Bahrain – Saudi Arabia causeway used by 200,000 people in one week

October 8, 2012

Around 200,000 people this week used the King Fahad Causeway to enter Bahrain from Saudi Arabia, officials have said.

“The number of people who entered Bahrain between September 20 and September 26 was 238,071,” the assistant undersecretary for exits, research and follow up said. “According to the statistics, 196,510 used the King Fahad Causeway, 41,338 the airport and 223 the Khalifa sea port,” the official said. The 25-kilometre causeway, Bahrain’s only terrestrial link with a neighbouring country, was opened in November 1986 by the late King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz and the late Emir Shaikh Eisa Bin Salman Al Khalifa.

It has been a crucial factor in the increase of the number of tourists arriving in Bahrain, mainly from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.

The four-day break for government employees and students in Saudi Arabia as the country celebrated its national day, has contributed to the high number of land arrivals in the island kingdom.

According to official figures, more than 18 million people use the causeway, the longest bridge in the Arab world, annually, making it one of the busiest traffic areas between Arab countries. Around 5,000 employees work in three shifts on the link.

Drivers who use the causeway pay a 2 Bahraini dinar (Dh19.2) or a 20 Saudi riyal (Dh19.5) fee, but no charges are imposed on passengers, regardless of the numbers.

Authorities in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have recently issued statements about increasing the number of lanes for cars, busses and trucks to help deal with traffic congestion, particularly during the weekends and holidays.

Several Saudi Arabia-based Saudi nationals and foreigners who work or study in Bahrain commute daily while a large number of Bahrain-based expatriates and Bahrainis use the causeway daily to go to their work or universities.

Strong family links between Gulf citizens are a significant factor in the exchange of visits over the causeway.

Movie theatres screening the latest movies and shopping complexes are considered among the top reasons for trips by Saudi families or Saudi Arabia-based foreigners to Manama.

The causeway is also used by trucks, mainly from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, heading towards Bahrain to deliver or load products.

Queues of long vehicles are often seen at the entrance or exit of the causeway.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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