Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Blowing smoke on real estate in Kuwait

Al-Melham rules out possibility of crisis affecting Kuwait real-estate due to expats
Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 8: CEO of Blue Print Shareholding Company Meshal Al-Melham ruled out the possibility of a crisis affecting the real-estate sector in Kuwait due to the recent decisions related to expatriates, reports Al-Rai daily. He said the market will adapt to the consequences quickly, affirming that the matter is related to demographic reform and not expulsion of expatriates.

Al-Melham reiterated that the market will be able to adjust to the reduced number of expatriates, indicating that trade and investment movement in the real estate sector has declined recently due to worries over the increased water and electricity tariffs. He revealed that the recent fall in the prices of houses is part of the process of correcting the path following a period of unjustified hike in the real-estate prices, affirming that this is the way the real estate sector corrects its mistakes.

Al-Melham explained that there are two reasons behind Kuwaiti citizens’ tendency to buy real estate properties overseas. The first reason is personal. Since some citizens often travel to certain countries for studies or medical treatments there, they choose to buy real estate there.
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Ha ha ha.  Keep bullshitting the population into believing everything is juuuust fine. The real deal is that expats (the kind with money) are leaving Kuwait in DROVES and there is a glut of empty apartments.  Prices are dropping due to supply and demand:  There is an over supply and decrease in demand.  Simple logic. 

A note on “bachelor accommodations”:  IF any company is on a US military contract and is supplying labor to those contracts, Army auditors are going out with MEASURING TAPES to check apartment sizes and number of occupants living there.  If the company is in violation, they lose the contract.  But of course, that is just a warning for those corrupt companies who are on US contracts; has nothing to do with laborers working on stuff like infrastructure projects.  Slave quarters for those guys aren’t regulated.

And why are more Kuwaitis buying property overseas?  Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock and/or don’t listen to the news, there has been major instability in the region within past months.  Kuwaitis are feeling itchy again.  It’s that little thing that keeps you up at night:  “Are my kids going to be ok here?  Am I going to be ok here?  What’s going to happen with Iran, Saudi Arabia, the local market… more more more….”

So here’s my thought to lawmakers and “big thinkers” out there:  Stop blaming expats for your issues.  The blame game is cultural to Kuwait.  Think outside the box:  Perhaps make Kuwait a more attractive place for expats to invest in by (get this) not blaming expats.  Maybe become a little more welcoming to investors and high worth individuals who would WANT to live/invest in Kuwait and would also pay the types of rents backward-thinking landlords are demanding.  Stop with the stupid laws like deporting people for traffic offenses.  Make QUALITY OF LIFE a priority to all people living in Kuwait.

That’s my 2 fils on the subject.

(I’m not allowing comments on this post, haters.  Find another way to bash this expat.)

Mic drop.

Friday, January 05, 2018

"Draft laws ready to resolve the bedoon issue"

Every few years, the parliament makes a statement about naturalizing 4000 stateless (no-nationality people - many of whom have been born in Kuwait or have generations of family members born in Kuwait for as long as the the country has been an official country).  They're called, "Bedoon" meaning "without" in Arabic - a shorter version of "bedoon jinseeya" or "without nationality." Not to be confused with Bedouin.

Anyways, today's Kuwait Times:

Such BS.  They bring it up  They drop it.  I was particularly chuffed about the idea to give all Bedoon citizenship to the Comoros Islands nation.  (Yeah....ok.....)

Amazon sells a very good book called, " Kuwait: The Bedoons of Kuwait "Citizens Without Citizenship" It was written by a group of people from Human Rights Watch.  The book (written in 1995) also mentions the governments "plans" to naturalize 4000 Bedoons per year. How many have actually been naturalized since then?

(I don't know who came up with the original plan for 4,000... why not 5,000?  Who knows.)

But don't take my word for it:   Plenty of objective organizations have come to Kuwait to document the issue.  Like Refugees International and others.

I will get comments from people saying that Bedoon are all Iraqis who came here seeking a better life (in their words "trying to get money") during or following the invasion.  "What do you know?  You're just a foreigner!?"  'Yo homey, what do you know,  you're just 26.'  I will happily delete those comments from youngsters who have a one-sided view and should read more/listen less in their diwaniya or from bigots who infect more bigots.

Let the entire country of Kuwait do the DNA test!  DO IT.  Find out where you're all really from!  I dare ya.  23andme can tell you for $99.  And Kuwait being a port for centuries, I'm guessing it's not going to all be what you thought.

I also urge foreign embassy workers to look into this issue.  Don't take the word/perspective of one group of people - educate yourselves.  Maybe even talk to some Bedoon people and learn first-hand of their experiences.