Waleed Bin Talal & His Entourage

Saudi princes do travel with very large entourages and I always think that Waleed Bin Talal is a bit on the more sensible side. It seems being at the top of the business ladder in the middle east he needs quite of people to keep his affairs in order.

The rich have their way of living and in order to look so prim and proper at all times, anywhere they are found, requires utmost maintenance. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud is no exception and has announced, as means of proof against some harsh accusations, his 26-member entourage. And they are – a private physician, assistant manager of his palaces, private assistant, executive assistant, personal affairs manager, two personal affairs assistants, manager of protocol department, manager travel and external affairs, assistant manager telecommunications, private affairs for the Princess, her beautician, athletic trainer, two private security details, assistant head of the Audio Visual Department, the Prince’s personal hairdresser and two guys listed as “companions”.

Link: LuxuryLaunches

Kuwait Won The Gulf Cup 2010!

KuwaitFootball

Kuwait has won the Gulf Cup against some tough odds, our guys played well and beat out the competition. I don’t I have been this excited watching football in a long time. Our guys held out against the Saudis who were playing pretty roughly but the game was a really good game, both teams had some good shots but at the end it was a clear goal by Walid Ali to score 1-0 in the first half of extra time. When the whistle was blown I think Kuwait went into hysteria, we went out into the streets and everyone was honking, waving flags, dancing, clapping, and all kinds of fun. It just felt so good that we had something to be proud of at last, we haven’t had good news such as this in a long time that Kuwaitis just want to be happy and having fun. I don’t think there is a country in the Middle East that could have gone as crazy as we did last night, every highway, to every road, to every house was packed and celebrating insanely! Congratulations to the players who made us a very happy country! We are tired of the politics, of the constant problems, the stagnant country, and just all these stupid issues. These players have managed to unite a country in a sea of joy and we will welcome them back with open arms, thank you!

Dhana – 5Days/4Nights

Three weeks of planning, 30 Kilograms of meat, 7 kilograms of chicken, 8 boxes of water, 4 boxes of soda, 1 Landcruiser, 2 FJ Cruisers, and 7 guys. That is what it took to make an adventure of a lifetime. The perfect group of people to take a nomad trip to the most beautiful desert in Saudi, sleeping outside in the night sky is amazing, the sky is so clear you don’t need lights at night, the moon lights up the whole area its fantastic. You feel your chest clearing up from all the fresh air coming in, no telephone signal in the areas we were in. First night we came in and found our main camp site, and for each night we had a different camp site going in deeper and deeper into the desert. We had the Garmin 276c with the updated Saudi Desert maps, so we can coordinate our locations, walkie talkies are a must for these trips, and all the fighting takes place across the radio waves.

Took us about 5-6 hours to get to the first camp site, we started the fire to get some tea going, the smartest thing we did was have dinner before heading out to Saudi. You need a certain list of equipment for the cars, cooking, sleeping, precautions, and emergencies. I had an Iridium Satellite phone which was only to be used during emergencies, it looked like something out of 24 to call those bomber planes in the air. Then there was the air pump, jump start cables, battery charge unit, and tow cables. The tow cables I got were rated at 30’000 lbs with huge hooks at the end, they look menacing and we had to use it once because of an incident but I won’t mention that. Then there was a case that I was facing a flat tire in the rear tire, but we kept pumping up the tire and it would last the whole day so I decided not to change the tire, but when we got to Kuwait I found that the tire had two screws and one piece of would in it, those Yokomahas are tough tires, not the best but they did a fantastic job.

There were stretches of sand that we were flying over 100 kph per hour as if we are in a Dakar Rally, it was insane and my blood was pumping to an extreme point, it feels like you are floating on clouds when you are going over the soft sand. Then there was the amazing white and black camels all around, so many different kinds in all the dunes area, these camels didn’t care about us what so ever. These are some majestic dunes, they are at least 7 to 10 stories tall with dune up dune, with deep basin’s inside of them, even with pictures they don’t do reality justice, and the sand is so clean and orange, its amazing. There was even some dunes at about 20 stories high but I would have probably flipped the car backwards trying to climb it.

We had a three part day, morning for breakfast then we had out, then we find another location for afternoon break, then we head out in search for another location to find the best sleeping place. There was one point where we picked a location which was slightly slanted, and in the morning I woke up with one guy’s knee in my back and the other guy’s foot in my chest, luckily everyone was in a sleeping back. The most amazing thing was seeing the clear sky it was beautiful, you can see all the stars, you can see clearly until the horizon, it was a sight to wake up to in the morning as well. We got some rain the first night, it was a continuous light drizzle but the fire lit up and we slept perfectly fine, a little water didn’t hurt. The best part of the afternoon and evening stops was playing Risk, we played strategically making our alliances, and playing unexpectedly, I was more a Kamikaze during that game then trying to win, my goals were offense oriented, I tried killing off certain people with nothing else in mind. People were shouting, treaties were made, and troops were decimated, it was fantastic and the best time to play that board game.

The best part about it is how hungry we got, or pretty much how hungry I got and at night I would devour the food. Some of us would pass out right after, and I woke up few times at night, and I would feel some ice on top of my sleeping back but my morning it would all be gone. Some nights it got really cold but overall the weather was fantastic and I loved every moment. This was probably one of the funnest trips I had in a long time, I want to do it again, and I have a few ideas in mind for the next trip.


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Q8BBQ in Desert Outing

Grilling on the go is the only definition of cooking in the desert, coal is your best friend and we had a lot of meat to cook. One of the surprises was one of our friends brought with him some prepacked Lambchops and Chicken Tikka from Q8BBQ. The meat were all marinated and placed in the ice box, rosemary garlic lamb chops and chicken tikka. The lamb chops tasted amazing, they were juicy and perfect, the chicken tikka was probably the best I have had in a while.

This is after we had a few hours of driving and got really hungry, cooking was simple when it came to the grill. We use the duwah as the base, burn the coal on it to prepare the coal, and start grilling on it. That day one of the guys when high up top one of the dunes to get some phone signal but it was nearly impossible to get any signal, the picture with the sand dunes and a small black dot is the guy sitting up top. Then there were the people who were hungry and sitting directly in front of the grill. After that we clean up, pack up, and keep driving around the dunes enjoying the sand.

Link: Q8BBQ
Contact Number: 99978227


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Back From The Desert

Back from an adventure for new years, we have been planning this trip for some time and I got back Sunday after having so much fun in the desert. We drove over 6 hours to get there, and almost 1400 Kms of driving in total over a four day period from Kuwait and back. This adventure was nothing short of a Toyota advertisement with two FJ Cruisers and one Landcruiser, the way we were driving was probably the best advertisement Toyota could get. With 300+ photos of the whole trip I will be posting a lot up later but for now this is just a few pics for now. We moved every few hours, right after breakfast we would find another location in the dunes of Dhana, a nomad style of camping which was organized and everyone had their task at every point.


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One Meeting and Back

Something came up and we had to go to Bahrain for a meeting, checked on the flights and there wasn’t anything that fit our schedule so we decided to leave early in the morning. Took off to the border heading to Bahrain, the Khafji border didn’t take us 20 minutes and stereotypes are very true, we had nothing in the car and we wore dishdashas so at the border they stamped things quickly and at the Saudi Customs check they didn’t bother they just stamped and we went right through. We were on our way straight to Bahrain, we were discussing work, movies, and a ton of other things on the way there.

We go to Saudi/Bahrain border in under three hours which is pretty damn good but I also had a high average speed. This was pretty much a test for the Landcruiser crossing all the way to Bahrain, I wanted to see how the car handles and what it feels like. All I can say is that Toyota has created perfection with this machine, the drive was extremely smooth at speeds over 180kph, the brakes were fantastic and even with the heat we didn’t feel anything thanks to the excellent air conditioning and Huper Optik tint, the seats were very comfortable, great sound system, and the little fridge in the middle was very useful. We both had a spare dishdasha and chemaq ready for our meeting when we get there, it was that simple.

45 minutes from the border the gentlemen called us and delayed our meeting which worked to our benefit, called one of my friends and he gave me the address to Meat Co in Bahrain and we got to it, its in an Area called Aadliyah but they really changed it and it looks very nice. So many nice restaurants, I remember coming here back in November for GulfRun and it was all asphalt but now they made it even nicer with all the nice restaurants. Crossing the border in Bahrain took us about 45 minutes because of the traffic but we got in and had our lunch, we even had 45 minutes to spare which was perfect, we went into the meeting energized and ready. That went decently well to start with, but we need to have a few more meetings before we get into the project. We were done around 3:45 pm and we had some tea at a coffee shop and then headed to the border, we got there around 4:00 pm.

We got stuck at the Saudi/Bahrain Border for 1 hour and 36 minutes, I think snails were passing while we were stuck in that traffic and it wasn’t even a weekend. I was going nuts waiting, and we were getting tired from the wait, thats half the trip to Kuwait and I was hoping to be on the while there was sun light. We took off at around 5:40 pm, we just stopped at the gas station about 20 km from the border to pray, fill up gas, buy some candy and drinks to keep us energized the way back. Then I just took off, the lowest speed I was going at that point was 180 kph and tried keeping it at 200 kph. When in Bahrain and in Kuwait I drive around 120 to 140, but Saudi is like no man’s land, if you drive slow they run you off the road, so i just kept a high pace but you have to keep your eyes out for those changes in the road because of construction, there is always construction on that road, but its a straight line from Bahrain to Kuwait. We made great time, we go to the border at exactly 8:00 pm and it took us about 30 minutes to get through and even in Kuwait they didn’t bother checking the car which is funny because we could have snuck anything in. It was one hell of a trip but got a lot of work done and I got to test my car on a very long trip.

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