Regional News

Saudi-Egypt bridge to be discussed

August 2011

SAUDI Arabia and Egypt have decided to launch fresh studies to build a gigantic 32-km bridge linking the two countries in a renewed bid to forge closer ties and boost bilateral trade and investment, said the Saudi English daily Arab News.

The bridge project will be on the top of the agenda of the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council meeting, to be held in Jeddah this month (August).

“The bridge on the Gulf of Aqaba will become the world’s longest and will take three years to complete at a cost of billions of dollars,” said an Egyptian diplomat in Riyadh.

Comprehensive studies on the financial cost and technical feasibility of the project are expected to be launched shortly and its findings submitted to officials of the two countries, according to a senior official.

The length of the bridge will be about 32 km, 7 km more than the King Fahad Causeway linking Saudi Arabia with Bahrain. The bridge will link Saudi Arabia with Egypt via the Gulf of Aqaba at the northern tip of the Red Sea from the Ras Hamid area in Saudi Arabia to Ras Nassrani near Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.

Once complete, motorists from either side will be able to cross over in just 22 minutes, said the report, adding that GCC investment funds and the private sector would finance the project.

Senior travel industry expert Ramadan El Gharib said the bridge would be an alternative route to seaways and airways for more than 1.5 million Egyptians and about 750,000 Saudis who could use it at least once a year. The project was first mooted way back in 1984 and was again discussed in 1988 but couldn’t take off.

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