Rail boom spreads across the region

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Source: http://www.meed.com

Several light rail schemes are being fast-tracked in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi

After the successful multibillion-dollar awards made on the Riyadh Metro in July, a new metro project in Saudi Arabia is whetting the appetite of contractors in the region.

News that Mecca Mass Rail Transit Company (MMRTC) is inviting firms to prequalify for civil construction packages for the first phase of the city’s new metro suggests interest in the region’s rail ambitions is far from waning.

There are several other metro developments in Saudi Arabia and the government is likely to push forward with these plans in the coming months as well. For the Jeddah Metro, a tender for pre-project management services is set to be issued soon, with construction contracts due next year.

There are also plans to build metro and light rail systems in Dammam and Medina, and their respective transport authorities will be watching developments in Mecca carefully.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Abu Dhabi’s resurrected plans to build a metro are also gathering interest, with firms busily forming consortiums to bid on contracts.

The success of these rail schemes will, however, depend on a number of factors. There will need to be careful management of both materials and human resources to ensure the costs of development do not soar to unmanageable heights. More info