GCC Railway project to connect beyond Gulf nations, top official says

Proposed network expected to be a hub to link East and West



Supplied photo
Supplied photo
by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 17 May 2022, 9:03 PM

The ambitious plan of the GCC Railway project is a much-needed one in a post-pandemic situation and will connect destinations beyond the Gulf countries, a top official said in Abu Dhabi.

The proposed 2,117km GCC-wide railway network starts from Kuwait and moves to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and finally stops at Oman’s Sohar Port.

Dr Nayef Falah Al Hajraf, Secretary General, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), stressed that such a network will enhance the sustainability efforts, boost connectivity between the six Gulf countries, which will result in wider economic benefits.

“It seeks to help reduce traffic on the road as well as driving a cheaper way for transportation of goods and people at the same time,” he said during the Middle East Rail conference and exhibition held at ADNEC.

Dr Al Hajraf underlined that the rail network will connect countries beyond GCC.

“It will not be limited to GCC member states but will go beyond that. And hopefully at some point, it will be a hub to link East and West.”

Dr Al Hajraf recollected that the GCC Railway project was first adopted in 2009 and is a system “very much needed” today as countries recover from the economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic and there is a global energy crisis.

The project, he said, has been going through a lot of studies in the past 10 years or so and resulted in creation of the GCC Rail Authority in December 2021.

“We are aiming to build an infrastructure for a world-class railway system. It will enhance movement of people and goods, enhance economic aspects, and it comes as a much-needed infrastructure,” he added.

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com


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