Saudi Arabia has re-opened Jadeedah Arar crossing, an economically and politically important border point with Iraq, after completing major road improvements leading to the crossing.
The Ministry of Transport said it had carried out maintenance work on the road leading to Jadeedah Arar to coincide with its re-opening on November 17 after 30 years of official closure of the border.
Jadeedah Arar, the only border crossing with Iraq, has been closed since Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. The route runs 50km north from the Saudi town of Arar to the border and then nearly 140km further north to the Iraqi town of Nukhayb.
The Saudi Ministry of Transport said that on its section of the route from Arar to the border it had recently installed 150 warning and regulatory signs, nearly 2km of curb stones, around 9,000m² of reflective road paint and another 1,500m² reflective ground control signs.
The ministry also installed 6,000m of metal safety barriers for crossovers and dangerous curves, 3,2km of safety concrete barriers for the highway’s traffic island as well as a 32km-long safety concrete barriers as part of a preventive maintenance project on both sides of the traffic island.
Although officially closed during 30 years, it was unofficially opened to allow Iraqis into Saudi Arabia to visit Mecca during the Hajj. Its re-opening also has a high social significance because it will allow the strengthening of family and tribal ties between the two countries.
The official re-opening of the border was part of a package of agreements between Saudi Arabia and Iraq aimed at creating investment opportunities. Deputy Minister of Transport, Badr Abdullah Al-Dulami said the redeveloped logistics area at the crossing would serve as a gateway for promoting the economy by attracting investors and help strengthen Saudi-Iraqi economic relations.
The Ministry of Transport said that the road improvements were done as part of the kingdom’s Saudi Vision 2030. The strategy, announced in 2016, aims to reduce Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.