took speedbumps and ate up cobblestone roads was just incredible, beyond anything I would expect from a high-end sedan let alone a Ferrari. Then you have the interior cabin which is fairly spacious, quiet and really comfortable to be in. The model I drove also had the panoramic sunroof which beautifully lit up the interior space. The most visual change in the GTC4Lusso over the FF is the interior since the center console now has a very large and sleek looking screen.

Oh yeah and my favorite part of the interior is probably the small screen in front of the front passenger, right over the glovebox. The touchscreen allows the passenger to control the stereo but also allows the passenger access to information like the speedometer, RPM and other car related information. A gimmick of course, but a well-executed one.

I had the car pretty much the whole day to do what I wanted with it, and yet I spent most of the day looking for traffic to drive into or backroads that might prove to be too rough for the car. I wanted to see how good a daily driver the Lusso was, and it just ate whatever I threw at it. In traffic it was comfortable to drive and no backroad turned out to be too much to handle. I completely get it now why a lot of people previously chose the FF and now the GTC4Lusso as their daily and sometimes their only car.

After spending the day with the Lusso I fell in love it with, so much so that I want one now. I test drive a lot of cars and not a lot of them capture my heart the way the Lusso did. Even when I took out the Ferrari 488GTB in January, it was a great car but I didn’t really want one. The way the Lusso made me feel reminded me a lot of how the Lotus made me feel when I first test drove it, and I eventually ended up getting one. The only problem in this case is the GTC4Lusso costs around KD100,000. That’s a lot of money to spend on a car and it would only make sense if I was in a much higher income class. But there is hope! I was at the Ferrari dealer a few days back checking out their used cars and they actually have 2 Ferrari FF’s for sale including a gorgeous silver one. Sadly the interior was a really bright red and gave me a headache so that’s a big no. But I’m not in a rush, and four or five years from now they’ll hopefully have a reasonably priced second hand Lusso for sale.

If you’ve got the budget and are looking for a sports car that you can drive daily, you really can’t go wrong with the GTC4Lusso. At 100K it’s in the price range of the extremely fast Huracán Performante and the hottest looking sports car right now, the McLaren 720S. But, unlike the GTC4Lusso, you couldn’t really drive those every day nor could you have them as your only car. If you’d like to find out more about Ferraris in Kuwait then you should follow the dealer on instagram @ferrarialzayanikuwait.


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The X-Rated Swatch

Post by Mark

If you grew up with Swatches in the 80s then you’ll most likely recognize the X-Rated Swatch that was released in 1987, the GB406. I never had one, instead around that time I had the more colorful Swatch Navigator, the GB707. A couple of days back I was on eBay looking for a clean, but well-priced GB707 when I noticed someone selling a boxed X-Rated watch for around $120 which seemed weird. Usually, the original black X-Rated watch sells for around $500, and one in this condition would be even more. I realized something was up and quickly googled the X-Rated Swatch to find out Swatch had re-released the model last month!

It was around 11PM but since its Ramadan, I knew shops were still open. I called up one of the Swatch stores and asked if they had the watch in stock and I was told that the black ones had been pulled from the stores, but the red one was still available. I knew I could order the watch online but figured I’d head over to the store and try the red one out to see how it looked on my wrist, but also to get clarification on the “pulled” aspect of the black ones. I’ve had situations similar in the past with Swatch where a highly desirable model is usually put aside for their good customers/collectors.

I get to the Swatch store and start talking to the salesperson who turned out knew their vintage Swatches. She actually pulled out the store’s copy of the highly desirable and difficult to find “Swatch-Clopedia” and we started going through it. After reminiscing over classic Swatches from the 80s and early 90s, and then showing me some stock of old Swatch Guards they still had in store, I was about to leave when she told me to hold on. She picked up the phone and called her brand manager and told him there was a customer in the store who wanted the black X-Rated Swatch. She hung up the phone, went away for a minute and came back with a black X-Rated watch. She told me her brand manager told her it was ok to sell me one and I ended up paying the KD21 price and leaving with it.

The watch is pretty great looking and practically resembles the original 1987 version with very minor differences. Old Swatches tend to have small diameters but the new X-Rated is 41mm which is similar to most modern watches, I think it looks really good when worn. If you’re interested in this watch and can’t get it in Kuwait, there are a ton of people on eBay selling it for around $120 which is still reasonable. But of course, nothing beats walking into a store and paying retail price for one.


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Restaurants that Deliver Before Iftar (2018)

Post by Mark

If you’re not fasting during Ramadan and want to order food before Iftar, then below are some restaurants that will deliver early. It’s not a big list but it’s still better than nothing.

China Garden
Chinese / 11AM
Telephone: 1805080

China Kitchen
Chinese / 12PM
Telephone: 25738754

Domino’s
Pizza / 10AM
Telephone: 1800800

Noodles
Chinese / 12PM
Telephone: 25749933

Osaka
Japanese / 2:30PM
Telephone: 22637331

Pastamania
Pasta / 12PM
Telephone: 1828585

Q at the Yard
Various / 1PM
Telephone: 22495067/8

Rock Chipsy
Japanese / 12PM
Telephone: 22218844

Sushi Club
Japanese / 2:30PM
Telephone: 25712144

Sushi N Roll
Japanese / 12PM
Telephone: 51168689

Top Dawg
Hotdogs / 3PM
Telephone: ‭67770062‬

The Untitled Deli
Sandwiches / 1PM
Telephone: ‭22273354‬

Upper Crust
Pizza / 1PM
Telephone: 22943200

I’ll be updating the list above as I find out about more places, if you know of a place that delivers before Iftar (like 3PM or earlier) let me know.


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New Jazeera Airways Terminal Now Open

Post by Mark

Starting tomorrow May 22nd, all Jazeera Airways flights will be departing and arriving from their new terminal. For more information on the terminal, check out my previous post [Here]

Update: Sorry I messed up thinking today was the 22nd. I’ve updated the post to reflect this!


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Ramadan Buffets in Kuwait (2018)

Post by Mark

A lot of people have been contacting me asking me why I’m late with this list. I’m not late. I tend to put this list together after Ramadan starts since a lot of restaurants (or the people who work there at least) tend not to know about the prices until after Ramadan begins. Once Ramadan starts I usually need 2-3 days to call the 60 restaurants up because its time consuming and I don’t want to spend over an hour and a half on the phone in one go. Like always, I’ve highlighted the price increases over the previous year in red, and the decreases in green. The list is divided into two parts, hotels and restaurants and you can check it out below:

Hotels

Al Jahra Copthorne Hotel & Resort – Taima’a Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD7 (-3.000)
Telephone: 24590000

Courtyard by Marriott
Buffet Price: KD14
Telephone: 22997000

Crowne Plaza – Al Ahmadi Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD16 (+1.050)
Telephone: 1848111

Four Seasons – Jawaher Tent
Buffet Price: KD21
Telephone: 2200 6000

Hilton Resort – Teatro Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD18 (+0.500)
Telephone: 22256222

Inn & GO Hotel – Al Dallah Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD10.5 (+0.600)
Telephone: 22436686

Jumeirah Messilah Beach – Garden Cafe
Buffet Price: KD19
Telephone: 22269600

JW Marriott – Al Thuraya
Buffet Price: KD15
Telephone: 22455550

Millennium Hotel & Convention – Lamar International Restaurant
Set Menu Price: KD14
Telephone: 22050505

Movenpick – Free Zone – Bays Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD11 (-1.000)
Telephone: 24610033

Movenpick – Al Bida’a – Breeze Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD15
Telephone: 22253100

Radisson Blu – Al Bustan Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD14
Telephone: 25673000

Safir Hotel – Fintas
Buffet Price: KD15 (+0.500)
Telephone: 25455555

Sheraton – Coral Tent
Buffet Price: KD20 (+2.250)
Telephone: 22422055

Symphony Style Hotel
Buffet Price: KD14 (+2.000)
Telephone: 25770000

The Regency Kuwait – Silk Road Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD18
Telephone: 25766880

Restaurants

Abdel Wahab
Buffet Price: KD10
Telephone: 1821000

Al Noukhaza Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD15.950 (+1.000)
Telephone: 1823888

Assaha Lebanese Restaurant
Buffet Price: KD11 (+1.000)
Telephone: 22533377

Avanti Palace
Set Menu Price: Vegetarian KD3.100 – Non Vegetarian KD3.500 (both min 4 people)
Telephone: 25751081

Babel
Set Menu Price: KD13.5
Telephone: 22081111

Baker & Spice
Set Menu Price: KD8.750
Telephone: 22407707

Burj Al-Hamam
Buffet Price: KD12 (-0.500)
Telephone: 22529095

Café Bateel
Set Menu Price: KD10
Telephone: 22270204

Dar Hamad
Buffet Price: KD16 (+1.000)
Telephone: 22275555

Enab Beirut
Set Menu Price: KD20 (for two people)
Telephone: 90009874

IKEA
Set Menu Price: KD2.950
Telephone: 1840408

Jeans Grill
Buffet Price: KD8.500
Telephone: 22264503

Kosebasi
Set Menu Price: KD9.750
Telephone: 22251303

Kuwait Towers
Buffet Price: KD11
Telephone: 22081999

La Brasa Argentinian Grill
Set Menu: KD11
Telephone: 99052419

Naranj
Buffet Price: KD10.950 (-1.550)
Telephone: 22268666

Ovo Bar
Set Menu: KD9.500
Telephone: 22272171

Palm Palace
Buffet Price: KD8.900 (-0.350)
Telephone: 25756331

Paul
Set Menu: KD7.250
Telephone: 22208204

Ruby Tuesday
Set Menu Price: KD7.950
Telephone: 22444454

Tallu Hbabna
Buffet Price: KD5 (-5.000)
Telephone: 51113700

Veranda
Set Menu Price: KD12.000 (-0.500)
Telephone: 22283141

Villa Fayrouz
Buffet Price: KD9.500
Telephone: 22650052

Zafran
Buffet Price: KD8
Telephone: 22285203 or 97281007

If you’d like to add a restaurant to the list above [Email Me]

Note: The prices listed above are for adults. Some restaurants offer special prices for children. I will add more restaurants to this list as I find out about them.


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Viva Renames Network to Ramadan Kareem

Post by Mark

This morning I noticed that Viva had renamed their network so that it shows up as Ramadan Kareem on the phone. Didn’t know that was something that could be done easily, very cool and smart.


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Movies Showing in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark


A Wrinkle in Time

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

New This Weekend:
A Wrinkle in Time (4.2)
Last Rampage: The Escape of Gary Tison (5.6)

Other Movies Showing:
A Quiet Place (8.4)
Avengers: Infinity War (9.2) ♦
Bad Samaritan (6.2) ♦
Bent (5.0) ♦
Breaking In (4.9) ♦
Ferdinand (6.8)
I Feel Pretty (4.1) ♦
Isle of Dogs (8.2) ★
Kings (4.9) ♦
Life of the Party (4.6) ♦
Masha and the Bear (7.9)
Overboard (3.1) ♦
Peter Rabbit (6.5)
Rampage (6.5)
Tomb Raider (7.3)

The movies below are also now showing at the Scientific Center IMAX theater:

Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters 3D (7.4)
America Wild: National Parks Adventure (5.9)
Dream Big 3D (7.9)
Hurricane 3D (7.0)
Tiny Giants 3D (8.0)
Watermelon Magic 3D (7.4)

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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Carriage Now Saves Knet Information *UPDATED*

Post by Mark

One thing that has always annoyed me with local online shopping services is that you couldn’t save your payment details like you do on Amazon for example. Looks like Knet are finally allowing your payment details to be saved because with the latest Carriage app update, you now have the option to save your payment information. This means when you place an order, all you need to do is enter your pin code instead of having to enter all your numbers and expiry date every time you place an order.

All I can say is finally! This is going to make online shopping in Kuwait a lot more convenient for everyone.

Update: So I got a phone call from Carriage awhile ago on this subject and they clarified to me one important point. Customer data related to bank details are saved on the user’s device, not on Carriage’s servers. The information is encrypted and then stored in your iOS or Android keychain, and you still need to input your pin on every transaction.


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Ramadan in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Ramadan starts tomorrow and for those you who’ve never spent Ramadan in Kuwait, here are some things you need to know:

– If you are caught eating or drinking in public during fasting hours, you can be fined up to KD100 and/or jailed for 1 month.

– Restaurants can’t serve food during fasting hours. That includes dine-in, delivery, and takeaway. But, over the past few years, some restaurants have started operating and serving food during fasting hours but not dine-in. I usually put together a list of these restaurants every year, so stay tuned to one again this year.

– Carriage starts delivery 5PM onwards during Ramadan.

– The law states that during Ramadan, the maximum working hours is 36 a week.

– Shops and malls change their working hours during Ramadan. Everything tends to open later and then stay open a lot later. I’ll be sharing a list of Ramadan timings next week.

– Nothing tends to get done during Ramadan since everything moves at a much slower pace. So you need patience.

I think those are the most important things to note. For more details on the above you can check out these two Ramadan Law posts [Here] and [Here]


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Ozone Movie Theaters

Post by Mark

Last night I found out we have a 5th cinema operator in Kuwait called Ozone Cinemas. The surprising thing is that they’ve been open since last summer. Ozone is currently open in a mall called Trio in Khaitan and they’ll be opening up another theater in Jahra soon. Their locations is obviously the reason why I hadn’t heard about them until now. Check out their website [Here]

Thanks Ninar


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