Makkah-Madinah high-speed train service to start early next year

Illustration showing the Makkah-Madinah railway route.
Updated 07 October 2017

Makkah-Madinah high-speed train service to start early next year

MAKKAH: The Makkah Region Development Authority has announced the completion of field work on the Haramain Express Train.
It expects the project to be fully completed in late 2017 and operational in the first quarter of 2018, Al-Hayat newspaper reported.
The 450-km electric railway project serves as a qualitative addition to the transportation system in the Kingdom.
It will provide a fast, convenient, reliable and safe mode of transport between Makkah and Madinah, as well as the cities of Jeddah and Rabigh.
The train will take passengers from Makkah to Madinah through Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).
The project is in its final stages after 35 trains (with a capacity of 417 seats per train) were equipped with all amenities.
The train will be managed with a world-class operating system and will connect the province of Jeddah to Makkah via a 78-km double-track line.
The Makkah-Madinah high-speed railway will shorten the travel time between Jeddah and Makkah to about 21 minutes, and less than two-and-a-half hours between Makkah and Madinah.
The Makkah station is located at the main entrance to the city in the neighborhood of Al-Rusaifah.
The station is about 3 km away from the Grand Mosque in Makkah, while Al-Madinah station is located in the Knowledge Economic City (KEC) on King Abdul Aziz Road.
There are two train stations in Jeddah; the first is in Sulaymaniyah in the center of the city, and the second is at King Abdul Aziz International Airport.
The Rabigh station is located near King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST).

Unofficial G20 engagement group launched

Updated 34 min 59 sec ago

Unofficial G20 engagement group launched

  • V20 hopes to be adopted by the G20 as an official engagement group

RIYADH: A diverse group of organizations and experts from around the world have come together to establish Values 20 (V20) as an unofficial engagement group among the G20 ecosystem, with a mission to demonstrate the “value of values.”

V20 has formed three taskforces: Global Values, addressing how values can contribute to achieving societal and economic objectives; Leadership Values, assessing how values can improve organizational outcomes; and Quality of Life Values, focusing on how to enhance people’s wellbeing.

The taskforces will work collectively, consult their networks, carry out research, develop policy briefs and present their findings at an annual V20 Summit.

“In keeping with the G20’s ethos of international cooperation … we’re glad to be helping launch Values 20 as an unofficial engagement group during the year when Saudi Arabia is chairing the G20,” said Dimah Al-Sheikh, V20 chair and executive manager of Misk Values.

“V20 will mirror the collaborative, bottom-up approach of the other G20 engagement groups to facilitate debate, and communicate findings to the leaders,” she added.

“V20 members believe in the pivotal role of values in shaping people’s behavior, improving societal outcomes and even helping to overcome global challenges. By bringing together thinkers and doers, V20 demonstrates the value of values to decision-makers in government, business and beyond, but equally importantly to people. V20 will show that values-based policies can improve people’s lives around the world.”

Richard Barrett, founder of the Barrett Values Centre, said it is “delighted to be involved in Values 20, because what we’re doing fills the vacuum of knowledge about how to ensure that values properly inform public policy decisions. That’s why V20 has developed dynamic mechanisms to engage as many experts and organizations as possible, through three taskforces and a network hub.”

He added: “The V20 crowdsourcing campaign will also harvest best practice about what works on the ground in values-centered policy and activity of any kind. The V20 will help discover, demonstrate and deliver practical values in action.”

The network hub, the continuous crowdsourcing of best practice, and the work of the taskforces will contribute toward a V20 communique to be passed to the G20 leaders.

V20 hopes to be adopted by the G20 as an official engagement group. The G20 encourages bottom-up policymaking through its eight existing independent engagement groups.