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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You Do Not Want to Renew Your Drivers License

Post by Mark

Previously, whenever you renewed your driving license it would get renewed for 10 years. I’m not really sure when that law changed, but now you have to renew it every year. Last year it took me 2 hours to get my license renewed, and that’s after I got super lucky when an officer ended up signing my papers for me without me having to wait in a line that was easily 100 people long.

I usually get all my car related paperwork done at the Jabriya Traffic Department. They’re really organized and every year when I go to renew my car registration, they would have changed something to make the experience smoother and faster. I was expecting the license renewal process to be easier this year because of that but boy was I wrong.

The line when I passed by yesterday to renew my license was crazy crazy long! The picture above was taken as I was walking to the back of the line, around half way to the back (check map above for exact location). The line stretched down a super long corridor and then turned around the corner because it was so long and it wasn’t even people standing in a single file, it looked like a complete mess.

Clearly the traffic department isn’t capable of handling this many renewals, so why don’t they just revert to the older system and have people do this once every 10 years? I ended up leaving but now I’m trying to figure out if I should get there early and line up or what exactly. The renewal for expats only starts at 4PM and they only take so many requests before telling everyone to come back the following day and line up again. So stressful!

Update: A reader just told me about a company that can handle your license renewal process as well as other things. They charge KD10 to renew your license which I think is so worth it. Here is a link to the [Flyer]


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7-Eleven Now Open in Kuwait

Post by Mark

The popular American convenience store 7-Eleven opened up their first location in Kuwait a couple of days ago. Sadly, it’s not as cool as it sounds. The location basically looks like your average neighborhood mini market with just some stickers on top of the shelves saying 7-Eleven. When I passed by last night, they had the radio tuned into a prayer station and the whole place resembled your average cheap looking mini-mart. Not what I was expecting. They didn’t have their popular slurpee which is why I dropped by, nor any 7-Eleven branded products, so the place felt like a fake 7-Eleven.

But, I’ve been assured this is an official 7-Eleven and the slurpee machine is coming soon. I guess 7-Eleven just don’t have strict brand guidelines which is why the place looks like any random mini market. This first 7-Eleven location is open in Salmiya, and their operating hours are from 6AM to 1AM. For directions you can check out their instagram account @7elevenkw


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Cops Getting Pushed Around

Post by Mark

If you’re part of any local whatsapp group, you’ve most likely seen videos similar to the one above. The videos usually show a bunch of guys performing dangerous stunts with their cars, and then a cop car shows up to stop the whole thing and arrest the drivers, but instead, they end up getting attacked or bullied around by the crowd.

Why don’t cops have partners in Kuwait? Instead of one cop per police car why aren’t they two cops per car. That way one has the other persons back. Is it because there aren’t enough cops? Also, are cops here not allowed to use violent force? By violent force I mean shoot the perps because from these videos it looks like the cops aren’t really feared…


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An Intervention

Post by Mark

Art exhibits in Kuwait are common, they usually take place at a gallery, the work goes up for some time and then it’s done. So when I found about the exhibit “Nothing to Write Home About” I was intrigued. Firstly they didn’t call it an exhibit, instead, they called it an intervention.

“Nothing to Write Home About” treats art as a consumerist activity. They intervened into the KIPCO mall space with a collection of works from a private collection that were previously stored in Kuwait. The works are visible from the storefront… but you can’t enter the store. This is to force you to think about other things related to the work, and not the work itself. There is a booklet for this intervention with notes, but even the notes aren’t about the works, but about the subjects the works bring up.

It’s a visually interesting display so if you’re interested in dropping by, check out the event page for more info [Here]


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PantryBee: Getting in the Ramadan Spirit with some Cooking

Post by Hind

We do cooking classes and collaborations once in a while at PantryBee because well, they’re fun. It’s a nice way for us to learn from local chefs as well as being a great way to interact with our customers.

With Ramadan coming up we thought it would be fun to put together a Middle East inspired cooking class. So, we teamed up with Ayyame’s head Chef Ali Mahmoud Bitar at their newest AlShaheed Park II location to create a “Flavors of the Middle East” cooking class and dinner.

It’s a 2.5 hour event where you learn how to make green dough for their traditional fried bread, fattet badinjan, borek, lamb chops and more. Class ends with you enjoying your creations at a sit-down dinner accompanied by some of our favorite Ayyame sides and desserts.

If you’re interested in taking part, the event is this coming Tuesday at 6:30PM. For more details and to register, click [Here]

We’ve got limited seats for the event but for those that cant make it, here’s a fun little recipe to try out for yourselves at home that makes for a good appetizer all Ramadan long!

Fattet Hummus
2 chickpea cans- drained
3 Pita breads- cut into small rectangles
Olive oil
1/2 cup Pine nuts
1 cup yogurt
Fresh mint – small bunch
Pinch of Paprika
2 Garlic cloves – minced
3 Tbsp unsalted butter – melted
Pinch sumac

Heat oven to 400°. Toss pita rectangles with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste then lay on a baking sheet evenly and bake till golden around 10 mins. Toss with chickpeas and place in final serving dish. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan on medium-high and brown pine nuts 3-4 mins. Stir yogurt, mint, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl; drizzle over pita mixture. Top with pine nuts and drizzle with butter and finish with sumac.

Post by Hind
CoFounder of PantryBee where home cooking is made easy.


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Local Video Game Vloggers

Post by Mark

Last week there was a slightly controversial post in the Kuwait sub on Reddit. Basically, a user wanted another user to stop sharing his gaming vlogs because he didn’t think anyone was interested in them. I personally wasn’t a fan of the videos, but I thought that request was pretty shitty. Just because I didn’t like the videos or the majority of people didn’t like the videos, I don’t think its fair to muzzle someone who is actually taking the time and making the effort to create content. Good or bad, at least they’re active and doing something.

So I decided I’d share the two local video game vloggers I’m aware of in this post. I’m not a fan of either of them but I do appreciate the fact they’re doing what they love to do and that deserves some recognition. So if you’re into video games, check out the two vloggers below:

DarkWolf80s
I find DarkWolf80s super cheesy and his video titles are 100% clickbait, but I have to give the guy credit, he does love his video games. DarkWolf80s has released 11 videos this year alone covering various topics, mostly super geeky ones which I like, it’s just the videos themselves I don’t like. So if you want to check out his channel, click [Here]

DarkraiQ8
If you’re into Pokemon then you’ll have to check DarkraiQ8’s YouTube channel so you’ll realize you’re really not into Pokemon. The guy is like Pokemon fan level 40 which is why I don’t watch any of his videos. I think they’re really boring but the guy is super dedicated publishing a new video every few days. It’s definitely for Arabic speaking die-hard Pokemon fans. So if you’re a Pokemon geek, check out his channel [Here]

Know of any other local video game vloggers? Let me know in the comments below.


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New Music: Snake Oil Blues by Ali Sleeq

Post by Mark

Local bluesman Ali Sleeq just released a music video for his track ‘Snake Oil Blues’ which is off his debut album, “Gonna Die With the Blues”. You can watch the video above and if you like it you can check out the rest of his tracks on [Spotify] or [Apple Music]


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Meet the Kuwaiti Woman Reinventing Gulf Traditions and Crafts

Post by Mark

zeri1

The online magazine Muftah published an article last week on Laila Al Hamad, the owner of Zeri Crafts. If you haven’t passed by Zeri Crafts you should, it’s a small boutique with a beautiful space that’s located on the Gulf Road. The location used to be a boat chalet, back before the Gulf Road existed, when it was still just a sandy beach.

The article on Muftah covers Laila’s background as well as the concept behind Zeri Crafts. Check it out [Here]


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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

Below is this weekends list of events. As usual, if I’ve forgotten to add anything, let me know in the comments.

Thursday
Russian Film Week in Kuwait
ABBA Sing-Along Concert
Raclette & 3 Short Films
Movie Night: The Ballad of Narayama
FUSE X MOO MILKBAR Pop-Up
Piano Recital: Maria Angela Capello

Friday
Russian Film Week in Kuwait
ABBA Sing-Along Concert
Q8 Run Club Scavenger Hunt

Saturday
Musical: On Broadway
Scottish Dance
The Liverary Sessions

If you’d like to share an event on the blog [Email Me]
For a full list of upcoming events click [Here]

Sometimes events get canceled or have details changed so always double check with the organizers.


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