King Fahd Causeway re-opening will add $2.6bn to Bahrain’s economy

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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King Fahd Causeway
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The Bahrain economy will add nearly $2.6 billion from the re-opening of the King Fahd Causeway and return of visitors number to pre-pandemic level, according to experts.

The prediction comes following Saudi Arabia Ministry of the Interior’s announcement of lifting travel restrictions from March 2021. As the number of COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom dropped significantly the country gave permission for travel via air, land and sea. The suspension on international flights will be lifted on the same date, according to the Ministry.

Dr. Ali Al-Moulani, president of the Bahrain Economists Society, praised the Kingdom’s longstanding tourism and trade ties with Saudi Arabia following news that the country’s travel restrictions will be lifted soon.

Once the travel restrictions are lifted, thousands of visitors are expected to cross the King Fahd Causeway linking Saudi Arabia to Bahrain which is expected to lead to the much-anticipated rebound for the Kingdom’s tourism and hospitality sector.

“Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have had longstanding tourism and trade ties, with trade between our two countries growing 43 percent during the third quarter of 2020. The recent announcement made about permanently opening the King Fahad Causeway will strengthen these ties even further,” said Al-Moulani.

As per reports, Bahrain welcomed around 11 million tourists before the pandemic and restrictions related to it were imposed, with more than 88 percent coming through the Causeway.

Experts suggest that with the reopening of Causeway the number of visitors from Saudi Arabia is set to gradually go back to normal levels and expected to add about $2.9 billion to Bahrain’s economy this year based on average tourist spending in 2019.

King Fahd Causeway

King Fahd Causeway is a series of bridges and causeways connecting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain that opened in 1986. The 25km long causeway is one of the busiest land border crossings in the Middle East with an estimated 390 million passengers have used the bridge since its opening.