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Thu 5 Mar 2015 11:24 AM

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$30bn GCC rail two years behind schedule

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are on track to meet the original deadline of 2018, but the connection to other countries will probably not happen until 2020

$30bn GCC rail two years behind schedule
Train, track, etihad rail

The GCC's mammoth regional rail project is currently two years behind schedule and will not be completed until 2020, according to the UAE minister of Public Works.

Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE minister of Public Works said both the UAE and Saudi Arabia are on track to meet the original deadline of 2018, but the connection to other GCC countries will probably not happen until 2020.

“Though 2018 has been set as initial deadline for the GCC rail to take shape, the UAE is steps ahead [of] the scheduled timetable,” he told Khaleej Times.

The overall cost of the project is excepted to reach $30 billion, he add.

“The primary total cost of the GCC rail stands at $20 billion. However, the expenses are expected to jump to AED100 billion or around $30 billion,” Dr Nuaimi said.

In the UAE, the first of the three phases of the 1,200km network Etihad Rail has been completed, with the $190.5 million budget needed for the second phase allocated by the federal authorities.

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