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Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Bridge to Nowhere

There is a very worthwhile drive that you can do to Bubiyan Island (follow "Subiya" signs from Jahra). Bubiyan is a barren uninhabited island up by the border, the ownership of which has long been disputed with Iraq and Iran. To reinforce their claim, Kuwait built a large bridge to link it to the mainland. You drive over this bridge, do a u-turn and drive back across it. It is known locally as the "bridge to nowhere". There is still a fair bit of war damage visible with the ruins of the police post and a few destroyed trucks and artillery pieces. The Iraqis had blown out the centre span during the occupation and the bridge reopened a year or so ago after rebuilding.

It is about 50kms from Jahra and it is a pleasant drive along the road that follows the line of the Mutla Ridge and eventually climbs over it near Bubiyan. The landscape is less spoilt than the rest of Kuwait and there are nice views of the Multa Ridge on one side and Kuwait Bay on the other. You will usually see a hundred or so camels grazing at the side of the road. About half way along, you will find that the road is fenced on both sides and you will reach a grandiose gate on either side with large signs saying "Kuwait National Park". The guards will, of course, not let you through the gate and there appears to be absolutely nothing to see anyway. Being photographed under the sign in the middle of nowhere is one of Kuwait's peak tourist experiences!

John & Rosemary Hillard, Australia (Dec 01)



  • This (2001) blog post is now quite a bit out of date. I made this trip in late May 2010. The KWs have now extended the motorway well beyond Jahra and there is little to see on the way apart from bland desert and fences all the way along! Even the national park on the way has it's gates firmly closed to the public these dayus. The last 10Kms becomes very scabby road and terminates at a power stations which seems to be under major extension to supply the mooted new 'Silk City'. Sights along the way are mostly military installations with signs prohibiting photography, etc.

    To get to the Bubiyan Bridge itself, you need to take a left about 1Km before the power station. The sign will say Police Station. You drive a few hundred metres up there and there is a small road (directly opposite the Police station) heading down towards the bridge. A couple of hundred metres down there, you find a checkpoint, with an armed gaurd huts on either side of the road.

    On coming closer to the checkpoint, there is a large sign in England and Arabic. It says something along the lines of "controlled military zone - No entry, do not approach the barrier, do not take photographs." The gaurds, by this time standing out of their little huts with their M16s at the ready, is quite enough to heed the sign and deter you from approaching them to ask if you can drive over and take a picture and come back again - as this blog post suggests. Well at least not without the aid of a fixer or some kind of government stooge in tow!!!

    Hope that helps!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, May 23, 2010 1:12:00 AM  

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