Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre (ASCC) Residency Program

Post by Mark

The new cultural center in Shaab, the ASCC is expected to open up end of this year and they’re now accepting artists for their residency program. The program is open to both Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti artists so if this interests you, check out their application website for more details [Here]

Thank dmvi

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My Visit to the Museums

Post by Mark

On Friday I passed by the museums with a bunch of friends and I figured I’d share my experience which was overall pretty good, especially considering the number of people who were at the museum on Friday. First though, let me get the negative out of the way.

We got to the museum around 3PM and the traffic to get in was a block long because of the fact you needed to buy tickets before entering the parking lot. Although they have 9 drive-thru ticketing booths, they’re arranged 3 in a row, so only 3 lanes with each lane having 3 booths. If you’re the third car in a lane, you have to wait for the two cars ahead of you to finish buying tickets before you could enter the parking lot which is what slows things down. What was also annoying was that the main gate had two lanes to enter, the people who drove through the gate in the left lane ended up at the first ticketing lane, but the cars who drove in from the right lane had access to the second and third lane of ticket booths. So the cars that drove in through the right lane moved twice as fast as those who entered the gate from left lane. So here is a tip, enter through the right lane!

The ticketing system is the only negative thing I have to say about the museums and I imagine its a short-term issue since the museums just opened. It took us exactly 30 minutes waiting in line to enter the museums’ main gate, buy the tickets and then park the car.

Once inside finding parking was easy since there was plenty. Not only that but when we were leaving around 5:30PM, the museum had closed its main gate because the museum was full, even though there was still plenty of parking. I guess based on the number of tickets they sold, the museums had reached their maximum capacity. And here is the great thing, the museums didn’t feel like they were overcrowded on what probably is going to be recorded as their busiest day ever, the first Friday right after opening. Sure there were some busy areas with tons of kids running around, but there were also plenty of areas that were practically empty as well.

They had live music playing outdoors which felt surreal when combined with the orange sky that date and the beautiful and futuristic lights of the museum. Kinda felt like I was on the set of the film Blade Runner. You can check a couple of vertical videos I shot (sorry they were meant for insta stories) [Here] and [Here].

One thing that caught me off guard was their bookshop located in one of the buildings. They actually had a ton of great books for kids and adults and most of them were from Phaidon which is my favorite publisher. I need to go back again this week and buy some books.

Like I mentioned in my previous posts, the museums are huge and you really need a full day to explore them all properly, and even then you’ll probably miss some stuff. I’ve been there twice so far and I have yet to explore the whole museum properly and there are areas I still haven’t even visited. I really love the place and I can’t wait to go back there again. For ticket prices, opening hours and more information, visit the ASCC website [Here]

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Inside the Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre Museums

Post by Mark

Yesterday I was invited to the Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre (ASCC) for a conference and tour of all the museums. The event was meant to start at 5PM but I decided to get there half an hour early. When I got arrived I realized I was one of the first people there since the parking lot was fairly empty. So I decided to walk around the museums and explore.

For those of you who asked if the museums had enough parking, they do. There is a decently sized lot on the ground floor and another much larger lot in the basement.

The museum grounds is pretty huge and involves quite a lot of walking. It took me around 30 minutes to walk around outside the museums before I decided to head back to the first building where the conference was going to take place. When I got there I realized people were just starting to show up and that no way the conference was starting on time. So I decided to ditch the event and instead go back to exploring the insides of the museums. That turned out to be the best idea because I ended up having the all the museum just for myself and I have to say, the place is amazing!

There are four museums occupying six main buildings:

– Natural History Museum
– Science & Technology Museum
– Arabic Islamic Science Museum
– Space Museum

I literally was running around trying to capture photos for my instagram before it started getting dark and it took me over an hour and a half to run through the whole museum. I didn’t even stop to read a plaque, interact with an exhibit or walk around every hall properly and it took me that long, so imagine how long it will take you to explore the exhibits fully. I was told you’d need around 6 hours per museum and that doesn’t include attending any of the shows or workshops that are going to be held there frequently.

From all the exhibits I think my favorite might be the Human Body building of the Science & Technolgy Museum. Although I had left it until the end because I thought it was going to be lame, I think it’s probably one of the most fun and interactive areas. For example, they have a 15m running track where you could run and it would calculate your time and then compare it to famous people including record holder Usain Bolt. So you know I’m definitely going to go back in my full sports gear just to try that out. The whole lower section of that building was filled with different sports activities for you to try, interact or play around with. Then upstairs you have one of the visually most colorful and exciting looking exhibits that deals with viruses (pictured below), and there was also a biology lab where they’ll be holding workshops for people of all ages. That’s another thing I really liked about the museums, not only were their exhibits but in each museum, there were also classrooms and spaces to hold workshops.

The most surprising exhibit to me was probably the Ecosystems building under the Natural History Museum. I walked in and was mind blown, they had converted one of the buildings into an indoor rainforest with an active waterfall and water pools. I was not expecting that at all. You could walk around the rainforest from above it or from the ground floor. I started from the top since that’s where I came in from since I was at the dinosaurs exhibit next door, and then headed down. Once I was done on the ground floor I got another surprise, turns out the pools of water I had seen from the top were actually the top of the huge aquarium which was located in the basement. It’s a huge aquarium, I probably larger than the one at the Scientific Center although it wasn’t yet filled with a lot of fish.

I think I’m going to stop here since this post would end up being gigantic if I described every section of the museum. All you really need to know is that this is a legit and proper museum. I don’t know how they were able to build it and put it together in such a short period of time, and I am really impressed. The only negative thing might be in regards to the ticketing system. The museums were originally meant to be free but late into the project they decided to charge a nominal entry fee of KD3 for adults and KD2 for children. Since the building wasn’t built with the idea of ticketing in mind, they installed drive-thru ticket stations at the parking entrance. There are nine ticket stations in the parking area, you drive up to one, purchase tickets for every passenger in the car and then you’re allowed in. I can imagine that causing a lot of traffic to get in, especially in the beginning when people are rushing to see the museums. But, there is a side entrance for drop-offs and pedestrians, so if it does get super busy, I’ll just ride my bicycle down the street to the museum or have a cab drop me off.

If you want to know more about the museum including location, ticket prices, opening hours, you name it, then check out the ASCC website which is really thorough [Here]

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Ticket Prices for Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre

Post by Mark

The Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre museums is officially opening tomorrow and their website is now live and contains their ticket prices, opening hours and floor maps of the place amongst other information. The ticket prices turned out to be super reasonable with children under 18 costing KD2 and adults costing KD3. Here all the ticket prices:

Adults (18+): 3 KD
Junior | Student (Max 18): 2 KD
Under 2: Free of Charge
Ambulant Disabled: 1.5 KD
Wheelchair Disabled: 1.5 KD + Free Helper
Chaperon: 2 KD

Below is the map of the museum so you can see all the buildings and what they contain.

Opening hours are 9AM to 9PM on weekdays, and 3PM to 11PM on weekends. They’re closed on Sundays.

I’m actually headed to the museums in a bit since I’ve been invited to the pre-opening and I’m super excited. Hopefully, they’ll let me take photos so that I can post them up here tomorrow. To check out their website, visit ascckw.com

Update: They’ve changed their opening hours and I’ve updated the post to reflect that

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Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre Opening Next Week

Post by Mark

The Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre (ASCC) will officially be opening to the public next week on Wednesday, March 14th. The cultural center houses a Space Museum, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and an Islamic Museum so I’m super excited to check it out.

To stay posted you can follow them on instagram @ascc_kw

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Openings Pushed Back

Post by Mark

The openings of Avenues Phase 4, Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center and the new pedestrian-only street in old Salmiya have all been pushed back. Previously they were set to open during the National holidays but that’s no longer going to happen.

There were also rumors that the inauguration of Kuwait Motor Town was going to take place during the National holidays but those rumors are not true.

I personally don’t mind since they’re all still expected to open soon and I’d rather they open when they’re ready instead of being rushed.

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Cultural Centre Drive-by

Post by Mark

The new Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre (ASCC) is set to open towards the end of this month, but if you drive by at night, you can get a sneak peek at some of the dinosaurs on display.

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Behind the Scenes of the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre

Post by Mark

The Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre is currently one of the largest cultural and science projects in the world and once complete will house four museums, Natural History, Science, Islamic and Space.

Construction of the museums was already completed and currently the exhibits are being fitted. As you can imagine, there is a lot of logistics that goes into a project of this magnitude. Here is an excerpt from a recent article on the museum fit-out specialist BECK who are working on this project:

On international projects, there is a greater demand for technology, the use of more demanding and higher materials specifications, higher density of exhibits to floor space, the need for continuous communication on every level and the need for staff to be on location 100 per cent of the time.

This is illustrated at the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salam Cultural Centre where one small area is a live rain forest with soil, irrigation and newly planted trees (combined with specially manufactured scenically created trees and plants), which all back up to a one million litre aquarium with acrylic panels that are 500mm thick to contain the water.

“We have more than 150 multi-media requirements and about 20 films to be shot. Because of the climate there are only really two months that you can film in Kuwait – January and February – to get a good quality image. So, if you have a two-year project you have four months to do all your filming. If you miss that slot you delay the project for a year.” [Source]

If you’re interested in reading more articles similar to that then here are a few you could go through, if you know of any more let me know about them:

BECK – international museum fit-out: breaking the boundaries of what’s possible
International museum fit-out – UK specialists taking on the world
The Hub – from UK blockbusters to mega projects abroad

The cultural centre is slated to open by the end of the year. For renderings and more information on the project, click [Here]

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Inside the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center

Post by Mark


The Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center is set to be the largest museum in the world covering Natural History, Science, Space and Islamic Heritage, together with a Theatre and Fine Arts Centre. Construction has been on the way since June of last year and from what I am told construction will be completed by the end of this year. Once the buildings construction is completed, the interior work will begin and new renderings were recently released giving us a glimpse of how the museums might end up looking like. Below is some information on each of the museums as well as a link where you can check out the renderings.

The Space Museum (4,300m²) incorporates a 130 seat planetarium and tells the story of planet earth, the universe, space exploration and will also include an immersive reconstruction of the International Space Station. [Link]

The Science Museum (6,800m²) includes galleries for Human Body & Mind, Technology & Transport, Experiment and Robotics, with exhibits featuring hands-on experiments, games and simulator experiences. [Link]

The Natural History Museum (7,700m²) will offer visitors a unique insight into the natural world and includes a stunning ecosystem experience that allows visitors to explore a living rainforest, mangrove and coral reef. [Link]

The Islamic Museum (2000m2) tells stories of the importance of knowledge in Islam, the Islamic way of life and Islamic legacy in Kuwait. Features include stunning scale models of iconic mosques from around the world, a Treasures gallery and interactive exhibits that communicate the development and preservation of Islamic knowledge in science, arts and literature. [Link]

If you’d like to see how the exterior is going to look click [Here]

Thanks Khaled

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