In Focus: Pet Zone

Post by Mark

I found about this pet shop and decided to pass by and check it out. They haven’t officially opened yet but already the place looks really great and is by far the best pet shop in Kuwait. I absolutely hate pet shops in Kuwait because all the ones I’ve seen are very dirty with pets shoved into tiny cages and they’re just sickening to visit. Pet Zone on the other hand is one of the nicest looking pet shops I’ve ever seen and they still haven’t even finished the place yet.

The place is 2 floors, on the first floor they have pet food, lots of fish aquariums that will have fish displayed inside (they were still all empty when I was there), a pet grooming area and right in the middle two nicely done displays for guinea pigs and rabbits. Upstairs on the other hand they had pet accessories, birds and one large display that I think will end up housing a python or some other large snake. I think I also saw a room where they shower the pets but not sure.

As I said they still haven’t officially opened, it’s still just a soft launch and so they haven’t received all their animals yet and they were still finalizing their fish displays. But, you can still pass by and check out their pet food and accessories which they have a lot of. According to the employee they should have most of their animals in 2 weeks time. Pet Zone is located near The Avenues, if True Values is on your right, take the first right hand turn after it and drive straight in as if you’re heading to the 60th, Pet Zone will appear on your left hand side. Here is a map I drew which you can use [Map]

Update: The store has moved to a much bigger location [Link]


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In Focus: Dent Xpress

Post by Mark

A few weeks back Nat accidentally slammed my FJ’s door onto a little pole while opening the door and I ended up with a nasty dent. The usual fix for this would be to take the car to a body shop and have them repair the dent and then repaint the door but I decided to pass by Dent Xpress and see if they could fix it. For those of you who’ve been checking my blog for a few years you might remember Dent Xpress as one of my previous advertisers. They’re a little shop behind Sun City in Shuwaikh that specializes in paint-less dent repair.

I had finished some morning chores that day and decided to pass by Dent Xpress to get an estimate and book an appointment. Once I drove up to their front entrance their employee was standing outside and noticed the dent as I pulled up. After getting a closer look he told me the dent was pretty deep and since my car was black he couldn’t repair it 100%, I told him anything would be better than the current state. I asked him how much it would cost and he told me just KD15 and it would take 30 minutes to repair. Luckily there wasn’t anyone there before me so I told him to go ahead and start on it.

I went and sat down in their cozy little corner and watched the guy work on my dent. It’s really interesting to watch so you don’t get that bored waiting. If you’ve got an iPad with entertainment on it I would bring it along or you could be old fashioned and flip through some magazines they had available. After exactly 30 minutes my FJ’s dent was repaired. Even though the guy said he couldn’t repair it 100% it looked like it was 100% fixed. He told me if I looked closely I could see a tiny little bump. That bump which you couuld only see under a certain light and up really close was basically non existent so it’s a 99% fix even though you really can’t see the tiny bump. I left extremely satisfied which is why I’m currently writing this post. So if you’ve got a dent and need it repaired Dent Xpress would be a good place to stop by before a body shop. They can’t repair all dents and the paint also needs to be factory original but it’s still worth passing by and seeing if they can repair it. Below is a picture of my FJ door before and after the repair.

Their website address is www.dentxpress.com
Their phone numbers are 24837666 and 55787747
Their Facebook page is [Here]


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In Focus: Funoon Centre

Post by Mark

The post below reminded me I should actually post about the Funoon store. For everyone that’s grown up in Kuwait during the 80’s, this store is a gold mine. They have all the famous Abed Al Hussein Abd Al Rida plays and shows available… on DVD! I picked up the Bye Bye London DVD for just KD3. Quality isn’t DVD quality but it’s better than the VHS tape I had. Only problem I actually had with the DVD is that sound comes out of one speaker only because they took the mono track and assigned it to one side. I would have taken the mono track and repeated on the left and right instead. But anyway that’s a small complaint. They also had Seif Al 3arab (2 DVDs), Bye Bye 3arab, Dars Khoosoosee, Darb Al Zalag and a lot more… all on DVD and all priced at KD3 per DVD.

Not sure how many branches they have but I went to the one off the 5th Ring Road in Salmiya. If Turkish Grill is on your right hand side it’s around 200 meters right after it, on the corner of Amman street.


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In Focus: G-FORCE auto worx

Post by Mark

I first heard about G-FORCE back when k.thekuwaiti posted about them on my blog back in 2008. I thought the place looked amazing (check above) but I never ended up passing by them until recently. I needed to get some paint work done on my Z4 since the previous paint job I got was starting to peel for some odd reason. My friend recommended I pass by the G-FORCE body shop since their prices were cheaper than the dealers and yet their paint work was better. So I passed by for an estimate and to check out the place.

I passed by them in the Free Trade Zone (behind Villa Moda) and was met by their sales manager. I asked him if I could check out the place first since it was my first time there and he gave me a tour. On the ground floor is their car showroom where they display their Cobras (by Backdraft Racing), Big Bear Choppers bikes (they’re the dealers) and other random but interesting cars for sale. The Cobra on display looked incredible but I figured it was one of those if you have to ask then you can’t afford it kinda cars so I never found out how much they cost. They looked really amazing though. On their top floor they had a whole bunch of items on display ranging from clothing and racing gear to car parts and memorabilia. Turns out they had a ton of cool brands like Sparco, Recaro, HRE wheels, Autoart, some other brands I don’t remember and even Fomula 1 and MotoGP clothing. In one corner they had a signed Rubens Barrichello racing suit which had worn and won in but it wasn’t for sale. At first impression this place looked nothing like a garage should look like and I mean that in a very good way.

Anyway once we were done I went out back and checked out their body shop, it was super clean and organized even though they were busy working on a bunch of cars. I got to check out their DynoJet (yup they have one) and then check out their prep/paint booth which according to k.thekuwaiti is Ferrari approved. Their painter checked out the panels I needed painted on my car and he told me right away what was wrong with the previous paint job. It was a bit too technical for me to understand but basically the previous painter hadn’t prepped the panel properly and so the paint wasn’t sticking to the car. I got a price quote which was better than I expected and booked an appointment to drop my car.

They ended up doing a great job on the paint job and since it turns out they also did mechanical work I had them fix a small oil leak I had. I figured I would post about them so I asked the guy what other services they offered and he told me they did everything from 1000hp upgrades to custom paint jobs and get this… they have something called the G-Force Advanced Driving Academy. Twice a year they take 24 people from Kuwait to the Autodrome track in Dubai where they hire out cars (TT’s, R8’s, single seater racers) and teach them basic to advanced driving techniques. I thought that was pretty cool but again I didn’t ask how much it cost. Anyway if you’re interested to find out more you can visit their website [Here] and their Facebook page [Here].


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In Focus: Casio

Post by Mark

For some reason the past two weeks I’ve been obsessed with Casio G-Shocks. I’ve already posted a ton of pictures in my twitter account and I’ve even posted about them on my other blog 248PM. I’m a huge fan of watches but I’m always worried about them getting scratched, lost or stolen so when I started checking out the G-Shocks it was like this is a watch I can get and not have to worry about.

There were a few different models I liked, I first liked the G-5500 special editions which came in two colors (pictured above), a bright yellow representing Tokyo and a gark gray one representing New York City. I then saw the GA-100 (pictured below) and loved how dark and evil it looked. Finally I saw and read about the GX56 (pictured on top of post and the very end) and knew right away that was the watch for me.

The GX56 is Casio’s largest G-Shock ever made. It not only huge but it’s also super tough and I personally think looks really great. It comes in three colors but the Casio dealer in Kuwait gets them in just one color which is the one in the picture above. I ended up getting that and so far I’m loving it. Price wise it’s not cheap since it costs KD50 which is on the expensive side of the Casio spectrum. The GA-100 is for KD35 while the G-5500 special editions are for KD40 each.

The Casio dealer is pretty decent, their prices are slightly more expensive than Amazon but when you add shipping costs and tax it turns out to be exactly the same as Kuwait. The branch I kept passing by was the one behind Souk Al Kabeer in Kuwait City. All the models I posted above are available at their Kuwait City branch. Their phone number is 22458727.


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In Focus: Victorinox Kuwait

Post by Mark

I’m a huge fan of Victorinox Swiss army knives and if I wasn’t so clumsy with sharp objects I would probably have a nice huge collection at home. Thing is I have three Swiss army knives and have managed to cut myself accidentally with all three (one of them pretty deep) so I’ve kinda kept my distance from them.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t admire the knives. They have some really great looking ones with my favorite being the bright emergency yellow RescueTool which I’ve had my eye on for a while now. Majority of people don’t know this but we have a pretty good Victorinox dealer here in Kuwait. The shop isn’t in the best location and the interior design is pretty crap (check photos below) but they do have a pretty huge collection.

The shop is called Shalimar Stores and they’re located in the ground floor of the mall right behind Johnny Rockets Salhiya. Prices of knives vary with the majority falling in between KD5 to KD15. They also carry Victorinox scissors, bags and watches as well. Their phone number is 22451270


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In Focus: The Bed Boutique

Post by Mark

Recently I noticed that when I sleep for over 9 hours I wake up with neck cramps and a sore ear. It turned out my pillow had become too hard and with the way I sleep was causing me neck pains. Nat suggested I get Tempur pillows so I did a quick google to find a local dealer and landed on Some Contrast’s blog. He had found and gotten Tempur pillows from a place called The Bed Boutique in Tilal Complex. Since I was planning to pass by the Tamiya dealer there anyway, I decided to drop by and see what they had.

The shop has pillows, quilts and mattresses. They had a few brands the most popular being Tempur and Temprakon. Now one reason I felt like coming to this store was because Some Contrast posted they had a small private room (pictured above) in which you could try the pillows which is what I ended up doing. I got around 4 different types of pillows and tried them while lying down which is much better than just trying to feel the stuff in your hands. In the end I ended up getting the Temprakon Ergomagic which is a very comfy pillow (picture and details on their website). It’s a down pillow with a three layered core, one layer is a comfort foam which provides support for the head and neck, the other two layers are foam inserts which are used to control the height of the pillow. If the three layers combined are too high for you, you remove one of the inserts. If it’s still too high you remove another insert. Very practical.

Nat on the other hand got the same pillow as Yousef from Some Contrast which is the Tempur Symphony (pictured above). I tried it and also it was very comfy I didn’t think it was high enough for me since I like high pillows. The Tempur material feels very organic since it takes your shape and molds around it. I tried the Tempur mattress and it felt like the bed was alive since however you moved it slowly takes your form.

Anyway if you’re interested, The Bed Boutique is located at Tilal Complex. Their phone number is 22256171.

Update: Was just reading about the brand Temprakon on their website and it’s even better than I had thought. Their pillows and quilts are made with NASA’s OUTLAST material which is used in the NASA space suits. They’re the only manufacturer in the world allowed to use the OUTLAST material to make pillows and quilts.


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In Focus: Off Road Performance (ORP)

Post by Mark

I use my In Focus posts to highlight some great businesses here in Kuwait and today’s post is no different. As I mentioned previously, I’m lifting my FJ Cruiser and installing large tires just like I did with my Wrangler. The previous place I had installed my Wranglers lift had shut down so I asked a friend from the FJ Club for a recommendation and he pointed me towards ORP.

ORP is short for Off Road Performance and that’s exactly what they specialize in. If you’ve got a 4×4 and want to install a heavy duty bumper, or get a suspension lift, larger tires and wheels, maybe a light bar etc.. then they’re the place to go. Personally I would love to install everything myself and if I had my own little house with an indoor garage I would attempt to do that but since I don’t, I have to get stuff installed at specialized places which I usually don’t like doing. With ORP I felt comfortable getting my lift installed there because the guys are 4×4 affectionados. I met two guys, both Kuwaitis. Yousef is the one I first spoke to over the phone while Saud I didn’t communicate much with since he was always busy working on a car. They’re both passionate about what they do and to me that’s extremely important.

First time I passed by ORP was to check out the location and see how much they would charge for my suspension lift install. Then I just set up an appointment, dropped my FJ in late at night and picked it up again the next evening. I needed to get the FJ aligned and they recommended I take it to a guy called John at Auto1 on Canada Dry street who also turned out to be really great. So overall I had a very good experience and their prices are very competitive. Now I have to go back and buy a shorter antenna since with the lift kit installed my FJ’s antenna is hitting every pipe in my underground parking. I haven’t even installed my large tires yet so I am starting to worry my FJ is going to be too big to take underground. Hopefully I should be ok.

If you need anything for your 4×4 I highly recommend them. They’re very easy to find in Shuwaikh. If you’re on Canada Dry street with McDonalds on your right keep going straight past the bridge and then do a u-turn at the round-about so you’re heading the same way you came from, then take your first right and drive maybe 100 or 200 meters and you will find them on your left. (see map above). Their website address is www.orp.com.kw and you could also call Yousef on 99422254.


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In Focus: World Photo

Post by Mark

Once upon a time there were two cool photography stores in Kuwait City. One day the building that hosted the two shops got demolished and the stores disappeared…

After a bit of looking around I then noticed one of the shops ended up moving to Muthana Complex but since I didn’t know what happened to the other store I assumed it just closed down. Then out of the blue, a friend of mine tells me he found the place in Shuwaikh. It seems when they demolished the building they decided to move out of Kuwait City and into the industrial area of Shuwaikh for some reason. I passed by and noticed they still had all the used film cameras and lenses on display for sale. They also still have Cokin filters and various tripods, camera bags and studio lights for sale. I was checking out the Nikons, they had the F3, F4 and F5 for sale but none of them were really in great condition. They had two medium format cameras (a Kiev and Mamiya) and also a bunch of compact cameras.

If you’re interested in passing by they’re easy to find. Go to Canada Dry street and if McDonalds is on your right keep going straight past the traffic light and straight under the bridge. Keep going straight you will see a huge place on your left called Ramez. You need to keep driving until you hit the round about and then do a u-turn and head towards the direction you came from. Before the Ramez building you take a right and then you turn left behind the building and drive straight. You should see World Photo in front of you.


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In Focus: Zaharat Al Naseem

Post by Mark

Two weeks back I posted that I ordered the Alpine iXA-W407 from Amazon along with all the parts I needed to get it installed in my FJ Cruiser. Originally I was planning to do all the install myself but I found a sound install place where the people who run it actually know what they’re doing. The place is called Zaharat Al Naseem and they’re located right across from Al Raya. I originally went there to have them solder some wires together but I was pretty surprised when the person I was talking to knew was an SWI-JACK was and what a TR7 did. Not only that but the guy actually spoke proper English and they were in the middle of installing a rear view camera on another black FJ. I decided to give them the whole install project and so I left and went back after I was done with work so they could install everything.

They didn’t have any issues soldering all the right wires together (check out the picture above) and they got it all right from the first try. I had ordered an adapter from Amazon that would allow me to install the Alpine in the FJ but the adapter I bought turned out to be really crap. Turns out they had the right adapter I needed and the price was just a KD1 more than Amazon after shipping. After installing the stereo I had them install my extra 12v socket by the fuse box and run my Garmin GPS charger up inside the dashboard. I had a whole weekend of installation planned and they were able to do it all in under 2 hours. I didn’t have the rear view camera the first day but once Aramex delivered it the next day I went back and they installed it for me in under 30 minutes.

If you want to get your sound system installed I highly recommend them. There are a bunch of places in front of Al Raya so make sure you go to the right store.

Update: They’ve moved, here is their new location [Google Maps]

zaharat


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