Food Gossip & Rumors Kuwait

Free trade zone shutdowns

A reader sent me an email saying that the baladia just shut down Cafe Supreme, Saso Lounge and Starbucks in the free trade zone. According to one of the restaurant managers they closed them down due to license issues. Supposedly Harbor Cafe was also closed down.

31 replies on “Free trade zone shutdowns”

Free Zones shouldn’t have retail and that was the problem that KFTZ faced a few years back with Villa Moda and other companies. I think they’re starting to implement the rules and regulations of Free Zones.

There are two parts to this:

1. You cannot have a retail business in FTZ. The first place I can recall opening was the Harbor Cafe, which was a great relief to us working there at least we could get some lunch. There was also a cafeteria at the Sayer HQ which we used to frequent.

2. The FTZ management company and the government have been embroiled in a legal case over management of the FTZ, so this could be a result of that case – now the management could be back with the govt. and they are coming in and making sure people are following the rules.

Actually where all these places are located is called the “Future Zone”, the actual “Free Trade Zone” is behind a guarded fence, because its actually at the port. You need permission to walk in and have to surrender a govt. ID to even pass security, just FYI.


I am trying to find out more on the FTZ to start a business. Their website has been down for a while now.

Any ideas about the status of the case you are referring to? Who/where would I go to find out more? Any ideas are highly appreciated.



Yes, I know it’s the “Free Trade Zone” but what exactly is the purpose behind it? What is this area supposed to be used for?

“The Trade Ministry shut down 24 businesses and issued 115 violation tickets in the free zone area” – AFP news flash.

What is this way to hurt local business?

The “Free Zone” was a flourishing area with many cafes and restaurants that served the neighboring employees and visitors from all over Kuwait.

It’s not like other businesses are lining up to fill up the area, there were lots of empty lots available.

there is actually more to it than the reason that is given.
Lets just say that it involves the closing of a satelite chanel that aired some pretty unfavorable footage….if you know what I mean.

FACT, FTZ has had many issues since its opening. Sultan made a deal, a cheap deal, with the Kuwait Govt to build it, lease it and manage it. Sultan got into trouble with illegal money deal there and had to step down. New management company took over and destroyed the place. Made it worse and allowed many illegal companies to operate. FTZ is not supposed to have retail. FTZ is supposed to be non-Kuwaiti company doing business in FTZ only and doing business outside Kuwait. If they do business in Kuwait, they have to hire local company to represent them. This is how all FTZ companies in the world supposed to work. In Kuwait, where corruption is high, it doesnt work this way. This is apparent attack from the govt on the citizens thats from drilling on the Prime Minister. These companies tried for a long time to get licenses the legal way but encountered many roadblocks in the ministries. This is Kuwait!

Over 125 of the 225 business have been shut down in FTZ. They tried to shut down Movenpick Hotel but was not able to. More companies will be forced to shut down in days time. G Force Autoworx, American Mattress, Email Cafe, Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Subway, Viva, Coffee Republic, etc are all examples of companies affected by this raid.

i find out reason why starbucks close, Coz original building owner is name of wazzan company . But it re-rent to starbucks. I also heard that in kuwait re-rent banned. There4 all company who take from other closed…

Now harbor café is open again can you believe it …… after hectic three years .. best restaurant-café in Kuwait

In 2017 new kuwait law is it true that company located on free trade zone area is ban on giving releasie or transfer of visa of the employees? To work in private sector.

Any news of the opening of the FTZ again so far.

Any feed back would be appreciated.

What happened to the industries or the import/re export business companies that were operating there ?

Did they close down too.

Any feed back would be appreciated.

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