Friday, February 24, 2012

Kuwait 15th richest country in the world

According to the US-based Forbes magazine, Kuwait is ranked as the no. 15 richest country in the world. To rank the world's wealthiest countries, Forbes looked at GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power for 182 nations.

Qatar ranked as the world's richest country per capita due to a rebound in oil prices and its massive natural gas reserves, according to Forbes.

Qatar has the third-largest reserves of natural gas in the world, and it has invested heavily in infrastructure to liquefy and export it, as well as to diversify its economy, without overreaching as much as nearby Dubai. Qatar has lured multinational financial firms to the country, as well as satellite campuses of US universities. The government is pouring money into infrastructure, including a deepwater seaport, an airport and a railway network, all with an eye to making the country a better host for businesses and the 2022 World Cup.

In second place on the list is Luxembourg, with a per capita GDP on a purchasing-power parity basis of just over $81,000. The country of half a million people became a financial hub in the latter half of the 20th century, in part thanks to strict banking secrecy laws that earned it the reputation of a tax haven. It's followed at No. 3 by the city-state of Singapore, which thrives as a technology, manufacturing and finance hub with a GDP (PPP) per capita of nearly $56,700.

Like Qatar, many of the countries in the top 15 spots rely on natural resources. In Norway, which ranks fourth, petroleum accounts for nearly half of exports and is the main contributor to its PPP-adjusted GDP per capita of nearly $52,000; the country is also one of the world's largest gas exporters. Brunei, meanwhile, located on the island of Borneo, reaps the benefits of extensive petroleum and natural gas fields and comes in at No. 5 with a PPP-adjusted per capita GDP of just over $48,000. And the United Arab Emirates looks to its oil and gas for about 25% of its GDP, which is nearly $47,500 per capita (PPP).

Other well-heeled countries benefiting at least in part from natural resources are Australia, ranking No. 11; Canada, at No. 14; and Kuwait, at No. 15, which relies on its crude oil reserves for at least half of GDP, and almost all of its export revenues and government income.

Forbes used International Monetary Fund(IMF) data from 2010, the most recent available (GDP figures for some countries were projections).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kuwait Meteorological Department Photography Contest

The Meteorological Department of Kuwait is holding a photography contest. 

Want to take part in it???

If you want to participate you need to submit a photograph you’ve taken related to a meteorological phenomenon in Kuwait. The last  date for the submitting your photos is March 13th

For more details, check the departments website

(INDIA)Andhra town,Guntur is world’s rent a womb mart

I found the news interesting and thought of sharing with the readers.

Guntur abuzz with ads offering ‘services’ for childless couples. THE rent-a-womb business is alive and kicking in the poverty-stricken town of Guntur, located in coastal Andhra Pradesh.

In fact, promises to deliver through surrogacy are being dangled to childless couples just about everywhere — from advertisements in the print media and active offers on dedicated websites, to posters, pamphlets, hoardings and even crude enticements on autorickshaws.

With clinics converting it into a commercial activity, the practice of surrogacy — a couple hiring the womb of another woman to bear their child — has now turned into an attractive business proposition from being a hush- hush affair earlier.

The worrying aspect of the trend is that irrespective of norms and health parameters, several women of the region from the underprivileged section of society are being lured by unscrupulous agents to rent their wombs. Predictably, the response is huge. On any day, many childless parents can be seen making enquiries about surrogacy at fertility clinics in Guntur.

“Last year, we performed 10 surrogate deliveries. At present, we are taking care of four such cases and another three are under observation,” Dr S. N. Umashankar, a local In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and surrogacy expert, revealed.

How do they zero in on surrogate mothers who agree to bear the child of other men in their womb? “Commercial advertisements are one way of achieving this. Furthermore, in some cases, relatives of the intending parents act as surrogates out of compassion,” Umashankar disclosed. “In some instances, mothers themselves come forward to act as surrogates for their daughters,” he added.

These explanations notwithstanding, MAIL TODAY found some fertility clinics seeking the help of agents to search for women willing to become surrogate mothers. “It is a lucrative affair. Parents have to shell out around `6 lakh for a surrogate child, of which up to `2.5 lakh is paid to the surrogate mother. The hospital charges `3 lakh for conducting the procedure as well as for the pre and postnatal care of the surrogate mother. In addition to this, the agent pockets around `50,000 for providing the proxy mother,” a source said. Significantly, agents scour the lower middle- class strata of society to hunt for surrogate mothers.

The commonest candidates are women desperately in need of money. “2.5 lakh is a substantial amount for the poor. The deal is that if a woman can bear with the inconvenience of pregnancy for nine months, there is good money to be made,” the source pointed out. Sometimes, surrogate mothers themselves double as agents to convince their sisters or other relatives to undergo the procedure for a fast buck, sources said.

Dr M. Gopi Naik, district medical and health officer, Guntur, admitted that surrogacy was turning into a money- making venture in the district. “It has come to our notice that agents, particularly registered medical practitioners in villages, are luring poor women to act as surrogate mothers by offering them financial incentives,” he conceded.

A surrogate mother currently under observation at Umashankar’s clinic admitted that financial needs compelled her to lend her womb. “ My husband and family are supporting me and I have done it willingly,” the woman said. 

In January 2011, the police in Burgampahad in Khammam district unearthed a racket in which some agents lured a Muslim woman — Shahnaz of Sarapaka village — into becoming a surrogate mother by offering her `2.5 lakh. She agreed to bear the child and even reached a fertility clinic in Hyderabad.

But her husband, S. K. Shareef, filed a complaint with the police, stating that some agents were forcing his wife into surrogacy. Eight persons, including two registered medical practitioners acting as middlemen in the racket, were arrested. Shareef, however, had to relent to his wife becoming a surrogate mother because she had already conceived and he, too, was attracted by the big money.

Subsequent inquiries revealed that as many as 12 women from the Bhadrachalam and Burgampahad areas had been taken to the state capital and confined in fertility centres for bearing children. Naik said he was going to write to fertility clinics in the district, seeking a detailed explanation on the matter. “ We want to know whether these clinics are employing agents to attract prospective surrogate mothers, how much money they are charging, how many cases they are dealing with each month and what steps they are following. We will also ask for surrogacy records for the last three years,” he disclosed.

In some instances, prospective surrogate mothers themselves contact fertility clinics in response to advertisements in the media and even on websites such as . Among those whose names figure online is 25-year-old Nagamani, a mother from Hyderabad. The reason for her offering her womb: dire need of money.

However, Umashankar said not all women could become surrogate mothers. Clinics have to follow stringent criteria to choose them. For starters, a prospective candidate has to be less than 30 years old and must have had at least one child. She and her partner should be free from sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis and thalassaemia. There should be no history of congenital anomalies, too.

( )

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Its Time Again for the Festival of Light in Kuwait

Evening went to Ahmadi area, where every year the"Festival of Light" take place in the month of February. To commemorate the National and Liberation Day, the entire Ahmadi area, including streets, parks, offices, trees, church and houses are beautifully decorated with lights. Firework displays takes place in the evening.

Ahmadi is one of the six governorates of Kuwait. It is located in the southern part of the country and is famous in Kuwait for its greenery and British architecture. It forms an important part of Kuwaiti economy as several of Kuwait's oil refineries are located here. It is popularly known as the home of KOC (Kuwait Oil Company).

Can check out my previous post on the Festival of Light......

Here are few photos of how Ahmadi is decorated this year "2012"

The above 3 pictures are of the KNPC Building......

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bida'a Antiques

When I visited a friend yesterday, I was fascinated by her new furniture. She has completely changed the look of her rooms, specially the drawing and dinning hall.When I enquired she told me about Bida'a Antique.

If you too are interested about Antique and Modern Hand Crafted Furniture and Fabrics you can check their website or visit them.

List of Shopping Carnival/Exhibition at Mishref International Fair Ground,Kuwait

The following is a list of shopping carnival's / exhibition's at Mishref International Fair Ground. Its fun to be there. We just love to move around when we don't have anything specific and see items from all over the world.

Do try to visit it and I am sure you would love to visit it again and again.

I have already written about it in my earlier post. Check out the links

The following is the list for the year 2012.............

Spring Consumer Festival

Date: 23-FEB-12 to 03-MAR-12
Spring Consumer Festival is one of the biggest and most profitable consumer show in Kuwait. The exhibition offer a perfect platform to showcase all household products like- home accessories, design and lifestyle articles, tableware and kitchen accessories, office and stationery goods, handicraft supplies. The event is being organized by Kuwait International Fair.

Specialized Watches Exhibition

Date: 21-MAR-12 to 31-MAR-12
In Specialized Watches Exhibition you can meet with a new group of Kuwait manufacturers that deliver export-quality gift and home products at competitive prices- most of these exhibitors don't appear at other trade shows.

Gifts Exhibition

Date: 29-MAR-12 to 07-APR-12
Gifts Exhibition is a dedicated event showcasing the finest in giftware and homeware products from all over the world. 

Summer Carnival

Date: 18-JUN-12 to 30-JUN-12
Summer Carnival will be a good opportunity to gauge the potential of the Kuwait market for overseas companies, and for their domestic counterparts, the best way to promote themselves. Summer Carnival is for all kinds of consumer goods. This event will be held Seventeen days from 18 Jun to 30 Jun, 2012 at Kuwait International Fair Ground in the Kuwait.

Winter Fashion Fair

Date: 20-DEC-12 to 29-DEC-12
Winter Fashion Fair is one of the biggest exhibition in Kuwait which will showcase products like:- gifts, home accessories, design and lifestyle articles, tableware and kitchen accessories, paper, office and stationery goods and much more. The event will be talking place at the Kuwait International Fair Ground between 20 to 29 Dec 2012.

Kuwait 5th Most Obese Nation On Earth

The Movenpick-Al Bidaa Hotel in collaboration with Al-Salam Hospital organized a press conference at the hotel premises on Thursday to unveil a Children’s Healthy Eating Menu for the hotel’s restaurants and home service. The event which was attended by officials of the hotel as well as members of the media, saw the Executive Chef of the hotel, Simon Spelling and Aya Samara, Al-Salam Hospital’s Nutritionist, take turns to throw light on the importance of the introduction of healthy diets to children.

Explaining the new concept of children’s menu for the hotel’s restaurants, Spelling stated that the food which first of all includes lentils and additional fibers comes with a lot of fruits and vegetables. The burgers are served with lentils, thus making it a balanced meal. According to Spelling what makes the healthy menu different is that the food is served with toys accompanying them to make it more attractive for the children.

Explaining the pieces of the slides being shown at the event, Samara said according to the World Health Organization expert consultation on obesity, the scourge of obesity could put populations at risk of developing communicable diseases.

As many as 250 million people, about 7% of the world population are obese. Experts have looked at the trend and said if it continues into 2015, approximately 2.3 billion of all people will be overweight with more than 700 million becoming obese.

Defining obesity, Samara said it is an abnormal accumulation of fat which leads eventually to type2 Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and strokes. As to why Childhood Obesity is a problem today, Samara stated that it can lead to diabetes and heart disease which can naturally happen to children, thus the special focus being given to it.

Childhood Obesity prevalence in the Middle East in the 1970s was between 4 and 5% and increased to 17.6% in 2006, with more than one third of all adolescents and children being obese in 2008. At a recent first annual obesity conference in Kuwait, it was disclosed that Kuwait was the fifth most obese nation on Earth; she said.

Kuwait Bans Smoking In Public

Kuwait on Monday banned “all forms of smoking” in most public places, including cafes, restaurants, hotels and malls.

Commerce and Industry Minister Amani Buresli ordered cafes, hotels and restaurants to allocate well-isolated places for smokers.

Finance and Health Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali also banned smoking in shopping malls, schools, universities, hospitals, airports, government offices and many other places.

The smoking of shishas, or water pipes, very popular in Kuwait’s cafes, was included in the ban.
Smoking is also banned at social and cultural functions, sports and entertainment events, seminars and at ministries. It is also banned in all public transport utilities (land, sea and air), at airports, seaports and all markets, commercial complexes, cooperative societies and supermarkets.

The decision will come into effect from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

The decision covers all areas mentioned in ministerial decree No. 23/ 2012 issued by Minister of Health and Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali’s decision that amended Article II of ministerial decree No. 223/ 1995.

Cafes Slam Smoking Ban

Patrons of cafe joints in the country have criticized the decision of the ministries of Health and Commerce to ban smoking inside these establishments.

Speaking to the press, those who frequent cafes consider the decision an infringement on their freedom, especially since smokers have been visiting these places regularly for years. They raised doubts on the timing of issuing the decision, arguing that if the two ministries are keen on prohibiting smoking forever, then they should stop the import of cigarettes and other similar products rather than restraining people’s freedom.
Mohammad Mustafa, an employee at a cafe in Khaitan, admitted he was surprised when he heard about the decision. He pointed out the income of cafes all over the world, not only in Kuwait, come mostly from those who use ‘shisha’ (waterpipe). He said if smoking is banned inside the cafes, nobody will visit these places, so the owners will have no choice but to close them.

Kuwait has officially banned ‘all forms of smoking’ at public places, including airports, seaports, universities, schools, ministries, libraries, hospitals and others. Smoking is also banned during seminars, cultural and social functions, sports events and so on. 

But the Health Ministry discovered that the ban cannot be implemented in places like cafes, hotels and parks. And they have not taken steps to stop it. Recently as we moved around in Salmiya and the Gulf Road, we saw lot of people enjoying shesha.

Five phases plan for Kuwait metro project

The Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) in Kuwait is pushing ahead with its plans to develop a new metro system for Kuwait City with the higher committee approving the feasibility study recently. Director-General of PTB Adel Al-Roumi said yesterday, that Kuwait’s Metropolitan Rapid Transit System Project (KMRT) is a key aspect of the country’s strategy to address population growth challenges and the current public transport deficit. KMRT is being implemented by the Ministry of Communications under the auspices of PTB as per the PPP Law No.7/2008.
The project will involve the development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a full metro network that will be developed over five phases, Al-Roumi said Each phase will be subdivided into a number of separate procurements; each of these will be publicly tendered on a fair and transparent basis in accordance with the PPP law, he added.
He further said that the entire project consists of 69 stations, 16 percent of which underground, with total length of 160 km. PTB is currently focusing on delivering phase 1 of the project which will include the construction network of roughly 50 km, with 28 new stations, 30 percent of which will be underground.
The other four phases will be developed and constructed in future stages over the coming years as demand grows, he explained.

The PTB had appointed a transaction advisory team of (Ernst Young), (Ashurst) and (Atkins) to prepare the feasibility study and to prepare for the procurement stage, including metro infrastructure, control systems, rolling stock, depot and operations.

The Higher Committee, chaired by the Minister of Finance, recently approved the feasibility study of the project along with the procurement structure and packages.

These packages include a system integrator PPP company, four Infrastructure PPP companies and an operator.

In addition, the PTB has communicated to the Cabinet the recommended financing structure of the project that includes a government subsidy due to the size and strategic importance of the KMRT Project.
He further noted that the PTB will shortly issue expression of interest (EOI) for the procurement of the integrated rolling stock and PPP (Public-Private Partnerships) company.

The selected company will provide rolling stock and Metro systems to the entire network, across all five phases. The EOI will be followed in due course by procurements for civil infrastructure and operations for Phase 1, he pointed out. — KUNA

Kurdo-360 Mall Kuwait

The other day,while returning from "Kuwait Camel Racing Club", Jeet was totally tired and wanted to have a drink....he preferred tea. So we decided to stop at 360 Mall as Mehr too was feeling hungry. We thought of eating at Kurdo( as we have not tried it out) and ordered 3 Shawarma's(for all 3 of us) and juice for Mehr. From the next joint we ordered tea,coffee and cookies.

In our few years stay in Kuwait, we had shawarma's from all the possible joints. But I can tell you one thing,kurdo's shawarma is the best by far.The price was little more(750 fills for 1 chicken shawarma) which is mainly 250-300fills in most food joints. But the packing was awesome.

However their menu is elaborate.You can choose from salad, appetizers,saj sandwich,kids meal,meal,jumbo meal,variety of meal,piza,shish kebab,liver chicken,taliani sandwich,juices, fruit pieces,drinks and cocktail.

Kurdo has 10 branch's all over Kuwait. You can visit Kurdo restaurant in the following places.....

1) Salem Al Mubarak Street (1)
2) Salem Al Mubarak Street (2)
3)Salmiya: Amro Bin Alaa's Street
4)Salmiya: Plajat Street
5)360 Mall
6)Geant Hypermarket-360 Mall
7)Carrefour-The Avenues
8) Al Yarmouk Co-Op Society
9)Al Kout Mall
10)Marina Mall

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Taj Mahal In Kuwait

Taj Mahal of India - "the epitome of love", "a monument of immeasurable beauty". The beauty of this magnificent monument is such that it is beyond the scope of words. The thoughts that come into the mind while watching the Taj Mahal of Agra is not just its phenomenal beauty, but the immense love which was the reason behind its construction. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan got this monument constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, with whom he fell in love at the first sight. Ironically, the very first sight of the Taj Mahal, the epitome of love and romance, also leaves visitors mesmerized and perpetually enthralled. 

Standing majestically on the banks of River Yamuna, the Taj Mahal is synonymous to love and romance. It is believed that the name "Taj Mahal" was derived from the name of Shah Jahan's wife, Mumtaz Mahal and means "Crown Palace". The purity of the white marble, the exquisite ornamentation, precious gemstones used and its picturesque location, all make a visit to the Taj Mahal gain a place amongst the most sought-after tours in the world. 

Every kid in India knows about it, its beauty and history. And all Indians are proud of it.

Recently we discovered Taj Mahal in its not build in memory of anyone but a prayer place....a mosque. While driving towards Suilaibiya, to your right, you will get to see it. I was astonished to see it( the design was so similar.....a xerox copy of our Taj Mahal.) I started taking pictures as we drove, but for Jeet it was nothing new, as he see it everyday as he drives to his office.  

Italian Circus in Kuwait

Do you want to enjoy circus here in Kuwait?
Do you want to take your kids to circus in Kuwait?
Then don't miss the chance, its here in Salmiya...... just at the parallel road of Salem AlMubarak Street(Marina Mall)

Entry Fee: Front seat 7KD/person
                Back seat 6KD/person

Free for kids below 2yrs

Two shows Daily

Time: 6-8pm
Sunday off

On the Way to Kuwait Camel Racing Club

As you drive the road to the Kuwait Camel Racing Club, you will find lot of camels on both side of the road.........

You will also notice lot of flags of different countries and sign boards.....

You will find lot of camels taken to the race club....there will be movements of many camels along with their care-takers (all going to the same direction) indication that the race course is somewhere nearby