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Intlxpatr asked for a post on the souk al jat, so i figured i’d kill two birds with one stone πŸ˜€

Although i work on the stock exchange, the supremely shitty parking and current day time temperatures of well over 45C under the sun means i normally dont go these days. instead i watch the market in my boxers from the comfort of my own desk.

uhhh no, no pictures of that. but incase youre wondering i’m wearing blue stripey ones πŸ˜›


i love my walk to the market. you get to check out the people coming and going from both the market and the burgan, nbk and gulf banks. their financial histories etched on their faces, there are the happy, the pissed off and the omg wtf am i gonna tell my wife looks.

the big chocolate cake looking thing is the KSE:


the walk is also probably the only place that you see kuwaitis walk quite a distance during the summer:


normally theyd circle round and round until they find a spot nearby, but you just cant do that here. so those that know park about a kilometer away and walk in. those that dont know, who are coming for the first time, and those who think they might get lucky, can get stuck for up to 30 minutes navigating no more than a couple hundred meters.


you see these adverts posted on quite a few vertical surfaces on the way. for the two non arabic reading readers i have,….. the one on the top right says they want to buy shares of Al Oula Fuel and Al Qurain Petrochemicals,….. these were stocks that werent listed at the time these posters went up.

but they were being bought and sold in souk al jat on the unofficial market, which is where their market price is determined during the time between the initial public offering where they’re priced at about 100 fils on average, and the actual listing.

the one on the lower right i find quite funny.

i think it says ” we want to buy. our office is near the stock exchange”. and then you get 2 mobile phone numbers,… not a land line. and thats it.

oooooo very cloak and daggerish πŸ˜›

from the KSE you cross the road to the gulf bank side to get to souk al jat.

while i was crossing i noticed this at the bookshop next to the KSE:


thats quite a queue for a bookshop!

its pretty normal for the day before a listing to see that, especially when it is a stock reserved for kuwaitis. what happens is that a new company is set up and the shares only offered to kuwaitis on a quota system ie each person get so many shares. to get that you need a) money to buy it with and b) your civil ID.

since some people dont have a) the money and arent interested at all, they sell b) their ID. well they sell their rights to the stock, not the ID itself. the guy buying their rights wants to get a big chunk of the company on offer but the only way he can is to get as many rights as he can. the seller will sign over the rights when the stock is listed in exchange for KD20-50. i think thats the current going rate.

oh those people were photocopying their ID’s to sell to the guys at souk al jat and or similar companies in the area.

right, onto souk al jat.

from the gulf bank you basically head to the mubarakiya souk till you come to this:


see that lil dark alleyway in between the buildings?

dont worry its not really dark, i was just positioned wrong.


theres a closer look.

souk al jat is in there.

souk al jat means animal feed market. and thats what it was at one time.

this is what it looks like inside, see not as dark, i suck at taking photos:


oh and the previous photo was from outside the other end in this photo. basically i walked in all the way to the end, turned around and took this photo.

those little offices are worth millions of KD. not in rent but in key money, ie what it costs the new tenant to pay the old tenant to leave.

this is where kuwait’s non-oil economy is driven from. or atleast, this is where it starts. you can buy or sell just about anything here, give the dude a good price and he’ll go out and get it for you.

the price of a new stock on the KSE is determined from the prices set here during the days before the official listing.


between the flashy investment bankers in nice suits, who are nothing more than salesmen, and the analysts who only regurgitate diwaniya talk and nothing else,…. the souk al jat guys are where its at.

they dont pretend to be your friend cos you know and they know we’re in this game to make a bit of money.

i like them cos theres no bullshit, no airs, no pretense.

well, thats all folks πŸ˜€

oh and one final note:

the best sambosa’s in kuwait is just round the corner. and no you cant argue with me unless you can find another shop thats been doing only one thing in the same place for the past 30+ years!




  1. excellent post skunk! thanx for the translations.. good pics too.. very interesting, would like to go and see it for myself! ( not only to go and try the samboosas!)

  2. glad you liked it dude.

    and yeah, both the sambosa’s and kuwaiti stocks are pretty hard to beat πŸ˜›

  3. Amazing. Nice post Skunk. Really interesting.

  4. cheers june πŸ˜€

  5. Loved it.. interesting post you got here!

  6. Love it, Skunk! It is a treasure!

  7. I’m almost 5 years here in Kuwait but never visited this place, so interesting..thanks for the post!

  8. thank you thank you thank you πŸ˜€

  9. I love to see all of the sights through ‘satellite’ eyes. I love samosas same as samboosas, right? . I will go looking! πŸ™‚ BTW, I am still trying to recover from the anxiety attack induced by your post about how KW is economically doomed…:/

  10. yeah carly theyre the same thing. one thing you’ll find here is that many things are spelled weirdly but are the same thing πŸ˜›

    and lol relax its not doomed doomed, but if people dont reign in their spending and start controlling themselves then its going to be trouble.

    i only warn cos i think its still not too late.

    but i could be wrong πŸ˜›

  11. New post, new post!

  12. lol i seem to have writers block 😐

  13. not that i really consider myself a writer πŸ˜›

  14. loved the pics πŸ˜€

    hmmm… i’ve never been to souk al jat.. do they open at night? I cant imagine walking in the heat, but it would be interesting to check out.

    i second June.. write something new!! yala already…

  15. Ooooooo…. blue stripey boxers, i like!
    I’m too drugged up on surgery meds to read the rest of the post. But I like blue boxers.

  16. CP: yeah souk’s open at night, but only one or two offices….. or maybe i was there too early. alot of their business gets done at night πŸ˜›

    prophet: lol, what especially? the blue or the boxers?

    do this: roll your head really really fast then stop and stand up πŸ˜€

  17. A really interesting post Skunk. I don’t remember seeing that tower when I was there but I’m glad you cleared up the confusion on the bookshop queue. I thought it was a photoshop prank…

  18. lol selling ID’s is the only time they queue up.

    altho, nowadays most places have introduced the most society changing technology,… the ticket number dispensing machine!

    as usual tho only some places adhere to it, and most times you can just walk up to the guy at the desk still,…. while the machine gathers dust in a corner.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Panic Away News on 07 Aug 2007 at 1:19 am

    Panic Away Now

    This helped me out of those DARK PLACES.

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