Looks like the heavy rain caused many flooding issues around Kuwait. I posted about expected flooding in Kuwait due to inadequacy and/or failure of storm water drainage systems in Kuwait. I received tons of photos from readers about water flooding around Kuwait including South Surra area, Ahmadi Hospital, Kuwait Airport, Qurain area…etc. However what drew my attention is the short video for a flooding inside the Avenues Mall due to the overflowing drainage caused by the heavy rain, I’m surprised because it’s relatively new. This tells us that there are underlying issues in the design and construction, this is bad. Proper engineering for various projects including mega ones is an essential aspect and overlooking it would cause numerous troubles. Problem is most owners only focus on the aesthetic/architectural aspects of buildings. I hope the contractor is willing to fix this issue for the Avenues.
What’s with all these buildings collapsing thesedays? Today another building suddenly collapsed in Jabriya area near Starbucks in the afternoon. They say the fire fighters are still looking for survivors that they heard screaming under the rubble. Scary! Apparently, the building was under demolition but something went terribly wrong and collapsed all of a sudden.
My guts tell me that they are not demolishing the old buildings the proper and safe way! I hope everybody’s alright.
I saw some photos for the Grand Mosque after the renovations have been completed. The new interior indeed looks fabulous especially the false ceiling design and the finishing works, the chandeliers and lighting also look amazing with those carvings that are derived from the architecture of Islamic civilization. However no exterior works have been done and I heard the mosque capacity has reduced but I’m not sure.
While having dinner (well it was Suhoor) last night at Kuwait City with some friends we started talking about how Kuwait City has changed in the last ten years with many tall buildings starting to appear. I love skyscrapers and high rise buildings, they make the city skyline look more beautiful (especially at night) and futuristic in a way. Take Dubai for example, Sheikh Zayed Road is now world famous for all those high rise buildings. So I decided to post about the planned and under construction towers in Kuwait City. So are you ready?
Central Bank of Kuwait New HQ: I’m sure you all have seen this one, it’s located in Sharq on the Gulf Road nearby Al Seef Palace. I was told the height is around 240 meters and there are 41 floors, and a multi–storey car park building (three basements, a ground floor, and 4 floors above the ground level). Below are 3D models showing how it will look once it’s completed.
Burj Al Shaya: I think it’s also called Gate of Kuwait (not sure though) and I read that it’s 320-metre high and planned to be used as a five-star hotel (Four Seasons hotel), office space, multi-storey car park, convention center and high-end retail space. It’s located nearby Burj Jasim and is designed by the same designers behind The Avenues mall and expected completion date is 2015.
Wataniya Telecom New HQ: It’s the new head quarter for Wataniya Telecom and it’s located at Sour Street next to the Liberation Tower. I remember the opening was during Kuwait National Day celebrations back in February and there was a show projected on the building exterior.
New NBK HQ Tower: I see it everytime I go to Al Hamra Tower, it’s located right across the street from Al Hamra Luxury Center. I was told by a friend that architectural design was created by renowned designer Foster + Partners and its height is about 300 meters and will consists of 60 floors plus 3 basements.
Kuwait Business Town (KBT): I saw it when I drove across Mirqab, I’m not sure what it is exactly but it seemed like a shopping and business tower. Luckily I found the video below (in Arabic) that explains the idea of this tower.
Do you think the Avenues mall project has fully completed with the opening of Phase III? I was curious to know if there would be more phases or expansions coming up so I did my tough homework and did some investigation to find out. Let’s first admit that the Avenues is truly one of the most interesting mega projects in Kuwait, it attracts the majority of the shoppers, and strollers, in Kuwait and the GCC and it receives a lot of attention from the media (and us).
That being said, I found out that Phase 4 is next on the line and is currently in design phase. The project itself has undergone many changes during the design and probably execution phases, a good example is the cancellation for the construction of Zaha Hadid mosque from the project scope (above). I heard some leaked news that Phase IV will include two 5-star hotels (probably Four Seasons Hotel is one of them since they said they are opening in Kuwait) after they finally got the required approvals from Baladiya (Kuwait Municipality), which in my opinion is such an excellent idea and will make the Avenues an ultimate destination for shoppers. Also I heard Phase IV will include another expansion for the shoppers, I guess this will make it the biggest shopping mall in the region.
Another thing that is being built is the multi-purpose ballroom but that’s part of Phase III. Personally, I wish if they include a skating rink or say more recreational facilities in the upcoming Phase IV. I’ll surely get you exact details on Phase IV as time goes by but so far this all remains as speculations.
I read on Al Qabas newspaper that Grand Mosque rehabilitation works have completed and is ready for the prayers this Ramadan. I recall there was a major issue with its structural integrity and was closed last Ramadan, they even said it was prone to collapse due to an under construction building nearby that effected it’s structure. I’m glad they got it fixed, it’s one of the lovely monuments of Kuwait City.
Abdullah Abdullatif Al Outhman was one of the most prominent Kuwaiti Philanthropists and the owner of Bait Al Outhman. Through out his life, his increased devotion to charity work and philanthropy, and his many donations extended to various locations around the world; earned him the title of “The Great Philanthropist.” Even after his passing away in 1965, he left a will that allocated a third of his wealth to charity; which became embodied in the Abdullah Al Outhman Charity. The Kuwaiti Heritage team, set out on a project by selecting a historical building, Bait Al Outhman, (his orignal house) and renovated it from scratch to embody what the homes of our fathers and forefathers looked like and how they lived. It show cases numerous rooms such as The Bride Room and its contents; the living room; the kitchen and the Diwan, which was where the home owner would host his guests.
Along with these rooms, the museum showcases different aspects of old Kuwaiti Heritage such as: Maritime – showcasing a number of rare documents that were used in the old days. It also contains models of the earliest diving suits; the tools used in diving and navigation; in addition to models of ships previously utilized in Kuwait.
Heritage Hall: This has been instilled with traditional decors and designs for the purpose of accommodating popular traditional events and heritage symposiums or seminars.
The museum also contains samples of some artistic costumes appearing in various Kuwaiti drama productions; in addition to decors and scenes from these productions, which had enjoyed a spectacular viewing rate.
My favorite part of the museum was the old Kuwaiti Souq, or market: