Dh700b to be invested in rail projects in Mena

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By Shehab Al Makahleh, Staff Reporter  www.gulfnews.com

Abu Dhabi: Only Dh66.3 billion ($18 billion) of public investment in rail projects have been achieved so far in the Middle East and North Africa Region (Mena), home to one of the fastest growing rail markets in the world with an estimated project value of Dh700 billion ($190 billion), rail experts said on Monday at a conference on Mena Rail Projects 2012 Summit held in Abu Dhabi.

Julian Herbert, director of product development at MEED Information Business, told the Gulf News that with advent of rapid growth of urbanisation in the past 10 years, GCC states started to look for alternative modes of surface transport represented by the GCC Railway Network which is expected to be completed by 2017.

“The most ambitious project covering the six GCC states is the development of a regional railway network linking them to be a viable solution for passenger and freight challenges which will change the face of Transport and Logistics in the region,” said Herbert.

He said: “About 10 per cent of the investments in the rail projects have been achieved so far. Dubai Metro was built at a total cost of $9 billion, another project in Saudi Arabia cost about $3 billion, a rail project in Egypt cost of $3 billion and other projects in the Mena cost about $3 billion.” More info