KUWAIT: Cigar lovers can now enjoy their favorite smoke at a fancy and cozy café in the tony Salhiya area in Kuwait City. Smoking anything else other than cigars or pipes is forbidden at the Cigar Room, whether it’s a cigarette or its electronic counterpart. “This is our high-end branch. We are seven Kuwaiti partners operating the Cigar Room. We started a year ago with our first branch in Ardiya. Most of us educated ourselves about cigars by researching them or attending programs abroad. We have one of the biggest humidors (the rooms where you store the cigars), as we have to keep the cigar at a certain temperature and humidity to keep it fresh for smokers,” Saud Al-Yaqout told Kuwait Times.
“The difference between retail shops and our shop is that one of the partners is always on the floor. So when someone walks in, and he is new to cigars, we teach them how to smoke and how to enjoy the cigar in a friendly environment. Most people are worried about how to hold the cigar and smoke it. They have read only read about it on the Internet and may feel shy,” he added.
According to Yaqout, cigars are completely different from cigarettes. “One cigarette has around 250 chemicals, and this is why there is an addiction, while with cigars there isn’t any addiction. A cigar is completely natural with no chemicals added. So it’s not addictive as cigarettes – it’s 100 percent tobacco. It contains natural nicotine not added nicotine. Also, you only puff on the cigar and not inhale the smoke, so the risks are minimum compared to cigarettes or others,” he stressed.
“We acquire cigars vintage and new from all over the world. Habanos or the producing company in Cuba does regional additions for each country. We require these regional additions in addition to the cigars we have. We also have non-Cuban cigars – we are the official retailers for other companies. For example Royal Danish cigars made the first Kuwaiti-addition cigar ever introduced last year. We also have Optimos cigars,” Yaqout noted.
“Then we have accessories from various companies, and we are their official retailers in Kuwait. This year we will try to get more companies. Our non-Cuban cigars are from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and other places. Tobacco is just like coffee – it can be planted in tropical temperatures, especially in Central American and South American countries,” he explained.
The price of a good cigar starts from around KD 5 per piece up to a few thousand dinars, depending on the make. “For instance, Davidoff cigars from the 1960s will cost around KD 15,000 per box, and people buy it like wine. If we store the cigar at the optimum temperature and humidity, it will last for years with the same taste. We have cigars from 2004 here at the store, which are the oldest available. There are vintage cigar banks all over the world such as Girard in Geneva, and we work with them in addition to other retailers,” said Yaqout.
“We are a friendly and prominent cigar cafe in Kuwait where you can come and enjoy a cigar and get all the information from the partners, who are very well educated in cigars to teach the public. It’s a very small market in Kuwait,” he concluded. The seven partners are Abdulrahman Al-Muraikhi, Saud Al-Yaqout, Nashmi Al-Ajmi, Abdulrahman Al-Terkait, Abdullah bin Awadh, Sayel Al-Ajmi and Yasser Al-Arbash. The Cigar Room is open from 8:00 am till midnight.
By Nawara Fattahova