Construction on $15.5 billion railway linking 6 Gulf countries to start next year
The construction of a $15.5 billion rail network project connecting six Gulf Arab states will commence late next year, according to Arabian Business.
The rail network will link Oman to Kuwait via the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
An overseeing Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) authority for the project has still not yet been confirmed, but the council said the process is finally underway after national ministers of transport and finance approved the project. "Some key milestones have been achieved and we are targeting for the project to be fully operational by 2018," said Ramiz al-Assar, the World Bank's resident advisor to the GCC Secretariat.
Construction is scheduled to immediately follow the completion of the proposed rail's detailed engineering and design (DED) work by late 2013 or early 2014. GCC countries will build their respective parts of the railway that are within their borders "on their own," according to the report.
Bureaucratic and technical obstacles has previously stalled progress on the rail project, but GCC countries have put strong efforts forward to expedite the construction process in the hopes that the completion of the railway will stimulate trade and boost the overall Gulf economy.
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