$69 billion GCC rail projects on track despite oil price plunge
(MENAFN – Khaleej Times) The UAE has planned investments of 30 billion in its railway networks The UAE along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar accounts for 85 per cent of the 69 billion worth of rail projects under construction in the GCC, where total rail projects, including those in the pipeline, are valued at 240 billion.
“As of January 2017, Saudi Arabia had registered the highest rail construction project value of 50 per cent, followed by the UAE [18 per cent] and Qatar [17 per cent],” said a report by Terrapinn Middle East, organiser of Middle East Rail.
The planned investments of 30 billion in the UAE’s railway networks include that in 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, said the report.
However, there are a number of obstacles facing new rail projects apart from project finance, such as operational structures, technological expertise and political dynamics of cross-border networks, said the report.
The construction timeline for the 2,117km-long 200 billion GCC Railway Network that will link all six countries had been pushed back to 2021 from 2018 in the aftermath of the oil price plunge.