Categories
Travel

Fly to Abu Dhabi and back for just 6.750 KD

Yesterday in the comments, I was having a discussion with a reader about the whole practicality of flying to UAE and back just to use the pool there and I found out from him that a return flight to Abu Dhabi is now just 6.750 KD!

Turns out Wizz Air are having a summer sale right now and if your dates are flexible, you can get tickets as cheap at 6.750 KD this summer. I tried it now and it’s real. As long as you don’t add any options like checked-in luggage and other extras, you can get your ticket for $21.98.

I’ve never flown Wizz Air but I have heard both positive and negative comments about it. As long as you manage your expectations it seems like an OK experience. wizzair.com

Categories
Information Travel

Travel Tip: Get your Biometrics Done on the Way Out

If you haven’t gotten your biometric scanning done yet and can’t find an appointment, here is a tip, if you’re traveling soon do it on the way out.

I got my biometrics done last year at the Saudi/Kuwait border but my wife hadn’t done hers yet and was worried we’d have to get stuck in line on the way back to get it done. But, a friend who recently traveled from Terminal 1 told me she got her biometric scan done after passport control on the way out, and she didn’t have to wait. So this morning while leaving from Terminal 4 we asked passport control if my wife could get her biometrics done and he pointed towards a blue booth in the corner. We went to it, no line, no appointment and no waiting. She got her biometrics scanned and now she’s done with it.

If you try getting your biometrics scanned on arrival, good luck cuz I’ve heard the lines are a nightmare.

Categories
News Travel

Hacker Claims to have Kuwait Airways Passenger Data

A hacker is claiming to have 600,000 passenger data for Kuwait Airways customers which supposedly contains the following information:

Member title, first name, middle name, surname, marital status, job title, dob, gender, e-mail address, nationality, Kuwait national ID, passport, passport validity period, primary telephone, second telephone, address, city, state, zip code, country, award mile, next card, qualify miles, quality sector, tier, total award miles, total qualify miles, valid from, valid till, contents.

Kuwait Airways have responded to the claim stating:

The security and privacy of our passengers’ information are paramount to us. We are investigating the claims made on social media and have engaged leading cybersecurity experts to assess and mitigate the situation. source

I’m a Kuwait Airways customer so I originally was concerned my credit card details might have been part of the security breach. But, I checked and I don’t have my credit card details saved, and don’t think there is a way to save them anyway. So one positive I guess. For more details, check this article out on cybersecuritynews.com

Categories
Automotive Travel

Update on New Rules for Leaving Kuwait by Car

Just a quick update on my previous post on a new rule requiring a triptik for your car if you’re planning on driving out of Kuwait. Yesterday I had a day trip to Khafji and I didn’t get triptik for my car and nobody asked for it at the border.

The only issue I had actually was a 5KD parking fine. They wouldn’t let me leave Kuwait without settling the fine, luckily the border was empty due to the rain storm, so the guy just let me pay the fine while still at the window using the Sahel app.

So lesson of the day, always check to see if you have any fines before traveling. This applies only for expats.

Update: So it seems it could depend on what border you exit Kuwait from. The Salmi border are supposedly asking for triptik, the khafji border isn’t.

Categories
50s to 90s Travel

Celebrating 70 Years of Kuwait Airways

Kuwait Airways is currently celebrating their 70 year anniversary, so I decided to share some old photos my mum took back when she was a Kuwait Airways flight attendant.

Back in the early 70s, my mum traveled to Iran via Kuwait Airways from Lebanon. On the way back while transiting at the Kuwait Airport, she saw a Kuwait Airways ad looking for flight attendants. So once she got back to Lebanon, she applied, got the job, and ended up moving to Kuwait a few months later.

Anytime my mum brings up her experience as a Kuwait Airways flight attendant, she always mentions how great it was, and how she got to travel to so many places and meet a lot of people.

Some of the photos I’ve shared here, I previously posted on the blog around 18 years ago, but in low res. I’ve now rescanned all the photos including new ones I hadn’t shared before, and then tried to restore and recover as much of the details and colors as possible without over editing the images.

Just to add a bit more context, the photos here range from 1974 to 1976, with the oldest being the one of my mum in the orange colored uniform. The uniforms in the photos were also designed by Dior, except for the orange one which was designed by Nina Ricci. Finally, the last photos which look like they were taken on a private jet were in fact taken onboard the Emir’s plane (Emir Sabah al-Salim Al Sabah) which she served on during the last period of her career.

I’ve uploaded all 16 photos to my Flickr account, to check them out click here.

Categories
Travel

No Need to Buy London Underground Tickets Anymore

I’m currently in London for the week and I haven’t been here since 2022, before we got Apple Pay in Kuwait.

One cool benefit I realized I now have on this trip is that I can use the London Underground by just tapping my phone on the yellow card readers. I don’t even need to double tap the side button or even activate Face ID, I just take my phone out of my pocket, touch the yellow card reader and it automatically takes the money from my account and lets me through. It also works if you have Google Pay but I haven’t tried that.

Another cool thing I got to try on this trip is the eGate at the airport. Because I have the Canadian passport and I was alone, I was able to use the egate at passport control which meant I didn’t have to wait in any line and was through passport control in under a minute. Anyone who’s had to wait in line for an hour at LHR knows going through in under a minute is just insane.

Other than that its freezing and wet over here right now. I keep forgetting how cold it really gets outside of Kuwait and so I never pack enough winter clothes.

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
Automotive Travel

New Rules for Leaving Kuwait by Car

I recently heard that any expat wishing to travel by car outside Kuwait now requires a car “TripTik”. No idea why they announced this new rule but it basically means you need to get an additional paper now for your car before traveling.

A reader recently had to get this paper done at KIAC and this is what he shared:

There are 2 options for the TripTik, 1 month & 12 months validity. 1 Month was recently introduced by KIAC on announcement of this new rule to make it more affordable for expats, but if you travel a lot you should get the 12 months validity. The TripTik will be stamped entering and exiting the border similar to a passport.

Here is what’s required:

For 1 Month
Fee: 20KD
Deposit: 50KD that you’ll get back when you’re back from your trip
Paperwork Required: Civil ID, passport, and car registration

For 1 Year
Fee: 50KD
Deposit: 50KD that you’ll get back when you’re back from your trip
Paperwork Required: Civil ID, passport, and car registration. In addition to that you also need a Kuwaiti guarantor as well. The Kuwaiti guarantor needs to have their Civil ID as well as salary certificate.

Issuing the TripTik takes a few minutes after submitting all the correct paperwork.

In case you’re traveling by car, please double check the above information since it might change over time. You can contact KIAC on 24827524 if you have any questions or visit their website kiac.com.kw

As someone that travels often by car I’m personally really annoyed by this.

Thanks Uzair

UPDATE: According to a number of readers, they were able to travel to Saudi without requiring the TripTik. So looks like it might not be required or they haven’t started requesting them yet.

UPDATE2: I just went to Saudi yesterday and came back, didn’t require TripTik and nobody asked me about it either.

Categories
Travel

The Most Powerful Passports in 2024

The Henley Passport Index is released every year and is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). A passport is considered powerful based on how many countries people from that country can visit without needing a visa.

For 2024, Kuwait ranks 55 on the list with 102 visa-free destinations (check image below). Compared to neighboring GCC countries, Kuwait has the 3rd best passport coming in behind the UAE and Qatar.

Here are how some other countries ranked compared to Kuwait:

1 – France
4 – United Kingdom
7 – United States / Canada
11 – United Arab Emirates
53 – Qatar
55 – Kuwait
59 – Bahrain
60 – Oman
61 – Saudi Arabia
80 – India
87 – Egypt
95 – Lebanon

If you want to check out the full list, click here.

Categories
Information Travel

UK Starts Visa-Free Entry Next Month

Starting February, if you have a Kuwaiti passport you no longer require a visa to travel to the UK. Instead of the traditional visit visa, you will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) which costs ÂŁ10 (4KD) and is valid for two years.

The UK ETA application process is straight forward and you should be able to complete the online form in a matter of minutes with the following information:

  • Personal details
  • Passport data
  • Travel information
  • Answers to some basic security questions

The only other requirements are:

  • A valid Kuwaiti passport
  • Credit or debit card to pay the UK ETA fee
  • An email address to receive notifications

Most applications will be processed within 3 days, so you can apply for it right before you trip. This move is part of the UK plan to digitize their border by 2025 and applies to Kuwaitis, GCC citizens and Jordanians.

To stay posted or for more information, follow @ukinkuwait

Categories
Art Things to do Travel

Visit the Noor Riyadh Festival 2023

Last year I visited Riyadh to check out the Noor Festival, the largest light art festival in the world. Noor means light in Arabic and last year they had 44 different light installations spread across Riyadh and some were really epic. This year the festival is going to be even bigger with over 80 artists invited to participate.

Monira Al Qadiri (@moniraism), the Kuwaiti visual artist whom I’ve previously featured on the blog before is one of the artists invited to take part in the festival this year which starts on November 30th and continue till December 16th.

Visiting the different light installations is free and finding them is easy using the festival app.

If you’ve never been to Riyadh it’s a fun road trip if you want to drive down. Any resident of Kuwait can also apply for a Saudi tourism eVisa no matter of your nationality. There is a lot to do in Riyadh in terms of things to see and restaurants to experience. Last year I went for one night only because there were a handful of light installations I wanted to see but it was really hectic and I wished I stayed a night longer. You can do it in just a night if you really want but two nights would be much better experience.

For more information on the festival, visit @noorriyadhfestival or riyadhart.sa/en/noor-riyadh

Categories
Travel

Fly to Barcelona Direct for just 99kd

Kuwait Airways recently launched three weekly non-stop flights to Barcelona. I just checked the ticket prices and they start at 99KD. The flight time is 7 hours going, and 6 hours coming back.

Barcelona is one of my favorite places since the food is great, the city is not too expensive, and there is so much to see and do. If you’ve never been I highly recommend it. Here is a link to my Barcelona Guide.

Categories
Travel

Fly to Abu Dhabi for only KD19.950

Etihad Airways have a ridiculous promotion right now. A return flight from Kuwait to Abu Dhabi is only KD19.950 including tax. It’s 8KD to go there and 12KD to come back which is so cheap! This doesn’t include any checked baggage but if you’re going for a weekend you can just fly with your carry on.

There is UFC 294 taking place in Abu Dhabi this weekend which is why I think they have this promotion. Even if you don’t end up going to the @ufc event there is still a lot to do and see in Abu Dhabi.

Categories
Travel

High-speed Rail from Riyadh to Kuwait City Approved

A few days ago Saudi Arabia approved a major high-speed rail link that will connect Riyadh and Kuwait City together. This rail link shouldn’t be confused with the metro project and instead is meant to connect Kuwait with the rest of the GCC via rail. Source

I actually watched a TikTok video recently of someone who took the train from Riyadh to a city near the borders with Jordan. The train carried cars and passengers so once he got to the last stop, his car got unloaded from the train and he continued his journey to Jordan by car. I hope the train linking Kuwait and Riyadh also carries cars since it means we potentially could easily transport our cars around the region to speed up road trips. I’ve been wanting to do an Oman road trip for example but it’s around a 16 hour drive, not worth it unless I’m planning to spend a couple of weeks in Oman.

Categories
Travel

No More Direct Flights to Armenia

Back in July, the Armenian national carrier, Fly Arna started direct flights to Kuwait twice a week. I got excited because the flight from Kuwait to Armenia was only 2 hours long and ticket prices started at 82KD which made it very accessible.

Last week I decided I’d book a flight for the end of the month and when I went to their website I couldn’t find Kuwait. They had even removed the image posted above from their Instagram account. Turns out they canceled the route due to lack of interest.

I found that really weird, obviously it’s going to take time for people to find out there are now direct flights to Armenia and then plan their trips. Now the next best flight is a connecting flight that’s over 5 hours long which sucks.