Qatar plans to spend $100bn on roads and railways as part of its mammoth infrastructure uplift, according to Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz ).
There is no railway network in Qatar currently. High congestion and traffic accidents have now prompted Qatar to build railways, Markaz said in a report. For this purpose, Qatar Railway Development Company was formed with almost $41bn worth rail projects in execution or planning phase. Qatar Integrated Rail Project, comprising Doha Metro as well as passenger and freight rails, is slated to cost $37bn, it said, adding other big projects include West Bay people mover and Lusail light rail transit.
Moreover, no less than half a million people are expected to visit Qatar during the FIFA World Cup in 2022, which, according to Markaz , hastened the need to speed up railways projects. Across the GCC, it said in 2012, about $160bn worth railway projects were either in construction or planning phase. On Qatar’s road infrastructure, it said though the quality of roads is “significantly” better than other emerging markets, there is “concern over the current capacity”.
In 2010, Ashghal, Qatar’s public works authority, said it plans to spend $20bn until 2015. The roads development plans got a fresh catalyst from the country’s successful bid to host the World Cup. As many as 30 highway projects valued at around $27bn are to be awarded, it said, adding among the big projects, which are in construction or planning phase, are Doha Expressway, Dukhan Highway-Eastern section, Lusail Expressway and Orbital Highway.
Highlighting that $4.9bn worth road projects were awarded in the GCC in 2012, it said the region has historically focused its investments in building roadways. Almost 100% of the roads in the GCC are paved roads in the GCC against below 75% in other emerging countries.