It seems that the dream of establishing a railway between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council has become almost a reality after the GCC General Secretariat issued a tender to establish a 2,177 kilometre-long network connecting the capitals and cities of the Gulf, according to recent media reports.

Per the tender, specialized companies are invited to register to pre-qualify to participate in the tender. The submission deadline is July 7, 2024..

According to data from the General Secretariat, the GCC railway route starts from the State of Kuwait, passing through several cities in the area to reach Muscat via the city of Suhar.

The implementation of this vital project comes within the framework of the keenness of the governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to facilitate rail-based trade movement between the GCC countries, ease of movement of citizens and residents, and supporting joint investments, thereby stimulating commercial, tourism and cultural exchanges between the peoples of this region.

Despite the delay in implementing this project due to the events that the GCC countries witnessed in the past decade, the tendering confirms that work was continuing to prepare the project in terms of engineering designs, and studying the establishment of a Gulf Railway Authority to supervise it, in accordance with the best international specifications and quality.

The people of the GCC countries hope that this project will reap many positive results in various economic sectors and will give the citizens of the project countries the opportunity to obtain additional job opportunities. The project will contribute to the development of human resources and encourage the development of supporting national industries and integration among them that could reduce the dependency of the GCC countries on foreign imports.

From this standpoint, the GCC countries have begun among themselves to complete the railway route project and have taken the necessary steps to achieve the required routes which the railway passes, while the General Secretariat is following up with the member states on the stages of its implementation and ensuring that it is integrated and compatible with the railway networks.

The latest tender in this regard aims to obtain expertise to develop operational plans for railway projects, transportation and logistics services, collect and analyze data, and specialized studies in this field, while the cost of the project is estimated at about $15 billion, and it holds enormous potential for the region to develop various economic sectors and exploit the potential that the region has in each of them. It is expected that the number of GCC railway users will reach about 8 million passengers annually by 2050.

The last summit of the GCC countries in Doha in December 2023 gave a strong impetus to the projects that were proposed, especially the Gulf Rail Project, which everyone hopes will constitute a new corridor for sustainable economic development and growth among the six countries.

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