The GCC is working with foreign partners to help develop manufacturing in the region to support its burgeoning rail industry.

“We have had field trips to Turkey and South Korea and they are keen to set up manufacturing locally,” said Ramiz al-Assar, World Bank – resident adviser, Gulf Cooperation Council – Secretariat General, speaking at MEED’s Mena Rail & Metro Summit in Abu Dhabi on 29 October. “We need to work together and formalise this.”

At the conference yesterday, Philippe Casgrain, vice-president, EMEA systems division, Canada’s Bombardier Transportation, which is working on the Riyadh Metro, highlighted the need to develop local expertise for the development of the rail sector in the region.

“Training young local people will create a strong rail industry in the future,” he said.

The GCC rail network is expected to cost $15.6bn. This will be joined by other urban rail projects such as Doha Metro and Riyadh Metro. These schemes combined are expected to cost over $100bn to build over the coming decade.