Leaders in Rail: GCC will grow despite oil prices
The GCC’s rail sector will continue to grow despite economic challenges and low oil prices, experts say
With more than $200bn set aside for the development of 40,000 km of rail network across the GCC, Construction Week’s Leaders in Rail Summit 2015, held on 11 November, 2015 in Dubai, provided a platform for key decision-makers from the rail construction industry to participate in a strategic debate on the state of the sector.
A multitude of rail and metro projects are planned or underway across the GCC. Saudi Arabia is leading the way with a total of 23 projects valued at $25.6bn, including the $6bn Makkah-Madinah Railway Link. In the UAE, eight railway projects valued at $20.6bn are under way, including the $11bn Etihad Railway Project. In Qatar, work has begun on the $25bn Qatar National Rail Scheme. Work is also underway in Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman, to join with the 2,200km GCC Rail Network.
But rail development in the region is not without its challenges, both from a technical construction and financing standpoint, and with lower oil prices, it is not clear how networks across the GCC will be paid for. The following pages show how the GCC’s rail sector intends to overcome these hurdles.