Bahrain-Saudi Arabia King Fahd Causeway
Bahrain-Saudi Arabia King Fahd Causeway Image Credit: Al Jazirah newspaper

Abu Dhabi: Bahrain’s tourism and entertainment sector is preparing for the return of tourists, especially Saudis, as Gulf Cooperation Council member states move towards easing COVID-19 restrictions.

Tourists are patiently awaiting the reopening of the King Fahd Causeway, linking Saudi Arabia to Bahrain. The bridge was closed on March 7 as part of the precautionary protocols imposed by Saudi Arabia to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

According to Asharq Al Awsat, the meeting of the Bahrain Coordination Committee pointed to the possibility of the reopening of the bridge on July 27, with the setting of strict protocols to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Concerned authorities seized the opportunity of the interruption of the movement between the two countries as an opportunity to complete development projects.

The King Fahad Causeway Authority announced the continuation of the implementation of a comprehensive development and improvement plan for both the Saudi and Bahraini sides.

In a tweet, the authority said that work is ongoing to launch the first phase of an e-payment system for the King Fahd Causeway gates on both sides.

The daily average number of travellers across the King Fahd Causeway is 75,000 passengers, while the Economic Development Council in Bahrain - a government agency - is working to attract investments and diversify the Bahraini economy.

In 2019, Bahrain welcomed 11 million visitors, the vast majority of them were from Saudi Arabia. Around nine million Saudi tourists made up 88 per cent of the total visitors to Bahrain.