GulfRail 2012, the region’s first of its kind exhibition and conference, will make its debut in Dubai and it will spotlight railway projects worth $108 billion in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Following the Dubai Metro, rail projects in Gulf countries have become a point of focus with multi-billion dollar investments being made by each Gulf state. Dubai Metro has completed its first phase with a whopping investment of $ 6 billion, and another mass transit network with 75 km will carry 1.8 million passengers per day by 2020.

“It will be common for a person to travel from Dubai to Jeddah or Abu Dhabi to Doha in few hours, with convenience,” Satish Khanna, General Manager, Al Fajer Information and Services said on Monday at a news conference.

The debut of ‘GulfRail 2012’ was jointly announced by Dubai’s Al Fajer Information & Services along with IMAG of Germany, Europoint of Netherlands and Dubai World Trade Center, at a news conference on Monday.

A countrywide $11 billion (Dh40.4 billion) railway network in the UAE with 1,500 km will be rolled out over the next 7-8 years. Moreover, Abu Dhabi has revealed plans for a new rail network serving the city of Al-Ain in the emirate’s Eastern Region. “Abu Dhabi has joined the fray with 131 km metro rail system which is expected to partially start in 2015. Last year, GCC transport ministers approved a feasibility study for the $12 billion GCC railway,” Khanna said. On a broader perspective, the network would extend from the GCC to Jordan, Syria and Turkey, he said, adding: “The next move would be a more extensive system linking up with systems providing access to Europe and 
Asia via Turkey.”

The Dubai World Trade Centre will host the GulfRail show in 2012, which will be a key regional industrial event highlighting the latest information and technologies in Rail and Tunnelling Systems, and will serve as a strategic networking platform for industry experts around the globe. “The launch of GulfRail at DWTC reinforces the robust state of the Emirate’s exhibitions industry and is testament to Dubai’s position as the gateway to the Region,” said Michael Watton, Director Commercial, Venues, Dubai World Trade Centre.

There are huge upcoming railway projects in Middle East. The GCC’s rail sector is a rising sector. In a nutshell, the GCC network will include one rail line of 1,970 km connecting all GCC countries and Qatar via a bridge. The second line of 1,984 km will stretch between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and end in Oman. An effective rail network will fortify the region’s position as a major global energy and trading hub.
Source: Khaleej Times