Tour of the New Jazeera Airways Terminal

Post by Mark

Yesterday I got a tour of the new Jazeera Airways terminal and I left impressed. Not only because the terminal is something we desperately need right now, but also because of the thought process behind a lot of the decisions as well as the initiatives Jazeera have taken to try and make the experience as smooth and quick for their passengers. There is a lot of information to cover so what I’m going to do is start off by walking you through the check-in and departures process first, and then take you through the arrivals process.

Terminal Location
If you’re standing facing our current airport, the Jazeera Airways terminal would be located to the left of it. There are two ways of getting to the new terminal, the first way is through our current airport, this is the longer and slower way since you’ll have to deal with our airport traffic. The second and much faster way is to take the exit before arriving to the airport. It’s the same road you take to get to the Jazeera Airways Park & Fly area as well as the same route you take to get to the VIP terminal. This route allows you to bypass all the traffic and mess at the main airport. Check the map above, red is how you get to the current airport, yellow is how you get to the new terminal. Here is the location on [Google Maps]

Parking & Check-in
So this is where things get interesting. Jazeera Airways have their own parking lot right across from their new terminal. The parking lot has a bridge that connects to the main terminal but you can also access the terminal by crossing the street below. The multistory lot can hold 350 cars, but the cost of the parking will be similar to the short-term parking at the current airport which I think is KD6 a day. That’s pricy but, they have two other more affordable options:

– Curbside Check-in: With this option, you pull up into the multistory parking lot and head to the curbside check-in area. There you not only hand your car over to valet, but they’ll also take your luggage if any and check you in all while you’re still in the parking lot. You then get your boarding pass and head straight to passport control in the new terminal allowing you to skip the check-in process inside the terminal. The valet will take your car and park it in the Jazeera Airways Park & Fly lot down the street and you will be charged 2.5KD a day.

– Park & Fly: Another option in case you don’t want to give your car to valet is to park your car yourself in the Park & Fly lot near the new terminal. You can hand over your luggage there and check-in before taking the shuttle bus down to the terminal. Since you would have already checked in this way, you just head straight to passport control. This will also cost you 2.5KD a day.

If you are dropped off at the new terminal or you decide to park your car in the lot across the street and walk into the terminal, then you have different check-in options available for you. The first is self check-in, but when I was there yesterday the machines were still not installed. The other option to check-in is with the regular check-in desks which there will be ten of.

Duty Free & Passport Control
Once you’re done with the check-in process you’ll have to head upstairs for passport control which is pictured below.

You’ll have a duty free section before and after passport control although when I was there yesterday those areas were still empty. There will be food options but not sure if they will be ready by the time the new terminal opens.

Security & Old Airport Access
Although the Jazeera Airways terminal is a new structure, it actually is connected to our current airport and they will continue to use their current gates which are B1, B2 and B3. But, they’re completely refurbishing the gates to match their new terminal and when I was there yesterday they were starting work on it which should be completed by the time the terminal opens. One of the things Jazeera wants to do is NOT have you go through two different security checks before boarding the flight like you do in the current airport. So they’re reworking the design of their gates so that the arrival passengers and departure passengers don’t use the same space (which is what requires the extra security check at our current airport). B1 and B2 use air bridges to board passengers onto the plane while their B3 gate uses buses.

Past their boarding gates you’ll find access to the current main airport. You’ll be able to enter the airport normally but to re-enter the Jazeera Terminal you need to go through a security check again.

Arriving at the New Terminal
When you exit the plane you’ll head to passport control first. Jazeera Airways want your arrival process to be quick so the next step is slightly different from the main airport as well as Sheikh Saad terminal. Once you’re done with passport control you’ll go through a quick security check where you put your carry-on bags in an xray machine before going to pick up your luggage from the conveyor belts. Once you pick up your luggage you do NOT have to go through security. All luggage will be security checked BEFORE coming out on the conveyor belts.

I wasn’t allowed to take pictures but I was given a behind the scenes tour and basically, once the bags arrive into the Jazeera Airways terminal they will be placed on a conveyor belt and go through a security screening before the bags head out to the passengers. So when you pick up your bag it has already been checked and you just walk out of the airport.

The Jazeera Airways VIP Experience
So this is something new Jazeera will be offering, it’s a VIP addon to your ticket which you can purchase separately. This is an add-on for both economy and business class passengers. What the VIP add-on will give you is access to a separate VIP parking located on the side of the airport, a separate VIP check-in area, and access to the VIP lounge. I got a tour of the lounge but didn’t take any pictures because it was still being worked on but it will have different seating areas including a meeting room. Now here is the cool part, you don’t need to be a passenger to access the VIP lounge, you just need to buy a pass. So say you’re in town for a business meeting and the meeting is running long but you have a flight to catch. You and whomever you’re meeting with could continue the meeting at the airport. You could check-in to your flight and then continue the meeting in one of the rooms and when its time to board your flight you could end the meeting and head to the plane. This could also work if your wife and kids are traveling and you want to stay with them until they board their flight, you could get a VIP pass for you and your family and then hang out with them in the lounge until they have to board the plane. No idea how much this addon will cost since they haven’t finalized the price yet.

So thats basically a full walk-through of the new terminal. I don’t think I left anything out but if you have any questions just let me know. The terminal is expected to open and be operational by the end of this month which is in 20 days!

For more pictures or higher resolution ones, click [Here]

Update: The Jazeera Airways terminal is going to be called Terminal 5.


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Tour of The Avenues – Phase 4

Post by Mark

Earlier this morning I was able to tour the new phase of Avenues, Phase 4. The Avenues extension is set to open on February 25th and so they invited the media today to walk around, explore and take photos.

Avenues Phase 4 includes expansions of existing districts like Prestige, Grand Avenue, and The Souk. But, they’ve also added new districts that include Arcadia, The Grand Plaza, The Forum, Electra and The Cinema, as well as a five-star and four-star hotel.

Phase 4 is HUGE, and its beautiful. They’ve basically taken the Grand Avenue indoor-but-looks-like-outdoor-look and built on it. It’s bright, airy and the main street is wide with lots of little alleyways that connect the various districts.

From what I saw there won’t be much open by February 25th other than a bunch of Alshaya brands, but it will still be a great space to wander about and explore.

If you want to check out more pictures of Phase 4 then check out my story on instagram. I’ve archived the story and so it should be up for some time. Check it out @mark248am

Update: I was just informed that February 25th is the target date but they’re still unsure if they’ll open by then. Also I uploaded a bunch of photos in hi-res which you can view [Here]


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ORA is Reopening Next Month

Post by Mark

ORA used to be one of my favorite sushi places in Kuwait before they closed down their location in Arabella. Now, they’re reopening again and I got a sneak peek of the space earlier today, and I’m in love with it. It actually might have the nicest looking interior of any restaurant in Kuwait, and that’s saying a lot since we’ve got some pretty great looking places here.

The new ORA (or what I like to call ORA 2.0) will be located downtown, on the mezzanine floor of an AGi Architects designed building on Ahmad Al Jaber Street [Map]. As soon as I walked into the new ORA, one of the first things that caught my attention was a golden colored wall lamp and right away I asked if it was by PSLab? (it was). PSLab are lighting consultants based out of Lebanon whom I’ve been obsessed with for years. Like super obsessed, to the point, I recognized the wall lamp as being designed by them even though I had never seen it before. They’re insanely talented and you’ll find their lights all around the world in some of the most beautiful spaces including a bunch of Aesop shops. And the new ORA is no exception, their interior is also stunning.

When it opens, the new ORA will be divided into two main areas, a lunch space, and a dinner space. The dinner area is structured in a way where it could be divided up. It could be either one large room, or two medium-sized rooms or one medium-sized room and two smaller ones. So if you’ve got a private dinner party, you would be able to book a room and not have to interact with the rest of the restaurant. You’ll actually be able to get into your private room through a back door so you don’t even have to walk through the main dining area.

I didn’t get to try any food since tastings haven’t started yet but expect your favorite ORA dishes to make a comeback, along with a bunch of new ones. ORA is expecting to open on January 10th and I’m really looking forward to it. Follow them on instagram @ora.kw


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Pictures from inside the Natural History Museum

Post by Mark

A few pictures have been uploaded online by the company fabricating some of the wildlife that will be placed inside the Natural History Museum at the soon to open Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre, and they look really really good.

The other day I said you could see what looks like a shark hanging on display while driving by on the Gulf Road, turns out its a primitive whale (a Basilosaurus, pictured above).

The Quetzalcoatlus pictured above even got featured in the November issue of National Geographic! [Link]

To check out some more photos, click [Here]

Thanks lovelykuwait


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Sneak Peek: The All-New Cocoa Room

Post by Mark

It’s been over 6 years since Cocoa Room first opened up on the Seef Strip next to Slider Station. Over the years it went through some pretty major changes but in the end settled down to become a breakfast place, and a great one. On Friday mornings for brunch you’ll usually find me at one of two places, either Baker & Spice or Cocoa Room. It’s one of my favorite breakfast spots and from what I got to see yesterday, it looks like things are going to get even better.

First of all, some disappointing news, the Cocoa Room as we know it on the Seef Strip is gone. A couple of weeks back they shut it down and the location now is just Slider Station. So if you wanted to say goodbye with one last breakfast there, you’re too late. Cocoa Room is now going to be reopening in a much larger location at the Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre instead. I got a sneak peek of the interior and its a complete revamp of the old Cocoa Room look. Not only have they created a new interior style but they’ve also given the brand a much needed facelift and its looking much more cleaner now (gone is the grungy and gritty look). The new Cocoa Room will also now be opening all day since their new menu will include lunch and dinner items instead of just breakfast.

I’m pretty excited about the relaunch which will be happening really soon. If everything goes according to plan they’re hoping to have the new Cocoa Room open by October 14th. To stay posted, you can follow Cocoa Room on instagram @cocoaroom


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Sneak Peek: Madison & Heig

Post by Mark

There are a couple of new restaurants I’m looking forward to opening this fall, Madison & Heig is one of them. If you drive up and down the Gulf Road often you might have noticed the large under construction hoarding next to Steak & Shake and Assaha in Bneid Al-Qar (in the same building as Elite Fitness).

Madison & Heig is going to be a bistro and bakery, its a locally created concept characterized by an open kitchen. It will have indoor and outdoor seating and the food will focus on homemade ingredients.

The expected opening date for the place as of now is early November and you can follow them on instagram if you want to stay posted @madisonandheig


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A Peek Inside the Four Seasons Hotel – Kuwait

Post by Mark

Yesterday I dropped by the soon to open Four Seasons Hotel in Kuwait City for a quick tour. I hadn’t been there since back in September when the place was still mostly under construction so I was pretty excited to see how things turned out. My first impressions of the place is that its simply stunning and very tastefully done. It’s has a very contemporary look yet with some Arabic elements injected into the design. It’s going to be by far the best looking hotel in Kuwait.

Four Seasons will be soft launching in around 2 weeks time with the official opening at the beginning of September. From the five restaurants they have, the following three will open up during the soft launch:

Dai Forni – An Italian restaurant
Elements – A buffet restaurant
Al Sour – The lobby lounge

Sintoho the Pan-Asian restaurant and Al Bandar, the poolside lounge/restaurant will both open in September. The outdoor pool will also open in September while the indoor one will be open during the soft launch. Finally, the Aveda salon (for men and women) will also be opening up as part of the soft launch.

I took a few quick photos during my tour which you can check out below. Since I was also taking photos with my phone for my instagram story, I realized later that there were some shots I forgot to take with my regular camera. So check out the photos below and once you’re done head over to my instagram account @mark248am and check out my story there (from your phone). It should be up till around 3PM.

Four Seasons Kuwait is located in Kuwait City [Google Maps]

Update: As of August 14th the hotel has still not opened


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Inside the Kuwait Bowling Sports Club

Post by Mark

Looks like the Kuwait Bowling Sports Club is nearly done and will be ready way ahead of the 2017 World Bowling Championship which will take place in Kuwait next year. I walked by yesterday and they had the lights on and damn the place is huge. In total they have 58 bowling lanes, 350 seats and nearly 1000 parking spots.

The World Bowling Championship takes place once every four years and the last time it took place was in 2013 in Nevada, USA. The next championship event will take place here in Kuwait from December 4th to the 18th, 2017. To see a large version of the picture above, click [Here]


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%ARABICA Roastery Opening Next Month

Post by Mark

Yesterday Grant from %ARABICA sent me some renderings of their new branch that will be opening up in Shuwaikh. It’s going to be much larger than their current location and have a bunch of cool things. The new location will be their central roastery and house a rare vintage Probat UG22 roaster from the 60s. It will be separated from the main seating area by a glass wall so people can watch the roasting process if they want while having their coffee.

The best part about the new roastery I think is that it will have an education center. Customers will be able to schedule training on any number of brewing methods, even how to make coffee using their Slayer machines which is what I’d be interested in (not that I’ll be getting a Slayer machine anytime soon). The main idea with this center is to teach customers how to make the best coffee at home. The new location is expected to soft launch next month with the official opening sometime in February.

Here is the location on [Google Maps]


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VOL.1 at Mayar

Post by Mark

vol1-1

Over the weekend I passed by the new VOL.1 thats opening up in Mayar Complex to get a sneak peek. I was curious to see how the place was turning out so I asked the owner if I could drop by and check it out. The new location is going to be located in Shuwaikh and is around 3 to 4 times the size of their current location in the city. The new space has a much larger circular bar and the same bench style seating surrounding the walls. The new location also has an second floor which will contain their offices as well as a small space where they’ll be holding classes or coffee cupping sessions. They’re expecting to open sometime next month but no specific date has been set yet.

mayar1

The Mayar Complex where VOL.1 is located is surprisingly a pretty good looking space. I didn’t think it was going to turn out the way it did and I love the way they’ve used marble everywhere. I took a walk around it and a bunch of shops have already opened with a bunch of others opening soon. There is going to a gym there, two spinning studios, a bunch of fashion and accessories stores and a few restaurants. The only issue I have with the complex is there isn’t enough parking, but thats to be expected I guess. Here is the location on [Google Maps]


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