Gulf: GCC regional railway network to expand to Yemen

Feasibility study for rails running from Arabian to North Sea

09 January, 16:11

    (by Alessandra Antonelli) (ANSAmed) - DUBAI, JANUARY 9 - Currently the only country in the Arabian Peninsula not part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Yemen may soon be more closely linked to its neighbors through a plan to extend the regional railway network to its borders.

    The original project, 2,177 km from Kuwait in the northern part of the peninsula to Oman on the Arabian Sea, crossing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and branching out into Qatar and Bahrain, will be extended by about 1,400 km to Yemen, reports the economic weekly Arabian Business. The new, 12-station section running towards Yemen's mountainous territory will cost 10 billion dollars. A feasibility study is currently underway.

    The works for the GCC network require an investment of close to 200 billion dollars and will begin between the last quarter of 2014 and the first of 2015. The regional railway is expected to be fully operational in 2018, as was reiterated in the last MENA regional Railway and Metro Summit held in October in Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile, in line with varying timelines and investment levels, the countries of the oil-rich bloc have started individual domestic railway projects that will eventually hook up with one another, creating an initial railway structure for the region. This will in turn integrate with a line running from Jordan to Turkey to Europe. Among the GCC countries, Saudi Arabia is the only one to have already built a domestic railway system. The development projects underway are for the 1,000 km of the Landbridge, a section that is to cover from Jeddah on the Red Sea to Damman on the Persian Gulf and the 1,300 km of the North-South Railway that will cover the section from the Saudi capital Riyadh to Haditha, on the border with Iraq. The railway system around the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina has already been completed. The United Arab Emirates is building a 1,200-km line, with the participation of Saipem-Maire Tecnimont. The 11-billion-dollar Etihad Railway will connect port cities and industrial zones and is expected to be finished in 2018. Qatar, which in 2022 will be hosting the World Football Cup, is investing 4.5 billion dollars for the connection between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and is completing a 130-km, four-line metro system. (ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean