It took so long but it was worth the wait, the only real luxury hotel has opened in Kuwait at last. We have been talking about it, seeing it, and even saw when they first branded it Jumeirah everyone was excited. For once we will have a hotel which is at the level of a Luxury 5 Star Resort from Dubai based on the management and the quality of a hotel that had no expenses spared to build it. Kuwait only has some decent 4 star resorts such as Movenpick & Hilton Manguf, or business Hotels such as Four Points Sheraton, Holiday Inn Downtown, Courtyard Marriott. But none of these hotels are even close to what a five star hotel should be, and the Sheraton & JW Marriot should be demolished and completely rebuilt, they are just too old. Walking into this hotel you know that they really worked on it and are doing everything they can to bring a world class 5 star resort with the management and this amazing property. I was amazed when I walked in, its the soft opening and anyone can go to it, its officially supposed to open in October.
We went their for breakfast early Friday morning and we were surprised to see so many people at the hotel. It was an impressive entrance and even more impressive when you walk out to the pool area, it is seriously beautiful, you forgot that you are in Kuwait, you really feel like you are transported to a resort with everything you want at your finger tips. The pools looked so good that I really wanted to jump in, especially the pool close the seaside, they even made a beautiful cove for people swimming at the hotel so you don’t get the rough seas, too bad the water is still not clean enough to swim in but thats beside the point. They even have an amazing ramp to take boats and jet skis down but I’m not sure if that is available for guest use but I would hope they would let you.
They opened up 8 restaurants and varying cuisines which I am very much interested to try. We had breakfast at Garden Cafe, the presentation was nice and the breakfast was good, but the other restaurants like Pepper and Olio seem to be the highend restaurants, Pepper is open now which I hope to try soon and Olio will open in a month and I want to try it. The Tea Lounge is totally for women, that place is so posh and proper with biscuits and teas of every kind, I can see who this place is targeting.
There are 400+ Rooms and several Chalets for guests, but right now they have only made available 100 Rooms and the Chalets. There 3 Bedroom, 4 Bedroom, and a 5 Bedroom Chalet starting at 500 KD a night which have already been booked for three weeks out. And most of the guests that I saw staying there are Kuwaitis to my surprise. Of course prices aren’t completely set yet and of course it depends what day and when they are in demand, but the Chalets looked very nice, and they have their own private entrances. We didn’t have a chance to check out the rooms but if the quality of the what we saw says anything I’m assuming its going to be just as good, but with varying tastes. I know where I will be sending guests when they come from out of Kuwait, and I might even try the place when I have a chance to stay there, it would be interesting.
Now for the part that surprised us was the Ball room, its huge with a separate entrance for the guests. They really thought about the ball room, it can be separated into three different parts or used as a whole. Its seriously huge and the go to location for weddings be it male or female is currently Al Rayah Ball Room in Kuwait City, I know for a fact that women are going to go nuts when they see the size of this place, I would assume that its going to get booked up very soon with a lot of weddings. It also has a lot to do with the catering and I know for sure they are working on it and they currently have a huge line up of cuisines so it will be interesting to see how soon people can book for weddings.
If you haven’t been to Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel then you really need to check it out, it is above and beyond all expectations. I was surprised by what I saw and very happy, and I think most everyone has. The contact details are below.
Phone: +965 2226 9600
Lamborghini is celebrating its 50th anniversary in style, and that includes a gathering of 350 ‘raging bull’ branded cars, which would take the tour starting from Milan up until Bologna, the end-point being the headquarters of Lamborghini! You know what, not all Lamborghinis were welcomed to join its 50th Anniversary Grand Tour. The brand had allowed only the modern and vintage model entry, that too with a valid license plate.
Thanks to the filtering, the fleet of supercars from the brand has been an interesting mix: 350 GTs, 400 GTs, Miuras, Espadas, Jaramas, Urracos, Countaches, LM 002, Diablos and Murcielagos. The five-day long tour from May 7 to May 11 would pass through breathtaking landscapes of Lombardia, Toscana, Lazio, Umbria and Emilia Romagna, stopping over in Forte Dei Marmi, Grosseto, Roma, San Giustino Valdarno and Bologna, where they will arrive on May 10.
So many beautiful machines in this event, out of the 350 beautiful Italian machines participating there are a few that are participating from Kuwait. How much better could it get to have a high speed escort across Italy being led by a Lamborghini Police Car. I spot four cars from Kuwait in the video, three together in the middle of the video and one orange one towards the 3/4′s of the video. So many beautiful colors, and some of the machines are a bit over the top but still fun, loved the sound of the exhausts in the video.
As I expected, since iPhone 5′s have gotten on the 4G network and now other Android phones it seems that its taking a toll on the data bandwidth available. The first tests were insanely fast but now these days there is a bit of a lag and the ping isn’t as fast, its 4G and you get between 10 MB to 15 MB, not the 40+ MB that we were expecting and were excited about. Overall I think that Zain has done a decent job handling the large influx of people, people will pay for service and overall the service is consistent for our use and its portable which is the important part, they are increasing coverage all over Kuwait. After getting the coverage I want them to bring back the bandwidth to what it used to be, but honestly I think its a solid product and I enjoy using it.
Recently there have been some changes in Kuwait’s Visa process and they want to clamp down on the number of Expats in the country. I don’t think thats a good policy since most of the Expats are here because of a need, most government jobs are completed by Expats and in most private companies the Expats range from 60% to 99%, its just the truth of the matter and there is no going around it.
There is a reason that is the case, a majority of Kuwaitis want a high paying job and very little amount of work. I have met some amazing people in the private sector and entrepreneurs, but these people are not even 3% of the Kuwaiti population, the majority are in government the ones with brains face obstacles and the ones that don’t want to work are happy not going to work and getting a pay check.
Now they want to get rid of the expats so they are applying any law they see fit and they want to get to the Visa Traders (Tijaar Iqaamaat). After all these years this is what they want to do to solve the Visa trading business. You can’t report them, you can do anything with them, and the victims who are the people trying to work end up getting deported when nothing happens to the Visa Traders.
As of this week they have started picking up random expats from around Kuwait City and taking them to Jail if they have Visa Type 20 which is the house staff Visa. With the new Wakeel in the Ministry of Interior he wants to prove that he is the big man in town and so he picked on the weakest in this aspect. They take the Expat to jail and if nobody trys looking for him then they deport them within two weeks, and they contact the sponsor to pay for the ticket.
So instead of putting the Visa traders in jail and giving these guys an opportunity to make a living, they deporting the expats no matter what the circumstance is. Also be careful during this period regarding the traffic laws, it seems he wants to apply those as well, any major traffic violation and it will result in a deportation. Right now I think that these rules are basically bonkers, and extremely unfair.
In the 60s,70s, and even the 80s, the books that were produced by the Ministry of Education were used all over the Gulf by many GCC countries and a few Arab countries. As with many things they were great in the past, but now its not even a shadow of its former self.
Recently I heard of an incident with the Ministry of Education and a few of the private schools. Any private school has to submit the book it uses for approval by the MoE, which makes sense, if things were perfect. Some books get banned and some get approved, and during one visit to the private school to check on the books one of the teachers asked why a book was banned, she said because it has nudity, and the teacher was confused as it doesn’t. Then the government employee said her colleague watch the movie and it had nudity so the book was banned, but then the teacher replied the book is different. Then the employee replies that the movie has nudity so the book was banned. The concept that the book and the movie were different was not being comprehended.
So now the ministry basis the book approvals through movies viewings, I wonder what they do when there isn’t a movie. And now The Great Gatsby is going to be released soon with Leonardo DiCaprio and you know there will probably be a few frisky scenes, and if its the same process then they will probably ban that book too.
Finally Drifting is becoming an event in Kuwait, thanks to the guys of the Kuwait Quarter Mile Club & Drift 965. There event is held just off the 7th ring road, and it isn’t too far honestly in a flat location which is perfect for tire burning drifting.
The first event I went to was about two weeks ago, and I took my Caddy to test out my drifting skills, which in this case was a definite zero. I tried my luck and probably did a 4/10 but the tire burning the I did was about 10/10. I have always admired drifting as a sport because it is a fine line between control and chaos and some of these guys knew how to walk that fine line. Every week the event keeps improving, they organize better and there are more facilities, and more people show up. Honestly you can tell that these guys love what they are doing and putting a huge effort to make it happen.
There are some pretty good drivers out there and I think these guys are trying to give people a chance at drifting, and slowly keep on improving it. There are a few professionals there, and some guys compete regionally, but I think there are a lot more ameatures learning (like myself) which is pretty good, giving people an oppurtunity to learn and have a lot of fun. I managed to get a few good drifts in but my skills arent at the level that it is in my head (Insert Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift Music). But still it was a lot of fun and you have any interest in drifting or motorsports you should check them out on Saturday from 1-5, it might change to night drift within the coming month, and that will be interesting to see.
Be sure to follow them on their instagram account below!
A lot of accidents happen in Kuwait, and there are a lot of angry people on the road, that I see everything morning, angry men and women honking nonstop. There isn’t a lot of common courtesy these days which is disappointing, but at the same time I never give up hope or be courteous to people who do signal. It annoys me when I signal and have to get to an exit and people drive fast to block me so I don’t get in front of them, this happens a lot and most of the time I let people through. I for one do have road rage issues and I do get pissed on the road a lot but I try not to do anything wrong to someone while driving intentionally or unintentionally. But the people who drive me mad are the people who slow down to look at any accident or small bumper to bumper when thankfully nothing is wrong with the people.
In this case this shows me that people do have the will to help others, on the Airport Road (50) I just got off from the 6th ring road and 360 Mall was on my right. As I was getting to the exit for the fifth ring road under south surra bridge we suddenly see a lot of smoke and a big bang and everyone starts braking. Then I see a white car in the air about 100 meters in front of me to the right. I was all the way on the left and as I got closer it was a white 4 door Hilux flipped over and people ran to it, the weight of the car was on the people inside and they couldn’t get them out. So within minutes there were at least 10 men, they tried to push it and within seconds they become 20, they pushed the car and more people joined and they flipped it over and started to pull people out of the wreckage. I called 112 and stayed on the line and told them they needed an ambulance as fast as possible. When the police arrived, I left and that was all that could be done and inshalla the men inside that car survived. What gave me hope is to see so many people want to help those men, and put themselves in harms way to move that car because they couldn’t get them out, and every person from every nationality. I do believe in the inherent nature of humans to be good and seeing this only makes me believe it more, it still annoyed me that people were slowing down just to see but those who stopped did help.
I just renewed my passport last year and I still had a valid US Visa for a few more years but my Schengen ran out, and my UK Visa ran out with my passport. The UK visa was straight forward, I submit the required documents and since I scanned the finger prints five years ago I don’t need to do it again.
I’m traveling and going through Germany so I submitted to get the Visa from the German Embassy with my original bookings at the time. I went to Al Qabas Visa processing in Sanabil Tower or Al Babtain Tower as it used to be remembered. Went through the process, it was smooth, they asked for my insurance, and the preliminary bookings. It was several weeks before my travel date which worked out fine.
I get notified after a week that my Schengen Visa was refused because I didn’t have a confirmed hotel booking and for 10 days I don’t have a hotel booking in Germany. I mentioned that Germany was not my end destination and they didn’t even pay attention to that. I was confused and pissed, there is even a stamp on my passport stating that my passport was reject by the German Embassy, on a new passport so that pissed me off.
I go back to them this time with the bookings stating that Germany is not my final destination, and the visa for the final destination is attached from when I originally submitted and if there were questions why didn’t anyone ask me, my cell phone number is on the form. The person at the counter didn’t type that up so they thought I was going to stay in Germany for 10 days without a hotel booking. Great, back to square one but this time instead of 5 days it took 3 days, and I got it after the weekend.
The surprising part was the Visa, the validity of it starts at the date of travel not when it is issued, usually the validity starts when the Visa is issued. And I only got 4 months when my previous one was three years, something is odd, but I will take it for now since I’m traveling soon. Still it was very odd that they are doing this and its not like I have had multiple Schengens before. so its surprising that they gave me such a short Visa validity. It seems they are getting more Anal or they want people to pay more for the Visas, I’m not sure what changed but its very annoying.
I always look forward to the Car Show in 360 Mall, I have participated in all of them and spending most the weekend there is pretty entertaining. It also helps that Open Flame Kitchen is right there, so we had lunch and dinner there pretty much every day, and breakfast and Laduree which is really good. This time around the guys were even more organized then before, cars were put in efficiently, and it was quickly done, then they started setting up the lights and all the other stands to get things going for the Car Show.
What I love about it is the unique machines that are placed there and the number amazing machines. The funny part is that there are about 20 more machines that aren’t placed there because there isn’t enough space but I still liked the selection. I do love seeing those KTM XBows they look like they came out Batman’s cave, very cool looking machines. I picked up a few GR hoodies this year since they were flying off the racks, and got all my GR ID’s and gear. I’m curious to see how the McLaren MP4-12C & Italia 458 do on the track since they are known as track machines. But there are also a lot of heavily modified Japanese Machines so we shall see how that goes. Also one of the best part of the car show is seeing the reaction of the kids, some of them really thought the XBow as the Batmobile, and they either like specific brands or they love specific colors. The Black Nissan GTR with the Red rims attracted a lot of people and especially kids.
The beast that was parked on its own requires to be mentioned, an Underground Racing LP1500-4, heavily modified suspension and brakes, this is far from a normal machine and it even sounds scary when you start it up. This is the first time I have seen a Gallardo with a roll cage built into it, you can’t tell by looking at it, only when you open it up. It is an excellent piece of machinery.
The best part now to GulfRun is coming up, Bahrain International Circuit from the 24th until the 25th of January. Lets just hope all the machines make it there, its going to be quite a scene to see all these machines on track. Usually I take it easy when I start but that isn’t always the case, but lets hope I get some good timings on the track.
Any art work from the 80s anime show will surely get my blood pumping, and that is exactly what Mosntariam has done. They went ahead with some cool retro Voltron work and it looks amazing. I checked out the other items they had some of them are pretty cool, I got the Jungar piece as a gift so I was always looking for something cool. Then I saw the Voltron pieces and ordered them all, it was insanely cool to get them.
I asked for all colors of the print including the one with all of them combined. This was delivered in Kuwait in some very cool packaging, I liked what they did and then they delivered it to my office in a few days after I ordered the prints. Now all I need is the wall space to place all this amazing work, there are too many things hanging on the wall at the moment, I need more office space.
You can check out there store at the link below: