Babylon & Beyond

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QATAR: Awash in oil and gas cash, Doha announces $25-billion rail system

November 22, 2009 | 11:41 am

Just two months after Dubai unveiled its plush metro system, Qatar announced it will build its own multibillion-dollar railway that will include a local metro in Doha, its capital, as well as freight and passenger trains to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia via the world's longest causeway.

The railway is expected to cost $25 billion and be completed by 2026, but officials are eager to have sections up and running by 2022, when Qatar hopes to host the World Cup, Reuters reported.

The deal between Qatari Diar, a real estate investment company owned by Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, and the German transport company Deutsche Bahn was announced today. 

The contract comes against a background of increased spending on rail projects by the oil-rich Arab gulf states that is expected to exceed $100 billion.

-- Meris Lutz in Beirut

Photo: The west bay of Doha, Qatar. Credit: wikimedia commons