The ASCC Museums – 1 Year Later

Post by Mark

The Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre (ASCC) opened nearly a year ago and since then I’ve visited it nearly a dozen times. It’s right down the street from my place and so it’s really convenient for me to drop by whenever I want. One of the things I was concerned about when the museums first opened up was how it would hold up to the abuse.

Well I’ve got good news, all six museums are still pretty much intact. I passed by on Thursday and went through all the exhibits and I could count the number of exhibits that were out-of-order on my hand. Not only that but since my last visit a few months ago, new cafes have opened up and a couple of new exhibits were added.

Best part about the museum is that there rarely is anyone ever there. For example I passed by Thursday evening and there were barely any people which is great if you don’t like crowds.

If you haven’t been to the museums yet then I’d highly recommend you do so, it’s just a cool place to walk around and chill with loads of outdoor spaces to explore as well as the actual museums themselves. For more information click [Here]

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Whats happening with Al Sawaber?

Post by Mark

As you’re probably aware by now, last month demolition started on Al Sawaber even though people tried to stop it from happening. I heard a bunch of stories about how the contractor wasn’t supposed to start demolition because of a court order or how the whole thing was a miscommunication between various ministry departments. But all the stories aside, what’s happening to Al Sawaber now?

Basically, the contractor started demolition by removing all the pedestrian bridges that connect all the Al Sawaber buildings together. From what I could tell the buildings have been untouched so far. Activists went to court early in the month to stop the demolition from taking place with one of the reasons being that Al Sawaber is classified as a modern heritage building so it should be protected not demolished. On February 19th the court will make their decision and if they agree with saving Al Sawaber, then the contractor will supposedly have to rebuild what they’ve demolished.

If you want to stay posted on everything Al Sawaber, then your best bet is to follow the @save_alsawaber account on Instagram.

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We take air pollution very lightly

Post by Mark

Bangkok recently went on full alert because their air pollution level was high after their PM2.5 reading reached 152 which is considered unhealthy. The odd thing is, at the same time, Kuwait’s pollution level was reading at 155 and nobody cared. Nobody probably cared because 155 isn’t even high by Kuwait standards, I’ve seen it hit 358 and I’ve seen it in the 200s multiple of times. Even when it was at 358 which is three times worse than when Bangkok declared red alert, nobody in Kuwait blinked an eye.

So why is it that we don’t seem to care (me included) about the quality of the air we breathe. Is it because there isn’t anything we can do about it or is it because it doesn’t seem like an issue because nobody is making a fuss about it?

When in Bahrain last month my friend rented a Chinese car (BYD) and although I found the car pretty crap, one cool feature it came with was a built-in air quality meter because its a feature people in China care about because of the pollution levels there. With a touch of a button, the car could tell you how bad the air quality was outside the car. Sounds like a gimmick but it’s a car feature we should all probably want to have like the Chinese do.

If you want to check the current air quality in Kuwait, click [Here]

Thanks Nibaq

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Audition for the Staged in Kuwait Spring Musical

Post by Mark

This Friday, Staged in Kuwait will be holding auditions for actors, singers, and dancers who would like to take part in their upcoming spring musical. Everyone is welcome to try out for any role as long as you’re over 18. If you’re interested in taking part, here is some info:

Where: SIK Rehearsal Studio, Adan. [Map]
When: Friday January 25th, 2pm – 4pm. (Please arrive for a 2pm start)

What to bring:

– Singers should come with a prepared song that best shows their voice. (Musical Theatre genre preferred.) Please bring a backing track on your phone or USB.

– Script reading will be provided at the audition. Nothing to prepare.

– A simple dance segment will be taught to all auditionees to see how you move. (Please come in comfortable clothes and shoes that allow you to move.)

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You Can Rent the Kuwait Towers

Post by Mark

Here’s some random information I recently found out, turns out you can actually rent the Kuwait Towers for private events. They’ll close the whole thing off for you and nobody but you and your guests can come in. So say you want to have your wedding there, a birthday party or a private dinner, you can do that. The cost? KD10,000 a day.

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World’s Longest Bridge Set to Open in Kuwait Soon

Post by Mark

The Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmed Causway project is nearly complete and is set to open this coming April. Once it opens the bridge will be the world’s longest with a total span of 48.53km [Source].

Going by the drone footage in the two videos here, the drive will be very scenic over the Kuwaiti bay and take around 35 minutes from one end to the other. There isn’t anything on the other side to see yet but at least the road isn’t broken and full of potholes and little rocks flying around like every other road in Kuwait at the moment.

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Revisting Bait Al-Othman Museum

Post by Mark

The Bait Al-Othman Museum originally opened back in 2013 and I passed by it a few months after opening to check it out and post about it on the blog. But last week I went back to the museum again and to my surprise, it turned out they had expanded the museum considerably since my last visit 5 years ago.

I’m having a difficult time trying to decide how much information I should share about the place. When I visited the museum last week I went expecting to see the stuff I had seen the last time I was there, basically various rooms covering important aspects of Kuwait and its history. But once I started exploring some of the new sections which I hadn’t seen before, I realized Bait Al-Othman is by far one of the most bizarre and entertaining museums in Kuwait. I had such a good time that I want to go back again with more friends.

Some of the new areas of Bait Al-Othman felt like they had been taken from the now closed old Science Museum in Kuwait City. The museum has such a random combination of content including a small haunted house, loads and loads of stuffed animals and even a hostel. I really want to share more details but I think it would be a lot more fun to just go there without knowing too much about the place.

So if you haven’t been to Bait Al-Othman before or at least not recently, you should definitely pass by the place. The museum is located in Hawalli [Google Maps] with loads of parking space available. Their opening hours are from 9AM to 1PM and 4PM to 9:30PM everyday except on Fridays they don’t open in the mornings.

Pro Tip: You need around 3 hours or more to see everything, and make sure you visit all the rooms. There are some areas which look closed off but they lead to other areas. So explore it all.

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Unlimited Free Deliveries with Carriage

Post by Mark

Over the weekend Carriage launched an amazing new membership service called Carriage Black where for just KD3.5 a month you’ll get unlimited free deliveries. For someone like me who basically uses their service every day, and sometimes multiple times a day, this is a pretty incredible deal. But, I think I know why they’re doing this.

From what I’ve heard, when Deliveroo launches in Kuwait (any day now) they will be offering free delivery to customers for at least the first 6 months. That would pretty much kill Carriage so this is a way for them to compete with Deliveroo.

If you want to sign up to Carriage Black then make sure you have the latest updated version of their app since the service only became available with their most recent update.

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Save Al Sawaber from Demolition

Post by Mark

Built in 1981, Al Sawaber Complex was designed by renowned Canadian architect and urban planner Arthur Erickson with the idea of creating a community for Kuwaiti families of modest means. He accomplished that with a layout that provided easy horizontal circulation between the apartment blocks, while also creating intimate spaces sheltered from the rest of the city.

The complex is recognised as a modern heritage building of cultural and historical significance by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature. But, because of a complete lack of maintenance, arson in some of the units, escalating land values in the surrounding area, and gentrification, the project has now been marked for demolition.

The demolition date is unknown but a contractor has been chosen so demolition can begin any day now.

A team comprising of members from Kuwait Municipality Master Plan and Planning Departments, Kuwait University School of Architecture professors, and the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature are trying to save the project. They’re hoping to raise public awareness as a last resort to save Al-Sawaber Complex from imminent demolition.

Rather than being demolished the team is proposing that the complex be rehabilitated and regenerated as a mixed-use urban development while maintaining elements of the original character and structure.

If you’d like to support the team in trying to save Al Sawaber then follow them on instagram @save_alsawaber and sign their petition [Here] (blocked on Viva for some reason)

Top photo by Asseel Al-Ragam

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GoCity – A New Cab Booking App

Post by Mark

The local CityVan service by CityBus rebranded and relaunched a few days ago as GoCity. GoCity now has two services that fall under it, the first is GoCity Van which is what CityVan used to be while the second service is new and called GoCity Cab.

GoCity Cab is basically our local version of Uber and allows you to book a cab via the app. I haven’t used them yet but I did download and set up the app just to get a feel for how it works and so far my first impressions are good. The app is well designed, easy to use and easy to set up. I’m home now so I set my location in Salmiya and then put my destination as Avenues and got an estimate of KD2.800 as the ride fee and 6 minutes as the wait time for a cab. The app had options for an SUV and Premium car but both weren’t available for me when I was testing the app out.

I don’t know whats the hold up with Uber coming to Kuwait, there has been talk about them entering the market for years but nothing has come of it. I personally use Q8 Grand Limo whenever I need a cab and I really like the service and experience. But, Q8 Grand Limo is pricey and only makes sense for me since I don’t take cabs often. If I had to use cabs all the time then GoCity would make more sense.

Right now they have two promos running, one is a 25% discount if you use the code “GO25” while the other one is a 100% cash back as credit into your account if use the code “JUSTGO”. If you end up using the service let us know in the comments what you thought of it and also what were the conditions of the cars.

To download the app click [Here]

Update: iOS users can find the app in the Apple Store, just search for GoCity

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