KUWAIT: People skate at the Ice Skating Rink in this July 30, 2015 file photo. - Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: Fans of the Ice Skating Rink have a final chance to enjoy skating at the rink as it will be closed for good by the beginning of next week. This is the last weekend for this historical building to welcome visitors, especially those who have childhood memories of the place. Since last year, reports have been swirling that the Ice Skating Rink on First Ring Road will be demolished as part of the expansion project of Shaheed Park's third phase. But it was later confirmed that there were some problems with the project and that the rink and the next-door Discovery Mall will be saved from demolition, especially since the Ice Skating Rink is a historical landmark of Kuwait.

When a new ice skating rink opened in Bayan two weeks ago, where the Arab Hockey Championship was held, people started saying that this will be the new rink to replace the Ice Skating Rink, and unofficial reports said it will be closed. Yesterday, Kuwait Times contacted the Ice Skating Rink and an employee there confirmed that it will be closed for good either on Sunday or Monday, as the management told them it would be their last day of work.

"I'm sad to leave the place where I have worked for the past five years and where I have many colleagues whom I really love. The management told us not to worry about losing our jobs, as we will be shifted to another location," he told Kuwait Times. "I think this time it's really over. I saw the delegation of the Amiri Diwan when they said they will close this rink soon. Also, some construction works have already started outside the rink. I'm very sad by this decision as I have many memories here since I was a child, when I used to enjoy skating here. But I think that the new generation is not attached to this place as we are. It really is a pity to lose this place," added the employee.

Currently there are a few smaller privately-owned ice skating rinks in Kuwait, such as those at the Promenade, Avenues and other malls, but all are suitable only for kids. The new rink in Bayan that hosted the championship is not yet open to the public. Also it's not completely ready yet and is much smaller than the Ice Skating Rink.

The Ice Skating Rink is open this weekend from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm for KD 3 per person for 90 minutes of skating, including the rental for skating shoes.