Categories
50s to 90s Kuwait Photography

Photos of the First Flood – Kuwait, 1934

Last week I was given access to the Tarek Rajab Museums’ private photography archive, and over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing my favorite finds. But, since it’s raining today I figured I’d share the first batch of photos taken after “The First Flood”.

I posted about the first flood back in September, but the photo I had found then was low resolution. That’s why I was pretty surprised to come across three high resolution photos in the Tarek Rajab Museum’s archive.

In Kuwait, the year 1934 is sometimes called Sanat Al Haddamah (the year of destruction) since torrential rains caused a lot of destruction to the old town of Kuwait.

Within only an hour, Kuwait witnessed unprecedented torrential rains that reached 300mm and caused raging floods and waters that swept away a third of the mud houses in Kuwait.

These three photos show the aftermath of the flood.

Categories
Data Kuwait Travel

Kuwait Airport Makes the “World’s Worst 10 Airports” List

According to an article on Arab Times, Kuwait Airport is ranked the 7th worst airport in the world according to Skytrax, the airline and airport review and ranking site. I tried to figure out how Arab Times got their top 10 list but I couldn’t figure it out, on another list also by Skytrax, Kuwait is ranked the 6th worst airport.

6th or 7th, it doesn’t matter really. Previously another airport and airline review site, AirHelp, had ranked Kuwait Airport the 2nd worst in the world, but suspiciously after that ranking, Kuwait stopped appearing on their list.

I’m traveling tomorrow with British Airways from Terminal 1 and not really looking forward to it, although truthfully, since Terminal 4 and the Jazeera terminal opened, Terminal 1 has been pretty chill. It’s just visually an ugly terminal with nothing to do once inside.

While on the subject of airports, I remember reading online somewhere that the fee for long term parking at Terminal 1 got increased from 2KD per day to 5KD per day, can anyone confirm that?

Categories
Kuwait

Gulf Road Waterfront has been Completed

The first phase of the new refurbished waterfront has now officially been completed. The first phase stretches from the Green Island all the way to the Kuwait Towers and has been given a complete facelift with new sidewalks, dedicated jogging and bicycle paths, as well as new lights, bins, benches and more.

The second phase of the project is from Green Island to Al Shaab slipway and is expected to be completed in October.

Runners will be glad to know that the running track is cushioned so it will be easy on your knees. Both the running and bike paths have distance markers so you can also tell how far you’ve run or cycled. For more pictures, click here.

Categories
Art Kuwait

1,329 Roses at Al Shaheed Park

On the occasion of National Day and Liberation Day, @alshaheedpark in collaboration with @martyrskuwait created a light installation composed of LED roses. There are 1,329 roses in the garden, each representing a Kuwaiti martyr.

The installation is located in Al Shaheed Park Phase II, and if you want to take photos, I’d recommend visiting during sunset so that your photos don’t end up very dark.

Categories
Kuwait

Is there anything happening on National Day?

I know it sounds weird that I’m asking whats happening instead of telling you whats happening, but I can’t seem to find any information on National Day. There have been fighter jets flying daily so I’m assuming there will be some kind of airshow, but I can’t find any information on it. Maybe one of the Arabic newspapers published something?

I’m looking back at last year’s schedule and there were surprisingly a lot of things happening from the light drone shows, to fireworks and the Saudi Hawks Air Show. Along with the ban on water balloons and water guns this year, it looks like there might be zero things going on.

Categories
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)

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
50s to 90s Interesting Kuwait Sneak Peek

Sneak Peek: Khalifouh Heritage Village

Khalifouh Village opened this past February, but I only found out about it in April and by then the village had already closed down for the season. Now the village is getting ready to open again and I was lucky enough to be given permission to pass by and get a sneak peek.

The village is owned by the popular Kuwaiti actor Khalifa Khalifouh who is known for his roles on a few popular tv shows and plays. Khalifa is very passionate about the Kuwaiti heritage and while working on shows involving old Kuwaiti villages, he didn’t like the way they were being poorly built so he decided he wanted to build a proper village, which he did. Khalifouh Village isn’t the first village he built, he originally built one in Salmi but then decided to knock it down and build another one in Wafra to make it more accessible to people.

The village is big with lots of buildings and alleyways connecting them all. The village has the basic necessities that a real village would have like a mosque, a baker, a tea shop, a theater and a main square. When the village officially opens for guests it will have more props and activities happening, but since it was closed when I visited, it was just me and an empty village.

I really wanted to visit the village for two reasons. The first is obviously to post about it, but the second reason was to take one of my classic cars so I could take photos of it with the village as a backdrop. Driving through the village in my old car felt weirdly real, like I had stumbled upon an old, abandoned village in the desert. Because the village is in Wafra where there are no tall buildings, once you’re inside all you see is the village and nothing else from the outside world.

There is no set date for the reopening of the village. They were targeting this month, but the weather hasn’t really cooled that much so it now looks like it will be in December. To stay posted on the opening, follow their account which also has some great photos @khalifouhvillage

Here is their location on Google Maps.

Categories
50s to 90s Coffee Corner Kuwait

Nostalgia at the New Backburner Cafe

Backburner the coffeeshop quietly opened a new location last week in the old-school neighborhood of Souq Altujjar (the old traders market) across from the Grand Mosque and Seif Palace.

What’s very interesting about this location is they have a nostalgia room on their second floor. The room has shelves filled with a variety of old items from our childhood, some from the 80s, some much older. They have a Hungry Bunny section, a small Showbiz section, Sakhr (MSX), Ifta7 Ya Simsim and more items all from our past and all on display.

I actually sold them one of my very clean and copies of the 1955 Violet Dickson book “The Wild Flowers of Kuwait and Bahrain”. It’s a very rare book so if you’ve wanted to check it out, this is your chance.

If you want to check it out they open daily from 7AM to 10:30PM, and they’re located next to the Seif Palace roundabout in Block 4 of Souq Altujjar, the same block that has Starbucks. Google Maps

Categories
Art Kuwait

The Tareq Rajab Museum has Reopened

One of my favorite museums in Kuwait is the Tareq Rajab Museum. I always found the museum interesting since it was packed with a vast variety of objects covering many different subjects. They have an incredible collection of over 30,000 pieces many of which can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Over a year ago, the museum closed for renovations but they’re now finally reopening again tomorrow (Oct 17).

The museum was originally founded in 1980 by Tareq S. Rajab and his wife, Jehan S. Rajab. A couple of years ago their grandson Tareq N. Rajab took over the responsibility of the family museum and started the process of rejuvenating it. He originally started with the website and Instagram account, that was followed by the creation of the new Arms & Armor wing of the museum before being handed the rest of the museum to renovate.

Tareq invited me to visit the museum for a sneak peek and although before visiting I was worried it might have lost its charm with the renovation, I’m pleased to say it hasn’t.

At first glance, the museum’s aesthetics remain largely unchanged, but there have been significant improvements. The displays, previously overcrowded and lacking descriptions, have been completely revamped. They are now curated with clear descriptions for every item. There is also a new and HUGE diorama in the museum depicting the famous “Battle of Hattin”. The diorama is composed of 3,500 tiny soldiers that were hand painted individually by Tareq, his dad and three other colleagues over a period of 14 months. There was clearly a lot of time and passion involved in the museum renovation.

If you’re looking for an interesting place to visit then I can’t recommend this museum enough. The entrance fee is still only 2KD and it also gives you access to the “Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Calligraphy” that’s located in the same neighborhood.

The opening hours are:
Saturday to Thursday: 9AM – 1PM & 4:30PM – 8:30PM
Friday: 9AM – 1PM

The museum is in Jabriya and here is the location on Google Maps.

Categories
Kuwait

The Sadu Brick Road Officially Revealed

A couple of hours ago the Sadu House officially revealed the Sadu brick road which they’re calling “AlSadu Street”. The street is located adjacent to the Sadu House and was inspired by their appreciation and deep comprehensive study of the Sadu techniques and patterns.

Here are some interesting facts about the street:

  • AlSadu Street consists of 190,000 custom-made bricks.

  • AlSadu Street took 10 workers and 300 hours to complete.

  • The bricks used in AlSadu Street are custom made multi-purpose Kuwaiti bricks in colors that match the Sadu pieces.

  • The Sadu patterns were transferred digitally and rendered in a graphic design to meet the nature and shape of the street without altering the motifs and patterns.

  • During the design process, a graphic structure was created for the street to shape the Sadu motifs to match the shape and size of the bricks.

  • AlSadu Street is located within the Qibla area and connects four prominent cultural museums and centers.

  • The street draws inspiration from AlSadu‘s vibrant design motifs, specifically “the Shajarah pattern” 

  • The Shajarah pattern is the one of the most complicated design of the Bedouin weaving.

  • The Shajarah pattern consists of a vertical strip of geometric patterns in the center of the rug, usually woven with black thread within specific squares. each showing a geometric pattern depicting some aspect of Bedouin life.

They have more photos on their instagram account but if you want to check it out in person here is the location on Google Maps.

Categories
Kuwait Sneak Peek

Sneak Peek: Gulf Road Bicycle & Walk Paths

From all the projects currently taking place in Kuwait, I think this one is the one I’m most excited about.

Back in June I posted about the new 9.7-kilometre-long waterfront project that stretches from the Yacht Club in Salmiya all the way to the Kuwait Towers. The project involves facelifting the waterfront while also offering essential amenities for people which includes a dedicated bicycle and jogging path among other things.

We now have a first look at how the new pathway is going to look like and I’m super excited!

This small strip in the photo is not a rendering, it’s a real strip that was constructed for testing purposes. I’ve been told this is the final approved design that will now be implemented along the whole waterfront.

What I love the most about the design is how the walk path and bike path are separated with plants, benches and other amenities. This means you can’t accidentally walk into the bike lane which is what I tend to do when I’m in Europe.

Another cool thing I like is the bike racks which you can barely make out in the photo, they’re on the top left next to the bench and black colored street light. This means I can now park and lock my bicycle if say I want to take a quick dip in the sea (something I’m probably never going to do but I like the option). The whole thing looks really tastefully done, it looks really great.

Maybe the best part about this project is that it’s real, it’s already under construction and they’re targeting to have it completed by February. As someone who rides their bike all the time on the Gulf Road, you don’t understand how much I’m excited about this.

Categories
Kuwait

Seef Strip Building Demolished

The building that used to house Elevation Burger and M’EAT on the Seef Strip just got demolished. No idea why, or whats going to take its place but I really like that strip and the area in general so its pretty disappointing it was demolished.

But, as I was discussing with someone on twitter, since the Ice Skating Rink and Entertainment City got demolished I no longer care as much about landmarks getting demolished. It’s become so normalized I’m just like that sucks 🤷🏼‍♂️ and a minute later I’m back to flipping through TikTok aimlessly.

I used to joke with a friend about that location being jinxed since everything that opened there always fails. But, Elevation had some great days there especially when they had their events.

Categories
Kuwait

Villa Moda Was Demolished

Yesterday I was in the Free Trade Zone and noticed that they recently demolished the Villa Moda building. It’s so sad since the whole concept and design was so ahead of it’s time when it opened 20 years ago.

I also noticed a bunch of other buildings had also gotten demolished or were in the process of getting demolished in the area, but most were just regular boring office buildings, nothing like Villa Moda.