The GCC countries alone own a line of railway projects worth about $ 142 billion, of which 21 percent is in the construction phase. In total, the Middle East and Africa region has railway projects worth $ 524 billion in various stages of construction.
“MEED” stated that spending in the railway construction sector is expected to reach a peak of about $ 75 billion in 2023-2024, with the delivery of about 40,000 kilometers of railways between 2020 and 2025.
As is the case with most construction sectors in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is the largest market for rail projects, with an estimated value of about $ 83 billion.
A source told “MEED”: “Saudi Arabia has recorded successes in the field of railways recently, such as the railways between Riyadh, Dammam and Al-Haramain. These achievements indicate that future rail links such as those between north and south will be received with equal measure of positivity. Not more. The demand for residents traveling from Riyadh to regions such as Qassim and the north has always been present, and will only grow with the development of tourism and employment standards locally, as the appetite for railway construction is promising in Saudi Arabia.
The MEED report indicated that with the high demand for urban transport networks and the volume of their planned investments in Saudi Arabia, it is somewhat unsurprising that there is a major consolidation campaign underway in the Saudi railway sector.
From next April, the Saudi Railways Company will take over all activities and assets of the railway sector in Saudi Arabia, in line with the Cabinet decision issued on February 16 to cancel the regulations and mandates of the Saudi Railways Authority.
Growth in Egypt
Among the other regional markets where the frequency of bidding activity for railway projects increases is Egypt, as the Egyptian railway projects sector is estimated to be worth about $ 51 billion, of which 45% are related to projects under construction.
Among the notable projects in the pre-construction stage is the first phase of the fourth Cairo metro line, as the National Tunnels Authority continues to evaluate the only bid of Mitsubishi (Japan) for the railway equipment package for the project, with the contract expected to be completed in May.
Opportunities for railway projects are also emerging in other parts of the Middle East, as Jordan continues negotiations with potential private investors over the planned national shipping network, which could be launched during the first half of 2021. Meanwhile, Morocco announced plans earlier in the day. This year, to invest $ 11.2 billion in expanding the high-speed rail network. Work was also underway from the end of 2020 for the Baghdad Elevated Train plan, planned by the Iraqi Ministry of Transport.