Qatar’s railway projects of an estimated $41.8 billion top all GCC countries and are set to create significant country growth, investment and thousands of job opportunities, a report said on Wednesday.
According to a report commissioned by The Big 5 2012, as much as $149 billion worth of rail projects are in the planning or construction stages over the next decade across the GCC with Qatar standing out as the most buoyant in this section, particularly with ongoing projects at various stages of development, many of which are scheduled to be ready in time to host the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The rail projects include national and inner-city railway systems, some of which will ultimately converge to form part of the ambitious GCC Rail project, which aims to unify the region and enhance connectivity and freight movement, the report said.
The project is expected to generate significant employment for GCC nationals as well as expatriates, promote social integration and economic development, advance the GCC initiatives on the common market and facilitate trade. It will also support building national railway industries in the GCC member states, alleviate congestion and reduce maintenance costs on roads.
The four projects – Doha Metro, Lusail City light rail transit network, the West Bay transit system and the GCC rail network – are scheduled for completion starting 2016 to full operations of the network in 2019, the report said.
Lusail City LRT, comprising 36 stations over 38.8km, will be the first project to be completed in 2016 and will cost QR10bn ($2.75bn).
QRail is also set to award tenders for underground lines and major stations in the first quarter of 2013 and for elevated lines in the third quarter of next year.