The 2035 Vi­sion

Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS - By Ali Mah­moud Kha­jah

What are the ac­tual steps to­wards build­ing the Silk City? When will the is­lands be de­vel­oped? What fa­cil­i­ties are used to en­cour­age for­eign in­vestors? When will Mubarak Port open? No­body knows. We just have to men­tion a very dis­tant year such as 2035 and sell il­lu­sions to peo­ple with­out any ac­tual work be­ing done. The idea of the Silk City and mak­ing use of the Kuwaiti is­lands and de­vel­op­ing them into new non-oil sources of in­vest­ment, is once more re­vived. It is an old topic oc­ca­sion­ally brought up with­out hav­ing ac­tual steps taken to achieve it.

There is no need to go into much de­tail of what the gov­ern­ment and state of­fi­cials say about the project us­ing ‘canned’ phrases that had been used for decades such as: ‘We will con­nect the East and the West’, ‘ a del­e­ga­tion from a ma­jor coun­try will visit Kuwait soon to set strate­gies’, ‘we will pro­vide end­less job op­por­tu­ni­ties’, ‘the de­vel­op­ment process will in­clude A,B and C phases’, ‘for­eign in­vestors will play a vi­tal role’ and so many other stereo­type state­ments that are, some­times ac­com­pa­nied by a vi­su­al­ized pre­sen­ta­tion like what hap­pened two years ago when the supreme plan­ning coun­cil met with His High­ness the Amir on TV.

How­ever, zero per­cent of that project has been ac­tu­ally ex­e­cuted. Those phrases and state­ments are no more mean­ing­ful or even able to cre­ate the least amount of op­ti­mism be­cause peo­ple can no more be con­vinced with il­lu­sions while they can see the progress made by the neigh­bor­ing coun­tries and can be felt on each and ev­ery visit. Only five years from now, Qatar will host the world’s prime foot­ball cham­pi­onship and has al­ready started open­ing spe­cial fully air-con­di­tioned sta­di­ums. Dubai has be­come an in­ter­na­tional tourist des­ti­na­tion with a very busy air­port while we are still sing­ing the same tunes of the Silk City and de­vel­op­ing the is­lands about which I wrote with so much op­ti­mism in 2007, when I used to be­lieve what I heard.

In real life, the Jaber Cause­way con­nect­ing Kuwait City to Sub­biya tells the en­tire story be­cause it is sched­uled to be fin­ished by the end of next year while noth­ing so far is built there. This means that when the bridge will open and peo­ple will be able to reach Sub­biya in 20 min­utes, they will have noth­ing to see there but an empty desert and then come back. The same ap­plies for the so-called Jaber Hos­pi­tal where constructions con­cluded years ago while MOH is still in­ca­pable of open­ing it. If the gov­ern­ment is se­ri­ous, a clear sched­ule should be set to make such dreams come true. —Trans­lated by Kuwait Times

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