How to Get Aesop Hand Soap in Kuwait

Post by Mark

You’ve probably come across Aesop hand soaps in restaurant washrooms, they’re dark bottles like in the picture on top, and they tend to smell amazing. If you’ve been to any of the Aesop stores around the world you might have picked up a bottle or two and brought them back with you. Or maybe even had a friend get you some when on vacation. But, it’s not really practical getting them while on vacation since the bottles take up luggage space, are fairly heavy, and what if you run out and need some more? A better solution is ordering them online.

There are a number of places online you can order Aesop from but the website I use is the UK based Cult Beauty. They have two kinds of hand wash available as well as a bunch of other Aesop products, but what I like about them is the cost of shipping to Kuwait. The maximum you are allowed to order is 6 pieces of hand wash the shipping cost with DHL is for 6 is £15. If you order 6 of each of their hand washes (so a total of 12), then they’ll ship it via DHL for free.

I haven’t bought 12 bottles at once but I have bought 6 pieces. If you order 6 then the cost per bottle after shipping and customs comes to KD11, which is the same price as if you purchased a bottle in the UK. How is that possible? When you order Aesop to Kuwait they remove the 20% VAT which brings the price down from around KD11 to around KD9. Adding shipping and customs to Kuwait and the price comes back up to the UK retail price of KD11. If you order 12 bottles then the price per bottle ends up actually being cheaper than the price per bottle in the UK since you don’t pay for shipping, just customs.

So if you’re looking to get Aesop hand wash, this is probably the cheapest way to get it to Kuwait. You can check out the full range of Aesop products on Cult Beauty [Here]

Update: I originally posted saying each bottle would cost you KD13 shipped to Kuwait but I completely forgot one important thing, when you ship to Kuwait they remove the 20% VAT. So the cost of the bottle with shipping and customs to Kuwait is actually the same price as if you bought a bottle while on vacation in the UK.


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Mogahwi Salmiya Has Closed Down

Post by Mark

The Mogahwi stationary shop in old Salmiya had been around for over 30 years, it’s a nostalgic place that has looked pretty much the same ever since it opened. The store was fairly popular back in the 80s and early 90s, but as malls started popping up and old Salmiya started to die, so did the footfall at Mogahwi. Back in 2009 I posted about how I was worried they’d end up closing down and they finally did last week. It’s sad to see it go, especially since it was down the street from my place and I used to pop in frequently whenever I needed anything. Now I’m gonna have to get my stationary from somewhere else…


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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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Review: Shure SE215 Wireless Earphones

Post by Mark

Shure SE215 Wireless Earphones

Last month after posting my review on the Bang & Olufsen H5 wireless earphones, I got a message from the audio brand Shure asking me if I’d also like to try their wireless earphones. I’ve been a fan of Shure ever since I got my first pair of in-ears back in 2004, the Shure E2’s, so of course I said yes. A couple of weeks later I got their new SE215 wireless earphones in the mail.

I had a few issues with my H5’s and was curious to see if the Shure’s would solve them. My main problems with the H5’s were the battery life and the low volume level of the earphones. So how did the Shure’s perform?

Battery Life
While the B&O H5 promises up to 5 hours of battery life, the Shure’s promise up to 8. That doesn’t sound like much but in real-world use, it is. With the H5’s I make sure I put them back on the charger after using them for a couple of hours, with the Shure’s I charge them every couple of outings and still have enough juice for a third outing. But what I like about the Shure’s is that if I do run out of battery, I can just charge them using any standard micro-usb cable unlike the H5’s which require the use of the charging station that came with the earphones.

Volume Level
I’m sitting right now at Arabica having my coffee and typing up this post with the Shure earphones on listening to music. I have the music volume at 80% because at 100% they’re just too loud. With the H5’s I would always have the earphones at 100% and wish I could raise them by at least another 20%.

So yeah, the Shure’s do solve my two biggest issues with the H5’s in addition to solving another issue I wasn’t aware needed solving. When you first turn on the Shure’s, you get a voice prompt letting you know once they connect to a bluetooth source and then the voice lets you know how much battery life is left. With the B&O’s I need to launch the B&O app on my phone to find out the battery life which isn’t very practical. Another advantage of the Shure’s is the price, they cost half that of the B&O’s and sound as good if not slightly better.

Shure SE215 Wireless Earphones

With all the positives so far with the Shure’s, you’d think I’d prefer them over the B&O’s but that hasn’t been the case. Whenever I leave the house and need to pick a pair of earphones to take with me, I kept finding myself reaching for the H5’s over these Shure’s. The reason for that is the Shure’s are pretty bulky. The battery pack isn’t built into the earphones but instead is located on the cable so it makes wearing the earphones awkward. On top of that, the earphone wires are too thin making the Shure’s feel flimsy and messy because the wires keep getting tangled up.

But in the end, it really comes down to the person’s requirements. Are you looking for battery life or style? If I’m traveling then I’m definitely going to pick the Shure’s over the H5’s. But if I’m just going to a coffee shop for a couple of hours to get some work done, then I’m always going to pick the H5’s.

If you’re interested in picking up a pair of Shure SE215 wireless earphones, they’re available on Amazon for KD45 [Here]


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Salem Al Mubarak Street Progress

Post by Mark

Back in September, they announced that part of Salem Al Mubarak Street was going to be turned into pedestrian only. I took the video above this morning right outside my apartment building to show you the current status, and as you can see the project has progressed considerably since my last post on the street.

Salmiya street progress

My biggest issue with the project was that they had killed 25 trees on that street that had been there for over 50 years. They’ve now planted new palm trees instead which although is a nice gesture, palm trees just don’t offer any shade and can’t house as many birds as the older trees did. I really wished they had managed to keep those older trees.

Salmiya street progress

In any case, the street is starting to shape up and I think they’re trying to have everything done by February 25th which right now seems unattainable.

But, a new issue is starting to pop up and that is gentrification. Because the street is getting fixed up, the value of real estate around it is also going up. My rent was already slightly increased since my building is suddenly now in a prime location, people are also now bidding on the empty stores in my building which previously nobody wanted. I’d really really hate it if my apartment rent goes up to the point where I’ll be priced out and be forced to move.

On the bright side, they haven’t sorted the parking issue in the area. Parking in my neighborhood has always been historically terrible and now they’ve gone and removed all the parking spots on the main street without adding any new ones. With this street facelift, we’re now going to have even a higher influx of people come into the area than before, so the parking situation will be even worse which is kinda great for me. Hopefully this parking mess is going to help keep the popularity of the area down to a reasonable level, which in return should keep my rent at a reasonable level.


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Festivity – Events Made Easy

Post by Mark

Festivity is a local website that helps you plan your event by connecting you with different suppliers. Say you’re planning a birthday party or a gathering and need valet, food, music, a photo booth, balloons, and a trampoline. Instead of scouring the net or hiring an event company, you can find everything you need yourself on Festivity. For example, they have 5 different photo booth suppliers with prices ranging from KD180 to KD350. So you just select what you want and pay for it.

If you’re thinking of planning an event and need suppliers, then check Festivity out by clicking [Here]

Update: Festivity emailed me to let me know my readers can get a KD10 discount by using the code “248AM” during checkout.


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New Malls Opening Dates

Post by Mark

Avenues Phase 4
The fourth phase of Avenues is on target to open up next month on February 25th. They’ve invited some of the media to take a tour of the new phase at the end of this month so we should get new photos of a nearly complete mall pretty soon.

Al Kout Mall
The new Al Kout Mall is expected to open up in March with an exact target date of March 15th. Al Kout Mall is replacing Al Manshar Mall which was torn down back in 2013.

Assima Mall
Finally, even though Assima Mall construction site caught fire back in June, they’re still planning to open by Q3 2019. I think the fire delayed the project by just a few months since 2019 was always their target date.


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Cinescape is Wheelchair Friendly

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I went to the movies to watch Jumanji, a good movie by the way, just censored the hell out of in Kuwait. Seriously this has to be the most censored movie I’ve ever watched in Kuwait, and I have no idea how that’s possible since it’s a PG-rated film.

So, originally we were planning to watch it at Grand Cinemas in Hamra Mall, but surprisingly, they didn’t have any theater that would accommodate a wheelchair. I don’t mean the theater playing Jumanji, I mean neither of their theaters playing any movie had wheelchair access.

So I gave Cinescape a call and they told me they had wheelchair access at ALL their theaters except for two, Laila and Central Place. The operator also told me that if the person was permanently in a wheelchair, then they could get a lifetime pass to watch movies for free at their theaters.

I think that’s pretty thoughtful of Cinescape and pretty odd of Grand Cinemas considering their Hamra theater is fairly new. The only feedback I would give Cinescape is to mark the wheelchair areas on the seating map since I had to call the operator and find out where they were. For example, the map above is how it currently looks like while the map below is what I think they should do (notice row J).

Anyway just wanted to thank Cinescape with this post for being so considerate.


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VOX Cinemas Coming Soon to Kuwait

Post by Mark

VOX Cinemas, one of the leading cinema chains in the Middle East is opening in Kuwait this coming March. VOX will be opening at Avenues Phase 4 and house 17 screens with a seating capacity of around 1,679 seats.

Kuwait already has three cinema chains operating locally, Cinescape, Grand Cinemas and Sky Cinemas, so VOX will be the fourth. And yes, movies will also be censored at VOX. For more information, click [Here]

Thanks lovelykuwait


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Bayt Lothan is Getting Demolished

Post by Mark

Two years ago, the non-profit organization Bayt Lothan sadly closed down. The community center had become an important part of the local culture scene, hosting a variety of workshops and events, but the owners of the building decided they wanted to move on to other things.

Now the historic building that used to house Shaikh Sabah Al Salim, the former Amir of Kuwait, is getting demolished.

The odd thing is, when I passed by this morning, there were no trucks or workers. It kinda looked like a bulldozer had driven in through the main structure, turned around and then driven back out. The building was also not surrounded by any sort of fence so anyone can right now just walk in and walk around, even though the building is partially demolished and could collapse at any second. Pretty dodgy, kinda like they decided to this now quickly due to the amount of publicity the building was starting to get again on word that it was finally getting demolished.

So sad. For pictures of the location before it closed down, click [Here]

Update: I was just informed that it won’t be turned into a food complex. They might build a boutique hotel or something along those lines, they’re still undecided, but it definitely won’t be a food complex. Also a fence will be put up shortly.


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