16 07, 2019

Municipality Building Turning into a Museum

2019-07-16T09:39:33+03:00Jul 16, 2019|4 Comments

The current Municipal Council building would be turned into a museum under the umbrella of the National Council of Culture, Arts and Letters, said Chairman Osama Al-Otaibi Monday.

After relocating to a new one, the old building would be preserved due to its historic significance, Al-Otaibi told a press conference. Source

I’m so glad they realized the importance of the building and won’t be demolishing it. After the decision to demolish Sawaber and the Ice Skating Rink, I wouldn’t have been too surprised if they had decided to demolish this building as well.

The Kuwait Municipality building was designed by the architect Sami Abdul Baki and constructed between 1959 and 1962 by The Arab Contractors. I tried to find information on the architect but really couldn’t find anything other than a design he had proposed for the Martyr’s Square in Lebanon that never came to be. Interestingly, the Kuwait Municipality building features arcs similar to the one in his Martyr’s Square design (check below). So either that was his design signature or, maybe since it was never executed in Lebanon he decided to implement it into this building.

If anyone knows what other buildings he might have designed in Kuwait let me know in the comments below.

Image on top and building information was taken from Modern Architecture Kuwait 1949-1989

8 07, 2019

Shop in Kuwait Violates Law by Displaying ‘Homosexual’ Logo

2019-07-08T09:19:34+03:00Jul 8, 2019|25 Comments

The Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Sector has issued a citation against a shop for displaying the ‘homosexual’ logo, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources.

The daily added, this happened when a number of shoppers complained about the sign and the concerned commercial control department sent officers to run a check and the signboard was removed and the person responsible has been referred to the concerned authority.

The sources stressed the need to abide by the laws in force and its responsibility in applying the law in its context that does not allow any irregularities that conflict with the laws and regulations. Source

You guys have probably already come across this article that was published last week since it went viral on social media. It was pretty vague with no mention of the shop and what was actually removed. After doing a bit of research it turns out the shop in question was Louis Vuitton. I thought they might have had a special display to celebrate the LGBT+ community but I did a bit of googling and couldn’t find any information or photos on a special display LV was using in their stores for this.

So I decided to ask around locally and turns out the display that was deemed offensive was actually not related to the LGBT+ community at all. LV have a window display called the dream catcher which features colorful dream catchers and someone must have complained to consumer protection that LV was displaying the gay pride flag in their display and LV was forced to remove it. The picture above isn’t of the actual dream catcher window display that was removed but one similar I found online and as you can see the colors don’t even match the pride flag or the correct order of the colors. Yet, they were still asked to remove it. So weird.

24 06, 2019

You Can Now Buy Permanent Residency in Saudi Arabia

2019-06-24T08:15:48+03:00Jun 24, 2019|27 Comments

Last month I posted that Saudi Arabia is going to start offering permanent residency to some expats like doctors, engineers, innovators, investors and residents who contribute to the country. But now they’ve expanded the programme even further where you can also buy a permanent residency:

Saudi Arabia has opened applications for a permanent residency programme designed to attract foreign investment to the kingdom, but it will cost a hefty 800,000 riyals ($213,000).

The so-called premium residencies will allow foreigners to buy property and do business without a Saudi sponsor, switch jobs and exit the kingdom easily and sponsor visas for family members, according to the website for registrations. Source

That’s one pretty expensive visa. At first, I thought you needed to invest at least $213,000 for example by buying an apartment, which is reasonable, but turns out it’s actually the fee you need to pay for the residency. At least it’s a start and expats in Saudi have an option.

26 05, 2019

Kuwait No Longer Needed to Host the 2022 World Cup

2019-05-26T08:40:10+03:00May 26, 2019|8 Comments

Last month I posted that FIFA was considering Kuwait to co-host the World Cup with Qatar, that offer is now off the table. FIFA originally wanted to increase the teams participating in the World Cup to 48, but Qatar didn’t have enough stadiums and facilities to host the extra games. So Kuwait and Oman were both considered to co-host since nobody else in the Gulf is in talking terms with Qatar at the moment. Oman didn’t have the stadiums to host the games and Kuwait wasn’t interested in co-hosting either so FIFA scrapped the plans to expand the World Cup.

As someone who wanted Kuwait to host the World Cup, this is obviously disappointing news.

15 05, 2019

Saudis Offer Permanent Residency to Some Expats

2019-05-15T18:17:25+03:00May 15, 2019|22 Comments

Saudi Arabia approved a program that offers permanent residency for some foreigners, the latest sign of how the quest for non-oil revenue is prompting Gulf Arab countries to rethink the role of expats in their societies.

“The special residency is for doctors, engineers, innovators, investors and residents who contribute to the development of Saudi Arabia and lead to a prosperous future,” said Lina Almaeena, a member of the consultative Shura Council. The appointed body approved the program last week, with 76 members voting in favor and 55 against. [Source]

First UAE, then Qatar and now Saudi Arabia. Hopefully, we’re next.

2 04, 2019

Road Repairs Start Today!

2019-04-03T08:58:07+03:00Apr 2, 2019|14 Comments

Our roads are finally going to get fixed starting from today. The project of repairing all of Kuwait’s roads (including residential) is expected to take three years but, for the first phase they’re starting off with the main ones.

The first road that will be repaired is the 1st Ring Road, starting from the Gulf Road and extending all the way to the Jahra roundabout. The second to be fixed is Highway 40 starting from the 1st Ring Road down to the Bayan area. Third road to be fixed is the 4th Ring Road from Amman Street all the way to the UN roundabout, then they’re going to fix the 6th Ring Road from near 360 Mall (Zahra) towards the Subiya intersection, and finally the Doha Road starting from near the Entertainment City down to the 6th Ring Road.

Repairs will take place from 6pm to 6am on weekdays, and 12am to 12pm on weekends.

I’m surprised the 5th Ring Road isn’t part of the first phase and I’m disappointed the Gulf Road isn’t also part of the first phase since that’s the road I use 80% of the time. But, I’m just glad they’re finally starting!

Update: 💃 [Link]

20 03, 2019

Quality of Living in our Region 2018

2019-03-20T09:07:51+03:00Mar 20, 2019|16 Comments

Mercer’s Quality of Living rankings list was recently released and the regional order has pretty much remained unchanged. I thought Saudi Arabia might move up from the previous years because of the recent changes that have taken place there but their ranking hasn’t really changed. Mercer puts together this list by evaluating a number of factors including recreation, housing, economic environment, consumer goods availability, public services and transport, political and social environment, natural environment, socio-cultural environment, school and education and medical and health considerations.

1 – Vienna, Austria
74 – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
78 – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
105 – Muscat, Oman
110 – Doha, Qatar
126 – Kuwait City, Kuwait
136 – Manama, Bahrain
164 – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
168 – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
231 – Baghdad, Iraq

The list above shows Kuwait’s ranking compared to neighboring countries but if you’d like to see how your home country ranks in the world, you can check out the full list on Mercer’s website [Here]

Thanks Basmah

20 02, 2019

No More Residency Stickers!

2019-02-20T17:03:31+03:00Feb 20, 2019|35 Comments

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lt-Gen Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarrah has issued a decision to cancel residency stickers that are placed in the passports of expatriates. Such a decision is part of the ongoing upgrade process at various departments of the ministry, reports Al-Anba daily. [Source]

I wish they came out with this decision a few months ago before I got my new passport. Whoever stuck my residency sticker must have been blind because its tilted like 45 degrees, is partially occupying the adjacent page, and part of the sticker is also sticking out of the passport. Drives me nuts every time I see it.