Middle East transport investment tops US $147 bn

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By James Boley www.constructionweekonline.com

Regional investment in developing, road, rail and public transport systems now tops US $147 billion, according to IIR, organisers of the Gulf Traffic Exhibition.

The Dubai Metro has raised interest in similar projects across the region
The Dubai Metro has raised interest in similar projects across the region

Completion of the Dubai Metro in September this year has sparked interest in a pan-Gulf railway, and metro systems in other cities.

“Work on the rail network that will link all six members of the GCC is expected to start in late 2010 or 2011, according to the UAE’s Union Railway Company,” said IIR group director of exhibitions Sarah Woodbridge. “It is estimated that the rail network will cost more than $60 billion and will boost cross-border trade considerably, cutting freight costs and resulting in faster movement of cargo and passengers – this will help reinforce the region’s position as a major global energy and trading hub.”

Saudi Arabia has already begun work on four different railway projects, including the Landbridge, a 1,000km East-West railway project which will effectively bridge the gap between the Red Sea and the Gulf.

Meanwhile, Bahrain has invested $1.8 billion in the Qatar-Bahrain Friendship causeway that will link the two nations.

Gulf Traffic runs December 6-8 at Dubai International Exhibition Centre.