Monday, April 14, 2014
One of the comments I received after a previous post was, “I didn’t know there were trailer parks in Kuwait...” I had thought about writing a post about this, but now I am doing it, as I have thoughts....
When DesertGuy said he had bought a “caravan” [we just call them “campers” in the States - could refer to any Recreational Vehicles (RVs)/motor coaches], I was surprised (only because I wondered where he got the money). It made perfect sense from all other perspectives as now that the camping season is over, he really doesn’t have any place that he can go and call his own (have his own bed to crash in). He has to remain mobile as he has "issues”.
The desert camp was “safe” for him because no one knows where he was and the police never disrupt the party and/or serve him with a warrant. Perhaps camps are Kuwait’s (temporary) trailer parks (without the tornadoes)?
People have started buying caravans the last few years in Kuwait and they're becoming quite popular. It isn’t that Kuwait is so big that you can take a ‘road trip’ and get away from it all, but realistically in Kuwait, you don’t have to go very far to get away from it all anyways. From Kuwait City, Abdali is about an hour and a half away, Subiya, Wafra, any of the southern beaches - all are about the same distance.
Who is buying campers in Kuwait and why? Right now, married men. That's who. So they can move around freely without the wife or the po-po being able to catch them with the girlfriend(s). The camper is the poor man’s yacht. You can get used ones on the cheap and they serve the same purpose. And extra added bonuses are: You don’t have to pay rent or buy expensive furnishings. Your wife and your girlfriend(s) may never find you (unless someone gets smart and attaches some kind of a LoJack device to it). You can park it next to the beach or in the desert or pull up to your friends’ party and sleep it off in your own bed.
It is a great business for anyone who can import them to Kuwait. Gas is so cheap in the Middle East that they are a easy-sale big ticket item (unlike the US where dealers have trouble moving them). I haven’t heard about government regulation of campers. At this point, it is probably a sales free-for-all in the country (maybe the region).
Note: unfortunately, I've only seen the low-cost range make it to Kuwait. Very few of the really nice ones like some pictured below. Anything new/different/previously unavailable in Kuwait is going to be an instant-seller.
The only problem that an importer may encounter is that campers from the US run on 110V electricity and Kuwait runs 220. The electric has to be changed/re-wired. I guess septic dumps aren’t a problem either because no one is going to care where you dump (shit) here. Nothing is enforced, so whatever.
I predict what's going to happen in the next few years (“down the road,” if you will). I can see the headlines, "Mobile vice dens..." Gambling, adultery, drinking parties....
But maybe I’m wrong.
Maybe it is something that will turn into a family activity. With so many beaches cut off from the public in Kuwait (there are chalets everywhere but not everyone can afford them - similar to beach property in many other countries), maybe someone will come up with a campground concept. Perhaps near a beach where you can drive your camper to a spot with water and electric hook up, and a small convenience store, located close to a beach. (Think about it, investors! Low overhead, high margins, guaranteed turnover). And... great for the kids! Kids love camping. Private and mobile and no worry about damage: Your kids can run wild and no one will care what gets destroyed in the process because you own it.