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Data Information Kuwait

The 7 Most Powerful Kuwaiti Women (2024)

Forbes Middle East revealed their annual list of Middle East’s 100 Most Powerful Businesswomen and 7 Kuwaiti businesswomen made the list for 2024. Even more impressive is that 3 of the top 5 most powerful businesswomen are from Kuwait.

Here are the most powerful Kuwaiti women and their position in the top 100:

2. Shaikha Khaled Al Bahar
National Bank of Kuwait Group (NBK Group)

3. Wadha Ahmad Al-Khateeb
Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC)

5. Dana Nasser Al Sabah
Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) – KIPCO

18. Henadi Al-Saleh
Agility

28. Nadia Bader Al-Hajji
Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC)

67. Donna Sultan
KEO International Consultants

86. Nadia Akil
United Projects for Aviation Services Company (UPAC)

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Information Sneak Peek

Kuwait National Planetarium Set to Reopen Soon

Kuwait’s National Planetarium was one of the first in the Gulf Region and originally opened back in 1986. But a lot has happened to it since then.

During the 1990 Gulf War, the planetarium was destroyed and the signature dome remained visibly damaged for many years after. Eventually, the planetarium was rebuilt and it reopened again in 2002 but then closed down again in 2016 due to the major renovations that were going to take place at the National Museum. Now, 8 years later, it’s set to reopen again.

The technology at the planetarium has been fully upgraded with a new system consisting of nine 4K video projectors, new computer technology and the modernization of the sound system. But, at the heart of it all is the Zeiss STARMASTER projection system which has been at the planetarium since the reopening in 2002. The STARMASTER replaced the Zeiss SPACEMASTER which was installed in 1986 and was badly damaged during the 1990 invasion (It’s now displayed in the planetariums lobby). Only 19 STARMASTER projection systems are installed worldwide and they’re known for their high level of brightness, pinpoint sharpness, and providing a realistic starry sky.

Work on the planetarium is basically complete with only minor maintenance work left. Their aim is to open it as soon as the work is complete, but most likely it will be right after Ramadan.

If you’ve never been to the planetarium before, it’s located on the Gulf Road, opposite Seef Palace and is part of the Kuwait National Museum.

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Food Information

Café Kitsuné is Opening Tomorrow

Café Kitsuné, the popular sub-brand of the trendy French-Japanese lifestyle brand, Maison Kitsuné, is opening in Kuwait tomorrow (Sunday).

Their first location in Kuwait is opening outside the Abdullah Al-Salem Co-op and has a trendy interior with the Sadu pattern incorporated into the ceiling. It was designed in house by Café Kitsuné, but project managed locally by @soufikw.

For those of you who are fans of their music playlists, I was told the local playlist is controlled and streamed directly from Paris. So expect the same style of curated music.

They’re one of the cafes I tend to pass by for coffee while I’m in Paris, so it’s pretty cool that they’re now opening in Kuwait. If you want to pass by, starting tomorrow they’ll be open from 10AM to 10PM.

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Information

Kuwait is the Cheapest Place to Live in the Gulf

Numbeo is a crowd-sourced online database of perceived consumer prices, real property prices, and quality of life metrics. According to their 2024 report, Kuwait is the cheapest place to live in the Gulf while Dubai is the most expensive.

The most expensive place to live in the world according to their report is Bermuda, while the cheapest place is Karachi, Pakistan.

Here is how the Gulf countries rank:

1- Dubai, UAE
2- Abu Dhabi, UAE
3- Doha, Qatar
4- Manama, Bahrain
5- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
6- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
7- Sharjah, UAE
8- Muscat, Oman
9- Kuwait City, Kuwait

Numbeo’s cost of living index is calculated using the relative prices of consumer goods like groceries, restaurants, transportation, and utilities. The index doesn’t take into account accommodation expenses such as rent. For the full list, click here.

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Food Information

Aladdin Sweets is Closing Down After 60 Years

Aladdin Sweets (بوظة وحلويات علاء الدين) has been an iconic part of Salmiya for around 60 years. I used to walk by it as a kid, and look through the window at all the sweets and ice cream on display. If I was lucky, my mum would let me go in and get my favorite ice cream combo, chocolate and strawberry.

While walking by the other day I spotted a sign on the window saying they were closing down, moving to a new location and renaming to “Revani”. I asked them when there last day would be and they said January 30th.

If you want to pass by one last time, you have till tomorrow. They’re the ice cream place located between White Tower (برج ابيض) and Marina Mall. Google Maps

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Information Shopping Sports

Camping & Outdoor Gear Shops in Kuwait

I wanted to put a list together of local online shops that sell camping or outdoor gear. We actually have some pretty good brands available locally, if you know where to look. I’ve listed the stores I’m aware of below along with some of the brands they have in case anyone is ever googling. If I missed a place, let me know in the comments.

AAW – Coleman, Magma, Snow Peak
Ace Hardware – Blackstone, Coghlan’s, Coleman, Mr Heater, Wenzel
Al Azame – Atwood, Leatherman, Nitecore, Thaw, Victorinox
All Degrees – Biotite, Black Diamond, Osprey, UCO
Camouflage – Buck, Ganzo, KadiOutdoor, Leatherman
Alyash – Mostly in house brands
Camp N Sea – Coleman, Dometic, KingCamp, Naturehike
Decathlon – Quechua
DreamTeam – Gerber, Leatherman, Nitecore, Olight, Pelican
Extreme Outdoors – Danchel, Gstove, Goutdoor
Naturehike – Blackdog, Blackdeer, Bluetti, Firemaple, Naturehike, Roxon
Nomadic – 4monster, KingCamp
Off Grid – BioLite, GSI Outdoors
ORP – ARB, NEMO Equipment
Outdoor Kuwait – Blogdog, Black Stone, Camelback, Campingmoon, Claymore, GCI, Unity

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Information Kuwait

New Photos: Gulf Road Bicycle & Walk Paths

Back in September, I shared a photo of how the new Gulf Road facelift was going to look, and since then, they’ve been really busy working on the transformation.

The 9.7-kilometre-long project involves facelifting the waterfront while also offering essential amenities for people which includes a dedicated bicycle and jogging path among other things.

The project is divided into two phases with the first phase on track to be completed in February while the second phase will be completed in March. Yesterday I passed by to check out the progress, and even though the area is still under construction, it looked great!

The redesign is so tastefully done with beautiful tile work, nice looking benches, and a very minimal and clean design overall. Even the new garbage bins look good.

Runners will also be interested to know that the running track is going to be cushioned.

If you want to check the progress yourself, I’d recommend heading to the pathway next to Green Island. I visited different spots along the water front and the Green Island area was the closest to completion.

If you haven’t seen how the waterfront is going to look like when done, click here.

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Information Travel

UK Starts Visa-Free Entry Next Month

Starting February, if you have a Kuwaiti passport you no longer require a visa to travel to the UK. Instead of the traditional visit visa, you will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) which costs £10 (4KD) and is valid for two years.

The UK ETA application process is straight forward and you should be able to complete the online form in a matter of minutes with the following information:

  • Personal details
  • Passport data
  • Travel information
  • Answers to some basic security questions

The only other requirements are:

  • A valid Kuwaiti passport
  • Credit or debit card to pay the UK ETA fee
  • An email address to receive notifications

Most applications will be processed within 3 days, so you can apply for it right before you trip. This move is part of the UK plan to digitize their border by 2025 and applies to Kuwaitis, GCC citizens and Jordanians.

To stay posted or for more information, follow @ukinkuwait

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Information Interesting Kuwait

Visiting the Shagaya Renewable Energy Park

The Shagaya Renewable Energy Park is located around an hour and a half drive from the city and it’s HUGE. To give you some perspective, if you drove at 100KM/h, it would take you around 5 minutes to get from one end to the other. Last week I was lucky enough to get permission from KISR to visit the project and get a tour of the different renewable energy resources Kuwait is currently experimenting with.

The Shagaya Park is part of Kuwait’s vision for producing up to 15% of the energy from renewable energy sources by the year 2030. The energy park is a small-scale pilot project where three different renewable energy sources were installed with the objective so to be able to asses medium term costs and performances, and be able to make decisions on which technology to be employed in future plants. The 3 renewable energy sources installed are:

10 MW Wind Farm
10 MW Photovoltaic Plant
50 MW Concentrated Solar Power Plant

The wind farm uses wind to turn turbines to produce the energy. The photovoltaic plant uses solar panels to convert sun light into electricity. Finally, the CSP plant uses mirrors to direct sunlight onto a central tube filled with oil which then heats up water which drives a steam turbine to produce electricity. The advantage of the CSP plant which I discovered on this tour is that it can continue to produce electricity even during the night. That’s because there are two large tanks filled with 33,000 tons of molten salt that store heat during the day, and then continue to produce energy at night.

All the power generated from the park is fed back into Kuwait’s power grid. Since the park has been operational for a few years, they’ve collected enough data to decide on moving forward by expanding the Photovoltaic Plant. Kuwait uses the most amount of energy from 12PM to 4PM in the summer which is also when the Photovoltaic Plant’s generate the most electricity. This is why the government recently launched a tender to build a 1.1GW photovoltaic plant which will be installed at the park.

You can’t access the park without permission from KISR, but if you want to drive to it and check out the wind farm from outside the park, here is the location on Google Maps.

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Food Information Things to do

Dunes by Blajat Launching Next Month

Dunes is a new project by TEC located in Blajat and its going to be a beachside kashta experience.

There will be different kashta setups to pick from and they will include catering. The menu will be two kinds of cuisines catered by Meat Moot and L’ETO

You’ll be able to book a kashta through the TEC app either for the whole day, or just for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They’ll also be open daily from 10AM to 11PM.

Dunes is expected to open in the coming two weeks, to stay posted follow them on @duneskwt

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Information

Self Guided Grand Mosque Tours Now Available

Starting last week, you can now explore the Grand Mosque without a tour guide.

From Sunday to Thursday, visitors can tour the Grand Mosque without a guide from 9AM to 12:30PM and then again from 4PM to 6:30PM. No booking necessary. You just need to head to the visitors lounge, register your basic info, and pick up a badge to enter the mosque.

If you want a guided tour, both English and Arabic tours are available from Sunday to Thursday at 10AM, and then again at 5PM. No pre-booking needed and the tours are free of charge.

Dress Code: No sleeveless shirts nor shorts for men, and full-length cloaks and headscarves for women

Location: Google Maps

Instagram: @wpickw

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Information

Movies & TV Shows to Watch this Weekend

This week I started watching the animated series Scavengers Reign on HBO Max and it’s amazing. Very interesting, very creative and extremely weird. The series follows different crew members who evacuated a damaged deep space freighter and got stranded separately on a beautiful but dangerous planet. Watch it.

Let me know what you watched this week in the comments below.

Movies at the Cinemas
The movies below are now showing at the local cinemas:

New This Weekend:
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (N/A)
The Sacrifice Game (5.4)

Other Movies Showing:
Boudica: Queen of War (4.4)
Invitation to a Murder (5.1)
Little Bone Lodge (6.1)
Migration (7.5)
Napoleon (7.0)
Role Play
Silent Night (5.9)
Thanksgiving (6.9)
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (6.9)
Wish (6.0)
Wonka (7.4)

The classic films below are currently showing at the 1954 Film House:
Anastasia (7.1)
Die Hard (8.2)
Die Hard 2 (7.1)

The numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at the time of publishing.

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Information Promoted

Promoted: Moon Laundry Premium Service

Moon Laundry is a premium laundry service that has been open since 2020 and is one of the few I tend to recognize because of their cool branding. Although they refer to themselves as a premium laundry, their prices are actually very reasonable. Their use of the word premium is because of the higher level of care and attention they give to each garment compared to your run of the mill laundry. More importantly, they also have an app.

The app is my favorite thing about Moon Laundry since it makes requesting a laundry pick up very easy. The app even has an option to let the Moon Laundry team count and sort your items after pick up so you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.

After receiving your laundry the first thing they do is conduct a thorough inspection for stains, damages, and special care requirements. If anything is found before a wash, they will contact you and let you know. They will also record any specific instruction or preferences you might have given them when requesting a laundry pick up.

The next step would be to sort your clothes based on color, fabric type, and care instructions. Any stains will be carefully pre-treated before starting the washing process. Once the items are washed, dried and ironed, they will go through one more quality control check before getting packed and sent out to be delivered to you.

If you use laundry services often then you might find their packages interesting since they offer more value at a lesser price. They also work with urgent requests so in case you forgot to wash or iron something you need urgently, they can accommodate you.

Finally, in addition to the regular laundry services, Moon Laundry also offers the service of cleaning handbags and shoes/sneakers.

If you’re looking for a convenient and reliable laundry service, then have a look at Moon Laundry. For a link to the app and more information including special offers, visit @trymoon.app

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Events Information

Qout Market is Back at the JACC Gardens

Qout Market, the market that started the whole markets trend in Kuwait is back again this year with a lineup of four exciting markets for the season:

December 9th, 2023
January 6th, 2024
February 3rd, 2024
March 2nd, 2024

The first market is this coming Saturday and will be held at the JACC gardens. Qout took place at the JACC gardens last year but this year they’ve been given double the space taking up the entire gardens from front to back with more gates open to pedestrian traffic. There is also space for lots of cool special installations, a large children’s activities area and more seating compared to last year.

To celebrate Qout Market’s 10th year, they’ve also created a limited number of collectable merchandise that they’ll be selling at the front desk. Different things will be for sale at each market so pass by the front desk to check the collection out if you’re interested.

If you want to find parking at JACC, make sure you get there early in the morning. If you’re planning on heading there in the afternoon, then I’d recommend parking in Souk Al Watiya behind the St. Regis Hotel, and then walking over to JACC.

Out of respect for Palestine, there will be no live music. Full schedule, map, and general information is available  on their website qoutmarket.com

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Information

Arabella Beach Hotel Opening Next Month in Al Bida’a

Arabella has gone through a major overhaul, half the place closed down and got rebuilt as a 5-star hotel while the remaining parts got a full refurbishing. The hotel called the Arabella Beach Hotel is now set to open next month and I got a tour of it back in October while it was still getting finishing touches.

I don’t think there is another hotel like it in Kuwait, there are definitely much nicer hotels in Kuwait, but I can’t think of another hotel where your hotel room is right on the sea.

The hotel has a few suites located at the far end of the hotel with just the sand followed by the sea as you can see from the picture above which I took from one of the balconies.

The hotel is pretty small due to the location so they’ve tried to make the best of it. There are two pools, one on the ground floor right next to the beach, this isn’t for the hotel but for the gym which is going to be run and managed by a third party. The main hotel’s pool is actually on the roof and is a much nicer place to be since it overlooks the area. But, they missed a great opportunity for an infinity pool that overlooks the sea sadly.

The hotel’s main restaurant ZO Eatery is also not located in the main hotel building, but instead it’s located across the Arabella courtyard where Ora used to be located.

I was also given a tour of all the rooms. The suites were definitely nice, not that big, but plenty of space and interesting layouts with the one pictured above being my favorite. The regular rooms on the other hand weren’t as interesting, so if I was going to stay there, the suites is where I’d want to be.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the hotel is going to do, I’d imagine it might become a popular staycation location since you have a nice pool on the roof and Five Guys right at the entrance of Arabella, so everything you need.

If you want to read more on the hotel and see more photos, here is the link to their website.