Monday, March 30, 2009

Planet Hollywood Kuwait: 2009

That's right, people. Planet Hollywood is coming to Kuwait.

- Opening during the summer
- To be located at the Olympia mall in Salmiya [at the Olympic Council of Asia headquarters across from the Scientific Center]
- Coming with all the usual offerings of deep-fried goodies and the branded merchandise you can't live without

Interesting. I've never been too swayed by PH, and the last thing Kuwait needs is another eatery that contributes to the country's rapidly growing waistline. Meh.

Let's see how this one pans out.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Missoni? Hotel? Kuwait?

Missoni. Does that name ring a bell?

To the fashion-inclined and shopaholics, it better. Many of you know of the brand for its loud, strong use of color, lines and pattern; and, naturally, budget-unfriendly prices. Now they're making the transition from clothes to hotels, with their first two hotels opening this year, interestingly, in Edinburgh [June] and Kuwait [August/September]. Yes, we're getting the first designer hotel in the Middle East. Suck on that, Dubai.

The Edinburgh hotel is going to be done in blacks, whites and silvers, while the hotel here is going to have a wilder color scheme more typical of the Missoni name. Think yellow walls, hot pink tables and blue-green bathrooms.

Some detes about the Kuwait hotel:
- 106 rooms and 63 suites, all with views of the Gulf
- All the rooms will have bathroom TVs built into the mirrors
- There'll be an Italian restaurant, a Choco Cafe with a terrace, a lobby lounge and a lounge on the 18th floor
- A large outdoor pool with Gulf views done in tiles with the stripes and colors of Missoni clothing
- The hotel sits on top of a new top-range mall called the Symphony Centre which'll house high-end stores and boutiques [this mall will even feature foot masseuses in the bathrooms and assistants to carry your bags while you shop. Dare I say modern-day slavery?]

Don't think you know where the hotel is? If you've ever been to Salmiya, you do. It's the huge curving beige building with a red building on the back, taking up the block from Arabian Gulf Street to Salem Al-Mubarak Street.

I think the hotel sounds incredibly exciting, and it's bound to make a huge impact in the region when it finally opens this year. Seeing as this is Kuwait though, and the hotel has already been delayed time and time again, the opening date might change.

Fingers crossed it opens on time.

Friday, March 13, 2009

11.03.09: Olympia Opening Ceremony - Kuwait

On March 11, the Olympic Council of Asia [OCA] celebrated the official inauguration of the Olympia complex in Kuwait. When the whole complex [located on Arabian Gulf Street directly in front of the Scientific Center] finishes off construction later this year, it'll consist of the OCA's permanent headquarters in a seven-story building, two twin office towers, a five-star Hilton and yet another mall; you know, because Kuwait clearly needs more of those.

The definition of celebration in this context?
1. Close off miles of Arabian Gulf Street.
2. Place rude cops at every not-closed-off intersection to inconvenience you and make you feel like a total idiot.
3. Make you drive several extra miles to get where you want to go and therefore inadvertently contribute to global warming.
4. Confine yourself in endless traffic and be surrounded by expensive, overcompensating cars and the fashionably-handicapped.
5. Throw in several large, flashy fireworks displays to keep the simple-minded masses [myself included] entertained.

The event started at 7:40 PM and rounded off around 10:00 PM, with speeches, laser light displays, and lights that constantly changed the buildings' color. There were several fireworks displays of varying size, but the closing ones were hands-down the largest and grandest. 

The best view to see this all? The rooftop of the Al-Marzouk Pearl residential complex located right. Next. To. The. Whole. Shindig.

The bottom line: a bright and flamboyant welcome for Olympia into the world of Kuwait and a good way to pass time.