LMC member Al Tamimi recently published an article in the firm’s Law Update publication that has received much interest. The author is one of the lawyers in the Riyadh office who is also a member of the Al Tamimi Rail Practice. The article identifies 2017 and beyond challenges for rail investment. The introduction of the publication is shown below, linking to the full article.
GCC Rail Infrastructure Projects: The Challenges and the Benefits
The GCC regional plans for rail, taken together and viewed in the context of their respective timetables, are of an entirely different order of magnitude to any major infrastructure project that has been achieved in any other comparable region. For both freight and passenger rail, this is new territory.
In the current climate it is difficult to avoid concerns about the economics behind the plans. For instance, in the UAE it has been announced that the development of phase 2 of the rail network connecting Abu Dhabi, Dubai and onwards to Oman has been suspended. The knock-on effect as regards Oman is yet to unfold but there may also be a domino effect across the region. However, other projects remain on track and indeed have set records – the Doha metro (now 77% complete in terms of its tunnelling works) had 21 boring machines in operation at one stage.
This article examines why rail is critical to the future success of the GCC as its members seek to learn from the experience of other jurisdictions in developing their rail programmes. [ Read full article ]