A proposed $10bn rail network that will run the length of
the GCC countries could be extended to Yemen as part of an ambitious plan.
Under its initial design, the 2,177 km rail link will run
from Kuwait in the north of the Arabian Peninsula down to Oman when completed
in 2018. However, the six-nation bloc has now begun a feasibility study into
adding an additional 1,400 km of track that will run through the Sultanate to
the Yemeni border.
Nada Abu Al Samh, a financial analyst at the GCC Financial
Secretariat said during a conference in Riyadh that the extension would feature
12 additional stations, Bloomberg News reported.
So far, about 200 km of track has been laid in Saudi Arabia
and 120 km in the UAE.
Ramiz Al Assar, a transport specialist at the World Bank and
adviser on the project, urged participating nations to form a single management
body for the project. “The rest of the GCC countries have all started the
design phases so it is crucial to form the GCC Railway Authority as soon as
possible to oversee the progress of the project,” he said.
Notable stops on the GCC rail network will include Kuwait
City and the Saudi port of Dammam, where oil firm Saudi Aramco is based.