KUWAIT CITY, Oct 30: The country intends to invest $160 billion for the development of five islands — Boubyan, Warba, Failaka, Maskan and Aouha. In a report published on its website Sunday, The New Arab said a study conducted by the Development of Islands Committee in the Council of Ministers showed that the country will earn around $40 billion annually once the gigantic project is completed; in addition to the creation of 200,000 jobs.
The plan is to transform the islands into tourism and leisure destinations consisting of canals similar to those found in Venice, Italy; as well as shopping complexes, state-ofthe- art travel center and other amenities. With a projected completion period of 20 years, the project’s objectives include the creation of comprehensive free zone, implementation of operating rules in a bid to prevent bureaucracy and encourage competent workers. It is expected as well to attract huge investments from different parts of the world and develop national products, considering these islands are part of the Silk Road project.
“The development of these islands has come to a number of considerations, including its unique location within a region where economic turnover is estimated at $2.2 trillion annually,” says member of the General Planning Committee for the project Hanan Ashkani. Ibrahim Al-Mishal, an economist, said that direct foreign investment in the country is expected to double as a result of the project, noting the GDP per capita in the islands will be three times higher than the rest of Kuwait.