Desert Camping in Kuwait

December 5, 2009

Anybody interested in Desert Camping should get in touch with Nuzha Touristic Enterprises. They offer camping over night in the desert or daytrip(s) for groups both during Weekdays and Weekends. Camping usually takes place on North of Kuwait, Subiya (3rd exit on the right if you are on the new highway towards Bubiyan; In the most beautiful part of the Kuwaiti desert, beside “mountains” and with gorgeous views of the sunset and sea. Offered trips are over weekend stay, departure on Friday at 2 pm and arrival back to Kuwait on Friday at 6pm or Day trips, Half day trips, Special occasions (New Year, Birthday celebrations, Business lunches/dinners, VIP invitations, Team Building), Students Field Trips, etc. Optionaly they offer Transportation (Luxurious Buses with Air condition, TV, Music….), Food (Catering : Friday Night BBQ and Saturday Brunch) and various Entertainment activities like DJ – Friday night after BBQ,Horses, Camels riding,Hills Climbing,Volley Ball,Variety of competitions and games.

Additionally they offer Sight Seeing Tours for the Cities most interesting parts (Kuwait towers, Green Island, Communication Tower…..Museums : Kuwait National Museum – Tareq Rajab Museum – Al Hashami Marine Museum – Museum of National Works ,Historical places: The red castle – Dickson house – Beit Lothan – Beit Badr – Al Mouhallab Boom,Entertainment places: The Scientific Center – Sha’ab Leisure Park – Show Biz – Ice Skating Rink – the Entertainment City – The Green Island – Aqua Park and the Mesilla Resort.

And that’s not all…for those who are keen to discover the secrets of Kuwaiti and GCC beaches and islands they offer crewed luxury charter yachts  ready to take you for an sea adventure (Fun days out : half day, full day, or weekend,Sea trips to Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman, ….or anywhere you desire,Special occasions : lunch/dinner along the coast, weddings/anniversaries/birthdaysVIP invitations : an unique treat for your business partners and overseas visitors – “ working lunches/dinners” at sea.

You can book your trip and pay online  with Mastercard, Diners and Visa.

More info and the prices can be found here.

Kuwaiti Dinar (KD)

December 3, 2009

Cash is the prefered method of payment although credit cards are generally accepted. The use of cheques is not common. Foreign currencies can be changed at any of the numerous foreign exchange offices, hotels and banks. A  passport or Civil ID is not always required but it’s better to have it with you just in case. If you don’t have original passport with you (if you are stuck in the residency process) then maximum amount of any foreign currency you can exchange by using your passport copy is 150 KD. There are no current restrictions on the import and export of local and foreign currency.

The Kuwaiti Dinar (KD) is the official currency of Kuwait accepted worldwide. KD 1 is equal to 1000 fils. Notes are issued in denominations of KD 20, KD 10, KD 5, KD 1, KD 0.500 (1/2) and KD 0.250 (1/4). Coins are in denominations of 100 fils, 50 fils, 20 fils, 10 fils and 5 fils.

Kuwait has excellent banking system with a wide range of commercial and personal services including money exchanges and transfers to any bank in the world. The majority of banks are located in the central area of Kuwait City with branches troughout the country. Banking hours are from 08:00 – 15:30h, Sunday to Thursday. Some do open for one evening a week but this varies from bank to bank. If you deposit foreign cash to your foreign accont expect to pay some fee (0.5% from total cash deposit) or when you withdraw expect to pay 0.25 % of total amount that you are withdrawing. For depositing and/or drawing KD’s there are no fees. 24-hour ATM’s are located troughout Kuwait and it is common to see roadside signs indicating the location of a bank and therefore an ATM machine. Each area of Kuwait has a major co-operative (supermarket) which usually has either an ATM machine or a bank in the vicinity.

Major Credit Cards (American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa) are accepted in hotels and at retail outlets, restaurants and shopping malls. Keep on mind that by paying in cash at the traditional markets and smaller shops you will be able to negotiate a discounts.

Car crashes in Kuwait!

December 1, 2009

The reason why I want to buy Dodge Durango...

Taxi in Kuwait

December 1, 2009

For non-drivers or the people without driving licence (like me for the next couple of months) the prefered mode of transport  are taxis. The Taxi companies are not really regulated and most don’t have meters and large number does not have seat belts. Those that do have meters don’t use them. The majority operate 24h. Always negotiate the price before you get in and if the driver does not accept your proposed price just let him go;another taxi will come in less then a minute. Usually when you tell them to go they will accept your last offered amount. Fares are usually a minimum of 1 KD and will increase slowly depending upon the destination. I pay 1.5KD for 20min long drive (sometimes 2KD if the traffic is too heavy in the evening). In the morning after 08:30AM there is no traffic and getting to your work is comfortable drive. From the airport to Kuwait City (16km) or Salmiya you will pay 5KD (12.5 euro) and from airport to Fintas (22km) it will be 6KD (15 euro). Expect to pay more in the evening since traffic is more heavy and there isn’t so many taxis around.

One of the ways to arrange a taxi is to call a company in advance. State your destination and check the price before the car is dispatched. The drivers have a fair knowledge of the city and surrounds (not all of them speak english unfortunately but they do understand and know city areas and hotel names). If possible show a map of your destination or give them a landmark such as a hotel, shopping centre or tower with offices to aim for.

I prefer to get a taxi directly from the street. They usually come within 2 minutes and are little cheaper than taxis ordered via phone.

The airport operates a taxi and limousine service but expect to pay a premium price for this.

Rain in Kuwait

November 28, 2009

Definitely did not expect so much rain in Kuwait. In past 3 days the rain did not stop. Ofcourse I did not bring my umbrella with me…who expects rain in the middle of the desert?! And it’s really cold in the following days.

Here is Kuwait weather for next 5 days:

And here is the weather forecast in Croatia:

Not big difference I have to admit. Huge surprise for me. The only good thing about the rain in Kuwait is that everybody who is living here for couple of years predicts that following summer will be very nice and without too much sandstorms because of the rain in winter. So, I keep my fingers crossed.

Few days ago I played a football match with my co-workers. Small teams, 7 against 7 on a rented playground with artificial grass. It’s 70 euro / hour to rent.  Later in the evening we went to play Jordanian cards game “Tricks” and smoke “shisha” from nargilla.

I go now for a morning coffee with 2 fellow Croatians and to buy an umbrella. Yes, I am not alone here. Although I tried to find any Croatians living in Kuwait before I came,  they found me via this blog 🙂

Middle East and GCC Salary Survey January 2009

November 22, 2009

There is no tax (0%) so brutto=netto

  • US$ 4001 – 5000 per month 13%
  • US$ 5001 – 6000 per month 16 %
  • US$ 6001 – 7000 per month 17%
  • US$ 7001 – 8000 per month 18%
  • US$ 8001 – 10 000 per month 2%
  • US$ 10 001 – 15 000 per month 2%
  • US$ 15 001 – 18 000 per month 1%

Total Work Experience

  • New (up to 2 years) 20%
  • Medium (3 to 7 years) 37%
  • Experienced (8+ years) 43%

Educational Level

  • University first degree 59%
  • University higher degree 15%
  • Professional higher education 14%
  • Secondary school 5%
  • Vocational college education 4%
  • Other 2%

This annual Middle East Salary Survey, is designed to look at current levels of salaries, wages and benefits across the GCC, Middle East and North Africa (ie. salaries in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morrocco and other Middle Eastern and North African countries), and gauge employee opinion and employee satisfaction vis-a-vis their salaries, and how these have kept pace with inflation and the cost of living in the GCC, Middle East & North Africa.

Respondents’ Profile: Professionals holding jobs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, KSA, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa at all career levels and across all industries were included in this Middle East HR Research Survey including professionals holding jobs in banking, financial services, IT, engineering, architecture, human resources, media, advertising, marketing, sales, government, consulting, publishing and other key employment sectors in the Middle East. Of specific interest to this Survey are costs of living and salaries in UAE, KSA, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait as well as cost of living levels and salaries in Jordan, Lebanon and North Africa.

Info here

“New” Kuwait

November 14, 2009

New & couple years old picturs of “New” Kuwait…

“Old” Kuwait

November 14, 2009

I hope you will be interested to see some “old” pictures of Kuwait…

Kuwait- from wikipedia…

November 14, 2009

Kuwait
From Wikipedia…

The State of Kuwait (Arabic: dawlat al-kuwayt) is a sovereign Arab emirate bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and Iraq
to the north and west. The greatest distance from north to south is 200 km and from east to west 170 km. The name is a
diminutive of an Arabic word meaning “fortress built near water”. It has a population of 2.889 million and an area of
18,098 km². Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government, with Kuwait City serving as the
country’s political and economic capital. Kuwait also includes several offshore islands, the largest of which is Bubiyan,
near the Iraqi border.

In 1990, Kuwait was invaded and annexed by neighboring Iraq. The seven month-long Iraqi occupation came to an end after a
direct military intervention by United States-led forces. Nearly 750 Kuwaiti oil wells were set ablaze by the retreating
Iraqi army resulting in a major environmental and economic catastrophe. Kuwait’s infrastructure was badly damaged during
the war and had to be rebuilt.

Kuwait has the world’s fifth largest oil reserves and is the eleventh richest country in the world per capita. Kuwait’s oil
fields were discovered and exploited in the 1930s. After it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, the
nation’s oil industry saw unprecedented growth. Petroleum and petroleum products now account for nearly 95% of export
revenues, and 80% of government income. Kuwait is regarded as the most developed country in the Arab League and a Major
non-NATO ally of the United Kingdom and the United States.

Walking tour

November 13, 2009

My first walking tour around my residential area…Samiya…there you go: residential buildings, beach and promenade (corniche) in Salmiya…