About Mark

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Mark has created 11638 blog entries.
13 03, 2019

The Scientific Center Expansion has Begun

2019-03-13T12:42:42+03:00Mar 13, 2019|9 Comments

A few years ago I posted about the Scientific Center expansion plans and one of the most controversial aspects of it was the fact the plans included a new dolphinarium. As you know, holding dolphins in captivity is pretty cruel and a friend of mine even posted an appeal in hopes of stopping it.

Recently construction started next to Scientific Center and I was curious to know if the dolphinarium was still being built. So I got in touch with my contact at the Scientific Center who not only reassured me that they are not going ahead with the dolphinarium, but he also shared with me some new information on the expansion as well as the visuals I’ve shared in this post.

The Scientific Center have now started construction work on the new expansion, with the first phase focused on marine works and land reclamation. This includes renovation of the Dhow Harbor area and the relocation of the seawater intake pipe which provides clean seawater to the tanks within the aquarium. The construction you see now on the side of the Scientific Center (pictured above) is for the marine works which is estimated to take around 9 months. This will be followed by the groundbreaking, structural foundation of the expansion, the construction of the superstructure, MEP, the finishing and new exhibits installations, and then finally the renovation of the existing building attractions and exhibits.

The design and programming of the expansion building was developed as a priority, in partnership with the center’s Board and consultation from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS). The expansion commits the center to playing a leading role on a national level to transform the country and help develop a knowledge-driven economy. Because of this commitment, the programming and exhibits within the expansion aim to increase the quality of STEM teaching from the center, as well as the importance of environmental protection, through engaging learning experiences.

The expansion will introduce new concepts to the region, as well as inspiring exhibits, through both new additions and the renovation of current ones. The public can expect to see reinvigorated ecosystems in the Mijbil Almutawa Aquarium, modern commodities and services, a brand new children’s science museum, as well as numerous new halls and labs enabling visitors, schools, universities and more to engage with the center in developing their own innovations to better Kuwait.

Here are some other facts you might find interesting:

– The renovation of the aquarium is being done in partnership with the creative
design and consultancy firm ROTO, who you can learn about [Here]

– The overall expansion is estimated to come at an approximate value of KD 36 million, with a timeline of projected completion by 2022

– Many people aren’t aware that the Scientific Center is a non-profit

– The center is aiming to introduce class-specific programs, labs, and workshops for educators to use for their own curriculum

– The footprint of the center is doubling

So to summarize, there will be no dolphinarium and the Scientific Center will be increasing their exhibits and attractions and refurbishing the current building. All of that is expected to be completed in around 3-4 years.

13 03, 2019

Where to buy telescopes in Kuwait?

2019-03-13T09:24:04+03:00Mar 13, 2019|4 Comments

Around a decade ago, maybe more, there used to be a store in Muthana Complex that used to just sell telescopes. That store closed down ages ago and after that, the only other place I knew of that sold good telescopes was Xcite in Avenues. But, they no longer seem to carry them anymore so right now if you’re looking for a telescope, your best option is the Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre (ASCC).

Inside the space museum at ASCC there is a gift shop that sells Celestron brand of telescopes. Below are the models I spotted along with their prices and a comparison to Amazon.

Celestron AstroMaster 70 EQ
Amazon: KD40
ASCC: KD50

Celestron AstroMaster 90 EQ
Amazon: KD67
ASCC: KD80

Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ
Amazon: KD55
ASCC: KD80

Celestron Ultima 65
Amazon: KD40
ASCC: KD70

The pricing seems pretty decent on most of them especially when you consider the Amazon prices I’ve listed don’t include any taxes or shipping costs. So if you’re looking for a telescope, you should head to the space museum gift shop.

12 03, 2019

Richard Mille Opening in Salhiya

2019-03-12T11:37:06+03:00Mar 12, 2019|25 Comments

Horologists in Kuwait (all 4 of you) will be interested to know that we’re finally getting a Richard Mille store. While in Salhiya recently I noticed a hoarding up for Richard Mille in place of where the Vertu store used to be located.

Vertu used to be a luxury mobile phone brand but the company shut down a couple of years ago so makes sense that they finally closed the local location as well. I don’t think I had ever seen a single customer inside the store, like ever.

Richard Mille on the other hand is a high end luxury watchmaker with their most affordable watch starting at around KD15,000 (give or take) and can hit a few hundred thousand dinars easily. I was lucky enough to see two Richard Mille models being put together when I visited watchmakers Renaud & Papi in Switzerland a few years ago. Good times.

12 03, 2019

Old Gazelle Club Demolished

2019-03-12T10:06:14+03:00Mar 12, 2019|10 Comments

Not sure when this happened, but the Gazelle Club Facebook group yesterday shared photos of where Gazelle Club used to be located and the buildings have now all been demolished and cleared. They did leave the pier on the other hand which is pictured above.

Gazelle Club was a very popular beach resort in Kuwait back in the 60s and up until the 1990 Gulf War. During the Gulf War the resort was badly damaged and it was never rebuilt again. I’ve posted and shared photos before and after photos on the blog before and you can check those out [Here]

But, I just realized while writing this post that there are a few photos of the club which I had acquired from the KOC Archive which I never shared before. So, I’m also sharing those photos below.

(more…)

11 03, 2019

KMT Open Track is Back

2019-03-11T11:49:07+03:00Mar 11, 2019|8 Comments

Yesterday Kuwait Motor Town opened up registration for three open track day events set for March 23, April 19 and April 26. The March 23rd date sold out in around 40 minutes while the April 19th date sold out soon after. Right now there are still slots available for the April 26th date, so if you’re interested in participating with your car, you need to book asap. Here is the [Link]

11 03, 2019

Garden of Lights

2019-03-11T10:19:52+03:00Mar 11, 2019|4 Comments

If you haven’t passed by Al Shaheed Park to check out their Garden of Lights festival then you should. I dropped by yesterday and had a lot of fun discovering their various light installations that were spread out all around the park. They even had a very cool Donkey Kong installation that was actually playable (pictured above).

Al Shaheed was pretty packed with people but I think that had to do more with the fact the weather was great and not because of the lights festival. The Garden of Lights ends in a few days, for more info check out the event post [Here]

10 03, 2019

Le Petit Chef Experience

2019-03-10T11:15:56+03:00Mar 10, 2019|2 Comments

A couple of weeks back, The Regency Hotel got in touch with me and asked me if I’d be interested in experiencing “Le Petit Chef” since they were hosting it in Kuwait for a limited time. I quickly googled it and found the video below and it looked interesting, so I accepted their invitation.

Le Petit Chef is a dining experience based around a mini animated chef and his culinary adventures following the footsteps of Marco Polo. The experience combines 3D projection onto your table and a 6-course meal composed of dishes from around the world. I was told the show was 2 hours long so I had warned my friend we might end up leaving before the show was over if I got bored. Surprisingly, I didn’t and we ended up staying till the very end.

The show started at 8:30PM but we were told to get there early for pre-drinks. The 6-course meal also has an option of drinks to go along with it, and I’m pretty they’re all meant to be alcoholic drinks that were turned into mocktails for Kuwait. When one of the drinks arrived I told my friend it looked like a smoked rosemary whisky sour and when I tried it, I realized it was, just without the whisky of course. At one point during the dinner, the waiter even asked us if we wanted white or red wine with one of the courses. Cute.

Just before the show started we were all led downstairs to one of The Regency’s restaurants which is currently hosting Le Petit Chef. The setup is pretty simple, but it works. Every table had a projector over it that projected 3D footage onto the table. Items like plates and trays get placed in predefined spots on the table so that whatever is being projected looks like it’s interacting with the real physical items.

The show was pretty cheesy, but I actually enjoyed it. The food was ok, nothing really special but I still had a good time because I hadn’t experienced anything like it before. It’s like those restaurants that serve you food in complete darkness or the sub zero ice bars, they’re gimmicks you experience once with a friend, have fun but never go back to. Le Petit Chef is pretty much the same. Two hours ended up flying by without feeling too long nor with me getting bored (which is impressive).

The price, on the other hand, is going to be a bit hard to swallow. The 6-course meal costs KD39 per person, while the accompanying drinks are an extra KD12. So it’s not a place you’d want to take kids to. My recommendation? Skip the drinks, they’re too many and there’s no alcohol involved so you won’t enjoy them. The show is running for a limited time only and takes place daily at 8:30PM except for Sundays. If you’re interested you need to call and book ahead of time on 25766880.

10 03, 2019

Mercedes Opening at The Avenues?

2019-03-10T08:29:16+03:00Mar 10, 2019|16 Comments

Spotted this teaser at The Avenues this past weekend in Phase 4. Looks like Mercedes might be opening a small dealership there and if they are, that’s pretty smart.