By Sarah Townsend
New report says Saudi Arabia and UAE account for highest proportion of the total
The total value of planned rail investments in the GCC stands at over $240 billion, with around $130 billion of projects in the pipeline in Saudi Arabia, it has been estimated.
A report published this week shows that Saudi Arabia is the GCC leader when it comes to planned railway expenditure, with the kingdom accounting for more than 50 percent of the total followed by the UAE with 18 percent ($30 billion of projects) and Qatar with 17 percent ($40 billion).
Key projects expected to be awarded to contractors in Saudi Arabia in 2017 are Zulfi – Al Majmaah Passenger Railway, North South Rail, Waad Al Shimal, Turaif, Al Jouf (ST320), Makkah Mass Rail Transit (MMRT), and Makkah Metro.
The UAE’s planned $30bn of rail investments include 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.
“Within the next 10 years, we will see a complete reform of mobility across emerging markets,” said Jamie Hosie, director of Middle East Rail. “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.”