$3bn bridge to Egypt will be named after King Abdullah

King AbdullahSaudi Arabia and Egypt have renewed an agreement on constructing a causeway between Tabuk and Egypt through Aqaba Bay at an initial cost of $3 billion, Al-Watan newspaper reported yesterday, quoting an official source at the Saudi Ministry of Transport.

Both sides agreed to name the new project, which will extend 50 km over the Red Sea waters, “King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Causeway.”Meanwhile, officials of the transport ministries of both countries plan to conduct talks during the next few weeks to work out guidelines and technical details of the project, scheduled to begin in the middle of 2013, the source said.

The project will facilitate flow of trade, tourists, and Egyptian manpower to and from the Gulf region, particularly during Haj and Umrah seasons. The causeway will also save time and effort, as it will take about 20 minutes to cross the causeway, linking North African countries with the Gulf countries, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan, the source pointed out.

He said the cost of the project could be recovered within 10 years by imposing toll on pilgrims, Umrah pilgrims, tourists, and workers in the Gulf region.The project will flourish trade movement between KSA and Egypt, as it will act as an international passage between the Gulf and North African countries.

It will also contribute to an overall economic and business development in the northern parts of the Kingdom, especially in Tabuk, and boost the tourist resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, a major tourist destination for the Gulf citizens, the paper quoted analysts as saying. – Arabnews