Smiles start with the young and extend to all generations in this city. It’s when I witness moments like these that I wish my children join me on business trips. They would have loved it. Hundreds of kids playing in water puddles. It looked liked so much fun and the weather was so sticky, I wanted to join in myself.
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I bought a smaller camera for those work trips when I head straight from the airport to a meeting. I don’t like the ‘tourist’ look that a big camera would convey. I’m also very often visiting the same cities: Dubai, Doha, Paris, Sens, London, Muscat, Khobar and Jeddah. During most trips, I only get an hour or so of photography time, which is mostly during bright daylight and outdoors; perfect conditions and very manageable with a small camera. The Nikon is therefore now reserved for proper holidays, and for business trips to off-the-beaten-track locations.
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The world sometimes feels smaller to me than the small Shetland Islands, north of Scotland. I live in Kuwait, I work for a Houston-based American company, with a head-office in Sens (in France), and I cover the Middle East and the UK. Last week, I had a meeting at BP’s Sullom Voe Terminal. I later spent the late afternoon exploring the place including an hour of bird-watching.
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I’m back in the air!
Jeddah airport has been renovated but it still looks hopelessly dull. It’s such a contrast to what it looks like from outside. I love the simple tent-look of the main terminal building. The lack of the ugly (but necessary) jetways, and the vast open area of the airport apron, help maintain the illusion.
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From 30,000 feet, a dust storm is rather beautiful. That’s what we should do in fact: we should build stations high up where the weather is both cooler and dust-free. Just look at that blue sky!
Even dust seems to produce beauty: I love the view above – taken from our cruising altitude. Dubai wasn’t anywhere near as dusty as Kuwait – but it was a ‘yellow’ journey from start to finish. Below are a few shots from the trip, starting with the airport, Dubai, the ‘World’ and Kuwait.
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This is the first personal few minutes I’ve had since my arrival! I took a taxi out of Paris, first thing Wednesday, and I’ve been busy ever since… My journey out of Paris airport reminded me what an active airport CDG really is. The number of long white clouds (from the jet engines) that lined the sky was impressive. After our meetings, there are receptions, followed by dinners, followed by late nights with colleagues, followed by more meetings the next day. It will be a tough year and many companies are struggling. We are no exception, so it’s important to agree on strategies.
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It’s been a while since I’ve been to Dubai. I will be going there a few times over the next month or two. This doesn’t mean I haven’t stopped there on the way, or the way back, from somewhere. I suppose anyone with wings has to stop there at some point.
I managed to catch a glimpse of Sh. Zayed Road from the air very early this morning. You can see Emirates Towers if you open the larger version.
For some time now, I’ve not travelled as often as I would expect. Some trips were cancelled, others postponed. It has been great staying home, but it’s now time to play catch-up.
The airports I’ve been through today, Kuwait, Dubai and Paris, were all surprisingly quiet. This photograph was taken this morning at Kuwait International Airport.
I took this from a Gulf Air flight out of Kuwait this morning. The weather was beautiful and clear. The plane was banking to the right and I found myself staring at this view of KWI. For the first time, I noticed the name “Kuwait” written on the ground in that huge lettering. I wonder if they’re lower beds? It seems too big an area. Have a look at the larger version by clicking the photograph.
I fly through many airports around the world, and I still think Kuwait’s is one of the best. Even though I now associate cigarette smoke smell with the lady’s voice calling the gates, and that KWI doesn’t have good shops and restaurant, it scores high where it counts. For me, the most important factors are world class: Good highway connection, close/cheap long term parking, short distances to walk between gates and lounges, and most importantly it takes less than 25 minutes to do everything – whether departing or arriving.
This will change, and soon, with all the planned expansions and runways. We currently have 8 million passengers coming through Kuwait, the new airport will have a capacity of 20 million. I have a friend working on this project but he’s unable to share with me anything confidential. Al Watan Daily had an article on 6th November about the new plans. Read it here if you’re interested.
It looks like this small airport luxury will be gone soon, so enjoy it! Even with the Hajj rush starting soon…
This was taken on my way to the airport yesterday. Most (if not all) early morning flights were cancelled. Mine was only delayed by an hour. I couldn’t believe how low the visibility was – nor how it was concentrated only around the airport. When I left home, it was almost 100% clear!
Since moving back to Kuwait I am flying less often with BA. My frequent-flyer card changed from Gold to Silver and this week back to BLUE! Only two days ago! I know it’s only fair, but it sounds crazy that after all the money I spent with BA over five years, I now have a card that one can get by simply filling in a form
I have to admit that T5 is wonderful. You don’t need to have access to a lounge here. I had to kill three hours. However, a nice meal, good coffee (I’m travelling!), a newspaper and a walk around the shops, made it feel much shorter. The views, from inside the terminal building, of the runways and taxi ways, are the best I’ve seen from many airports.
Now that I fly around the Middle East more than I do around Europe, I have to make a new friend – Emirates.
I already miss BA.
That’s right… it’s Friday the 8th of the 8th of the 8th. it’s 08:08 and I am officially on holiday for two weeks… Thank god!
I’ve flown British Airways for more than ten years. They have constantly improved their service, systems, food, seats and lounges. Of course there are problems now and then, and I’ve had my fair share of rows with their staff (the inherently stupid ones), but today I’m writing this from the BA lounge at Heathrow’s new Terminal 5. Wow… The furniture, ambiance, size, food, drinks, reading material, service (I could go on for a while)…
Most impressive, I’m sure you’ll agree, is the view.
The sun is setting over Heathrow’s horizon.
I took this an hour before we boarded.