GCC rail network to connect the 6 Gulf states by 2018

The 5th Middle East Rail Opportunities Summit now part of NATRANS Arabia, the region’s premier B2B transport event dedicated to the Rail, Road and Maritime sectors, is set to be the major meeting point for the Rail industry in 2015, taking place on the 19-21st October at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

It is fully supported by the ‘UAE Federal Transport Authority’, and held under the patronage of “His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Belhaif al Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority”.

Opportunities in GCC Rail sector are booming.

“The 2,177-km-long GCC rail network, which will link all six Gulf states by rail for the first time, providing an alternative to air or sea travel for both goods and passengers in the region, will be fully operational in 2018”, said Dr Ramiz Al Assar, World Bank resident adviser of the GCC Secretariat General in Riyadh.

“The designs of the nearly $200 billion (Dh734.490 billion) network, which will run down the Gulf coast from Kuwait, through Saudi Arabia, to the UAE and Oman, with branches linking Bahrain and Qatar, will be completed by the end of this year or in the first quarter of next year. Construction on the network already in progress will be fully operational in 2018”.

Abu Dhabi is leading the GCC rail network with its Dh40 billion Etihad Rail project. The 1,200-km line, planned to be completed in 2018, will link major industrial zones, cities and ports in the UAE, and will eventually connect with the GCC railway.

The rail boom also raises challenges for the region, as demand is higher than ever for international experts to enter the market. Alexander Heuff, Fleming Gulf Exhibition Director stated: “A synchronized approach is essential. The Middle East Rail Opportunities Summits will gather all of regional rail industry leaders in one place with the aim of accelerating the infrastructure requirements.” The event takes place on the 19th-21st October at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. www.natrans-arabia.com

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