Khaleej Times, Wednesday, May 18, 2022 | Shawwal 17, 1443
GCC Railway project to connect beyond Gulf nations, top official says
Emirates: The ambitious plan of the GCC Railway
project is a much-needed one in a post-pandemic situation and will connect
destinations beyond the Gulf countries, a top official said in Abu Dhabi.
The proposed 2,117km GCC-wide railway network starts from Kuwait and moves to
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and finally stops at Oman’s Sohar Port.
Dr Nayef Falah Al Hajraf, Secretary General, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),
stressed that such a network will enhance the sustainability efforts, boost
connectivity between the six Gulf countries, which will result in wider economic
“It seeks to help reduce traffic on the road as well as driving a cheaper way
for transportation of goods and people at the same time,” he said during the
Middle East Rail conference and exhibition held at ADNEC.
Dr Al Hajraf underlined that the rail network will connect countries beyond GCC.
“It will not be limited to GCC member states but will go beyond that. And
hopefully at some point, it will be a hub to link East and West.”
Dr Al Hajraf recollected that the GCC Railway project was first adopted in 2009
and is a system “very much needed” today as countries recover from the economic
impact of Covid-19 pandemic and there is a global energy crisis.
The project, he said, has been going through a lot of studies in the past 10
years or so and resulted in creation of the GCC Rail Authority in December 2021.
“We are aiming to build an infrastructure for a world-class railway system. It
will enhance movement of people and goods, enhance economic aspects, and it
comes as a much-needed infrastructure,” he added.