Regional News

$250bn GCC rail work ‘on track’

April 2016

Work on the 1,200-km cross-border regional rail network in the Gulf is going as per schedule with the technical specifications and the legal framework likely to be completed by the end of the year, said a report.

The GCC is committed to completing the project in accordance with international best practices and some of the member states have already completed their phases, reported the Gulf News citing a senior official.

“The GCC has pledged ongoing support to this project through partnerships with the private sector and it will go forward,” the GCC assistant secretary general for economic affairs Abdullah bin Juma Al Shibli was quoted as saying.

The ambitious passenger and cargo railway project being built at a cost of $250 billion will run from Kuwait down the Gulf coast and through the UAE to Oman, with lines connecting to Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia’s interior and Red Sea coast.

Speaking at last month’s Middle East Rail conference in Dubai, UAE, Al Shibli did not discuss a final completion date for the project.

In February, the UAE’s Minister of Infrastructure Development Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi said the project’s 2018 completion date was unrealistic.

Government spending in the Gulf states has been cut back over the last 18 months amid declining oil prices.

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