Salwa Canal

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Salwa Canal
The canal would be south of the border between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Length70[1] km (43 miles)
Minimum boat draft12 m

The Salwa Canal is a proposed shipping route and tourism project through Saudi Arabia along its border with Qatar.


In June 2017, Saudi Arabia along with several other countries cut diplomatic relations with Qatar and imposed a land, sea, and air blockade.[1]


The tender was scheduled to take place on 25 June 2018. According to the publication Makkah Al-Mukarramah, the company with the winning bid was to be announced within 90 days of the bid closure date, after which it was to begin digging of the channel immediately in order to complete the project within a one-year time frame.[2][3]

The proposed waterway is 200 m wide and will be dug to a depth of up to 20 m providing a maximum ship draft of 12 m. This would allow the canal to accommodate cargo, container and passenger ships up to a length of 295 m. The preliminary cost has been estimated at SR2.8bn (US$747m).[1][3] The proposed canal will be built at between one and five kilometers from the Qatar border, with the land on the border side to be used by the military and border guards.[3] The proposal includes building resorts with private beaches,[4] the construction of ports, the possibility of a free trade zone,[1] a military zone, and a dumping ground for nuclear waste.[5]

Saudi media report the project could be completed within 12 months, comparing it to the second, 72 km lane, of the Suez Canal which took about 12 months to finish.[4] However, only half of the distance involved digging new waterways while the remainder was only widening existing channels.[1]

Some sources seem to prefer a route avoiding Khawr al Udayd,[6] a bay and nature reserve listed by the UNESCO and shared with Qatar.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Dudley, Dominic. "Saudi Arabia Eyes Up Canal Border Idea, Turning Qatar From A Peninsula Into An Island". Forbes. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  2. ^ الرياض, مكة. "مصادر لـ"مكة": الاثنين المقبل تنتهي فترة تقديم عروض حفر "قناة سلوى" - صحيفة مكة". (in Arabic).
  3. ^ a b c "Saudi Arabia to turn Qatar into an island by digging massive canal – report". RT International. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Salwa Canal, a Saudi tourism project that means more isolation for Qatar". Al-Arabiya. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Work set to begin on Saudi's Salwa Canal project". Gulf Business. 20 June 2018.
  6. ^