Madinat al-Hareer (Arabic: مدينة الحرير, meaning "City of Silk"), is a proposed 250 square kilometer planned urban area in Subiya, Kuwait, an area just opposite Kuwait City which, upon construction, would include the Burj Mubarak al-Kabir , the world's tallest structure, a natural desert reservation of 2 square kilometres, a duty free area which will be beside a new airport, in addition to a large business center, conference areas, environmental areas, athletic areas, and areas that concentrate on media, health, education, and industry. The City of Silk will also include numerous tourist attractions, hotels, spas, and public gardens. The city will be built in individual phases with total completion within twenty-five years. The development will cost an estimated 25 billion Kuwaiti Dinars (~94 billion USD). Burj Mubarak al-Kabir should not be confused with the Al Jaber Tower proposed by the famous Italian architect Amero Marchetti, part of the planned "ethic city". If built the Al Jaber Tower would reach 1852 meters.
As of July 27, 2008, the government of Kuwait has already approved the project, with some of the project's funding coming from the budget surplus over the course of 2007 and 2008. Construction on the actual site has also begun; this is seen through bridges, highways and roads being laid down as basic infrastructure to facilitate future construction of structures within the city. Various reports indicate that the city might be ready by 2023.
The main attraction of Madinat al-Hareer, the Burj Mubarak al-Kabir will stand at 1,001 m tall, almost three times the height of the Empire State Building, almost twice the height of Taipei 101, which is 509 m tall, and even taller than the world's current tallest man made structure, the Burj Dubai tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates which will be at least 818 meters when completed.
When complete 2030, The Silk City will also include Olympic Stadia, residences, hotels and retail facilities. Up to 700,000 people could be housed in the city complex and 450,000 new jobs will be created. The complex is planned to be built across Kuwait Bay and will be linked to Kuwait City by a 23.5-kilometer long bridge. The bridge should decrease driving times from Kuwait City to Madinat al-Hareer to seventeen minutes rather than the usual one-and-a-half-hour drive around Kuwait Bay. Images of the proposed design were made public on March 30, 2006 here
British based firm Eric Kuhne and Associates have proposed the building and are currently in consultation with the Kuwaiti government. It is estimated that the project would take 25 years to complete.
Skyscrapers do not normally exceed 80 floors due to the amount of space that would be taken up by elevators. However, the Mubarak al-Kabir Tower would consist of a far greater number of floors. This would necessitate double or triple decker elevators.
Another challenge would be posed by the immense height of the building, which makes it vulnerable to high winds. A possibility for coping with this is the installation of a pendulum (like a tuned mass damper) to act as a counter-weight.
Madinat al-Hareer is also built on the dream of building a huge port in the biggest island in Kuwait, Bubiyan Island. Bubiyan Port, as it will be called, will serve the interests of major countries in the Middle East and Asia including Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran. In addition, the port will be one of the closest sea ports to Central Asia.