Transport projects totaling SAR 637.55 billion are expected to be undertaken across the GCC within the next 15 years, with 85 per cent being funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), UAE and Qatar. Railway projects alone are worth over SAR 405 billion as plans to build a regional railway network are currently underway.
The GCC railway project will link the six states and will be approximately 2,200 km long and will eventually link to a planned 16-lane Middle East rail network. Saudi Arabia has commenced work on four different railway projects to complement region-wide railway expansions. One of the key projects, a 1,000-km land bridge stretching from Jeddah to Dammam, will carry over 300 million passengers and 1 billion tons of freight per year. Another development is the 500-km, SAR 26.25 billion Haramain high-speed rail link between Makkah and Madinah which will improve travel for Umrah and Haj pilgrims.
In addition, KSA is currently funding various bridge projects to modernise and expand the country’s federal highways and railways to enhance access to urban areas. Bridges have thus emerged as one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of the construction sector, representing high profitability and relying heavily on technical expertise. To address growing demand for partnerships, products and services in this sector, conference organiser International Quality & Productivity Center (IQPC) will hold Bridges Saudi Arabia 2011, the local edition of its popular international ‘Bridges’ series of summits, from March 27 to 30, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza in Jeddah.
“Saudi Arabia’s comprehensive and long-term national plan for enhancing its transport infrastructure requires an efficient and extensive network of partnerships, expertise and resources. By putting all of these elements under one roof, Bridges Saudi Arabia 2011 will provide an excellent platform for the country’s decision-makers and developers to choose the best partners, suppliers and technologies to ensure the success of the Kingdom’s infrastructure developments. The event will also provide vital links to the top contractors of the region and the world,” said Jamie Dowswell, Conference Director, IQPC.
Bridges Saudi Arabia 2011 will be held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Hani Bin Mohammed Bin Ahmed Abu Ras, Mayor of Jeddah, who will discuss local initiatives to boost transport efficiencies and how they complement the Kingdom’s overall transport agenda. Many key government agencies from the region will converge at the event, including the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs in Saudi Arabia, the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, and the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning in Qatar.