The GCC has US $142bn worth of road and bridge projects underway, or in the planning stages, according to figures released by market analysts Ventures Middle East; Saudi Arabia accounts for a third of this amount.
According to the Kuwait Financial Centre or Markaz, GCC countries are on track to spend US $97 billion between 2011 and 2020 on new road and railway projects. Railway projects, including rail, metro, tram, and stations are valued at US $79 billion, this includes the US $30 billion GCC rail network. The planned GCC rail network will begin from Kuwait and will pass through Saudi Arabia’s eastern city of Dammam, where it will connect to Bahrain through a bridge that runs parallel to the King Fahd Causeway before reaching Qatar via Salwa. Qatar and Bahrain will be connected by a bridge.
Markaz reports in their latest installment of the GCC infrastructure series that the total value of ongoing projects in roads sector to be almost US $18 billion. The report also said the GCC has historically focused its transportation investments in building roadways, thus ensuring high quality roads across most of the region. Almost 100 per cent of the roads in the GCC are paved; compared to the average in other emerging countries, which is below 75 per cent. The aggregate length of roads available in the GCC is 291,313 km, of this, 75 per cent is in Saudi Arabia. By the end of June 2011, the GCC had around US $18 billion worth of "ongoing" road projects.
Driving the $48bn worth of investment in road and bridge projects is the Ministry of Transport, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who will be joining the 2nd Annual Bridges Saudi Arabia summit, from 18 - 21 March 2012 at The Four Seasons, Riyadh. Ebrahim Al-Babtain, the bridges expert for the MOT will be discussing their procedures, guidelines and processes for the design, construction and management of bridge structures to provide clarity on future bridge tender opportunities in the Kingdom.
Joining the Ministry of Transport on this distinguished programme are senior representatives from the following organisations: Jeddah Municipality, Royal Commission of Jubail and Yanbu, Saudi Aramco,
Institute of Civil Engineering Structures Panel, Concrete Society, The Chartered Institute of Building, American Concrete Institute - Saudi Arabian Chapter and Saudi Council of Engineers.
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