Archive for the ‘Airport Mall’ Category

Fuddruckers out, Hardee’s in

Monday, September 2nd, 2013


was at the airport food-court yesterday and came across this hardee's restaurant replacing fuddruckers - well, i'm not a big fan of both so not a big deal for me, but for those who love hardee's, this might be good news.

Beware airport taxi mafia!

Monday, March 4th, 2013


a friend told me an interesting story about this illegal taxi drivers' gang at kuwait airport and i think it is worth sharing so you be aware of these guys.

my friend was in singapore for a few days, on his way back he decides not to bother his wife and rather call for a cab to head home - upon arrival, and as he walked out of the airport mall, someone whispers in his ear "taxi?" - it was late night and my friend was tired so he nodded and followed the guy, but when the latter headed down the tunnel to call the elevator my friend got suspicious! he confronts the guy and then walks out quickly to call an official airport taxi from the bridge line-up.

according to the official airport taxi driver who dropped him home, an illegal mafia has infiltrated the airport which basically picks up customers as they walk out and mainly targets expats & foreigners visiting kuwait as they are easy preys for their devious schemes - one such victim was a qatari man who was dropped at the marina crescent hotel, given an official receipt and charged 35 kd for the trip! (mind you the official rate card is kd 6) when the qatari guest realized that he had forgotten his camera in the cab, he went back to the airport to claim it from the lost & found but soon realized the scam when the officials told him the cab driver was illegal.

another incident happened with an american guy who got charged around 150$ for a trip to farwaniya, and the list goes on...

these guys seem to have their way inside the airport and so far they act as untouchables - so beware of these crooks and make sure you call for official taxis, they basically wait outside the airport.

thanks for the story rami.

Landed, landed not..

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

a friend sent me this picture with a question: do you see anything wrong? my first reaction seeing this on my iphone was: there's no one at starbucks? then he pointed out the problem.

how can this be? the same flight lands in english at a certain time, but then in arabic it lands at a different time! ok, it's only a matter of a few minutes, but still.. this is so hilarious... unless this is what the pilot gets, then we have a serious problem!

thank you adel for the picture.


Thursday, September 20th, 2012

i received this interesting email from our dear reader mary entitled "my hero" -  the story is about this american guy who basically refused to sign a contract because of an article that states "following a dispute between the contracting parties, the issue will be referred to competent courts in kuwait" - his argument was that he doesn't believe that the law can be strictly applied in a country where airport officials violate non-smoking law when they are supposed to enforce it!

well i salute this guy, he surely has a very strong point of view! however, i think he will be reconsidering his decision soon as a group of kuwaiti lawyers, also fed-up with this situation, have planned to sue the undisciplined officials like the ones busted in the picture above.

you can read more on this in arabtimes - picture courtesy of al-qabas who reported the news on september 18th.

thanks mary for the story, we sure need more heroes like this.

Do it yourself Visa

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

my brother george was visiting the region for business so he passed by kuwait to explore the market - but before exploring the market, he had to explore issuing an entry visa through a guessing game at the airport - this turned out to be such an ordeal, he regretted putting kuwait on his map, and wondered why i did not brief him on the "do it yourself" system!

as a canadian citizen, he arrived at the immigration counter expecting a quick stamp-and-go procedure, but instead he was sent to a special visa desk where he had to wait in line - after standing there for a few minutes guessing what to do, he was given an application and told to go fetch some stamps from the stamp machine, fill-in the application form and get his passport photocopied! can you imagine that! a business traveler has to personally do all this paperwork in order to get an entry visa to kuwait! what a first date turn off!

now to buy the stamps, one needs kuwaiti dinars, and a bank - so he goes to the only bank at the airport, stands in line for 20 minutes to get some change, then heads back to the machine and buys the necessary stamps - but of course, he had to do this exercise twice as he was given the wrong information regarding the number of stamps needed for the canadian passport! after filling in the application form, he heads to the copy machine where no one was there to help, so he takes the initiative to do the copying himself.. after all, the country has set a self-service tone already! as he walks in, an officer fires him out of the copy-room and asks him to wait for the attendant - so he waits for another 10 minutes until the copy-guy shows-up - he finally gets his stuff done and heads back to the visa counter queue to hand his papers in - then he was asked to wait on the side bench.

he waits there for more than 20 minutes but nothing happened, so he inquires about the delay only to discovers that the desk officer was having a "between shifts" cigarette break... the guy actually had the nerve to bluntly tell george “i am on a break!!!” p.s: this is supposed to be a non-smoking facility!

a few minutes later his papers were ready, the new desk officer calls him for a few questions, including the meaning of the word "june" on the passport!! george had to explain that this refers to the 6th month of the year...

after his ordeal was over, he grabs his precious visa and heads to the immigration queuing line to spend yet another 20 minutes - then an officer invites him to skip the line, skip the immigration desk and walk out to the luggage area without passport stamping procedures! flabbergasted, he refuses to comply, but after repeated orders he had to oblige... george is now very worried about his exit, will it be without a problem or an investigation?

from my perspective things were a bit different - i was waiting outside for two freaking hours, with nothing else to ease my pain but cinnabon's center of the roll and a few messages to briefly update me of the status - finally, george manages to walk out at 10:30pm whilst the plane had landed at 8:20pm! thank god he only had a carry-on bag and didn't have to wait for luggage!! oh and by the way, he was coming from qatar where he landed 24 hours ago - the flight from qatar to kuwait took around an hour, whilst getting out of kia took two! time to get an entry visa to qatar? instant stamp-and-go at the immigration desk...

i came across this kuwait visa website where visitors to kuwait can find useful information about visa procedures - i think it will be good to add a "did you know" section aimed at managing visitors' expectations giving them a heads up on the situation upon arrivals - a "do it yourself visa" electronic manual would also be useful, anything to market this website abroad and get people to know of its existence would be a good start - if a better system cannot be put in place, may be raising awareness about the "do it yourself visa" system could actually be a temporary solution.

Awesome Cinnabon “Center of The Roll”

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

my favorite cinnabon has always been the classic roll with the extra icing, don't like much the chocolate, it is too sweet for me - however, after last night, my new favorite at cinnabon is "center of the roll" - center of the roll is the best part of the roll, the ooey gooey middle, the juicy bite you usually leave for last - imagine all that in one piece, stuffed with apples or cherries! omg!! they are absolutely delicious!

this is how they look from the inside, pretty juicy and mouth watery - the only thing that didn't strike me as awesome is the name of these heavenly bites, it's quite a mouthful!

above is the scene of the crime, taken at the time of the murder - this whole massacre took less than a minute, i had my reasons, i'll explain tomorrow, it was quite an interesting night at the airport...

For or against permanent eyebrows tattoo?

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

One of our loyal readers was traveling to dubai and she noticed that there’s a growing trend amongst kuwaiti women to permanently tattoo their eyebrows despite their having healthy thick hair and well defined eyebrows.

permanent tattooing is particularly to people who have lost their eyebrows as a consequence of old age, disease, genetic disturbance, or to disguise scars and white spots in the skin, but tattooing healthy eyebrows simply out of fashion may not even look nice in this case, the word used by mary was more like hideous & frightening!

moreover, as with tattoos, permanent makeup can be difficult to remove - common techniques used for this are laser resurfacing, dermabrasion (physical or chemical exfoliation), and surgical removal which is more painful and laborious than the tattooing itself.

should there be a national awareness campaign on the adverse effects and complications of permanent eyebrows tattooing?

thank you mary for the story.

Starbucks getting lazy again!

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

back in jan we wrote about starbucks keeping magazines in their shops for months and a few days later they reacted and replenished the shelves - i guess it's about time for yet another post as the magazines at the airport shop date from june and some from feb! come on guys!! who wants to read ancient news?

this is so bad for starbucks image, please keep the magazine updated and find some other stuff to decorate shelves!

Meet the only “quick hot meal” at the Airport Mall

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

i had to make a quick trip to beirut a couple of days ago so i reached the airport a bit late, all sweat and panting - basically i had around 10 minutes for lunch as i totally hate airplane food, so i decided to grab a quick hot meal - my first destination was chili's so i asked the waiter for the "quickest hot meal" they have on the menu and the answer was 12 to 15 minutes - it was a "no go" so i apologized and tried carino's but i heard the same answer there, apparently 10 minutes are not enough to prepare hot pasta.

i didn't want to settle for a turkey & cheese sandwich, so i tried coffee bean & tea leaf and to my surprise they had scrambled eggs with sausages - though that's in their breakfast menu, the guys were kind enough to serve the meal for lunch - i finished in exactly 10 minutes and sprinted to the gate.

bottom line, i miss mcdonald's!

What’s new at the Airport Mall 2

Monday, July 11th, 2011

first of all, nike is opening a new store next to carbon fiber on ground floor level - second piece of news is the closing of the costa coffee area for renovation, which leaves all passengers with one place for coffee and food: the newly renovated food court! so no real improvement here... last year everybody was stranded at costa coffee and this year at the food court - where will people be stranded next year? that is the question..

What’s new at the Airport Mall

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

the food court at the airport mall has partially opened including cinamonster, chilis too, carino's and the coffee bean factory - frankly, i didn't like it much as it is too cold and lacks soul - may be it's too soon to judge, but disappointing for the moment - and mcdonald's is also opening soon at the parking lot, but this you might already know.

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