GulfRun 8 Car Show @ 360 Mall

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.

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GulfRun Car Wash

This is when all the normal super cars turn into race cars, there is something about designing the stickers and placing them all over the cars in the right spots that just make them look faster. The best thing about GulfRun is that they get the permits required so you can drive your car on the road with these stickers, and a permission letter from the Ministry of Interior, but there are always a few idiotic cops to deal with.

Thursday night the cars piled up, it seemed like it was a challenge between the Nissan GTRs and the Porsche GT3s, and all of us are caught in between. This year there were two Challenger SRT8s, I know some people don’t think they are track cars, but they cool look and I bet the guys driving them will have a lot of fun. Now for my unexpected challenge is the appearance of a new 2013 BMW M6, I want to see how this will turn out between the two of us, the challenge has been accepted by the owner so I’m going to have something interesting to challenge on the track.

AS usual the staff at Al Falah Car Wash were quick handling over 40+ cars and getting them arranged ready for the stickers. And the sticker guys were all over the machines, quick and efficient as usual. The only major thing I did for GulfRun was to switch out my tires and check the brakes, I won’t be pushing too much but I won’t be beat that easily too. Just writing this gets me excited, can’t wait to get to the track.

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GulfRun Karting

The Karting Event in December was a lot o fun, personally these guys put a huge amount of effort into and there is a lot planning to compete with other teams. They really try to put the best strategy they can to compete against other teams, and usually they screw up over night. This is the video by TJC, this guy does some awesome stuff. Feels more like a Lemans video then a Go-Karting Race. Some of the drivers were up over the 24 hour mark which is insane.

GulfRun 24Hr Endurance Race

This is the 2nd year this event takes place and my hat goes off to all the participants, it was extremely professional by the organizers and the teams, and these guys were ready to drive for 24 hours. I was there for a 6 hours the first day and 9 hours the second day, I for one managed to sleep but some of these teams went all out. It was an extremely fun event in the Mishref Fairgrounds, people were operating like they were professional F1 teams, they really had their work cut out for them, and some teams even had team managers.

The Final Ranking of the Top Four were:

1 – Team Shanabz
2 – JPS Racing
3 – Gulf Cable Company
4 – McDonalds

I admire what these guys did and some of them have been training for months, and some of these guys race regionally and I honestly think we have the best of the best in Kuwait. There were so many kids going nuts and how intense the racing was, you could feel the electricity in the air. I for one loved it, there was a few close calls, I tried taking as many good pictures as I can when the carts were coming around the corners but there was a few times when it got a little too close. It’s great seeing companies such as Wataniya Telecom, Audi, GoPro, Goal, Moonlight Studios, Goal, Gulf Cable, and The Quarter Mile Club supporting such an event, it honestly was extremely professional organized by GulfRun & Provision. I think everyone was very happy the way things turned out.

You could even watch race results online through an Application called Race Monitor, I was impressed, everyone kept checking the stats on their phones while the application was running during the race. Food was constantly coming in, and people were passed out in different spots, you could tell some of these drivers were operating purely on willpower, going over 30 hours with no sleep in extreme physical conditions, I think they might have slept for two days after that race. It was a hell of a time and I loved watching them towards the end.

Team Shanabz & JPS Racing were really going at it towards the end and these guys were extremely strategic with their driver selection. Two factors came into play, Driver Weight and Skill, that was it. I don’t think I would have last more then 20 mins driving one of those Karts let alone 2 – 3 hours like some of those drivers.

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Wataniya 20/50 Ad

My hat goes off to Wataniya for an amazing advertisement, for 50 years of independence and 20 years of liberation. This ad really gives the feeling of love that we have for our country, and for those who have passed away. There is always a feeling of hope in Kuwait, you can always say we are a creative people and we try hard. I loved the old theater shows we had, they were funny and entertaining, and seeing Sheikh Jaber and Sheikh Saad always brings a warm feeling to my chest. Excellent work putting all this together!

Google Nexus One with Zain, Wataniya, & Viva


Voice Coverage:

  • Zain is good, except for those dropped calls at quite a few locations
  • Wataniya has good coverage, a few problem areas but overall good
  • Viva seems to go from bad to spotty coverage, pretty much the worst of the bunch

With the new Google Phone its a very Data oriented phone with lots of different services and integrated items that require constant data usage. You can manually configure the APN details so that you can access 3G/Edge of your network. The biggest adopter and advertiser of Google Android phones currently is Viva, the other operators haven’t adopted Android Phones yet. Now the surprising part is this, I have used my Google Phone with Zain and Wataniya, the settings work automatically and I’m on the 3G network right away downloading data and it transfers to a wireless network that it recognizes if it connected to it previously. It puts the priority on normal wireless if its available before using 3G/Edge. Now the surprising part is Viva, the settings don’t download right away, speaking to the technical staff they run you in circles and they don’t even know. I even tried explaining to them the exact details but I honestly couldn’t get a coherent answer from them. With Wataniya and Zain they knew exactly what I was talking about and they provided me the APN settings and the exact details, IPs, and ports. Overall for voice services in Kuwait you either go with Wataniya Telecom or Zain.

GulfRun – 360 Car Show

GulfRun @ 360 Mall was one the best car shows that I have seen in Kuwait yet. The number of assembled cars was fantastic, a number of interesting machines in the show, my favorite being the Porsche 995 Gemballa, that is a true racer, a monster of a machine. I like it was separated, I was thrown on the German side next to my twin sitting next to my M6, looks like its going to be an interesting race this year with such a variety of machines.

The machines I worry about the most are those Mitusbishi Evolutions, they are machines to be feared. The way they look has no indication of what can be under the body, some can be monsters at 600+ bhp and others can handle like go carts. Then there is that Nissan GTR which looks really good in red, I’m curious what the Mercedes SLR is going to be doing on the track against all these machines, then there is the other 20 cars which weren’t at the car show since they were getting worked on.

The booths were filled with some sponsors, the most active being Wataniya Airways with their airline staff handing out the Diwaniya Membership program, then Wataniya Telecom, Huperoptic had an interesting stand with all the types of tint, then there was Dent Xpress who were catering to all their customers. I was at the GulfRun booth taking some t-shirts for keeps for later, and I go my hands on the hoodie that I wanted. I talked to so many people over those two days I lost my voice the next day. I can’t wait until 360 Mall opens all it’s shops, it is taking some time, I’m assuming that they will all be open by this summer at least. Thanks to (Bassem @ Wataniya Telecom for the photo)

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Wataniya Telecom Ads

Recently I have been seeing more Wataniya Ads then the other providers, more ads on the street and newspapers. There are certain things that I think should be red, and I do like Wataniya’s branding its just they have been a bit on the quiet side while the other two squabble a lot. A friend of mine has both a Wataniya & Zain number, he uses both consistently, and he has experiment with the two and for some reason Zain is consistently more expensive, he always gets a higher bill. I have come to the conclusion that having a Mobily Saudi line in Kuwait is cheaper then having a Zain line but I have take a closer look at later. Going back to the main subject, I was searching Wataniya earlier and stumbled upon their Youtube Channel, its nice seeing big companies using tools that we use, I really liked the 10th Anniversary Ad. I honestly prefer the original red flag of Kuwait then the current one, it feels original and full of pride, click play below to see the ad.

Link: Wataniya
Link: WataniyaYoutubeChannel

Wataniya Telecom on the Line

Wataniya Telecom has pulled the same move as Commercial Bank of Kuwait, Fire everyone and rehire, just to lower the costs. So the breakdown of the situation is simple.

They are giving presentations about the changes and open discusssions, for a little while. And a Wataniya Telecom employee has only 4-5 hours to decide if they will sign the new contract with the new terms, or else they will be terminated, fired, out of job, on the street.

They have lowered the basic salaries of a majority of the employees, but compensated for it in large allowances. Now they have changed the working days to 5 days instead of 6 days which is good, vacation days have improved. Bonuses are calculated at a lower rate because its based on the basic salary which has been lowered, but health insurance has been improved towards people with families and three days for compationate leave. They even added one week for weddings not included with your vacation, both male and female.

Overall its an interesting combination but they are putting their employees

Update: They only have two hours to sign or they are terminated

Wataniya Launches Blackberry Service

At last they have come to launch the Blackberry Service, as of today Wataniya has launched the new Blackberry Service with the pricing plan below. Looks like their tis going to be competition for the Blackberry Subscribers, and our brethren in the Wataniya camp can at last communicate with us through BBM. Now I wonder how many people will be switching over to the BB service who already have Wataniya.

It seems you can easily switch between the plans, you don’t have to stick to one or the other.

Pricing Plan:

  • Basic: 9 KD with 1 fils per KD
  • Unlimited: 13 KD 10 GB Free
  • Unlimited +: 25 KD 10 GB Free & 10 MB Free Roaming
  • Update:Prepaid Blackberry Service Available