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King Fahad Causeway curbs adding to woes

Manama, March 22, 2011

Bahraini motorists travelling across King Fahad Causeway continue to be asked to return home, despite having businesses or jobs in Saudi Arabia.

The move, which started since the unrest on February 14, was still allegedly being witnessed yesterday on both sides of the causeway.

A Bahraini businessman, who didn't want to be named, told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) that he was repeatedly ordered to return back to Bahrain.

He claimed Saudi passports officials told him he had to turn back, despite appealing to them that he had a business in Dammam.

'I had tried for three days to travel to Damman but in vain,' said the 30-year-old.

'The Saudi passport officer told me to return back and when I explained this is the third time I try to cross to monitor my business, he said he could not do anything about it.

'He told me they did not get any orders from top officials to allow people to enter.'

The Bahraini owns a textile business importing goods from Saudi to Bahrain.

He said he had lost BD10,000 so far due to shipments not entering the country.

'At the moment I am monitoring the business through phone calls to my employees,' he said.

'The shop in Saudi is doing well, but in Bahrain it is suffering.'

Bahrainis working in Saudi companies in the Eastern Province say they were worried about their future, as they have been mostly ordered to return back on the causeway.

An employee at a tourism company, who didn't want to be named, said he had tried to cross the causeway at 7.45am, but was ordered to go back home.

'My office is in Khobar and I have not been able to go for around a week now,' he said

'My company has been patient due to the situation, but I am afraid patience has limits.'

The Bahraini said he had been carrying out his tasks through the Internet at home via e-mails and other applications.

'However, there are a lot of tasks that have been stalled due to me not being able to attend meetings,' he said.

Another Bahraini said he had been working from home for the time being.

'My company has been very understanding and allowed me to work from home,' said the employee, who wished to be named only as Ali.

'I have been ordered to go back by Saudi passport officers many times and I am now forced to work from home.'

He claimed he witnessed a Bahraini family that had an appointment at a hospital in Khobar being asked to return back yesterday.

'I saw a Bahraini who told officers he had booked an appointment for his sick wife in Sa'ad Hospital and he only did that after he confirmed it was fine to cross,' said Ali.

'But the officer told him he could not allow them to enter due to orders and asked them to return to Bahrain.'-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | transport | King Fahad Causeway | travel | Trade | unrest |

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