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Bahrain set for billion dollar tourism boost

The reopening of the King Fahd Causeway this week will bring an influx of Saudi tourists

When Saudi Arabia reopens land, sea and air border crossings on 17 May, Bahrain is set to see a spike in tourist numbers.

In particular, the reopening of  King Fahd Causeway, which connects Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, is expected to bring 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.

Bahrain attracted 9 million tourists in 2019 with Saudi nationals (mostly entering the country via the causeway) accounting for 88% of Bahrain’s visitors.

Though Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have maintained trade relations throughout the pandemic, Bahrain’s tourism sector has been greatly impacted.

Bahrain Economic Development Board executive director of investments Ali Al-Mudaifa said: “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.”

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