Railway Projects in Dubai & Nigeria: The Epitome of Success

The global smart railways systems market is expected to grow profoundly at a CAGR of above 27 percent by 2020, according to recent report by Technavio. While Europe dominates the smart railways systems market by accounting for about 32 percent of the total market share during 2015, Dubai and Nigeria topped Middle East and Africa (MEA) railways projects market with the most renowned Trans-West African Railway Project and Dubai Metro making the headlines in the past few years. Furthermore, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) expects to extend Dubai Metro’s tracks to 110km by 2020 and to 421km by 2030. This extension plan provides massive opportunity for the infrastructure sector.

Railway is considered to be the second-fastest mode of transportation (next to airways) and due to the recent increase in commuter traffic, there has been a consistent increase in the demand for rail services from the public, states Technavio’s report. Since more people prefer to travel by train than by road or sea, many countries, according to the report, have started funneling their funds to standardize their railway’s services. This need for railways has drastically extended in the past decade, spurring investors from all around the world to pump in more in railways projects. In 2014, the UK government unveiled plans for USD48.4 billion investments in railways with the main aim of investing in world class infrastructure. In 2016, Indian Railways said it will invest USD142 billion in five years.

As for the MEA region, a recent report based on large-scale road and rail projects tracked in 14 countries in the region by Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC) states that Nigeria leads the 14 countries in terms of the total value of all sectors, with a project pipeline valued at USD151.6 billion and also for railways projects valued accounting for USD119.3 billion. Nigeria has three of the top ten projects the highest value being the USD59 billion Trans-West African Railway which is planned to start in 2018. However, Dubai Metro is still at a higher competitive pace than the African Railway. The metro is one of the longest driverless metro lines in the world and carried 164 million passengers in 2014 traveling on two red and green lines across the city, according to a dmg events report.

“The Roads and Transport Authority’s vision is to add 421 kilometers of metro line by 2030 to accommodate the estimated 4 million population in Dubai”

Passenger numbers are rising year on year and there is now a growing need to expand the two existing lines that stretch 70 kilometers and take in 47 stations. The Roads and Transport Authority’s vision is to add 421 kilometers of metro line by 2030 to accommodate the estimated 4 million population in Dubai. As part of the extension of Dubai Metro’s Red line, an Alstom-led consortium Expolink, also composed of ACCIONA and Gulermak, recently signed a contract with RTA (Roads & Transport Authority) to design and build the extension of Dubai’s Red metro line and upgrade the system of the existing line. According to an Alstom report, the total value of the project, also called Route 2020, is USD2.8 billion. The extended line, which will connect the city to the Expo 2020 site, is expected to start commercial service in 2020 for the World Expo. The metro extension will have seven stations, including an interchange at Nakheel Harbour and an iconic metro station at the World Expo site.

Dana Hani
Content Editor & Researcher
CPH World Media