Viva Renames Network to Ramadan Kareem

Post by Mark

This morning I noticed that Viva had renamed their network so that it shows up as Ramadan Kareem on the phone. Didn’t know that was something that could be done easily, very cool and smart.


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Movies Showing in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark


A Wrinkle in Time

The movies below are now showing at Cinescape, Grand Cinemas, Sky Cinemas and VOX:

New This Weekend:
A Wrinkle in Time (4.2)
Last Rampage: The Escape of Gary Tison (5.6)

Other Movies Showing:
A Quiet Place (8.4)
Avengers: Infinity War (9.2) ♦
Bad Samaritan (6.2) ♦
Bent (5.0) ♦
Breaking In (4.9) ♦
Ferdinand (6.8)
I Feel Pretty (4.1) ♦
Isle of Dogs (8.2) ★
Kings (4.9) ♦
Life of the Party (4.6) ♦
Masha and the Bear (7.9)
Overboard (3.1) ♦
Peter Rabbit (6.5)
Rampage (6.5)
Tomb Raider (7.3)

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

Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters 3D (7.4)
America Wild: National Parks Adventure (5.9)
Dream Big 3D (7.9)
Hurricane 3D (7.0)
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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Carriage Now Saves Knet Information *UPDATED*

Post by Mark

One thing that has always annoyed me with local online shopping services is that you couldn’t save your payment details like you do on Amazon for example. Looks like Knet are finally allowing your payment details to be saved because with the latest Carriage app update, you now have the option to save your payment information. This means when you place an order, all you need to do is enter your pin code instead of having to enter all your numbers and expiry date every time you place an order.

All I can say is finally! This is going to make online shopping in Kuwait a lot more convenient for everyone.

Update: So I got a phone call from Carriage awhile ago on this subject and they clarified to me one important point. Customer data related to bank details are saved on the user’s device, not on Carriage’s servers. The information is encrypted and then stored in your iOS or Android keychain, and you still need to input your pin on every transaction.


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Ramadan in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Ramadan starts tomorrow and for those you who’ve never spent Ramadan in Kuwait, here are some things you need to know:

– If you are caught eating or drinking in public during fasting hours, you can be fined up to KD100 and/or jailed for 1 month.

– Restaurants can’t serve food during fasting hours. That includes dine-in, delivery, and takeaway. But, over the past few years, some restaurants have started operating and serving food during fasting hours but not dine-in. I usually put together a list of these restaurants every year, so stay tuned to one again this year.

– Carriage starts delivery 5PM onwards during Ramadan.

– The law states that during Ramadan, the maximum working hours is 36 a week.

– Shops and malls change their working hours during Ramadan. Everything tends to open later and then stay open a lot later. I’ll be sharing a list of Ramadan timings next week.

– Nothing tends to get done during Ramadan since everything moves at a much slower pace. So you need patience.

I think those are the most important things to note. For more details on the above you can check out these two Ramadan Law posts [Here] and [Here]


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Ozone Movie Theaters

Post by Mark

Last night I found out we have a 5th cinema operator in Kuwait called Ozone Cinemas. The surprising thing is that they’ve been open since last summer. Ozone is currently open in a mall called Trio in Khaitan and they’ll be opening up another theater in Jahra soon. Their locations is obviously the reason why I hadn’t heard about them until now. Check out their website [Here]

Thanks Ninar


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Kuwaiti Project on Display at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Post by Mark

Around a year ago I posted about the Dual Bowls project by Kuwaiti artist Kawther Al Saffar. The bowls were one of a kind, handcrafted pieces made in Kuwait by pouring two different metals together in a mold to form a rough bowl. I fell in love with the bowls right away and the first thing I did was grab one for myself before posting about it on the blog.

Kawther had launched the project on Kickstarter and when Kickstarter saw what she was doing, they also fell in love with her project. Kickstarter decided to partner up with Kawther giving her a big push resulting in over 600 people buying into the project and pledging over £100,000.

Randomly a few days ago, while checking a friend’s story, I noticed the Dual Bowls were being exhibited in London. Turns out the Victoria and Albert Museum, the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, had invited Kickstarter to share with the museum four of their favorite projects from last year. V&A were putting together an exhibition called “The Future Starts Here” and wanted to display Kickstarter projects since it fit with the theme of the exhibit. Out of the four projects Kickstarter decided to share with the museum, the Dual Bowls project was one of them. How insanely cool is that?

The exhibition will be running until November, so if you’re in London make sure you pass by and check it out. Also if you’re in San Fransisco for Maker Faire this weekend, Kickstarter will also be displaying the bowls there.

If you’re interested in getting a bowl for yourself you can get in touch with Kawther via instagram @kalsaff

Pictures by Aisha


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F1 TV Access in Kuwait

Post by Mark

There are a lot of companies or brands I don’t like, and only a very few I really really dislike or hate. To get me to really hate you would take a lot of effort (suing me is one way *cough* Benihana *cough*), and somehow beIN have managed to really piss me off. I’m not going to spend a lot of time dwelling on this but to summarize, I only use them to stream Formula 1 races, and when I’ve run into problems, they had extremely horrible customer service. But, I finally found another way to legally (kinda) watch the F1 races… F1 TV.

Before I continue, yes I am aware there are multiple ways to stream the F1 races illegally. Personally, I always try to go the as legal way possible route, unless I hit a wall and then I resort to piracy.

If you’re a Formula 1 fan and you follow the news, you might be aware that Formula 1 just launched F1 TV. Depending on where you reside, you’ll be able to subscribe to F1 TV and have access to their full archive of races as well as being able to stream their current races live via their website.

F1 TV in Kuwait
Kuwait sadly isn’t one of the countries where F1 TV will work. I think that has to do with the agreement F1 have with beIN but since beIN is so buggy, I had to find a way to get F1 TV working in Kuwait and I managed to do just that. To get F1 TV working in Kuwait you need two things:

– VPN with an American server
– Credit card issued by an American bank

The first is easy to get, there are hundreds of options available online and my guess is that pretty soon you’ll also be able to use smartDNS to access F1 TV like we do to get access to US Netflix and Hulu. The credit card on the other hand is much harder to get. I got mine while vacationing in the States but I think there are ways of getting one online although I haven’t tried them. Once you’ve got these two things you can just subscribe to F1 TV and get access.

What’s F1 TV Like?
There are two F1 TV packages, F1 TV Access, and F1 TV Pro. Access doesn’t allow you to stream the races live but with the Pro package you can. If you pay month by month, Access is $3 a month while Pro is $12. If you sign up for a year then the prices drop down considerably with Pro coming to $8 a month, the same price beIN charge for one day access.

This past race was the first time F1 TV went live and it was super buggy. It was so bad that F1 TV sent out an apology and a refund because they weren’t able to cope with the load this past weekend. But, thats fine, it was their first weekend live and nobody was expecting them to be perfect.

When it did work though the service was spectacular, more than anything beIN could offer or any other channel for the matter.

– During practice, qualifications and the race you get access to the cameras inside every single car. So if you’re a Verstappen fan, you can choose to view the camera in his car, and then watch him race until he crashes into something.

– During practice, qualifications and the race you get access to different audio channels. When watching the main stream you can choose to listen to commentary in different languages, or you can choose not to have any commentary at all and just have car sounds. While watching the race from inside the car of your favorite driver, you get an additional option of being able to listen to the team radio.

– With F1 TV you get access to 68 seasons of races! SIXTY EIGHT seasons of Formula 1 racing, that’s just insane. Last night I was rewatching the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix when half the cars crashed at turn one of the race. I then watched a documentary on one of my favorite drivers of all time, Mika Häkkinen. Even if F1 TV didn’t include the archive, I would have easily forked out $8 a month just to stream the races live. The fact that they’ve included so much content with this $8 is an incredible bonus.

As you can tell, I’m very excited about F1 TV. If you’re an F1 fan and have any questions about the service let me know. There are some negatives right now with F1 TV including the lack of an Apple TV app being one. Currently I’m using the browser on my iPad to watch F1 TV which is annoying, but they only properly launched a few days ago so they’re still super busy working out all the kinks and I’m expecting them to launch an app soon. Things will only keep getting better from this point onwards.


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List of All the New Airport Terminals

Post by Mark

It’s kinda crazy how overnight we basically doubled the number of airport terminals in Kuwait. Since its starting to get a bit complicated with the different namings, I figured I’d share the list below to help clear things up along with pictures.

Terminal 1
This is our current main terminal. It was opened in 1979 and was designed by one of the most significant architects of the 20th century, Kenzō Tange. The British architect and critic Stephen Gardiner wrote in 1985 that it was “the most beautiful airport in the world” because of its “breathtaking simplicity of color and shape.” It is “white sculptured space as cool as an ice-cube, as enormous as a vat intake of pure air, as light as a tent, as canvas hung from cables and sails.” The airport today no longer resembles the original one due to the amount of refurbishment it went through. There are no plans to demolish this airport, but once Terminal 2 opens up I hope someone decides to take it back to its original state. For more pictures of the airport, click [Here]

Terminal 2
This is the new and huge terminal that was designed by the British architecture studio Foster + Partners. It’s currently under construction and is expected to be completed in 2021. This is going to be a world-class terminal that will be able to compete with the likes of Hamad International Airport in Qatar and the Emirates Airline Terminal 3 in Dubai. For more pictures, click [Here]

Terminal 3
The Sheikh Saad terminal originally started off as a private planes terminal but later became the Wataniya Airways terminal. After Wataniya Airways shutdown, FlyDubai took it over. Until recently, flying with FlyDubai was the only way to avoid our horrible main terminal. But, now that the Jazeera Airways and Kuwait Airways terminals are opening up, Sheikh Saad terminal will no longer have an edge.

Terminal 4
This is the new Kuwait Airways terminal and is expected to be operational in June. The new terminal is located near the cargo terminal. Here is the location on [Google Maps]. This terminal will help ease congestion at the main terminal until Terminal 2 opens up in 2021. For more pictures, click [Here]

Terminal 5
Finally, Terminal 5 is the Jazeera Airways terminal I posted about last week. This terminal is now basically complete and will be open at the end of this month. Right now the terminal will cater only to Jazeera Airways flights but there are talks about possibly hosting another airline as well, possibly Emirates. For a complete walkthrough and pictures of this terminal, click [Here]

Future Terminal Expansion
In case needed, there are plans in place that can expand Terminal 2 to double the size. My guess if that happens, either the terminal will still be called Terminal 2, or they might be renamed to Terminal 2a and Terminal 2b. After expansion the terminal will be able to handle 50 million passengers a year. In comparisson, our current main terminal handles 6.8 million a year.


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One Membership – Multiple Gyms

Post by Mark

A friend of mine who lives in Dubai is signed up to this gym membership where she pays a set fee every month, and then has access to a number of gyms. She loves it because she gets to go to one gym for spinning, another for boxing, another for crossfit etc.. all with just one membership. Turns out we now have something similar in Kuwait called AllympiaPass.

AllympiaPass is a gym pass that gives you access to over 40 gyms in Kuwait. The way it works is simple (kinda), you sign up to one of their packages, then you launch the app and see what options you have available today or on a specific date. So you might be interested in pool access, or you might be interested in crossfit, you select what you want and you book it. That’s it. The app even allows you to filter between mixed classes or same sex classes and also by the area the gym is located in or by the kind of classes you’re interested in.

The only thing that makes the process a bit complicated is understanding how the membership plans work. Here are the packages available:

3 Passes / 14 Days
Visit any gym once
KD6

8 Passes / 30 Days
Visit any gym up to 3 times
KD28

12 Passes / 30 Days
Visit any gym up to 4 times
KD35

Unlimited Passes / 1 Month
Visit any gym up to 6 times
KD52

Unlimited Passes / 3 Months
Visit any gym up to 6 times
KD140

So, the complicated part here is with the wording of unlimited pass. Even though it’s called unlimited, it’s not really unlimited. The unlimited pass allows you to visit every one of the gyms they’ve partnered up with, but you can visit each gym up to 6 times only. For example, say you enjoy the crossfit classes at Flare Fitness, you can only visit them 6 times per month with their unlimited plan. This way you are forced to explore and visit multiple gyms which is the whole aim of the pass. At KD52 a month it’s actually not that bad of a deal.

If you’re interested in downloading the app and exploring it, here is the [Link]


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VOX Cinemas Now Open

Post by Mark

Over the weekend, VOX Cinemas officially opened its screens to the public. They’re now the fourth cinema chain operating in Kuwait and their first location is in the fourth phase of The Avenues. You can book tickets and get more information by clicking [Here]

Their THEATRE by Rhodes section with the reclining cinema chairs and waiters service is still coming soon. For a tour of the VOX cinema, check out my previous post [Here]


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