Kuwait fails to keep up with its neighbours

Post by Mark


A reader just passed me a link to an interesting Economist article which I thought would be worth sharing on the blog. The two paragraphs below kinda sums up the article for me:

Innovative Dubai is the comparison that most frustrates Kuwaitis. That is in part because Kuwait was once the Gulf’s trailblazer. It set up the world’s first sovereign-wealth fund in 1953 and was a leader in health care. It started one of the first airlines in the region. But the decline of Kuwait Airways is instructive. As its fleet aged and losses piled up, carriers from Qatar and the UAE began offering better service and more routes. Politicians have talked of privatisation. But parliament, reluctant to mess with one of the country’s biggest employers, has frustrated these efforts.

The government’s failings extend to public services. It has neglected public hospitals and schools. Low electricity prices and a sweltering climate make Kuwait one of the world’s biggest consumers of energy per person. But the government, which is the sole provider of electricity, has invested little in infrastructure. Parliament has delayed efforts to boost the supply. In 2014 a power outage shut down all three of the country’s oil refineries, crippling fuel production for a week. Endemic corruption completes the dismal picture.

It’s not that long of an article and is worth reading fully, so check it out [Here]

The picture on top is currently my favorite Kuwait skyline photo and was taken by @ziadgram

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DNA Tests Only for Felons

Post by Mark

DNA testing will only be applied on convicted felons and no one else, HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah told Al-Jarida newspaper yesterday. Sheikh Sabah said that discussions on the issue of DNA testing, also known as DNA fingerprinting, were over, stressing that no tests will be applied on ordinary citizens. Recently, HH the Amir directed HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to revise and reconsider the DNA testing law, calling on him and the government to apply constitutional standards on the proposed decree. [Source]

Besides the fact that it would have been invasive to our privacy, testing everyones DNA including tourists would never have been doable, feasible or manageable, so I’m glad thats behind us now.

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UAE Launches New Law to ‘Make Reading a Daily Habit’

Post by Mark


Described as the first of its kind, the UAE’s new “national law of reading” was announced by UAE president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, earlier this week. It will allow government staff time to read at work – although they must focus on reading matter about professional and personal development within the context of the workplace.

The law will also oblige coffee shops to offer reading material for their customers, said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the UAE’s vice-president and Dubai’s ruler, and will see branches of libraries opened in malls, as well as exempting books from fees and taxes. [Source]

Can we please just get a decent bookshop in Kuwait? We’re not asking for much.

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Internet Will Be Slow Until November 6th

Post by Mark

Minister of Communications said Tuesday GBI company would be carrying out maintenance to the underwater internet cable in the Arabian Sea on November 2-6, which would affect internet service in Kuwait and GCC countries.

The ministry, in a brief statement, urged local internet providers in Kuwait to seek alternative international cables during the maintenance period to prevent slow service. [Source]

Just an FYI in case your internet provider starts blaming sharks again.

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Emirati Street-racing Film Banned in Kuwait

Post by Mark

An Emirati drama set in the underworld of street car racing in the UAE has been banned in Kuwait, producers have told Gulf News. Hajwala, which follows two teams of drifters who go head-to-head in an all-stakes race against each other, is scheduled to release in 37 screens across the Gulf on Thursday.

“We are very disappointed, especially because they haven’t event explained to us why they have not allowed the film to release,” said producer Ali Al Marzouqi of Dhabi Gulf Film. “This is a double standard since they allow similar Hollywood films to release without any problem, even if they don’t have any message. Our film has a very strong message.” [Source]

I’m guessing it got banned because Kuwait has a growing problem with street racing and they’re worried this film might encourage it. But Saudi have a bigger street racing problem and if the film isn’t banned there, I don’t understand why it would be banned here. You can watch the trailer on top, it’s basically a khaleeji version of Fast and Furious.


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Kuwait Lawyers Fight World’s First Mandatory DNA Sampling Law

Post by Mark

Lawyers in Kuwait have issued a legal challenge to the only law in the world forcing citizens and visitors to give samples of their DNA to the government. [Source]

Thank god, I was starting to worry that everyone was OK with this.

via @SultanAlQassemi

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Kuwaiti Athlete Wins Gold and Breaks Record at Rio 2016 Paralympics

Post by Mark


Over the weekend, Kuwaiti athlete Ahmad Al-Mutairi came first in the men’s 100m athletics race at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Not only did he come first but he also broke the Paralympics record while doing so. This means Ahmad Al-Mutairi currently holds both the Paralympics and world record for the Men’s 100m – T33 event.


Ahmed broke the world record last year in Doha during the IPC Athletics World Championships and at the age of 22, is currently the youngest Kuwaiti athlete taking part in the Rio 2016 Paralympics.


In total there are currently 6 Kuwaitis taking part in the Rio 2016 Paralympics:

Abdullah Al Saif (Athletics)
Ahmad Al Mutairi (Athletics)
Atef Aldousari (Shooting)
Hamad Aladwani (Athletics)
Mohammad Nasser (Athletics)
Naser Saleh (Athletics)

You can get more details as well as their full event schedule from the Rio Paralympics website [Here]

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Survey Reveals Kuwait is the Worst Country for Expats

Post by Mark


A new study has revealed that Taiwan is the best country in the world for expats, while Kuwait is the worst. The results come from a report by the online expat community InterNations, which looks at everything from quality of life and personal finance, to job satisfaction and ease of settling indices. [Source]

Things should improve once Chick-fil-A opens up.

Update: This is the source of the DailyMail article [Link]

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Kuwait Cancels Plans for Nuclear Power Plants, Going Solar

Post by Mark


The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) retracted its plan to build a nuclear power plant, as Kuwait had planned earlier to obtain a license from the UN in this regard. MEW said its decision to scrap the project was because studies proved it was unfeasible and of high cost, in addition to having alternative projects that are better in production and cost such as solar energy and wind. An official said Kuwait needs water desalination stations, but as for power stations, plans provide for several stations. Some of them will be built soon, and some between 2020 and 2030. [Source]

Back in 2010 the Ministry of Electricity had stated Kuwait was going to build four nuclear reactors and they would be up and running by 2022. But then in 2012 after the Fukushima disaster those plans got scrapped. So no idea why they’ve just announced it again that they’re scrapping their nuclear plans, unless somewhere between 2012 and 2016 they had reinstated the plan.


In any case, solar should have been the priority in the first place and our neighbors UAE are already ahead of the game in the region with their Shams Solar Power Station (pictured above and video below) which is one of the largest solar power plants in the world.

Update: Just a few figures to help you understand why Kuwait looked at nuclear power plants to begin with.

– Kuwait consumes around 13,000MW of electricity
– The new Shamal Al Zour Al Oula gas power station in the north of Kuwait that is under construction will produce 1,500MW when complete
– The Shams Solar Power Station in the UAE produces 100MW
– The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in the USA is the largest solar station in the world and it produces 392MW
– The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Japan is the largest in the world and produces 7,965 MW

So one nuclear power plant could supply more than 60% of Kuwait’s power needs while the largest solar station would supply just 3%.

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Your Favorite News Sites

Post by Mark


My top two news sites used to be CNN and BBC but CNN basically turned into TMZ while BBC just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. My two go-to news sites now are The Washington Post and The Guardian. What news sites do you check?

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