Saudi Causeway re-opening to "add nearly $3bln" to Bahrain economy

Saudi citizens will be permitted to travel via air, land and sea from March 31, 2021

  
A Saudi vehicle makes its way to passport control as it leaves Bahrain for Saudi Arabia on the King Fahd Causeway that reopened after coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions were eased, at the Bahrain-Saudi border, Bahrain, September 15, 2020.

A Saudi vehicle makes its way to passport control as it leaves Bahrain for Saudi Arabia on the King Fahd Causeway that reopened after coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions were eased, at the Bahrain-Saudi border, Bahrain, September 15, 2020.

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The re-opening of the King Fahd Causeway will add $2.9 billion dollars to Bahrain's economy as visitor levels return to pre-pandemic levels, according to a top official of the Bahrain Economists Society.

Dr. Ali Al-Moulani, president of the society, hailed the Saudi "longstanding tourism and trade ties" with Saudi Arabia following news that the country's travel restrictions will soon be lifted.

Saudi citizens will be permitted to travel via air, land and sea from March 31, 2021 following a drop in the number of COVID cases. A suspension on international flights will be lifted on the same date, according to the country's Ministry of the Interior.

Dr. Al-Moulani said: “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.  

“Prior to the pandemic, Bahrain welcomed around 11 million tourists with over 88 percent coming through the Causeway.

The number of visitors is set to gradually go back to normal levels following the opening and expected to add around $2.9 billion to Bahrain’s economy this year based on average tourist spending in 2019, he added.  

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)

brinda.darasha@refinitiv.com 

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© ZAWYA 2021

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