Thursday, December 20, 2012

'Indian Women In Kuwait' launches X- Mas Tree Contest with IIK

Indian Women In Kuwait (IWIK) which is newly formed under the aegis of IIK announces the launch of its first ever online competitive event X- Mas Tree Contest. This first of its kind contest is open to all Indian residents in Kuwait and will be running online on starting from 17th December 2012 till 26th December 2012.

With few simple steps, you can also participate in this contest, which offers exciting prizes for the winners. Decorate the Christmas tree with creativity at your home. Take a good quality color photo of your Christmas tree. Send your photos to IIK by uploading / emailing to us at along with your details including Name, Civil ID No, Email, Mobile number, House Address.

The panel of judges from IWIK will shortlist best decorated Christmas tree from the received photos. The Panel will inform the selected candidates for a house visit and will visit their homes to verify the originality of the photos and select 3 winners based on verification.

The first prize winner will get a 19" Toshiba HD-LED TV from and Second prize winner will get a Daewoo Microwave oven while Third prize is an exciting Philips Food Processor.

The last date for participating in this contest is December 26th. For more detail about the contest, please visit

Indian Women In Kuwait (IWIK) is an unifying place for the Indian women residing in Kuwait, wherein the members shall learn a bit; gain a bit; have a little fun; and express themselves and their skills. Earlier the IWIK Team successfully organized a series of offline events such as the Rangoli Competition, live Cooking Session, and a range of other competitions and programs. 

007th Super Brand Bazaar Exhibition Kuwait

WHENDecember 23, 2012 @ 10:00 am – December 26, 2012 
WHERE : Grand Al-Baraka Ballroom (Farwaniya, located next to the Crowne Plaza Hotel)

Fantasy World Toy Store Competition on Facebook kuwait

Cameras at the ready! Contest starts now! Take a photo of you or your child with your favourite toy in any Fantasy World store, e-mail it to together with your name, mobile and facebook name for us to approve and upload. The top 3 pictures with most likes and shares at the end of the contest will win KD 100, KD 75 & KD 50 Gift Vouchers (respectively) . Contest ends at 11pm on 1st January 2013.

Check for full Terms & Conditions

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Kuwait's government resigns to make way for new cabinet

Kuwait's ruler accepted the government's resignation on Monday, the state news agency KUNA said, a step designed to make way for a new cabinet in the Gulf Arab state after parliamentary elections boycotted by the opposition.

The election on Saturday was the second this year in the oil-producing nation, where a series of assemblies have collapsed due to a long-running power struggle between the parliament and the cabinet, in which the emir's ruling family holds the top posts.

"The emir accepted the resignation of the government," KUNA said in an SMS news alert, adding that the ministers would serve in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet was formed.

Under the constitution, a new government must be formed before the first session of the new parliament. Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah said the new parliament would convene on December 16, KUNA said.

Sheikh Sabah is expected to pick his prime minister next week, who will in turn form a cabinet that will be announced on December 14, said Kuwait's al-Watan daily, which is owned by a member of the ruling family.

More than half the members of parliament elected on Saturday are newcomers to the 50-seat National Assembly. The chamber is expected to be more cooperative with the government than its predecessor because of the opposition boycott of the vote, and protests that divided the U.S.-allied, OPEC member state.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Zain Kuwait offers discount on SMS and on International calls to UAE

In celebration of the UAE National Day, Zain, the leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, has announced that it will offer a 50% percent discount on all SMS messages to UAE and 20% discount on International calls to UAE as they celebrate the Independence Day on the 2nd of December.

Zain, expressed the company's congratulations on this occasion to the people of UAE, represented in its leadership, the embassy and all UAE expatriates' residing in Kuwait.

The Company stressed that Zain is a global company which is always keen to participate in the celebrations of nations.

Zain added that the offer is extended to all SMS , International calls sent to UAE only on 2nd of December for both post-paid and pre-paid customers.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Kuwait to vote amidst mass protests

Kuwaitis will cast their vote for the second time this year as they head to the polls on Saturday to choose a new parliament amid growing unrest.

On the eve of the election, tens of thousands of protesters in Kuwait City called for a boycott over changes made to the voting rules last month.

Opposition MPs say the amendment manipulates the ballot in favour of pro-government candidates.

Kuwait has had months of confrontations between the opposition and government.

The main opposition grievance was a 19 October decree ordered by the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Sabah, whose family dominates Kuwait's government.

The crisis was sparked in June, when the Constitutional Court annulled parliamentary elections held in February, in which the Islamist-led opposition made significant gains. The court also reinstated the previous assembly, allied to the ruling family.

After months of protests, Kuwait's emir ordered the dissolution of that parliament and announced new elections.

His decree last month cut the number of candidates a voter can elect from four to one, saying it would ensure a fairer representation of people in the parliament.

Kuwait Health Min. launches hotline to reach out to people

Seeking to better communicate with people frequenting its medical centers and hospitals, the Kuwait Ministry of Health launched Friday a hotline.

"The Ministry seeks to reach out to people through the new service to listen to their evaluation of the services provided by its institutions and provide them with all required information about Kuwait medical centers," Health Ministry Undersecretary Khaled Al-Sahlawi said in a press statement Friday.

The Hotline, 151, will help people communicate with the Ministry to get information about health centers' services and addresses, he said.

He added that the hotline also enables citizens and residents to convey their complainants and suggestions to the Ministry officials.

Prof M D Nalapat arrived in Kuwait as an election observer from India

p9a3 Analyst sees a wave of economic reforms in Kuwait after election   Boycott of polls a wrong tactic: Prof Nalapat


KUWAIT: Prof M D Nalapat, who arrived in Kuwait as an election observer from India, is  Director, Geopolitical & International Relations, Manipal University. In a brief interview with Friday Times, Prof Nalapat, expresses his views on Kuwait parliamentary election to be held tomorrow and hopes that it will pave the way for a wave of economic reforms ushering in positive changes to the country. Prof Nalapat is also UNESCO Peace Chair and a renowned academician. The former Coordinating Editor of the Times of India, Prof Nalapat writes extensively on security matters and international affairs and is a columnist for the Sunday Guardian and the Pakistan Observer. Excerpts:
Question: You were here in February to observe a parliamentary election and now in November, once again there is an election. To what do you attribute such a situation?
Answer: I have been an observer of Kuwait for more than fifteen years, and it was clear during the functioning of the parliament (after the 2012) elections that a deadlock had been created. More than thirty legislators opposed whatever the government proposed, and as a consequence, several projects were delayed. Many ministers became reluctant to implement big projects because of worry that they would get grilled by the post-2012 legislative majority.
The people of Kuwait want faster economic growth. They want more jobs and higher incomes. This can only come if projects get implemented speedily rather than get delayed because of political deadlock.
Q:      How do you expect that an election will remove such a deadlock?
A: Because of the strategic mistake made by those who secured a majority during the February 2012 elections, of boycotting the November elections. In a democracy-and Kuwait certainly qualifies as a democracy – boycotting an election is a wrong tactic. In India, in 1939, the Congress Party withdrew from governance and resigned its electoral posts. As a consequence, the Muslim League gained in influence and finally, the partition of India (through the creation of Pakistan) was the result. A democrat should not be afraid of elections, she or he should contest them.
Those (in the previous legislature) who are refusing to contest the elections due on December 1 are ensuring the victory of those who have a view different from theirs. In my view, the new parliament will be much more supportive of development projects rather than block projects in order to grill ministers all the time.
Q:  In view of the boycott call by some politicians, do you expect a low turnout this time?
A:  In my view, the level of participation will be the same (as during February 2012). This is because the people of Kuwait appreciate the fact that they have a right to vote, a right that is not given to citizens of some other countries in the region. Certainly democracy in Kuwait is not perfect, and more reform is needed. However, it is a fact that Kuwait is far and away the most democratic country in the region, and Kuwaitis know this and appreciate this. They take democracy seriously, they take the right to vote seriously and hence will come out to vote on December 1 in large numbers.
Q:   Why do you feel Kuwait will make faster progress after this election?
A: Kuwait needs to go into a big wave of economic reform, such as privatizing huge state monopolies such as Kuwait Airways, which would function much better under private management. Of course, such privatization should be conducted in a transparent way without favorites, so that the best buyer gets the prize. The new parliament knows that the Kuwaiti public is very interested in ensuring clean government, so I am sure that the elected parliamentarians, while allowing growth to take place through economic reforms, will ensure that the process is fair and transparent.
Kuwait has huge financial resources. Rather than rot in banks in Europe that could go bust at any time, these reserves should be used to create a better life, a  better future, for the Kuwaiti people. I have every confidence that this will be done.
What political reforms do you feel Kuwait needs?
A : The people of Kuwait are wise and the ruling Al-Sabah family is modern.  I am sure that the ruling family and the Kuwaiti people will mutually come up with necessary reforms, in an atmosphere free from rancor and abuse.
By Sajeev K Peter, Kuwait Times Staff

Microsoft announces launch of Windows 8 in Kuwait

Ihab Mostafa Microsoft announces launch of Windows 8 in Kuwait


KUWAIT: Microsoft Kuwait yesterday Celebrated Windows 8 with its customers. At a press conference this morning, Microsoft, along with its hardware partners Dell, Toshiba, Acer, Asus and Nokia, announced their presence at the Avenues mall phase 1 to showcase different hardware devices, touch based and laptops that are new to the Kuwaiti market, Windows 8 certified, and are available in all the retail stores starting today. Windows 8 offers a personalized experience to suit a wide range of requirements for the Kuwait market, whether it comes to work or play.
Addressing this morning’s press conference, Ehab Mostafa, Country Manager, Microsoft Kuwait, said: “Kuwait has always been an early adopter of new technology, and in line with the global release of Windows 8 which happened on Oct 26th, we’re taking this opportunity to celebrate the local arrival of Windows 8 on new devices with our consumers and partners.”
He added: “This year is an exciting year for us, as we enhance and strengthen our relationships with leading hardware partners to bring innovative new devices to Kuwait. These new products are designed to make full use of the capabilities of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, and we’re positive that customers in Kuwait will see huge benefits when they experience the new Windows on the latest devices.
“Business and consumer customers are going to get an enhanced experience when using the revolutionary and easy-to-use new user interface of Windows 8, and will also benefit from the wide range of apps that will be available from the Windows Store,” added Mostafa. The latest features will be widely accessible to Kuwaiti users, with Windows 8 available on more than 1,000 new Windows 8 certified PC and touch based tablet models, all on sale at retail locations throughout Kuwait. Additionally, Windows 8 will be available for download to upgrade existing PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7. The product will also be offered in 37 languages in Kuwait.
To highlight the full Windows 8 experience, Microsoft has a fun and interactive booth located at the Avenues mall, from Nov 29-Dec 8. Microsoft is teaming up with its hardware partners to display the latest Windows 8 certified devices, where mall visitors can try before they buy.
Nokia will be displaying its latest Lumia 920 and 820 Windows 8 Phone devices at the Avenues stand. The Nokia Lumia 920 is the flagship Windows Phone 8 smartphone, featuring Arabic language capabilities and the latest advances in Nokia PureView imaging technology for crisp, clear video and photos without flash. Dell is helping customers in Kuwait touch the future with a refreshed portfolio of business and consumer PCs built for Microsoft Windows 8, designed to provide a more intuitive computing experience and address evolving customer desires. Dell’s new systems deliver on the promise of new advances in computing: a leading-edge and intuitive touch experience, the security and manageability required by today’s always-on pace and the design aesthetic, style and precision workmanship customers demand.
As part of its ‘In Search of Incredible’ journey, ASUS unveiled a complete new line-up of Windows 8 touch enabled products. The new range enables new forms of functionality and applications targeting the entire spectrum of home and office users, while setting a new standard in performance, ease of use and innovative design. Toshiba PCs showcase the possibilities of what Windows 8 can do, providing a responsive touch experience on beautiful, precisely engineered hardware. Consumers will love interacting with Windows 8 on these devices. This is the beginning of a new generation of hardware development designed to take advantage of touch from Toshiba.
Acer designs products to enable everyone to explore beyond limits. The cool, fluid designs have smooth surfaces that make these notebooks comfortable to the touch. The notebooks are specifically designed for easy navigation and enhanced productivity through ergonomic design. In addition to the new devices, where the booth internet connection is powered by Mada Communications, Microsoft is offering to take photographs of you at the picture booth and an interactive zone. For children there is a special Kid Zone particularly set up for their fun experience from gaming to educational apps.
The latest OS is available in two retail versions, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. For business customers, Windows 8 Enterprise offers new possibilities in mobile productivity with features like Windows To Go, DirectAccess, and BranchCache, as well as enhanced end-to-end security with features including BitLocker and AppLocker. Launched at the same time is a new member of the Windows family designed for ARM-based tablets, Windows RT, which is available pre-installed on new devices. Windows 8 features the new fast and fluid Start screen that gives people one-click access to the apps and content they care most about, the entirely new Internet Explorer 10 that is perfect for touch, and built-in cloud capabilities with SkyDrive.
In addition to the range of new devices available, consumers can also upgrade their existing PCs. Through the end of January, consumers currently running PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, are qualified to download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $39.99. Eligible Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2, 2012, and January 31, 2013 in more than 140 countries can download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $14.99 with the Windows Upgrade Offer, available at

What’s a shabka-The wedding gift all Kuwaiti girls dream of

 shabka What’s in a shabka?   The wedding gift all girls dream of


Getting married in Kuwait means happiness, family bliss, and a lot of jewellery. Other than attending a party for the women at the expense of the husband-to-be, women have few responsibilities when it comes to marital commitment. Besides the dowry that is paid to the bride, the wedding party, and other expenses, the bride receives a Shabka, one of the most favourite parts of a wedding.
The Shabka tradition also known to exist in other Arab countries entails the mother-in-law to gift a set of gold ornaments to her daughter-in-law which usually consists of a set of nucleus, earrings, bracelet, and a ring. Depending on the size and the jewelry in the set, the price of Shabka differs and may range between KD 1000 and KD 5000, or above. Usually, the Shabka is made of yellow gold. The modern styles of Shabkas are also adorned with diamonds.
Fatma, a 29-year-old bride, has chosen a white gold Shabka with diamonds. “In my family, it is shameful not to have a diamond shabka. All my cousins received a diamond shabka, so I also chose a set with diamonds,” she said, explaining that she went with her fiancÈ and his sister to buy the shabka. “I chose it but he paid for it,” she said. Fatma’s shabka cost KD 3500 after a lot of bargaining in the shop,” she said. One of the features of the shabka is its investment value. Due to its high price and value, shabka may serve as security in case of need.
Amal, a 27-year-old girl narrated that after a little more than a year of marriage, she started having differences with her husband. “We decided to separate,” the mother of a two-month-old baby said. “I moved back to my family home, and I needed money for the baby but my husband refused to pay me for the child’s essential needs,” she said. She explained that she needed a maid to stay with the baby while she was at work. “Under these circumstances, I was forced to sell the shabka. In fact, I do not feel guilty for doing so because I do not have any emotions for this shabka.
I am angry at the one who bought it. It cost KD 2500, and I sold it for KD 1700, which is very good,” said Amal. Young generations prefer the white gold shabka. “It is a tradition to accompany the future mother-in-law to buy the shabka. Because my mother is dead, my two sisters and my mother-in-law accompanied me to buy the shabka from Mubarakiya. The shabka I chose four years ago cost KD1200. I keep it at home as it has emotional value for me,” says 50- year-old Huda. The shabka of Huda, a 30-year-old Kuwaiti, is made of white gold and decorated with zircon stones. “I find the white gold more fashionable.
Yellow gold is old fashioned,” noted Huda. But 50-year-old Nida from Jordan chose yellow gold shabka with some precious stones when she married 25 years ago. “I and my husband did not want our families to interfere in our choice, so I went with my husband alone to the gold market in Kuwait city and I bought one. In fact, after all these years, I do not remember what the price was. For me, this shabka is precious and I would never sell it. In Jordan, we have the same tradition of buying the shabka,” she said. For some nationalities, it is not necessary for the bride to choose the shabka herself. “As part of the marriage rituals and traditions, the husband’s family has to buy the shabka for the bride. I am practical and believe in useful things, so I chose the shabka myself and bought her a pure gold one without any stones to preserve the best value of it.
That was 11 years ago, and it cost me KD 300 only. Today, its value is about KD 1400 as gold was much cheaper in those days,” stressed 42-year-old Yunis from Jordan. In Kuwait, the most popular gold markets are the Mubarakiya gold market, the gold market in Salmiya at the old Souq, in Hawalli at Bin Khaldoun Street, and in Fahaheel. Also, there are some jewelry shops in various shopping malls, especially Layla Gallery, Salhiya, Al Raya, and others. These stores mostly provide brand jewelries that are not available in the traditional markets.
By Nawara Fattahova, Kuwait Times Staff