Kuwait turns Silk Road into a massive causeway

Kuwait is building one of the world's longest causeways to its remote north where it will pump billions into 'Silk City', aiming to revive the ancient Silk Road trade route.

The oil-rich emirate is eager to inject life into the uninhabited Subbiya region on its northern tip that has been chosen as the location for Silk City.

The plan is to reinvigorate the ancient Silk Road trade route by establishing a major free trade zone linking the Gulf to central Asia and Europe.

The 36-kilometre bridge, three-quarters of it over water, will cut the driving time between Kuwait City and Subbiya to 20-25 minutes from 90 minutes now.

Investment in the Silk City project is expected to top $100 billion, and a 5,000-megawatt power plant has already been built in Subbiya.

At a cost of 904 million dinars, the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway, named after the emir who died in January 2006, is one of the largest infrastructure ventures in the region.

It is already nearly three-quarters completed.

A large container port is also under construction on nearby Bubiyan, Kuwait's largest island.

The causeway project consists of the main bridge north to Subbiya and a 12.4km bridge running west, dubbed the Doha Link.

The two bridges start from the same point at Shuwaikh Port, the country's main commercial port.

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