Obstacles on the line for GCC rail projects

GCC rail


By ROBERT ANDERSON  http://www.gulfbusiness.com/

In recent years, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries were considered some of the most promising markets for the international rail industry.

2Players from across the world flocked to the region in a bid to take part in metro and rail projects worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

But now, with state coffers hit by low oil prices, many of these plans are shuddering to a halt.

In January, the United Arab Emirates’ Etihad Rail announced a 30 per cent cut to its workforce followed by the suspension of the tendering process for the 628km second phase of its planned nationwide rail network.

The following month, Oman’s transport minister said Oman Rail would reconsider the first phase of its 2,135km rail network planned to link with the UAE border at Buraimi.

Then, a few days later, Qatar Rail announced it was launching pre-qualification tenders for civil work on its long-distance rail and passenger network again, terminating a process that began the year before and casting doubt on the project’s 2018 completion date, according to reports.

Now other regional projects, including a planned GCC-wide rail network, are also likely to be hit by delays. More info