At a staggering $41.8 billion, Qatar plans to spend more on railways in the next decade than any other Gulf country, a new Zaywa report has found.
The country’s investment into metros, trams and the like also accounts for nearly a third of the $149 billion the GCC plans to spend on such projects in the next 10 years, the report states.
And it almost matches the $42.6 billion that the six GCC nations will jointly spend on a regional rail project, which is expected to be completed by 2017.
That railway is expected to boost employment for Khaleejis and spur economic development and social integration, but cooperation between countries is paramount, officials said.
Zawya reports on each country’s motivation to invest in rail projects:
“In Oman, it will assist tourism, while the UAE is focused on goods and services and passengers. Saudi Arabia’s focus is freight/mining and passengers.
In Qatar, it is the mandate of the government to secure the football World Cup while the Kuwait Metro and the National Railway will assist with city traffic and connectivity to Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Bahrain has also announced that it will invest in the LRT system for the city to alleviate transportation issues,” Arash Aghdam, director of rail and transit for the Middle East and North Africa at Parsons Brinckerhoff, said.
Here’s Zawya’s breakdown of the rail projects and spending by country:
Credit: Graphic by Shabina S. Khatri; all data provided by Zawya