Posted by: englishdubai | April 3, 2008

Kickin’ it in Kuwait

I had my first visit to Kuwait to meet last week. Kuwait is somewhere that has eluded me for one reason or another so I was pleased to be able to spend a few days rather than the flying visits I usually make.

The first impression I got when arriving in Kuwait was the very noticeable presence of Americans. In fact, more so than any other place that I have visited in the middle east. I suppose the combination of large amounts of oil and a military base would explain that – but the vast amount of American cars and fast food joints abound just in case it slipped your mind for a minute.

I got a very long lesson in how to deal with the visa process on arrival. The well organized amongst us (not me in this instance) would contact the hotel well in advance with a scan of ones passport and flight details. In a few days they will have your visa waiting for you at the airport. Or you take a number and wait for a while in line to get the visa. This visa queue has taken my colleague over three hours when he arrived on the morning flight – but it is quicker in the evening.

I had asked the hotel to arrange the visa but had not worked out where to collect it and after waiting in the visa on arrival queue I was sent downstairs. At visa pick up they told me they did not have it. Following a series of phone calls to the hotel, their man at the airport and a short wait my visa mysteriously appeared at the counter. I was rather anxious during this time as I was stuck in limbo.

I was rewarded however with productive meetings and I got to stay in the rather nice Moevenpick Hotel and Resort Al Bidda’a. This is a new hotel with a good selection of restaurants within a short walk. I had a nice room with a view of the pool, beach and sea.

I liked it so much that I am going back for another stay next week – this time I will remember to bring my trunks with me.


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