THE proposed $5-billion King Hamad Causeway, the second terrestrial link between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, is expected to deliver a significant economic boost to Bahrain, according to global real estate consultancy Cluttons.
The existing 25-km King Fahd Causeway averages daily volumes of 50,000 vehicles, with the total number of crossings reaching 19 million during 2013, up 12 per cent on 2012. The economy is heavily reliant on the traffic funnelled into Bahrain by the causeway, which has helped to underpin growth across the residential, retail and industrial sectors in particular.
Harry Goodson-Wickes, head of Cluttons Bahrain, said: “The announcement of a second connection to Saudi Arabia will no doubt boost the performance of the residential and retail markets further. We have recorded a steady rise in demand from Saudi nationals seeking to purchase weekend homes in Bahrain this year.
“In addition, the steady level of domestic housing requirements has prompted several developers to make a return to the market to capitalise on this growing pool of buyer demand. The long-term ramifications for the residential market are too early to judge, but there will be an obvious long-term boost to the broader market with more traffic expected to flow into Bahrain from Saudi Arabia.”
Bahrain’s position at the centre of the Arabian Gulf also gives distributors easy access to all GCC ports. Furthermore, efficient transport links by land and air also enable swift access to the broader Middle East region. Bahrain’s proximity to Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s largest economy, is of particular attraction to logistics companies.