The Middle East Rail 2011 conference and exhibition held from February 28 to March 3 in Abu Dhabi witnessed some of the world’s most important rail experts talking about their rail projects and views on the future outlook for the industry. Regional rail operators from Union Railways, Saudi Railway Company, Saudi Railway Organization, Damascus Metro, Tehran Metro and many more outlined their rail vision and project developments.
As a Knowledge Partner for the Event, Frost & Sullivan authored an Industry Whitepaper titled- ‘Frost & Sullivan’s Strategic Insight on the GCC Rail Sector’. According to Srinath Manda, Program Manager, Transportation and Logistics Practice, MENA, “With the changing economic and demographic scenario, railway networks are considered the backbone of the public transport system and important for governments to achieve their socio-economic development targets. The UAE has been a pioneer in the region’s rail revolution with its ambitious Dubai Metro Project, which was conceived and executed in remarkably quick time, triggering a series of similar projects in the Gulf. Currently, all the GCC governments are increasingly focussed on developing rail projects, either for passenger or freight transportation, with rail projects worth over $100 billion already being developed in the region.”
The Whitepaper prepared by Frost & Sullivan focused on the increasing attention on rail transport in the GCC. The paper also points out how Transportation practices in the GCC region are likely to change with the various ongoing and planned railway transport projects undertaken by the Governments.
“In the long term, rail transport is expected to play a significant role in the development of each GCC member state, which has a prominent manufacturing and consumption base,” continued Manda.
Ayusha Tyagi, General Manager of Middle East Rail 2011 says, “The rail industry in the Middle East is the fastest growing in the world. The current success of regional rail projects has signaled that having a Middle East rail network is possible. With projects operational in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, other regional countries are moving full steam ahead with their rail plans. Middle Eastern countries are now developing over $100 billion worth of projects to be completed in the next two decades.”
In its 5th year, the largest dedicated rail conference in the region took place at the Beach Rotana Hotel and Towers in Abu Dhabi. Ayana Everett, Conference Manager of Middle East Rail says, “The conference attracted around 1,500 international delegates. This event has established itself as the most influential annual event for the Middle East’s rail industry to network and discuss rail infrastructure projects, financing and funding, partnership and emerging business opportunities in the region.”
The achievement made in the Middle East Rail industry was also recognised on the evening of March 1st. As a part of the Middle East Rail Event, Rail Operators and Rail Projects were recognised for Excellence at the 1st Middle East Rail Awards and Gala Dinner at the Yas Marina Circuit. This red carpet affair celebrated regional success and honoured the contributions made in the journey to building the region’s rail network.