Engineering contractors expect Doha to issue construction tenders for the Red line of the Qatari capital’s metro network by the middle of 2011.

Doha metro will eventually be made up of four lines spanning 300 kilometres across the city

The Red line will be the first phase of the Doha metro and the first part of the country’s $25bn rail development programme.

“We expect to see bid opportunities to open by mid 2011,” says one Doha-based contractor.

Doha metro will eventually be made up of four lines spanning 300 kilometres across the city.

Germany’s Deutsche Bahn (DB) signed a memorandum of understanding with local Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company (QDREIC) to develop the design for the country’s railway network in 2009.

The pair are in the process of forming the joint venture Qatar Railways Development Company, which will be responsible for managing all of the design and construction work for Qatar’s metro and rail projects.

Deutsche Bahn will hold 49 per cent of the new company while Qatari Diar will hold the remaining 51 per cent.

Sources close to the development expect the company to start operating by the end of 2010.

Qatar has a number of rail projects planned apart from Doha metro. These include an east coast rail link for passengers and freight between Ras Laffan in the north and Mesaieed in the south, and a high-speed link running from New Doha International Airport through Doha city and on to Bahrain across the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway, which is currently on hold.

Other plans include a freight link that will connect into the planned GCC network and a light rail system that will serve new developments to the north of Doha such as Lusail, Education City and West Bay.