I loathe flight connections to the bone! Ok So I had to wait about 7 hrs at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to connect with my flight to New York (JFK ). Shopping at the duty free did help me kill some time but no way I can spend 3+hrs merely shopping. Well obviously girls can spend unlimited hrs shopping and could even miss their flights (I know I’m dead) but personally I had to do something.
Luckily I came across those newly installed sleeping pods, apparently transit passengers can catch up on some well earned rest until it’s boarding time. I observed that they fold flat to offer a quiet comfy nap. I tried to lay in one of them and it does feel good, I liked how it isolated me from the airport noise (sound insulation), the rate per hour is AED 45/hr, that’s around KD3.5
I wish Kuwait Airport had such sleeping pods! Anyhow, the pods are available in Terminal 3, next to gate 31, and 2 in Al Dhabi Lounge in Terminal 1. They said further 35 on order for installation later this year.
I read this recently published survey by Condé Nast about ‘The Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities in the World for tourists, and to my surprise that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were among the unfriendliest cities. First I’d like to correct those who conducted the survey; Kuwait isn’t a city, it’s a country unless they are referring to Kuwait City itself. I’ll also assume that the obtained results of this survey are indeed credible. Now that being said, frankly I can’t really pass 100% non-biased judgement on this since I’m Kuwaiti and I can’t really tell how others (tourists) see Kuwait, but I think that one of the reasons here is the absence of night clubs, pubs, drinks, and generally night life that many people around the world nowadays consider an important aspect of tourism.However, not-having this kind of night life should not place us among the “unfriendliest list”. Let’s think about it for a sec, people don’t just go to Dubai (which happens to score very high ranking) for merely night-clubbing, many visit Dubai for the pleasant family experience and shopping.
I think problem with Kuwait is that it doesn’t facilitate and encourage the true concept of tourism. Yes we have numerous shopping malls and restaurants out there but that’s not everything, I know for sure that getting a tourist VISA isn’t an easy thing in Kuwait to start with. Another reason is that our culture is not tourist-oriented, we simply have to be more friendly and welcoming with people visiting us and leave positive impression. Staring at someone or a slight dispute over a parking spot should not get anyone killed after all. What are your thoughts fellas?
Unfriendliest cities:1. Newark, New Jersey2. Islamabad, Pakistan3. Oakland, California4. Luanda, Angola5. Kuwait City, Kuwait6. Lome, Togo7. New Haven, Connecticut8. Detroit, Michigan9. Atlantic City, New Jersey10. Tangier, Morocco
Every summer I like to conduct a poll to find out about the most desired vacations destinations. This year, Ramadan came in the mid of the summer which forced many to either postpone their vacations to early August or to a later date. According to KUNA, Kuwait Airport will be overloaded with travelers in the upcoming days especially during the period 1-10 August, which happens to be Eid Holidays. There will be over 500 departure flights and 250,000 travelers are expected to leave the country in very short period. I read that most desired destinations are (didn’t you guess them yet?); well, Dubai and Istanbul.
I think the situation in several Arabian countries like Egypt, Syria, and partially Lebanon has played a significant role in changing many people destinations. We all heard how tough it became to obtain European VISA Schengen due to the high number of applicants. Also the ticket prices and hotel rates have all fired up. Well, according to some of my friends, even tickets ran out.
So back to our original topic, what will be your vacation destination this summer? and have you changed your original plans?
Our blog friend skydiver Khaled Al Howaishel has shared with us his exciting footage performing wingsuit flying at California sky. For those who don’t know about wingsuit flying, it’s a relatively new sport of flying the human body through the air using a special jumpsuit.
It looks more fun than normal skydiving but I guess the wingsuit flying needs more experience though.
A friend of ours has sent us this video for super long queue at the British Embassy in Kuwait City. I’m trying to get a VISA for the U.K. but with all these people applying for applications I’m not sure how long it will take me to get 6 months VISA? Is there an urgent VISA application for the U.K? If yes how much does it cost?
Even though Kuwait is so small and almost everyone you run into share common friends, I am amazed that there are a certain amount of Hidden Kuwaiti talents that have not yet been discovered. Just yesterday alone I ran into three amazing gentleman, and their mind-set and business minds have blown me away. From there, came my new idea about show casing our hidden talents. I will start today with a really close and dear friend of mine, Abdul Wahab Al Juhairy.
With the traveling season around the corner and with the growing demands of tourists mainly Kuwaitis to have an insight on new destinations around the globe that would cater to their needs for a relaxing and unique summer vacations, Abdul Wahab Al Juhairy, the Kuwaiti photography talented professional is today catering to this growing need by introducing for the first time in Kuwait a state of the art touristic website, empowered with images of different touristic destinations around the globe to help people deciding on their next trip.
Recently, it has been noticed that people rely more on the internet to do their traveling arrangements – whether it’s for flights or hotel bookings, read reviews and look at pictures of the place they want to spend their vacation in more than referring to a traveling agent.
Abdul Wahab Al Juhairy is A Kuwaiti young man, talented in photo capturing and passionate about traveling, felt the much needed necessity to have a clear and honest vision about the countries scattered all over the world he visited, and this is the reason why he created AJ Photo World website.
AJ Photo World is the first Kuwaiti website containing high resolution pictures of various countries in the Middle East, Europe, and Central & Far East Asia. These photos were taken during Abdul Wahab’s visits to these countries, allowing the website visitors to see through Abdul Wahab’s eyes the major touristic sites to visit and explore new ones in these countries in which the visitors have been before but did not get the chance to see them or he is a first time visitor.
The new creative idea behind this website is that Abdul Wahab will give the audience the chance to join him step by step during his upcoming trips – soon to be in Sri Lanka- by instantly uploading photos on Twitter & Instagram and blogging on the website, what would give the reader a deep insight on the country and best places to be visited hence helping him deciding on his next touristic trip destination.
Al Juhairi said: “AJ Photo World is a one stop website to all tourism fans. It was designed to cater to the growing needs to a new touristic destination. With images it shows, the website is a true touristic guide empowered with high res images that would give the visitors the look and feel of their future touristic destinations in addition to places and landmarks to visit there.”
From the US Ambassador: “While we have done much to expand education, health, and tourism exchanges between our two countries, the Discover America Festival is a chance for Kuwaitis to see the increasing interest that America’s companies, educational and medical institutions have in contributing to Kuwait’s future. It is this deep commitment that drives the commercial relationship between our nations.”
The festival was a great success as it attracted a lot of visitors to the education, health and tourism booths. The dual relationship between the US and Kuwait has been ongoing and growing with every step taken.
“The United States has substantial trade and commercial interests in Kuwait, our fifth largest export market in the Arab World. Trade volumes between the United States and Kuwait expanded by nearly 50%, from 10.5 billion in 2011 to $15.7 billion in 2012. We continue to be Kuwait’s largest foreign supplier. American industry is the largest foreign investor in Kuwait and largest private employer of Kuwaiti nationals, particularly in the petrochemical industry.” – US Ambassador
“The embassy, working closely with the U.S. private sector, stands ready to support commercial partnerships that benefit our two economies, our citizens, and our future.” – US Ambassador
A month ago I received an invitation from TRACCS (Trans Arabian Communications Company) and DFRE (Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment) to go on a three night, four day trip to Dubai to enjoy Dubai Summer Surprises 2013. I was accompanied by 5 other bloggers, journalists, tweeters, and photographers during this trip – all from different parts of the world, which made this experience even more special. DFRE was generous enough to organize a comprehensive tour for us that included visits to DSS 2013 events and the key landmarks of Dubai.
The most exciting part of the trip for me, was the mesmerising view from “At The Top” of Burj Khalifa. Although the sun was scorching hot and the humidity was a killer, the view makes up for it all.
At 2,722 feet tall, and with 163 floors, the building boasts the world’s highest observation deck. The view from “At The Top,” shows you how complex Dubai really is. It’s amazing how many buildings, sky scrapers, towers, and landmarks can be built in such a short amount of time. It’s amazing how even though they already have so much, they always strive for more. Another interesting and fun part of my trip was Ski Dubai.