KSA-Bahrain rail link to be studied

Updated 26 February 2013
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KSA-Bahrain rail link to be studied

A team of experts from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain recently held talks in Manama to discuss the feasibility of a rail link between the two neighbors separated by the Arabian Sea.
At the meeting, the participants decided to conduct a study. The idea is to build a rail link to run parallel to the King Fahd Causeway that connects Alkhobar with Manama.
Members of the causeway authorities on both sides attended the meeting.
Representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as well as private sector companies joined them in the all-important deliberations.
The proposal to build the rail link is expected to cost around $ 4.2 billion.
Among the key issues explored was a build-operate-transfer option, which would involve the project becoming a private sector undertaking and supervised by the government.
Private sector companies are expected to form a consortium to give them the capability to take on such a large project.
Discussions will conclude with recommendations, an action plan and resolutions for decision-makers in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to mandate the way forward. One of the participants said the railways had helped advance economic development in Europe, the Americas and the Far East and the Gulf would be no different.
“Instead of taking a plane, you can take the train and it is probably faster because you don’t have to check into the airport or take time through arrivals,” he said.
“When we want to travel on King Fahd Causeway and it is congested, the train will pass through much quicker,” he said.
The feasibility report is expected to be finalized by the end of 2014.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 18 min 42 sec ago
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”