New £2.4bn bridge to cut down travel time between Bahrain, Qatar

New £2.4bn bridge to cut down travel time between Bahrain, Qatar By A Robin - May 23, 2024
Bahrain-Qatar Causeway

Bahrain-Qatar Causeway

A proposed "Friendship bridge" aims to connect two countries with a historically turbulent relationship, promoting Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economic development and enhancing people-to-people ties.

According to the Daily Express, the officially-named Bahrain-Qatar Causeway project is expected to reduce travel time from five hours to 30 minutes over a 21-mile distance.

Initially estimated at £1.8 billion in 2008, the project’s cost has now risen to nearly a whopping £2.4 billion.

The bridge will accommodate road and railway traffic and is considered a natural extension of the King Fahd Causeway, connecting Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and Al Jasra and Bahrain.

Additionally, it will reach the height of 40 metres and support maritime navigation.

“The proximity of Bahrain to Qatar and the dynamism of both economies make them structurally logical trading partners, and this is reinforced by the warmth of cultural ties between the two nations,” Dr Omar Alubaydli from the Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat) told the Gulf Daily News (GND) in February.

The project was reportedly first approved in February 2005 to be the longest fixed link in the world at the time, linking Bahrain to Qatar.

Doha and Manama, the two capitals, were on the verge of war in 1986 over disputed territories, including the Zubura, Janan Islands and Fasht Al Dibal.

In 2010, the dispute over the Hawar Islands which had first begun in 1936 was reignited, escalating costs and stalling the project.

By A Robin - May 23, 2024

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