Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company is to tender the contract to build the Lusail light-rail network in December, with bids to be submitted in the first half of 2010, contractors close to the deal tell MEED.

The contractors say Qatari Diar will award the contract in time for the winner to start work in the second half of next year.

The preliminary design comprises four double-track rail lines with a total length of 17.8 kilo-metres. It includes 29 stations and a maintenance and storage depot.

Potential bidders include France’s Alstom, Spain’s CAF, Canada’s Bombardier, Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation, and Germany’s Siemens.

The winner will provide rolling stock and IT systems for the light railway and subcontract the construction and civil works.

US-based PBS&J International, working with the local Horizon Group, is the programme and construction manager for the railway.

On a separate project, to build a rail station at New Doha International airport, the airport’s steering committee has closed the bidding for the construction work. The bidders are UAE/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group, UAE-based Al-Naboodah Contracting, the UAE’s Al-Jaber Engineering, UAE-based Arabtec Construction, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company with the local Teyseer Contracting Company, Germany’s Ed Zueblin, and the local International Trading & Contracting Company with Singapore’s Sembawang Engineers & Constructors.

Sources close to the project say the steering committee wants to finish the station in time for the opening of the first two phases of the airport in 2011.

Qatar has increased its investment in infrastructure for the past two years, with $5.7bn spent so far in 2009, compared with $6.4bn in 2008 and $3.8bn in 2007.