RIYADH: The reopening of the King Fahd Causeway, which connects Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, will add up to $2.9 billion to Bahrain’s economy this year, based on average tourism spending in 2019, according to the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Saudi Arabia has said it will reopen land, sea and air border crossings on May 17th.
Bahrain attracted nearly 11 million visitors in 2019, of which 9 million were tourists. Saudis account for 88 percent of Bahrain’s visitors, the majority of whom come via the causeway.
Although trade between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia has continued throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, tourism has been severely affected, Asharrq reported citing Ali Al-Mudaifa, executive director of investments at the Economic Development Board.
“Bahrain offers promising opportunities in multiple tourism sectors that can benefit from the Kingdom’s proximity to Saudi Arabia, as well as opportunities in the real estate and investment sectors, which are expected to recover with the opening of the bridge,” he said.
Bahrain Customs installed artificial intelligence scanners on the bridge, and worked to automate the data collection process and allow cargo inspections before reaching the ports, said the First Vice President of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry Khaled Mohamed Najibi.