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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
DAMMAM — The King Fahd Causeway is expected to be reopened by the end of July in line with strict protocols to limit the spread of coronavirus, according to media reports. “A regular meeting of the Bahrain Coordination Committee disclosed the possibility of reopening of the bridge on July 27,” Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported quoting well-informed sources.
Bahrain’s tourism and entertainment sector is preparing for the return of visitors, especially Saudi tourists, as Gulf Cooperation Council member states move toward easing coronavirus preventative restrictions. Saudis made up a vast majority of tourists who visited Bahrain last year. Out of the total 11 million visitors, Saudis represented 88 percent with around nine million. The daily average number of people crossing the causeway was 75,000 passengers.
Tourists are eagerly awaiting the reopening of the causeway which links Saudi Arabia with Bahrain. The bridge was closed on March 7 as part of the precautionary measures taken by Saudi Arabia to curb the spread of coronavirus in the Kingdom.
The concerned authorities took the interim period during the suspension of the vehicular movement between the two countries as an opportunity to complete development projects at the causeway. The King Fahd Causeway Authority announced that it would continue implementing the comprehensive development and improvement plan for both the Saudi and Bahraini sides.
In a tweet, the Authority said that work is underway to launch the first phase of an e-payment system for the causeway gates on both sides. Meanwhile Bahrain’s Economic Development Council is working to attract investments and diversify the Bahraini economy. According to the council, the tourism sector contributes 6.3 percent to the Bahraini GDP, with annual revenues of about $13 billion.
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