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A UAE official has announced plans to include Yemen on the route of the proposed GCC rail network. At a meeting in Muscat, Gulf policymakers responded to a request from Yemen that the railway be extended over its border with Oman.


The rail network was initially estimated to cost US $20-25 billion and will stretch 1,940km, with each Gulf state contributing capital to the project.

 

18 Oct 2009

 

 

Analysis and Forecast: decreasing risk


A GCC-wide rail network is an essential infrastructure component in the GCC-wide strategy to diversify their economies and it’s launch several weeks ago was widely welcomed. Yemen has been trying to join the GCC for many years but GCC states have been reluctant to fully integrate Yemen. However, there has been close cooperation on a number of fronts, such as media and security. The acceptance of the GCC countries to include Yemen in the rail network is an implicit pledge to fund the construction of the Yemeni part of the railway. Although a long-term project is not expected to be operational before 2020, the connection gives Yemen a boost by opening up the GCC markets, allowing it to develop industries, such as agriculture and manufacturing. The connection will also facilitate the use of the massive airport hubs in various GCC countries to export Yemeni products.


With the Yemeni economy virtually collapsing and facing even greater pressure as its oil revenue dries up, the opportunities presented by the rail connection are vital to ensuring the survivability of the country.