If it goes ahead, the canal will cut off Qatar from the Saudi mainland.
Bidding for construction projects of the Salwa Canal that will separate Saudi Arabia from neighbouring Qatar will end next week on June 25, according to Saudi media reports.
Previous reports in local media indicated that the canal will measure 15-20 metres deep and 200 metres wide, allowing for the passage of merchant vessels. Saudi Arabia’s Al-Riyadh newspaper went further, claiming the project includes future plans for a dump to be filled with nuclear waste from reactors in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
According to a report in Makkah newspaper this week, the project will be completed within a year.
If they go-ahead, the plans will add 60 kilometres to the Saudi coastline, which local news outlets have speculated would be beneficial to the kingdom’s fledgling tourist industry.
Several months ago, Saudi Arabia’s Sabq newspaper reported that the project will be funded entirely by Saudi and UAE private sector investment, and is to be built by Egyptian companies with previous experience widening the Suez Canal.
On Monday, Saud Al-Qahtani, a member of the Saudi Royal Court and an advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, tweeted a video along with a caption saying that construction of the Salwa Canal has begun and congratulating the people of Saudi Arabia for the project.