Saudi Arabia dropped another major hint that it's moving forward with plans to turn rival Qatar into an island

DFlam/ShutterstockDoha, the capital of Qatar.
  • A senior Saudi official seemed to confirm the Kingdom is moving forward with ambitious plans to turn Qatar into an island.
  • A senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tweeted that he was “impatiently waiting for details” on plans to dig a canal along its 38-mile (61 kilometer) border with Qatar.
  • Saudi Arabia has not yet officially commented on the project, though Saudi guards took control of the border crossing in April.
  • And in June, local media reported that five international companies had been invited to bid for the project, slated for completion by the end of the year.
  • Saudi Arabia and other gulf nations are involved in a bitter diplomatic battle with Qatar.

A senior Saudi official seemed to confirm that Saudi Arabia is moving forward with ambitious plans to turn rival nation Qatar into an island.

“I am impatiently waiting for details on the implementation of the Salwa island project, a great, historic project that will change the geography of the region,” Saud Al-Qahtani, a senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said on Twitter.

The tweet appears to confirm rumours that Saudi Arabia is moving forward with plans to dig a canal along its 38-mile (61 kilometer) border with Qatar, referred to as the “Salwa Project.”

Al-Qahtani, who has long been an advocate of the project, did not provide specific details on how or when the project would begin.

Saudi qatar borderGoogle Maps

Previous reports, including one in state-linked news site Sabq, said the canal was still awaiting government approval, but was expected to be 650 feet (200 meters) wide and 50-65 feet (15-20 meters) deep.

Initial estimates put the cost of the project at around $US745 million (2.8 billion Saudi riyals).

In June, reports surfaced in Makkah Newspaper which said that five international companies been invited to bid for the project, slated for completion by end of year. Sources told Makkah that Saudi authorities were set to announce the winner of the contract deal by late September.

According to local media, the government plans to turn the canal into a tourist site, but may also convert the area into a military base and a nuclear waste burial site.

Saudi Arabia has not yet officially commented on the project, though Saudi guards took control of the Salwa border crossing in April, cutting off Qatar’s only land link, and further isolating the peninsula that has been diplomatically cut off by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.