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Arabia running out of…sand 5, November 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia.
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No longer is the key debate in Gulf politics about when oil and gas reserves will run out but instead when sand will run out. This may come as a surprise to those who have been to the various bits and pieces of desert in the Gulf and seen, well, lots of sand or those that know about Saudi’s ‘Empty Quarter’, one of the world’s largest sand deserts covering some 250,000 square miles (i.e. France, Holland, Belgium and a bit of Luxembourg).

Yet as unbelievable as it seems, Bahrain will soon be looking for another supplier of sand as Saudi Arabia have announced that they will be stopping the sale of this latest precious substance for fear that they might run out.

Cynics, however, (or those with a rudimentary grasp of geography and common sense) might suggest that this policy about turn has more to do with politics and international relations. It was, after all, King Abdullah himself that ruled that no longer would Saudi Arabia supply the region’s sand. Unless he is some kind of sandologist and/or knows a whopping big secret about Saudi’s quarter of a million miles of sandy deserts, there is, it could tentatively be suggested, something else afoot.

Gulf Daily News reports that this is the second blow to Bahrain’s construction industry in little over a month. At the beginning of October King Abdullah banned the transport of cement and – wait for it – sand across the King Fahd Causeway to ease traffic congestion. How noble of the King to care about traffic congestion and to care about the plight of Saudi’s disappearing sands.

So, answers on a postcard as to what King Abudllah currently has against the powers that be in Manama. Perhaps he’s still angry that Saudi’s former protectorate/vassal-state knocked Saudi out of the World Cup last month…

Hat tip: MEI blog

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