Sunday, May 31, 2015

Price of rent in Kuwait to drop or is it a Joke?

The rents of apartments are starting to decline from the Tenth Area (outskirts) to Farwaniya, Salmiya and Hawally areas especially with the presence of hundreds of empty apartments in these areas.

The decline in rents has led to suggestions of annual renewal of rent contracts and allotment of ceiling in hikes as applied in Dubai, reports a local daily.A member of Union of Real Estate Owners Qais Al-Ghanim said the rents in Kuwait will not increase again in the near future, adding that analysis of the market has indicated a decline in the rents from Tenth Area to inner areas occupied by expatriates in Farwaniya, Hawally and Salmiya.

He revealed that many expatriates have sent their families back to their countries out of fear of increasing rents of apartments while investors in the real-estate industry have started selling off their assets, which are among the reasons for the declining rents.Al-Ghanim explained that the realestate investors will face additional pressures when the interest rate increases because some of the investors bought real-estate through banking subsidy under certain prices.

Therefore, their revenues will reduce with increase in interest rate, due to which many are selling off their investments to avoid risks.In the same context, sources revealed that the rent of a one-bedroom apartment has reduced from KD 230 to KD 210 while the rent of a two-bedroom apartment has reduced from KD 370 to KD 340.

They added that the demand for renting residential apartments will decrease by 60 percent compared to last year, a development which worries real-estate companies.

Is it possible??? Could it be true?? Is the rent really going down? Everyone in Kuwait has waited for the rent bubble to pop and maybe it finally has. In 2004 I was paying 180 KD for a two bedroom apartment in Fintas, my mom and sister who arrived in 2000 told me they once paid 80 KD for an apartment in Fintas! Today the rent for a tiny 2 bedroom in Abu Halaifa is 380 KD which is an increase of more than 100 KD from 2 years ago when the building was first opened.

New model added to Dubai's fleet of police Vehicles

Dubai Police’s fleet of super-cars is growing again and this time the police themselves have provided video evidence of the latest additions.

Published on the police’s Twitter account, the video shows innovative designs for vehicles and patrols, all aimed at making sure Dubai Police is there, anywhere, when needed.

A ‘GMC Sierra’ multiple-task car is for dynamic performance on rugged and desert lands. Audi A6 patrol cars are for police stations in the emirate. All these, of course, join the police fleet already featuring Bugattis, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins and a McLaren MP4 12C.

At first I thought it was a Stryker military vehicle but it's just a smaller version.

What will they think of next?

Gala Opera Benefit- Ahmadi Music Group

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Kenny Rogers Kuwait- Abandoned

Curiosity always gets the best of me and for years I've wondered what it looked like inside the restaurant. I had some help in getting a sneak peak inside and I was not disappointed. I expected it to be ruined like Hard Rock Cafe was but it looked like it closed at the end of the shift and that was it. It looks like there was a train that ran around the place at one time.

I ate at KRR in California a long time ago and remember the food was pretty good with roasted chicken and plenty of sides. According to their Wiki page the company was bought by Malaysia-based Berjaya Group in 1996, filed for bankruptcy in 1998 and was bought by  Nathan's Famous, Inc. for U.S.$1.25 million and it's still open in Malaysia. 
I love the this theme

OG cash registers

Old Pepsi design, who remembers this?
 Roaster looking good as new

With a little work this could actually be reopened into a pretty nice place. I would hope they could restore the old Kuwaiti house it's built into as well as there aren't many surviving properties left.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ramadan 2015

Ramadan 2015 will start on June 18th and end on July 17th, so get ready!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

No money to pay for private school Tuition

As a volunteer with OH we come across parents who can't afford to their child's tuition. Our group is not financially able to provide that type of assistance so what do they do? As I posted before the inflation rate in Kuwait is extremely high, rent is high, food is high and of course tuition eats away at what's left of the monthly salary that never increases enough to cover monthly expenses.

So what do parents do when they run into this situation?

When the end of the year comes and a parent is unable to pay and the school is already asking for registration for the next year because 'there are only a few places left so you must pay registration now to save your child's place' which is not usually the case, the school is just trying to suck more money out of the parent what do they do? The parent can't take the child out of the school as the school keeps all records and will not release them until the amount is fully paid. Will they let the child attend the next year of school even though there is still a balance from the previous year?

I've heard of organizations out there that help expats pay for the tuition but most of them are Arabic related, what if the parent is not Arab? Where are these organizations located? I met a Behbehani lady who does this type pf charity but I don't know the details or qualifications to receive their help. It's too bad the schools don't offer some kind of work for the mother or some way of paying it off, the people who work in school administration never give up their jobs because they get a discount so landing one of those is almost impossible.

Can schools blacklist parents due to non-payment? It's getting more and more difficult to live in Kuwait.

Red Bull Drift Event

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Kuwait's inflation- no end in Sight?

Kuwait’s inflation has soared to its highest level in three years, at 3.4 percent, according to the official statistics office.The significant rise is heavily influenced by housing costs, which account for nearly 29 percent of consumer expenses. They jumped 6.3 percent year-on-year but were flat month-on-month.The waiting list for government housing in the Gulf state is at least 20 years, according to past reports. An influx of expatriates, who account for two-thirds of the population, without matching residential construction, also has caused rents to climb significantly.

Food and beverages, which account for more than 8 percent of the basket, rose 2.3 percent from a year earlier and 1 percent from a month ago.Kuwait is under pressure to reform its public spending, including reigning in subsidies and increasing spending on infrastructure, which has failed to keep up with population growth.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the finance ministry have said the country risks dipping into a deficit as early as 2017 if it does not respond to economic reforms.Oil accounts for more than 90 percent of export revenues and the state budget. The economy has been hit hard by the 50 percent fall in oil prices since June.

Costa Coffe opens at Sea View Complex

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dubai Parks and Resorts 2016

Coming late 2016 to Dubai

Motiongate Dubai- Movie lovers all over the globe, motiongate™ Dubai welcomes you to a cinematic journey into the fantasy world of films. Dive into an alternative universe of captivating stories and adventures with your favourite animated characters from Hollywood .

Enjoy unique, high-value entertainment with the latest-in-technology attractions and new-generation rides that recreate the thrill only motion pictures can deliver.

Best-in-branded entertainment from three of the largest and most successful motion picture studios in Hollywood – DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Studios and Lionsgate – complete your visit to a world of innovation and creative storytelling

Bollywod Parks- Bollywood comes to life for the first time in the Middle East at Bollywood Parks™. Experience the vibrant celebration of Mumbai’s famous film industry.

Live, learn and soak in the quaint charm of classic blockbusters. With live entertainment and stage performances transporting you into a realm of all things Bollywood, celebrate quintessential filmy flair at the retail outlets, themed F&B restaurants, and the flamboyant cinematic rides.

Legoland Dubai- As the first LEGOLAND® theme park in the Middle East and the seventh worldwide, LEGOLAND® Dubai will bring the well-known LEGO® brick to life in a unique interactive world specifically designed for children aged 2-12, encouraging them to stretch their imaginations and their skills as the ‘heroes’ in a fun day spent together with friends and family.

LEGOLAND® Dubai will feature over 15,000 LEGO® models made from more than 60 million LEGO® bricks. This includes over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions – all set in six themed areas.

Lapita Hotel- Check into our Polynesian themed resort and enjoy a soothing yet captivating stay with us. Expansive pathways sprinkled with colourful flowers adorn the entrance to Lapita. The Dubai Parks and Resorts’ experience continues into the guest rooms where the comfort and d├ęcor will ensure an unforgettable stay.

Riverland Dubai-Journey through time and experience the streetmosphere that takes you on a journey through three different eras: a French village from the 1600s, the Colonial architecture of the 1930s, and America of the 1950s.

Stop by a medieval French town and soak in the historic architecture of Europe in the late 1600s. Towers, turrets and the water wheels draw you in, while street performances and outdoor dining and meandering alleyways transport you to a different world

Walk through an urban street bustling with excitement from jugglers to live entertainers, relive the thrill of early Los Angeles and Las Vegas and enjoy the palm trees and bright neon signage that tower over you. link

I'm most interested in the Riverland Dubai as I love the 1600's and early America. It sounds like a great place to visit during the non-humid season in Dubai. In Kuwait we have, Shaab Park and a potential 'Six Flags' themed park.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Vanity in Kuwait starts in KG

Anyone who has been to Avenues or anywhere in Kuwait can see how vain some women are. A lot of them have to wear loads of makeup, perfect eyebrows, contacts, fake eyelashes and plumped up lips all of which are frowned upon in Islam besides makeup but even that shouldn't make you look like a completely different person. As new contouring techniques come out and women strive to be the most beautiful female on Instagran it will only get worse.

I often wondered when does vanity start in Kuwait and today I have found out, it starts in KG. My daughter who is Kuwaiti by birth but has a mixed heritage is constantly being picked on in the government schools because she has curly hair. Before she started school she never had a problem other than the fact that she's the only one with that texture hair. I have always told her she is beautiful and her hair is a gift from God and to embrace it.

When we go out she is always told how nice her hair is but once she started the government school she hates it. She tells me no one else has curly hair and she wants straight hair to the point of crying if she has to wear it down. Tomorrow is her KG graduation and she had pictures today so I fixed her curly hair and immediately she started freaking out crying and saying it's not nice. She continued all the way to school walking in with her hands on her head trying to hide her hair.

When she got home she told me her teacher told her that she has to have straight hair for tomorrow. Teachers are supposed to be educators and nurturers of fragile minds not making a child feel like she is less because of her hair. The teachers already have a problem because my kids are not fluent in Arabic and tend to pick on them already. I've heard stories from halfie Kuwaiti citizens and they have often said they were picked on in the government schools because they were mixed.

It's sad to think that the early years of children's lives are spent learning what is and isn't socially accepted instead of learning to love themselves for who they are. We have complained already because of the singling out of the kids but no one cares. After a hot day on the playground my son was sweaty of course and the nurse told him he stinks and to tell his mom  he needs a shower. What is wrong with these educators? I can watch my kids on the playground from my apartment window and I often see them getting hit and teachers are off to the side chit chatting.

Teaching is not just putting on make up, Cartier bracelets and Valentino heels, it's about teaching children life skills and learning how the world works. It's ugly enough out there without having to get it from your teachers. No, my child will not have her hair straightened, she will have the natural curls she was blessed with and I dare anyone to say something.

I really try my best not to piss off the teachers because they will make school hell for them. It's all about the parents, who they are, what family they are from and how much money they have. If you spoil the teachers with gifts and small talk then your child will be included in the plays and will stand out and if you complain and disagree then your child will be picked on and tormented. My goal is to have my children learn to read and write Arabic, once they gain that I will probably move them to a bilingual school. My daughter is not her hair as India Arie says.

I am not my hair video by India Arie.

New York Seltzer coming back to the Market

--Original New York Seltzer — the 1980s classic soft drink that was a favorite of Rambo actor Sly Stallone — is making a triumphant return after a two decade absence, beginning with online sales and expanding to grocery stores and restaurants across the country in the coming days.--

Founded in 1981 by the father and son team Alan and Randy Miller in Walnut, California, the brand’s popularity soared in the 1980s, focusing on a “natural” approach to soft drinks using a preservative-free formula in an era when such a practice was largely unheralded. Bubbly, fizzy and sold in charming siphon-style glass bottles embellished with a New York City motif, ONYS was omnipresent, with flavors ranging from vanilla cream soda to orange. One of the company’s biggest points of differentiation quickly became the complete foregoing of artificial color, meaning that while raspberry tasted like raspberry, no unnecessary magenta hue bogged it down.

Who else remembers this drink besides me? I also remember zeltzer seltzer four pack.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Suicide bomber strikes Qatif, Saudi Arabia

A suicide bomber has detonated his explosives at a Shia mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia during Friday prayers, killing at least seven people and wounding several others, witnesses said. One witness described a huge explosion at the Imam Ali Mosque in a village in the province of Qatif, where more than 150 people were praying.

An activist told the AFP news agency that at least four worshippers were killed, while a source told the Reuters news agency that there appeared to be at least 30 casualties in the attack. More recent estimates have placed the death toll higher. Pictures posted on social media purported to show the devastation, with dead bodies strewn across the floor and shattered glass covering the courtyard of the mosque.

That is hitting a little too close to home, Qatif is roughly three hours away from Kuwait.

Qatari sheikh buys 'boobie' Picasso

Sources who told the New York Post's Page Six that Hamad bin Jassim - known as HBJ - was the buyer revealed: 'The painting almost certainly will not go on public display in Qatar because of the nudity, even though it is a cubist work.' However, he may choose to keep it in one of his homes outside of the country - the billionaire is known for his vast property empire, which stretches across continents, including a home on New York's Upper East Side.

Indeed, the Telegraph claims he may even be eyeing up a job outside of Qatar, where he was one of the most powerful people in politics for two decades.He served as foreign secretary from 1992 until 2013, and Prime Minister from 2007 until 2013 - as well as serving as chief executive of Qatar Investment Authority, which bought Harrods for £1.5billion.But there were reports late last year that he might be looking to step into UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's shoes once he steps down in 2016. 

However, if the rumours of his latest purchase are true, his is in good company with his fellow countrymen, as this is the second major purchase made by a Qatari in recent month.It is thought Paul Gauguin's When Will You Marry? - a scene of two Tahitian girls - fetched $300million earlier this year was bought by a Qatari museum, making it the most expensive painting ever bought.The Qatari royal family also made the second most expensive art purchase ever in 2011 when it bought a version of Paul Cezanne's The Card Players for $250million. 

This particular painting also broke records, being the most expensive piece of art bought at auction. It was originally expected to only fetch around $140million, with bidding starting at $100million.
Experts say the prices are driven by artworks' investment value and by wealthy new and established collectors seeking out the very best works.

With all of the suffering in the world $180 million dollars could help a lot of people instead of buying a picture of cartoon boobs.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Government Dental Clinic

Leaving the contracting world meant leaving my wonderful gold SAICO insurance behind so off to the government dentist I go. My mom keeps telling me how wonderful they are and I should give them a try so I did.

 I met a lovely female Kuwaiti dentist who did an excellent job. I got there 45 minutes early and was the second person in line. After a check-up I only needed a cleaning so I had to wait as there are only 2 chairs in this clinic.

After the first lady finished I was called into the room. When I saw the equipment I wasn't surprised but sad that the dentists had to work on old equipment. I can't imagine studying abroad on all of the latest equipment to come back wanting to give back to the country and met with old fading items. This to me might be one of the reasons Kuwaiti medical professionals train in the clinics and move on to private ones that have the latest gadgets.

There wasn't a mask to cover my eyes while my teeth were cleaned so I go a facial as well, mafi moshkilla. I know it is no fault of their own and they work with what is given to do their job. I will definitely go again and next I will take my son. 

The dentist was asking the assistant if the polishing machine was working today as it was broke before, thankfully it was today. Thanks to the Kuwaiti dentist, you did a great job!

Dear MOH,

Perhaps more Kuwaiti citizens would be interested in giving back to their country if they could work in places that had newer equipment instead of having to just get by with what they can find. I really think every clinic in Kuwait should be upgraded if not for the people who visit then for the citizens who want to work there.



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Random Kuwait

Censorship is not just on women's products anymore, oops they missed one  
 Brats threw eggs from the parking garage above
 I didn't realize there was a Kuwaiti lady in the brown car, I told her to wash the egg off quickly before it ruins her paint job
 Red Lobster relocated and TGIF will be taking it's place in Arabella
So, on one street there will now be two Friday's, two Chili's and numerous Starbuck's, is that progress?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Frog Prince by Lipstick Queen

Get heads turning with Frog Prince, a remarkable emerald green lipstick that transforms into magical rosebud upon contact with the lips. Don't be fooled by the deep green hue of this semi-sheer lipstick - the green reacts with the warmth of your lips turning them an intense, fairy tale rose.

 No two pairs of lips will look the same as it adapts according to your pH and natural coloring, appearing entirely different yet beautifully flattering on everyone. Vitamin E and Shea Butter keep lips soft, hydrated and deliciously kissable. And just like true love itself, this enchanting shade was made to last. Lips remain their blissful pink all day long from just one lingering, magical Frog Prince kiss.

Moisturizing Shea Butter and anti-oxidant- Vitamin E soothe and protect- Glossy, wet formula wears into a gentle, flattering and long-lasting pink tint Unique to you – Frog Prince adapts according to your pH and skin tone to create your most flattering shade of pink

Here's a new lipstick that gives each person their own lip color according to the tint of their lips which is pretty cool. What starts off as a freaky green color changes into different shades. You can order here at a cost of $25.00.

Raising Cane's Kuwait

--The name of the restaurant was going to be “Sockeye’s Chicken Fingers” after the Sockeye salmon I fished for in Alaska to raise money to start the restaurant. Luckily, a friend convinced me to name the first restaurant after my dog, “Raising Cane. ”During the renovation of the first restaurant, Raising Cane used to hang around the building site. The first Cane was a friendly, yellow lab who loved to be around people. Raising Cane I has since passed away. My wife Gwen surprised me with a yellow lab puppy one Christmas and I fittingly named her Raising Cane II to continue the legacy of our namesake. Cane II has become a very popular and well-known dog and stays busy with restaurant visits, community activities, and is often with us at our Restaurant Support Office. As a certified pet therapy dog, Cane II takes weekly visits with Gwen to Children’s Hospital--

Raising Cane's in Avenues, at least it's not a burger joint!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Syrian children selling watermelon in the hot Sun

I was saddened to see children left on the corner having to sell fruits and vegetables instead of being in school. It was 10:30 am when I saw this child setting up his watermelons to sale. 
 Down the street there was another setup with two other children but they had disappeared while their watermelons sat on the side of the road
 When I came back to give him water he was trying to sit in the shade of the sign
 I tried to give him water but he refused as someone else had already brought him water and ice cream. He came up to my window, his face dirty and lips dry from the sun telling me he was Syrian and he just wanted money to sell the watermelons not water. I asked him where his father was but he told me he wasn't around.
It's very hard to know if what they say is true or if they are being used by an adult to gain pity and then turn over their earnings to the person in charge of the ring. We read how beggars come to wealthy countries on visit visas and earn thousands of KD each year during Ramadan and Eid. I didn't offer money because I don't know if doing so will contribute to further exploitation of these children. As I watched a grey and white police car pass the child without a second look I knew no one cared for him.

Texas Roadhouse Arabella lunch Offer

It was delicious!!! You have to catch it weekdays before 4 pm

Kuwait Airport- arrive three hours before Flight

Kuwait’s civil aviation authorities have requested passengers now arrive at Kuwait International Airport three hours before their scheduled departure.

While other airports are speeding up their check-in processes and implementing more technology, the 87-year-old KIA is buckling under congestion.

The airport was extended in 2001 to accommodate 9 million passengers but additional expansion plans, originally due to be completed by the end of 2016, have barely broken ground after the initial contractor quit over delays.

The three-hour recommendation has announced on Saturday along with calls for passengers to cooperate with airport staff during the upcoming busy Ramadan and summer period, according to a statement carried by state media agency KUNA.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Lamborghini explodes into flames in Dubai

That breaks my heart!

Five Guys restaurant coming to Dubai

US-based restaurant chain Five Guys has announced that it will make its Middle East debut this month with an outlet opening in The Dubai Mall.

The restaurant brand, which specialises in halal burgers and hotdogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, veggie sandwiches, free toppings, fries, and the Five Guys customisable milkshake, will look to expand across the UAE, the retailer said in a statement.Five Guys is a family business started by Jerry and Janie Murrell and, as the name suggests, includes five sons Tyler, Ben, Chad, Matt and Jim.With its first opening nearly 30 years ago near Washington DC, Five Guys has since grown to be one of the most popular burger restaurants in the US and Canada with 1,200 locations, and is expanding into new markets overseas.

The first opening outside of North America was in 2013 in London and there are now over 20 UK locations.It said in the statement that it  is opening the Dubai outlet in partnership with regional franchiser Rise. Jerry Murrell said: “The arrival of Five Guys in the Middle East is a dream come true. We’re delighted to have the support of a regional partner whose interests, namely letting the food do the talking, are so closely aligned with ours.”

Tyrone Reid of Rise, said: “Our first store opening in The Dubai Mall represents the first step in our planned UAE rollout, and we’re looking forward to bringing the Five Guys experience to subsequent locations in Dubai and the UAE over the months ahead.”

2016 Chevy Camaro

Smaller? I would hate to get into an accident, there's no room to move.

Guidelines of Ramadan- TIES Center

Guidelines of Ramadan and Fasting

Get aquainted with the fiqh (guidelines) of Ramadan, as well as the details about
fasting. These free classes will help you to understand the fundamentals of how to
get the most out of this blessed month. You can choose to attend on Monday
mornings, or Tuesday afternoons. Call to Register.

Every Monday from May 4 until June 1 @ 10am – 11:30am
Every Tuesday from May 5 until June 2 @ 5pm – 6:30pm