Subway is usually my choice for a quick sandwich which isn’t too heavy and keeps me somewhat satisfied. Recently I have had a few of the Chicken & Turkey sandwiches which tasted slightly strange, it tasted like fish. Then again it tasted “fishy” again, and I put the sandwich down and didn’t continue it. It was a disappointment in my case, there was no food poisoning or matter like this but the taste really threw me off. I haven’t had Subway in 5 days which is unheard of for me since I usually have a 6-inch sub almost every day at the office but at this stage that will be coming to a stop since I could really smell fish on the chicken.
Over the last couple of years Kuwait has been an area of people unrest because of social issues, so now this year they have diverted people’s attention to foreigners. That they are the cause of many of the issues, and the masses believe anything at this point which is very sad.
Foreigners have been in Kuwait as a country since we declared our independence in 1961 and before that, but now after so long they are trying to make it even more difficult for foreigners to live in this country. There is a large part of foreigners who want to work in Kuwait and make money to send it home, but there are many more who want to live in Kuwait and make it their home. We are making it more intolerable for everyone who is trying to make a living here.
Out of all the foreigners that I work with and that I know many of them have grown up here and only know Kuwait, and they honestly love Kuwait. They have been here since they were kids and can’t picture themselves living anywhere else. People who are investors in this country who have made their wealth in this country who have been here for most of their lives, and now their kids have grown up but at 18 years old they can’t get a license since they are foreigners, even though they have been living here all of their lives.
Foreigners in Kuwait are now feeling that they might not have any future here, that they have to find a place for their children, they will work here until they can’t. Instead of trying to convince them to invest in our country and to keep their money in the country they are sending it out as fast as possible, their lives are getting tougher and the public servants are getting ruder, and I didn’t think that was possible. I hope things get better soon because over the last 9 months things went from bad to worse in the Ministry of Social Affairs and other government entities as well.
There has been a package for GCC Data Roaming since the beginning of the year by Zain. Sometimes it works with the carrier and sometimes it doesn’t, but I would say that it works 70% of the time which is pretty good. 150MB for 7 KD across the GCC which I thought was perfect, honestly you don’t use too much and it doesn’t cost as much as a car if you use too much data, I remember some bills going over a 1000 KWD because of mistakes with billing which are insane. So these packages for data roaming are reasonable if you didn’t purchase a local land line.
To my surprise when I went to London they also had a 7KD package but it was for 100 MB on Vodafone, honestly that wasn’t too bad. I was pleasantly surprised about it. I switched on my data roaming and within minutes it was working on Vodafone’s network in London, truth be told Vodafone’s network isn’t too great but no one really is in London. But it was just enough data to get WhatsApp working as well as a few emails through as needed, it does the job and I’m happy they are making these deals with other telecom companies, at least now Zain is taking advantage of their size and influence and working out deals with other telecom companies to benefit the customer. I’m not sure if that package works for all of Europe or not, but those people traveling during Eid will know when they get there.
I got my hands on the Fasttelco Aloo service a few weeks back now and its turned out to be much better then expected. The Aloo service is an ISDN service based in Kuwait from Fasttelco, you can have a local land line number attached as SIP line to any SIP capable App like Media 5, Bria, or Zoiper. The local lines start with 2220XXXX, these are the regular lines. It works great across 4G & 3G while driving, didn’t disconnect at all.
You get different different choices of lines:
This is a one time payment for those lines above, then its 60 KWD a year for the service. The yearly service rate is a reasonable rate compared to what you can do with the line. I purchased a Gold Line for a number that is easy to dial and remember. I plugged the line directly into the Android internet calling, it would ask if the call is through the internet or through the phone line, when I choose internet it uses my FT Aloo line which works perfectly. We tried it on two phones but only one could be used.
The best use of this phone is when you travel, it doesn’t matter what line you have on your phone as long as you have data. So when I’m abroad I can divert my Kuwaiti line to the FT Aloo line and it will ring where ever I am as long as I have data in the country that I am in. One point though, even if it doesn’t connect the line will still ring and miss you service from Zain won’t show the line that called you because it was diverted. Still the ability to use this line abroad is fantastic and well worth it.
I always like to grill steaks, burgers, hot dogs, and all other kinds of meats, its something that I love doing and especially since a few specialty places opened up in Kuwait. Grilling is an art form, and I know everyone loves ordering their meat well done but thats so wrong, you don’t get the taste of the steak or burger, and sometimes in Kuwait they burn it so it drives me nuts. So I prefer to cook my own when I can, and if I can’t then I go to either OFK or Meat Co because they are the only ones that get it right every time. But if your like me and want to grill at home, then these are your choices for meat supplier, each one has their own taste and some are better then the other but I can’t just can’t get enough of the grill so I will always keep trying to grill whenever I can.
Specialty Places (Ranked Top To Bottom):
There is not real taxi monitoring service in Kuwait. Like the RTA in Dubai, every taxi driver fears the RTA, they have a lot of power on each individual taxi or the company as a whole. In Kuwait its only the police and no real monitoring from other authorities. For the past several months Abdelfatah has been taking licenses away from expats and blaming expats for the traffic when in reality it is the government employees who are causing 90% of the traffic. Their solutions never tackle the root of the problem because they don’t want to knock on the road doors, they want to make it seem like they are taking action in the public’s eye.
Now lets tackle the Taxis in Kuwait, most of them run without their meters, and they carry multiple passengers over many stops without a questions. When in reality it should be from point A to point B with the meter running. They make up values and charges as they see fit. There are a lot of Taxis in Kuwait and there is a need for them, but a bit too many from what I have seen.
A majority of the Taxi companies in Kuwait are owned by people working the Ministry of Interior, colleagues of Abdelfatah, that is why they get their way and some of these taxis don’t give a crap the way they drive, they say their boss is a policeman whenever they get into an accident. Most of these Taxi companies have a limit of 30 permits per company, that is the rule that seems to be in place, but in reality they are upwards of 100 taxis, and a few are at 200 taxis. There is a need in Kuwait for proper transportation management, but abuse of this kind seems to be coming from the employees of the Ministry of Interior. If people are complaining about traffic, then this is the beginning of the problem, more Taxis then they are permitted to have, and taxi services are not being supervised or regulated by the right authority to keep the service level up.
I’m all for applying the laws on the books, but you have trouble with that when a large percentage (more then 10%) of the police are illiterate and barely have any knowledge of the law. Then they abuse the power they have against expats because Abdelfatah wants results. But it doesn’t seem like anyone is tackling the Taxis which is one of the main problems at hand.
The first day is always a tough day, waking up early in the morning and heading into work like normal. It was 54 Degrees today, made it hard to hold onto the steering wheel. This is going to be another tough month, but as usual the streets were empty in the morning but lots of traffic at 4pm. Hopefully everyone has a good Ramadan this year, I’m keeping it simple this year. Going to work and going to the gym, that is the goal for this month, I want to be consistent with it.
Recently we needed a few items for the office so we decided to pick it up from Abyat. We were fixing up the waiting room so it need a carpet, a few tables, and some print work they had available.
It’s simple there with everything available to you in all the different sections, we even picked up some lights from there to replace the old ceiling lights we had.
Some items were to be sent out for delivery, and the next day there was a mistake they sent the wrong color carpet but everything else was fine.
So we didn’t sign the delivery note, and the whole order wasn’t that large but the man took it back and they sorted it out the next day with the right items. But throughout that time the Customer Service called us, the Warehouse Manager called, and the person in charge of the section called. They really followed up which is excellent on their end to my surprise, and this was sorted and done without us even bothering to call them, and it was just one item so it wasn’t a hassle to sort it out in our case, but they made a fuss about it and got it done. It’s rare to see service such as this in Kuwait and I was impressed.
20 Years back nobody had a clue what Anime was in the Middle East, nobody even knew the amount of old school gold KTV 2 was getting their hands on. Finding anime was like a game of hide and seek, you really had to look around a video store to find it, and my first exposure to it was in the early 90s at the video club in Salmiya Mariam Center. Now its mainstream and I still love it, there are a lot of great Animes out there to find. With these shows I get hooked on I look for these collectibles, and I use different suppliers from the US, UK, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Always finding unique items or items with crazy details that I love, I have about 60% of what I buy on the shelves with the other 40% in the largest storage room because I have no where to put them. Previously you have really search through Rihab to find any good items in Kuwait, and sometimes they are cheaper then the US & Ebay, but thanks to Instagram that has changed.
There are a few excellent suppliers who bring a consistent number of models and collectibles and what I love is that these guys really do love what they do. One of them is Q8 Figures, I try to buy from local suppliers as much as I can, if the difference isn’t that much I go for them, and sometimes they are honestly cheaper. You have to appreciate someone who loves his craft and Mohammed from Q8 Figures is one of those guys, he gets unique items I can’t even find on Ebay easily, they pop up every once in a while but I do always find them.
Over the past year and a half I have bought a few unique items from Q8 Figures, and just this week I picked up the Gurren Lagann, Mazinkizer SKL, and Berserk Guts (This was hard to find). I literally made space for them on the shelves, they are amazing pieces and worth waiting for them, and he keeps me checking his Instagram for more unique items. He also has a website with his current stock but to really know what he has you have to check out his Instagram account.
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