Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

-Nzm – You’re It: Mermaid of Mangaf Update

Here’s what I love – a comment on my blog, buried way back on a post I wrote almost a year ago ( Mermaid of Mangaf Update) , which was an update on a previous post – Mermaid of Mangaf. And the comment is so good, contains so much more information that I don’t have, that I can use it as a blog entry, lazy lazy me! Wooo Hoooo, for my readers and commenters. -Nzm, today, you are my guest blogger!

Hey all! We went to visit the mermaid a few months ago, and the management was really kind and gave us a whole tour of the place. They showed us two villas, one furnished and the other plain. The villas are absolutely gorgeous, very luxurious and spaceous. The look and feel is completely different from the rest of the housing in kuwait — the Mermaid encompasses a very western style/feel of living. (You might feel as if you are no longer in kuwait!).. The roof contains the pool, party hall with a plasma tv, gym, saunas, squash courts, lockers, a massage centre and even a cafeteria…The view of the sea from the roof is breath taking. And yes there is also a car elevator which tenants can use (at the time we visited they had not finished installing the interiors of the elevator)

However, the prices are quite high for each villa.. The villas at the very bottom are selling for 310,000 KD and the ones at the very top are for 370,000 KD with ranging prices for villas in between (you cannot simply “rent” the villas). Also, you must pay 90% of price on purhase, and EVERY MONTH you must pay 500 KD for maintenance.

Honestly, as beautiful as the mermaid is, I dont think its worth THAT much money.. (370,000 KD converts to about 1,365,152 Canadian dollars!) I’m sure you can find much better houses for that amount of money in Kuwait..I know that the villas are stunning but the prices are set too high.

Recently, we have heard that Tijara changed its pricing and now you can actually rent the villas for about 2,600 KD/month (this is simply what I have heard)…

I live very close to the Mermaid and pass it every day, and I believe that it is still as empty as it was before.. the clothes some people have seen hanging on the balcony are those of the workers who stay around the villas for cleaning/maintenance. It appears quite empty.

I do not know the current situation of the Mermaid, but if someone could update us that us that would be nice. I hope my information has helped!

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January 28, 2008 - Posted by | Building, Community, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions

16 Comments »

  1. So basically you buy the villa for a little more than 1Mil US$ and then you rent it?!?!?!

    How lame!

    Comment by kinano | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. the prices are insane!!

    Comment by Amu | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  3. Kinan, I think it was built to be both state-of-the-art and over-the-top, with the elevators to carry the cars up to individual car parks. At one time, I was told they were all sold out!

    Amu – For Kuwait? With a panorama sea-view, two levels, luxury detailing and location location location?

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  4. I’m all about a killer view but I’m still not convinced they’re a good deal. KD 370,000 in addition to the KD 500 monthly can still buy you more in Kuwait with a lot less neighbors.
    Obviously, people like me are not the Mermaid’s target market they’re after a certain “class”. I probably wouldn’t enjoy living there amongst that class of Joneses. (Then again sour grapes..right?!)

    Comment by G.E&B | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  5. Killer views can be had for much less! And when I heard about the elevators, all I could think of was what the sand in the air here could do to the car-elevator machinery – who needs that?

    I remember when I first saw the Mermaid. She is just so drop-dead beautiful. Unique in Kuwait, notably different, with her wave-like glass balcony’s and two level construction.

    But I agree, they appear to be mostly empty. What a pity. I am guessing that prices will have to drop until people feel they are worth the investment. It’s still a beautiful place.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  6. sh*t – it’s only Kuwait…. and Mahboula at that!

    Cheaper to buy apartments in NYC.

    Comment by moocherx | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  7. Nadia Tower off the Gulf Street near Zahra complex appears to be another Mermaid in the making. But I trust it will get a much better reception from the public than the Mermaid did. After all a Salmiya location trumps Mahboula any day. It’s a shame they haven’t still passed a law in Kuwait for free hold property for expats, or at least for the loaded Muscovites with millions of dollars worth loose change to spare.

    Comment by beautiful liar | January 30, 2008 | Reply

  8. Moocherx – Seaside view, trendy and elegant design – nothing else like it in Kuwait. I bet even though it is expensive, it will eventually fill.

    Beautiful Liar – Do you think the Nadia Tower is the same builder? You are right, Salmiya trumps Mahboula, even with the traffic, and with all the high rises going up to the south, Mahboula looks like it will have it’s own traffic problems soon.

    What are the rich Muscovites doing in Kuwait? Investing?

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 30, 2008 | Reply

  9. Hello all! I’m supposed to be coming to workin Kuwait in January 2011… My company mentioned the MERMAID as a potential lodging spot… does anyone have pics of the furnished or unfurnished units (inside)? Would be great to see them! Thanks in advance.

    Comment by Denise | December 24, 2010 | Reply

  10. Denise – I can’t imagine it is the Mermaid in Mangaf – if it is, your company is amazing. Click on the blue type in the blog entry above and it will take you to photos, and to a website with the building/managing company.

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 25, 2010 | Reply

  11. I currently live in the Mermaid, and it’s pretty nice (live on the 4th floor), except for the Internet access (complete shame Kuwait has crappy Internet) the place is really nice, and quite roomy. My company is paying for the Villa, which comes out to right about 90,000 USD a year for a 4 bedroom + the maids room. So far so good, though the building is pretty empty and the construction on the back side of the building is annoying (it is a giant trench and blocks the elevator access for vehicles, and one gate).

    That and the way people park there cars can sometimes block the entrance completely (though the security guards are quick to get the cars moved out of the way).

    Can’t beat the maid service though, really nice people and they do wonderful work. I wonder what this place looked like a couple of years ago though? The front of the places seems to have let go (the palms are dying / dead, plants over grown, etc…)

    Comment by Paul | January 4, 2011 | Reply

  12. Paul – it was state-of-the-art. The Mermaid was supposed to be THE place to live (but nobody could afford it). The non-blockable view of the Gulf, the floor to ceiling non-stop windows, the modern interiors. You have a very generous company when it comes to housing. :-)

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 4, 2011 | Reply

  13. Yeah, it’s still very pricey as my current lease can attest to. I think maybe it was built in the wrong place (it’s in-between some run down apartments), coupled with the crazy prices led to it not prospering as much as it could have in a slightly better area it seems.

    Great view of the Gulf like you say though. :) I do like how not busy the building is for sure, I don’t have to share the gym with anyone so far and not having neighbors DIRECTLY on either side is an added bonus.

    Quick question for you, where are some nice places to find other expats in the area? (New to Kuwait, only been here for 2 months now).

    Comment by Paul | January 4, 2011 | Reply

  14. Paul, do you go to church on Friday mornings? :-) Other places you will find people hanging out are at the Sultan Center in Fehaheel, at Chili’s in the Mangaf Mall, at Friday brunch at the Hilton, at the Sakura/Ruby Tuesday’s/Pizza place in Mangaf, and at the Malls.

    My favorite places, on the other hand, were downtown – the Mubarakiyya, the old souks, and the Tariq Rajab Museums. There is also a singing group/orchestra that performs two or three times a year, and they have a wonderful time.

    If you make some local friends your time in Kuwait will be more memorable. Kuwaitis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Lebanese, Egyptians, Indians, et al – they can all help you better understand the intricacies and subtleties of the cultures you are living in. :-)

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 4, 2011 | Reply

  15. No, I do not but I need to :) I have visited those places (and do almost daily), but it seems the locals here are a bit more closed than say the Iraqis I knew back when I was there, or some of the other Arab countries or even Afghanistan and Iran. The Indians are very open and talkative, but it seems I am having a hard time finding Kuwaitis willing to talk.

    I was hoping to make some new Kuwaiti friends to further my Arabic learning, but so far no luck. :( haha.

    Comment by Paul | January 5, 2011 | Reply

  16. Paul, it takes time. My experience is that Kuwait is one of the more open of the Gulf countries, and one of the easiest to make friends; Kuwaitis are more sophisticated. And still, it takes time.

    Your best bet will be an interest group. Get a group together to make an entry for Flugtag (LLLOOOLLL). Eat a meal and drink tea down at Mubarakiyya. Go to the little souk stores. Walk on the Corniche in this beautiful weather. :-) Visit their aquarium and take in some iMax movies. Become familiar. Sooner or later someone will be curious and strike up a conversation. It happens slowly, and then one day, you realize, you have friends. :-)

    Oh! volunteer at K’s Path!

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 5, 2011 | Reply


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