Niqashna – Do you support the separation of religion and state?

Post by Mark

Niqashna is a platform for open debates that was launched early this year. Every few weeks they discuss an interesting subject and tonight they’re debating the separation of religion and state. The debate is in Arabic but the Q&A will be in both Arabic and English. If you’re interested in attending (its free), you can get more details [Here]

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White – Opening Next Week

Post by Mark

White is a new restaurant by the owner of Cocoa Room, Slider Station and Burger Boutique. It’s an American robata concept that is opening next week at the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre. I passed by the other night for a tasting and loved everything we tried. The menu was pretty huge so we had a whole variety of dishes to try, from nigiris (including chutoro and otoro) to robatas.

You can check out the full menu minus the desserts [Here] and [Here].

Unless something pops up, they’re currently planning to open on December 27th. To stay posted, follow their instagram account @whiterobata

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Burger & Lobster in the City

Post by Mark

I found out earlier today that Burger & Lobster are opening up in Kuwait City, in place of where Cereal Killer used to be located.

I like this location and I think it should end up doing a lot better than the Avenues one which always felt too out of the way to pass by for a quick meal. The new location is right next to Arabica in downtown, here it is on [Google Maps]

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Taxi Apps in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Although we don’t have Uber in Kuwait yet, we do have various other apps that pretty much do the same thing. Over the years I’ve posted about a few but never in one concise post, and since some have stopped working over the years, this list is of current active ones.

Q8 Grand Limo
This is my favorite app/service right now, and the one I’ve been using constantly. It’s really made my cabbing experience in Kuwait great, the cars are super clean and fancy, the drivers are very polite and tidy, and I haven’t had any issues with them since I started using them back in May. Costwise, they’re more expensive than regular street cabs but the experience really makes up for the price. Plus, they gave me a 20% promo code when I posted about them back in May so for me, trips don’t cost that much more than regular street cabs. They’ve got around 30 cabs in operation including a Mercedes S400 in case you want to splurge. I actually got picked up by the S400 a few weeks back when they were super busy and didn’t have their regular cars available. Let’s just say I forgave them for being late and they can always pick me up late if they’re gonna do so in the S400. You can also book a cab ahead of time which I’ve done when I needed a middle of the night ride to the airport. [Link]

Probably the closest thing to Uber in Kuwait right now since they’re Uber’s main competitor in the region. I’ve never used them but I’ve got friends who swear by them. Like Grand Limo, they also have a ride later option which many people use to schedule airport rides and they also have their own fleet of cars. [Link]

Q8 Taxi
This is an app I posted about a few years ago and were one of the early ones to launch in Kuwait. I tried using them back then a few times and had a fairly average experience and then one day, it just stopped working. Now it seems they’re back since they’ve been advertising their app pretty heavily. Haven’t tried them and don’t think I will, but they’re the cheapest option in this list since they use regular street cabs to pick you up. [Link]

If there are any other apps I’ve missed let me know in the comments.

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Kuwait Motor Town Track Map

Post by Mark

The website F1 Fanatic has posted the track map of Kuwait Motor Town with a bit of information I wasn’t aware of previously. Turns out our track will be an anti-clockwise circuit, will feature 20 corners and is going to be 5.6KM long. You can check out a higher res version of the map above as well as some more info on the F1 Fanatic website [Here]

Update: Below are some different variations of the same track

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My Experience Watching Sting at JACC

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I watched Sting live at the cultural center, it was my first time watching an event at JACC so I wanted to share my experience.

Firstly, I think its pretty cool that we’re finally getting proper concerts here in Kuwait. Although I’m not a huge Sting fan, I do like concerts and being able to watch an artist perform locally instead of me having to be on vacation in some other country is such a great feeling. I really hope this Sting concert turned out to be successful and profitable so that they’ll continue to bring more artists in.

But, I’m not so sure how good a venue JACC is for concerts like Sting. Although it’s a beautiful space, it just felt very formal and stiff for a concert, at least for one like Sting. A concert like Sting should have taken place outdoors, on the beach (like Dubai’s Sandance) or in a large park, like Al Shaheed. The only concert I’ve ever been to which had a similar formal mood to it was Bob Dylan at the Royal Albert Hall, but that was Bob Dylan.. at the Royal Albert Hall!

The second issue I had was with the fact that photos were not allowed to be taken during the event. From 50+ concerts I’ve been to in my life, not once were photos not allowed to be taken. Only one time, and one time only when watching The Lumineers perform, the lead singer requested the audience to politely put their phones away during one song so they could enjoy it. And that’s it. So it was super odd that JACC didn’t allow photos to be taken at this event. The bigger issue is actually how they tried to prevent people from taking photos. If you happened to take your phone out, maybe to take a photo, maybe to just check your WhatsApp messages or maybe you got bored and wanted to check Reddit, the ushers would automatically shine a red laser beam all over you and your phone. So while sitting there trying to watch the concert, I was distracted the whole time by red lasers being pointed all over the concert hall at anybody who happened to be looking at their phone. It was super annoying and it completely distracted the audience who were just trying to watch Sting. JACC, you can’t prevent people from taking photos, it’s just not physically possible to stop 2000 people from using their phones, so why ruin the experience for everyone with these distracting red lasers?

Finally the last and biggest issue I have with JACC is the disconnection between the restaurants and the theaters. Even though they’re located right next to each other, the gate that connects the two spaces is permanently kept closed. So after the concert when we wanted to go eat we were told the only way to do so would be to take our cars, drive out of the parking lot and then drive back into the restaurants parking lot and park there. If you didn’t want to take your car then your only other option was to take a 15 min walk through a maze in the parking lot to get to the other side. When I asked an usher why the gate was closed, I was told for security purposes. Very frustrating.

Overall though, I’m just glad we’re finally getting concerts here and I’m sure things will just keep getting better from this point forward. Can’t wait to see what concerts we’re getting next year.

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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

Busy weekend ahead, so if you’re looking for things to do, here are some of the events that are taking place:

Musical: West Side Story
Concert: Sting
Gulf Run Karting Endurance Race – 2017
The Divan’s Movie Night: Journey to the Edge of the Universe
Cinemagics Rooftop Movie: Sicario

Musical: West Side Story
Concert: Sting
Gulf Run Karting Endurance Race – 2017
Photography Exhibition: Abdullah Al Kandari (Darya)
Good Game – Magic: The Gathering
Van Boom Presents – AGAINST ALL

Yoga with the 3
Musical: West Side Story
Cooking Class Viva España, Viva Paella!
Rooftop Picnic
Yoga class with Cats
Workshop: Cross-Stich for Kids
JamJam Pulse
Q8 Readers Book Club
Cinemagics Rooftop Movie: Days of Heaven

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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Movies Showing in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

The movies below are now showing at either Cinescape, Grand Cinemas or Sky Cinemas:

New This Week:
Ghost House (4.7)
Jeepers Creepers III (4.4)
Nails (4.6)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (8.3)
The Breadwinner (7.5)
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (7.7) ♦

Other Movies Showing:
Acts Of Vengeance (5.6)
Brad’s Status (6.7)
Coco (9.1)
Daddy’s Home 2 (6.2)
Jungle (6.7)
Just Getting Started (5.8)
Justice League (8.1)
Marrowbone (6.7)
Paddington 2 (8.3)
The Mountain Between Us (6.3)
Wonder (7.2)

The movies below are also now showing at the Scientific Center IMAX theater:

A Beautiful Planet 3D (7.9)
America Wild: National Parks Adventure (N/A)
Dream Big 3D (7.9)
Extreme Weather 3D (6.6)
Tiny Giants 3D (8.0)
Watermelon Magic 3D (7.4)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.
★ is for movies I’m interested in. ♦ implies movie might contain censorship.

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I’m Selling My Nikon Gear

Post by Mark

Since I got my Sony RX1 a few years ago, I basically stopped using my large Nikon D800 camera. Over the past few years I’ve only been using the D800 for taking photos of cars when reviewing them for the blog. The rest of the time it’s just been sitting in my closet gathering dust and depreciating in value.

Since I’m trying not to be a hoarder, I’ve decided to get rid of all my Nikon gear. So if you’re interested, I’m selling it for a pretty good price, check it out [Here]

Actually, since I got my iPhone X, I’ve even stopped using my RX1. But don’t think I’ll ever sell it, I just love it too much.

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Where are our monorails?

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I went to the Modern Architecture Kuwait conference and attended a talk by Prof. Alberico B. Belgiojoso titled “The 1970 Vision for Kuwait City”. It was a pretty interesting talk and made me realize how young Kuwait City was.

Prof. Alberico worked with the architectural firm BBPR back in the 60s on various proposals on how to bring Kuwait City into the modern era, into the city you see today. One of the interesting things he discussed was how the original master plan of the city, they proposed to build all these parking structures around the city included underground and overground passageways, shaded paths and even monorails that would connect parking structures to main areas and buildings. I’d imagine if we had any of those today, less people would be inclined to park illegally just to avoid walking long distances in the summer months.

Prof. Alberico also shared the visual above on their proposal for Safat Square which looks a lot more accessible and visible compared to how the square looks today. I kinda wish someone would revisit the old plans for Kuwait and implement some of the cooler ideas from them.

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If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
[Email Me]