Movies Showing in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark


Screenshot from Glass

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

New This Weekend:
All the Devil’s Men (5.2)
Glass (8.1)
Ride (4.4)
The Amityville Murders (4.8)
The Upside (5.5)
Woman Walks Ahead (6.5)

Other Movies Showing Now:
Aquaman (8.2)
Bumblebee (7.2)
Creed II (8.0)
Green Book (8.3)
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (8.5)
Mary Poppins Returns (7.4)
Ralph Breaks the Internet (8.1)
Second Act (6.2)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (8.6)
The Mule (7.2)
The Super (6.0)

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

Amazon Adventure 3D (6.6)
Oceans: Our Blue Planet (7.4)
Planet Power 3D (N/A)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.


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Lotus Exige 380 Cup – 1 Year Later

Post by Mark

Since we’re on the subject of cars, exactly a year ago I picked up my 380 Cup from the dealership and since then I’ve done around 10,000KM on the car including four track days in Bahrain. Because Lotus isn’t very popular in Kuwait (or anywhere else really), I decided I’d do a writeup, a sort of a long term review of the car and the local dealership.

As some of you know I had another Lotus before this one. That one kept giving me random problems, but this Lotus has been pretty good so far. I’ve really only had two issues and both were minor:

– Front access panel would loosen up at high speed
– Hazard light button would get stuck sometimes

Both those issues were fixed easily under warranty. Speaking of which, my car’s warranty expires today since it’s just a 1-year warranty. This is the only Lotus I am aware of that has a 1-year warranty, I think the rest have 2 or 3 years but because mine is a special edition with only 60 built, it has just a 1-year. That really sucks but Lotus have the option to extend the warranty for another year for a fee. I’m currently waiting to hear from them how much that fee is, hopefully, it won’t be much.

I actually just got the car back from Bahrain this Sunday. I had kept the car in Bahrain for a bit more than 6 weeks so I could take part in open track days on the Bahrain International Circuit while saving money on having to keep shipping the car back and forth. I got three track days done and just brought back the car to Kuwait so I can get the oil changed and 10,000KM service done. My Lotus did not miss our horrible broken roads that’s for sure.

On the track, the car has been great. I pretty much drive it hard non-stop through the whole session and don’t run into any overheating issues or even brake pedal fade. After four track days, the brake pads are also still full and even the Michelin Cup 2 tires not that worn. Having a lightweight car definitely saves you a lot in consumables. On normal roads, day to day driving I find the car super fun to drive. My car is the European spec, not the GCC spec so it doesn’t have the secondary AC unit behind the seats which my previous Lotus had. I used to find that AC freezing cold 10 months out of the year and it was super annoying because you couldn’t turn off the secondary AC unit. With this Lotus, for 2 months of the year I drive it mostly at night, but then the rest of the year the AC is more than enough. I actually didn’t really face any major cooling issues during the summer, the AC cooled the car enough but I also always parked it in shaded parking. I’d imagine the car would take a long time to cool down if you parked it in the sun, but really I don’t miss the dual AC system of the GCC spec cars. If you’re wondering what the advantage of a Euro spec car is, basically because you have space behind the seats you can install a 4-way seat belt harness and bar. You can’t do that on GCC spec cars since that gap behind the seats is taken with the secondary AC unit.

Moneywise I haven’t really spent that much on the car. I paid around KD200 for the harness bar and 4-way seatbelt, I bought a new racing helmet and gloves, but that’s really it. Oh and I changed the oil back in December before sending the car to Bahrain and it cost me KD60 at the dealership. That isn’t too bad, double what I pay for my FJ, but also like a fifth of the cost of a Lamborghini oil change. So it’s reasonable in that sense. But I do have an issue with the dealer’s prices on parts. New brake pads at the dealer costs KD358, but the same OEM pads can be ordered online for KD100 and KD200 would get you some serious racing pads. I’m not to concerned about the price of the pads since I can just order them online when the time comes. But what I am concerned about is larger pieces like body panels. I’m worried if I crash on the race track how much the body panels and carbon fiber parts are going to cost and I’m too afraid to ask. I don’t think it’s the fault of the local dealer since the local dealer gets everything through Dubai. I think Lotus Dubai are the reason to blame on the high cost of parts.

Generally, though I’m really satisfied with Alghanim who are the local dealer’s. Everyone is just extremely friendly and helpful from the mechanics to the showroom manager up to the aftersales manager. I also love the fact that I’ve got the mechanics on Whatsapp and I just message them before I head over, it makes the service feel very personalized. My only gripes with the dealership are minor, the first being the fact I hate passing by the dealership and seeing dirty and dusty Lotuses parked outside. That cheapens the brand and there is no reason not to keep them nice and clean especially since they’re the test drive cars. The second issue I have is with their instagram account, it’s not very active, the stories they post are lame and their phones camera lens is always dirty. Again I feel it cheapens the brand. Not only that but whoever is running their instagram account doesn’t know their cars well and I’ve had to leave a comment more than once correcting them. Not only that but I setup an account for my car a few months ago (@380cup) and I get more likes and engagement than the dealers instagram account, so they’re clearly doing something wrong. I should probably work out some sort of deal with them where they hand over the account to me to manage in return I get like free service or something.

In the end, I’m really really happy with the car and I’m so glad I traded in my older Exige for this one. I still look back at the car after parking it and I still get excited every morning knowing I’ll be driving the Lotus to work. If you’re looking for a sports car you can track, I’d highly recommend the Lotus and the local Lotus dealership.


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Tesla is Coming to Kuwait! *UPDATED*

Post by Mark

Update: The information below turned out not to be true!

A friend just let me know that Al Bisher, the company that recently lost the Mercedes dealership has signed an agreement with Tesla to bring them to Kuwait. Tesla will be taking over the old Mercedes locations and garage which should make life easier on the Tesla customers who imported their cars to Kuwait.

The reason Tesla took so long to come to Kuwait is because of ownership rights. Tesla doesn’t franchise the brand but it seems they’ve worked out some sort of deal with Al Bisher that solves that. I’m curious to see if they’ll set up charging stations around the country. Exciting!

Note: Keep in mind the above information is just a rumor for now, I am still waiting for confirmation on the above from another source.

Thanks K


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Kuwait Motor Town’s First Open Track

Post by Mark

Looks like the Kuwait Motor Town race track is finally going to open after all the delays. The first open track is taking place next month on Friday, February 8th from 1PM to 5PM. Open Track is when the average joe can take their sports car to the track to race for fun.

I’m super excited that the track is finally opening, but the cost for participating in this first open track is KD150 which is super expensive. In comparison, an open track experience at the Bahrain International Circuit where I go is KD63 and an open track experience at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi is KD42.

I’m not sure if it’s KD150 because it’s the first open track being held at KMT and so they’re expecting a lot of people, or if this is going to be the price always. For now I’m going to play the waiting game and see how this first track day goes. But, if you’re interested in signing up for it then click [Here]

Photo on top by @81gram


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UNIQLO and Lululemon in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Yesterday I dropped by a new department store that opened up called The District that carries a number of brands including UNIQLO and Lululemon. I was curious to check out the UNIQLO items since I tend to stock up on their t-shirts and socks whenever I’m in LA.

Just to be clear, this isn’t an official UNIQLO store. I ran into the owner while I was browsing and had a chat with him and turns out they tried bringing the UNIQLO brand to Kuwait but UNIQLO weren’t interested (even Alshaya are having trouble trying to get the brand). So, what they decided to do was buy UNIQLO products at normal retail price, ship them to Kuwait and slap their markup onto the items. How much of a markup? Well here are the prices of a bunch of random items so you can compare:

Low Cut Socks
Online: KD1.2
Kuwait: KD2

Dry Pique Short Sleeve Polo Shirt
Online: KD6
Kuwait: KD17.5

Fleece Long-Sleeve Full-Zip Jacket
Online: KD6
Kuwait: KD24

Oxford Slim Fit Long Sleeve Shirt
Online: KD9
Kuwait: KD24

Women Ezy Jeans
Online: KD12
Kuwait: KD30

Sprz NY Basquiat Short Sleeve Graphic T-Shirt
Online: KD4.5
Kuwait: KD24

Ouch right? But here is why their prices are so expensive. Stores tend to buy items at wholesale prices, so for example, if an item retails for KD10, the actual cost of the item to the store is around KD4. The KD6 difference would cover the cost of shipping, customs, salaries, rent, and profit. In this case, The District is purchasing the items at full retail price of KD10, then slapping on the cost of shipping, customs, salaries, rent and their profit resulting in the prices you see above. I didn’t check the Lululemon prices but I’m assuming its the same.

If you want to check the place out yourself, The District is located in Bida’a [Google Maps] and they’re also on instagram @thedistrict_kuwait

Thanks Aisha!


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Deliveroo Launching Next Week!

Post by Mark

Download the app and get ready because Deliveroo is planning to soft launch in Kuwait next week. Deliveroo is the British equivalent to Carriage and they operate in over two hundred cities including Dubai. Behind the scenes, Deliveroo has been offering restaurants super competitive rates trying to woo them away from Carriage. I also heard that for the first 6 to 12 months, Deliveroo will be offering customers free delivery to get them to stop using Carriage as well.

Carriage has already started fighting back, they launched their unlimited free deliveries service last week and probably have a few more tricks up their sleeve.


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Chuck E Cheese Coming to Kuwait

Post by Mark

CEC Entertainment, Inc has signed development agreements with franchisees for 25 new Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants across Mexico, Egypt, Kuwait, El Salvador and Bahrain, a news release said.

The company has been actively growing its international franchise footprint and currently operates 65 Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants across 13 countries and territories outside the U.S., with the biggest concentration in Mexico and Saudi Arabia. [Source]

If you grew up in Kuwait during the 80s you’ll remember a place called Showbiz Pizza Place. In the US, Showbiz were actually direct competitors to Chuck E Cheese which was created by the Atari founder back in 1977. Chuck E Cheese went bankrupt in the early 80s and got purchased by ShowBiz Pizza Place. ShowBiz then went bankrupt themselves back in 1992 but Chuck E Cheese is still around somehow. I’ve only been to Chuck E Cheese once as a kid back in 1988 when I was in LA and all I remember is how similar it was to Showbiz. Back then it was full of arcade games and they even had an animatronic band like Showbiz. It was a lot of fun but not sure how relevant Chuck E Cheese is today…


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Oak and Smoke

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I finally got to pass by Oak and Smoke and try the place out. Previously they only had delivery, but last month they opened up a new location in Shuwaikh and I’ve been meaning to pass by ever since.

For those of you that have been to the original RAW sushi place in industrial Shuwaikh, you’ll recognize the Oak and Smoke location since they took over the old RAW. BUT, they also took over the whole basement and that’s where the main restaurant is located. Getting down there is an experience which I think adds a lot to the place. The entrance to Oak and Smoke is through an alleyway which was softly lit with a red glow. Once we walked into the alleyway we started following a guy until we got into a large industrial elevator. With a press of a button we started going down and it felt like we were about to enter a club. The fact they were able to turn a simple thing as entering the restaurant into a very instagrammable moment is super smart and something a lot of their customers will share. After the short ride down the lift we walked into the restaurant which I think looks amazing. The ceiling had vintage metal ceiling tiles, the walls looked aged, there were two fake backlit windows and also beautiful chandeliers. I think it’s one of the coolest looking spots in Kuwait.

Oak and Smoke’s menu is pretty small with six starters and two mains. We ordered Tri-Tip for starters which is composed of thinly sliced beef and arugula over a horseradish cream, as well as some Vietnamese hot wings and then beef ribs and brisket for our mains. I didn’t have the wings but the Tri-Tip was good and kept us patient until our main dishes arrived. I’ll make this quick, just go there and order the ribs. Seriously, maybe with some soda but you’ll be more than satisfied with just ribs. It was just too good, super juicy and flaked off the bone so easily. We were 5 and we downed nearly 3KG of ribs in just a few minutes, and that was right after going through three orders of brisket!

The only thing I’d avoid at Oak and Smoke is their dessert which was a dish that combined of what looked like canned fruit served over white cream. They’d have a better dessert if they just served a jar of Nutella with a spoon. Other than the dessert there really isn’t anything to complain about. Pricewise, we were five people and ended up paying around KD18 each but that included 4 orders of brisket, 2.7KG of ribs, 2 plates of hot wings, 2 plates of tri-tip, fries, dessert, and drinks. If you’re looking for a new restaurant to try out I’d highly recommend experiencing Oak and Smoke. They take reservations so better call ahead just to be safe. They’re on instagram @oakandsmoke and you’ll find their number and link to their location there.


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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

Zahed Sultan’s re_use exhibit opens up today at the Scientific Center with a special performance live in IMAX. Other than that, the rest of this weekends events are all on Saturday including Feed Market which takes place at the Zoo and Revive Sawaber event happening at Sawaber in the City. Check out the full list of events for this weekend below:

Thursday
Exhibition: Abstraction by Farouk Hosny
re_use / IMAX (Live)

Friday
Friday Run

Saturday
Feed Market
Guided Tour: Grand Mosque
Revive Sawaber
Shinsawi: OUTDOOR volleyball
Book Club: Lord of The Flies by William Golding
Movies at the Park: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

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


Screenshot from Green Book

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

New This Weekend:
Black ’47 (6.9)
Green Book (8.3)
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (8.5)
Mia and the White Lion (6.9)
The Mule (7.2)
The Super (6.0)
Zoe (6.1)

Other Movies Showing Now:
Aquaman (8.2)
Backtrace (3.7)
Bumblebee (7.2)
Cold Skin (6.0)
Creed II (8.0)
Mary Poppins Returns (7.4)
Prospect (7.0)
Ralph Breaks the Internet (8.1)
Second Act (6.2)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (8.6)
The Grinch (6.1)
The Sisters Brothers (7.1)

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

Amazon Adventure 3D (6.6)
Oceans: Our Blue Planet (7.4)
Planet Power 3D (N/A)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.


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