GCC dominates rail with $240bn planned projects

GCC dominates rail with $240bn planned projects
Representational image only.
Published: 5 February 2017 - 5:03 a.m.
By: Jumana Abdel-Razzaq

Asia and the Middle East have the largest selection of freight and urban transport projects in the world with more than $642bn worth of planned railway investments, according to a report.

According to a report by Terrapinn Middle East in collaboration Ventures ONSITE, the value of total GCC rail projects in pipeline stands at over $240bn, with $69bn worth of projects currently under construction.

Jamie Hosie, Event Director of Middle East Rail 2017, the biggest transport and logistics event in the region, said: “Within the next 10 years, we will see a complete reform of mobility across emerging markets.

“Congested urban roads, increasing populations and the need for seamless trade corridors continue to drive immense investment in the railway sector – and with the effects of low oil prices subsiding, new projects, extensions, upgrades and improvements are back on track.”

In terms of overall expenditure on rail, Saudi Arabia and the UAE remain on top in the GCC. As of January 2017, the kingdom had registered the highest rail construction project value of 50%, followed by the UAE at 18% and Qatar at 17%.

Key projects expected to be awarded to contractors in the Saudi market in 2017 are Zulfi - Al Majmaah Passenger Railway, North South Rail - Waad Al Shimal - Turaif - Al Jouf (ST320), Makkah Mass Rail Transit (MMRT) - Makkah Metro.

The planned investments of US$30bn in UAE’s railway networks include that in Abu Dhabi Metro and Light Rail, skyTran Yas Island, the next stages of the Etihad Rail national network, the Dubai Metro extension for Expo 2020 and the new stages of the Al-Sufouh Tram.

For the 11th edition of Middle East Rail, the organising committee has extended its project focus to new markets, including Central Asia and Indian Subcontinent, in addition to MENA region.

Expected to attract more than 350 construction and engineering companies, Middle East Rail, held from 7-8 March, 2017, will be in partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and the Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime. It will also host 200 speakers during its annual conference.

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