$15.5bn Gulf rail project: Overseeing body on way

Updated 28 December 2013
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$15.5bn Gulf rail project: Overseeing body on way

ABU DHABI: Construction of a $15.5 billion rail network linking the six Gulf states will start late next year and an overseeing authority for the project is being set up, an adviser said.
The joint project is to develop a railway network linking Oman in the south to Kuwait in the north through the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Progress has been held up by bureaucratic and technical obstacles, but if the railway is completed, it could have a major impact on the Gulf economy by stimulating trade and limiting consumption of fuel for road travel.
Detailed engineering and design (DED) work will be completed by late 2013 or early 2014, with construction to follow, Ramiz Al-Assar, the World Bank’s resident adviser to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretariat, told a conference organized by MEED, a business information company.
A GCC authority to oversee the project is being established after it was recently approved by national ministers of transport and finance, he said.
“Some key milestones have been achieved and we are targeting for the project to be fully operational in 2018,” he said.
GCC countries will build their parts of the railway on their own; the UAE and Saudi Arabia have begun their construction work while other countries will start shortly, he added.
Oman has begun preliminary design on its rail project.
Meanwhile, the contract to study a proposal for a new causeway linking Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, part of the GCC rail project, will be awarded next month and the study is scheduled to be completed in 2014, he said.
“This is an important strategic project in the scheme.”


UK Treasury chief vows to quit if Boris Johnson becomes PM

Updated 21 July 2019
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UK Treasury chief vows to quit if Boris Johnson becomes PM

  • Hammond is the third minister within a week to quit or say they will resign in order to try to block a no-deal Brexit
  • Johnson is the strong favorite to win a two-person runoff to lead the Conservative Party and the country

LONDON: British Treasury chief Philip Hammond says he will quit if — as widely expected — Boris Johnson becomes prime minister this week.
Hammond said Sunday that Johnson’s vow to take the UK out of the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without a divorce deal is “not something that I could ever sign up to.”
He is the third minister within a week to quit or say they will resign in order to try to block a no-deal Brexit. Economists say leaving the EU without a deal would cause Britain economic turmoil.
Johnson is the strong favorite to win a two-person runoff to lead the Conservative Party and the country. The winner is being announced Tuesday, with the victor taking over from Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday.