June 27, 2012

Like OMG!!! You Have That in Kuwait?!?


I cannot tell you how many times one of my girlfriends from home has interrupted me midsentence on Skype saying, “OMG!!! You have _____ in Kuwait?” No matter how many times I tell them the positive aspects of living in Kuwait they still think I live in a tent, ride a camel to work and pee outside.

Kuwait is 17, 820 sq km in size which is slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey. This tiny little country boosts 10% of the world’s oil reserves and has a booming retail and restaurant economy. I’m happy to report that while living in Kuwait I’m able to enjoy the following retail candy and food porn:

Luxury Goodies: Chanel , Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Versace, Gucci, Van Clef, Givenchy, Fendi, Burberry, Valentino, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Missoni, Rolex, Cartier, Tiffany’s, Bvlgari, Omega, Tag Heur, Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, etc. (Most luxury goods are cheaper in Kuwait because they are tax free. I know that Hermes, LV and Chanel are less expensive. Tiffany's, Cartier and Rolex are actually more expensive.)

Department Stores: Harvey Nichols, Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Mothercare, etc.

Furniture, Household Goods & Hardware: IKEA, Ethan Allen, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Sears, Ace Hardware, Office Depot, The One, etc.

Retail: Kate Spade, Zara, H&M, Top Shop, Mango, Miss Selfridge, Express, Lush, The Body Shop, The Bath and Body Shop, Victoria Secrets, etc.

Cosmetics: MAC, Sephora, Makeup Forever, Bobbi Brown, L’OCCITAINE, Boots, Kiel’s, Faces, Vavavoom, etc.

International Restaurant (Chains): Gaucho Grill, PF Changs, The Cheesecake Factory, IHOP, The Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday, T.G.I. Fridays, Chili’s, Carinos, Texas Roadhouse, Dean & Deluca, Upper Crust, The Fashion Café, Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood etc. (The list is a mile long and there are new restaurants opening weekly. I enjoy the local spots owned by Kuwaitis.)

Subs, Pizza & Hamburgers (Chains): Subway, Blimpie, Quiznos, Pizza Express, Dominos, Papa John’s, Pizza Inn, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars Pizza, Potbelly, Johnny Rockets, Smash Burger, Shake Shack, Fatburger, etc.

Ice Cream & Froyo (Chains): Millions of Milkshakes, Hagan Daaz, Baskin Robbins, Pinkberry, Red Mango, etc.

Donut & Pastry (Chains): Krispy Crème, Dunkin Donuts, Cinnamonster, Au Bon Pain, Le Pain Quotidien, etc.

Fast Food: McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, Hardees, Popeye’s, Nathans, etc.

Cafes: Starbucks, Caribou, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Coffee Republic, Coasta Coffee, Seattle’s Best Coffee, etc.

Fine Chocolates & Gourmet Coffee: Godiva, Rohr, Nespresso, etc.

Disclaimer: I'm sure I forgot a lot because Kuwait has almost everything to eat and buy.  I just ran out of time...:) Let me know if you want me to add one of your favorites.

45 comments:

  1. Well scratch PRADA off the list, they will not be entering the Kuwait market. I personally spoke to them - a rift? Won't further comment. There is a delay in their store in Qatar only because of the fire, but their store in the Emirites Mall is quite AMAZING!

    Reporting from Kuwait City, back to you Expat.....

    ReplyDelete
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    1. xoxo this comment! :) We need you! :*

      I took off Prada. (THANK YOU!) They used to sell Prada at Villa Moda.

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    2. Villa Moda has been closed for quite awhile, however, I can't say positively, but I suspect his Dubai store is still open. It was in the Emirites Towers, but I have not been there in quite awhile. Who would shop anywhere else but the Emirates Mall or the Dubai Mall? It was grossly over-priced, if I recall, but frequented by Kuwaiti girls.

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    3. Yes, I think Majid sold it to a Dubai based company. I love his new fragrance boutique in Al Hamra called: tfk (the fragrance kitchen). Hayati bought me one of the exclusive scents. It's amazing! Majid mixes all the blends himself and they are incredible.

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    4. Update: Prada is coming to 360 Mall in Kuwait! I hope it's like LV, Hermes & Chanel in Kuwait. Meaning much cheaper than the USA.

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  2. Fastfoodwise Kuwait still needs: White Castle, Papa John's Pizza, Waffle House and Luther's Bar B Q.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. We do have Papa John's.. I actually just ate there for lunch.. Haha!

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    2. @Anonymous ~ Kuwait has Papa Johns (as mentioned already above). Tel: 1827272
      * It's not as good as in the US but I like them from time to time.

      I am pretty sure you are a US Contractor and I have a friendly suggestion: Try some of the local flavor. Don't limit yourself to what you know. ;)

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    3. Not a contractor but American. I have several local places I eat at and like -- but pizza is like sex ya gotta have it when ya gotta have it and it had to be be good and last all night long.

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  3. Are you kidding? Papa Johns??? We order that just about every week in Kuwait.

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  4. I will have to check again -- I miss Papa Johns

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    1. That's funny that it's been here in Kuwait the entire time. Why do I get the feeling you are somewhere in Kuwait right now face down in a Papa John's pizza pie? Please come up for air! ;P

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  5. i want wendy's, red lobster and baba gump's

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    1. If Kuwait gets Bubba Gumps I'm going to cry from happiness. Just please put it anywhere but the crowded mall: The Avenues. How about Salhiya Complex? ;)

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  6. People think the same way, when it comes to Saudi Arabia (where I live) though I'm American. some people still think that its a dessert---and everyone here lives, in tents, and ride camels, to work, and school.

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    1. Hi Hebah! I would love to tour Saudi Arabia and shop the malls. Unfortunately they will not let single American girls obtain a visa. I really want to see this country. :(

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  7. I heard in the UAE that Red Lobster is coming to Kuwait. If Shake Shack came, maybe Baba Gump's will, just watch Dubai, they enter the market there first.

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    1. I'm not a Red Lobster fan because it's a MAJOR sin to eat frozen fish where I come from. My family would never go there BUT I tried it once with my bestie. I think we gained several pounds from the biscuits to the creme sauce filled seafood. It was pretty tasty but dangerous. I guess I'm anti-chain restaurant with a few exceptions. Bubba Gumps in Kuwait would be a dream come true!

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  8. i want one of those hilton wannnabe's..do they come in pairs??

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    1. I heard they have them in Dubai (imported from Eastern Europe) but with bleached blonde hair, bad teeth and broken English. You can definitely buy them in pairs. ;)

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    2. Save your money and stick to Las Vegas! ;)

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    3. haha..as if you knew. .am going there for 4th of july. .for the fireworks ofcourse ;)

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    4. And all this time we thought you were a 'good boy'. Now we all know you are a naughty one! ;)

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    5. haha. .dont be quick to judge :)

      al7amdulillah i am a so called a 'good boy'..i dont drink, smoke, gamble or do the nasty. .i could be the freakin pope.. but the thing is, I love metropolitan areas. .the lights. .the buildings. .walking around the streets at 5am and they are as crowded as they were at night. .thats why I love the likes of vegas and NY. .I never get bored with them. .

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    6. Is that clarification or guilt talking? *Expat loves to tease* ;)

      Are you thinking about starting a blog? I've seen you comment on a few of my favorites. Why don't you?

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    7. too lazy to be honest. .commenting takes a few seconds. .but blogging is a full time commitment. . i will pass.

      and yes, i realized that. .almost every comment you make seems like a tease ;)

      Delete
    8. Yes, blogging is a full time commitment but I love it. :) It's nice that you comment on so many blogs. Bloggers always love to see comments with fresh perspectives. Thank you for your support. :)

      Delete
  9. What? Does that mean I have to get rid of my Camel Geoffry?

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    Replies
    1. LOL! Absolutely not! Everyone should have a camel named Geoffry in their expat Kuwaiti life.

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  10. Wondering if Lancome cosmetics are available in Kuwait?

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    Replies
    1. Yes they are :) overpriced as ever ;) :P

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    2. KrisB ~ Don't buy them in Kuwait. Just go to the counter and pick out what you like. Then order from online. (But not during the hot summer months!) If you have access to an APO it's easy peasy! (Nordstroms, Macy's, etc.)

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    3. @Anonymous ~ OMG! Imported cosmetics are so expensive here. I always order online to my friend Bama's APO and pay 1/3 the price.

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    4. I want to add that buying luxury goods in Kuwait is almost always cheaper than Europe or the USA. Who wants to wait in line for a tax refund after your European vacation? Hell no! It's such a major scam because they have so many stupid rules. Can you say: NO TAX in Kuwait! If one of my wealthy readers buys me a $15,000 Hermes Birkin they will avoid US state sales tax which is on average 7% you actually save: $1,050 dollars. Then it's hello matching wallet. ;)

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  11. @Expat: I almost fainted at the Benefit counter in Vavavoom! 1KD = 1 USD apparently :| I need to try the APO thing :S Mama needs me some urban decay :D On a side note, do you face any issues with the customs here?

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    1. I've never had an issue with customs but perfume is not allowed in the mail. I <3 Benefit and went crazy in Bloomingdales in NYC.

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  12. the picture doesn't reflect the subject !

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    1. Did you read the post?

      Oh Ali, let me break it down for you bro.

      The post was inspired by my besties in the USA that the picture represents perfectly. They frequently interrupt me mid-sentence when we are talking on Skype and say, OMG!!! You have that in Kuwait? When I mention a certain store.

      I hope that clears it up for you. :)

      Get it? :P

      Delete
  13. I am just worried that everything in Kuwait is going to be out of my price range. I get my hair cut at an Aveeda school, so pay $18 for cut and $25 for color. I use coupons when I grocery shop and buy off the $1 menu at McDonalds. I am from NJ and I am a diner kind of girl (which usually costs $5 for breakfast and $10 for dinner). I splurged and bought a $100 Coach bag from the outlet, but am more likely to be seen with a $50 Vera Bradley bag. All the posts I read about Kuwait are filled with restaurants like Ruth Chris Steakhouse, Chanel bags, Minolo Blahnik shoes, weekends at $500 a night hotels - I don't think I will be able to have any kind of life in Kuwait on a teacher's salary. So the only thing I worry about finding on my arrival in Kuwait is budget places.

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    1. You will be just fine in Kuwait. You can live on a budget and still enjoy your time here. Please keep in mind when you read this blog that I'm not the typical American in Kuwait. Most are blue collar contractors or teachers. Most do not shop at Chanel or stay in $500 hotels every month. There are some that do because they choose to or have millionaire boyfriends, husbands or fiances.

      There are discount grocery and retail stores, cheap restaurants, discount weekend travel, etc. I wish I knew how to be more like you. I just grew up in a different way. I really admire people like you.

      So please relax and no more worries. You will love living here if you make the most of it! :)

      Delete
  14. OMG! You guys still don't have a decent world class bookshop or a unisex salon. Tell me, if it's true or not but come each weekend everybody is all dressed up and have nowhere to go- discounting the departure gates at KWI International; of course!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. There is one decent bookshop but I order everything online. There is lots to do if you check my Tour Kuwait in 1,2 or 3 day posts.

      I guess Kuwait is what you make of it and Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain are just a short plane ride away.

      Delete

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