The governments of Kuwait and China have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to co-invest in the development of Kuwait’s Silk City and five northern islands.

The $86bn Silk City, which has been on hold for some time, is envisaged as Kuwait’s new economic and commercial hub located in the Subiya Peninsula across the bay of Kuwait.

The initial Silk City master plan involves the development of a 1,001-metre tall mixed-use tower and cultural, film, media, business, leisure and business zones along with a national wildlife sanctuary, parks, convention centres and housing that will accommodate up to 750,000 people

The five islands to be developed are Failaka, Warba, Bubiyan, Miskan and Awha.

The Silk City and islands will be developed in line with China’s multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), for which several banks and funds are understood to have already committed some $1tn in infrastructure financing.

The $3bn Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah bridge, whose main section will link Kuwait City with the Subiya promontory and Bubiyan Island, is nearing completion.