Kuwait Aims for Strategic Role and Economic Growth with GCC Railway

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KUWAIT CITY, May 23: The State of Kuwait is seeking through the GCC Railway mega venture to play a key role in boosting pan-GCC economic integration and sustainable development in the regional countries. Situated in the strategic northernmost of the Gulf, Kuwait aspires to be a regional hub for commerce and transports, with the forecast high flow of merchandise and passengers aboard the trains.

The planned 2,217-kilometer long railway stretches from Kuwait to Al-Dammam (Saudi Arabia), Bahrain and Qatar, via Salwa border exit. It also extends from Saudi Arabia to Abu Dhabi, Al-Ain and Muscat via Sahar, the GCC Secretariat General says on its official website. The mega project was first broached at the 2009 GCC Summit, held in Bahrain, with proposals to link up the six GCC member states via the network, with aim to facilitate inter-GCC commerce, citizens’ movement, backing up joint enterprises in line with the trade integration strategy.

Kuwait’s Public Authority for Roads and Transportation (PART) has been tasked, in coordination with relevant authorities, with taking charge of the project — Kuwait’s section — benefits of which include slashing expenditures on renovating the roads and trimming fuel emissions. It is also expected to create new jobs and urban regions. Khaled Al-Osaimi, PART Director General, said in remarks to KUNA that the Authority for Partnership Projects had been tasked with conducting studies and executing the venture. A feasibility study was complete in 2012 and revised in 2016, stipulating the approach to execute it in partnership between the public and private sectors.

A number of international consultancy houses had presented bids that were examined and relayed to the Central Agency for Public Tenders, Al-Osaimi indicated, as examining the bids would last for months, revealing that executing the Kuwaiti section of the network should be finalized by 2030. The first section of the Kuwaiti railway stretches from the border town of Al-Nuwaiseeb in southern Kuwait to Al-Shedadiah. Speed of the train to be operated is set at 200 kmph. In the UAE, construction of the railway reaching the Saudi borders has been finalized.

Galfar Engineering Company declared in April that it won the project to design and build a 303-km-long railway linking Abu Dhabi with Sahar in Oman — at a cost of USD three billion. The UAE news agency, WAM, quoted Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail Al-Mazroui as saying that Al-Hafeet Rail is complementary to the GCC Railway network and serves the approach of attaining GCC countries’ economic merger. In Qatar, authorities have finished the designs of the domestic section of the Gulf Railway and Bahrain declared that a section of the rail would be built on a bridge reaching Saudi Arabia. Last February, Director General of the Gulf Railway Authority Mohammad Al-Shabrami visited Kuwait and examined the executive plans of the railway’s part in the country. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia agreed on June 4, 2023, to establish a railway between Kuwait and Riyadh. The highspeed train to be operated will cross the long distance in approximately two hours and a half. The Kuwaiti Government declared in February start of studying the Kuwaiti- Saudi project. Also in this vein, the CEO of Agility Tareq Al-Sultan told KUNA that the Riyadh-Kuwait train line would be a branch of the common train network. (KUNA)

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