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British Companies Ready To Support Gulf Rail Projects


15 June 2012

British Embassy UAE

Nearly 40 UK companies were in Abu Dhabi earlier this week for Gulf Rail 2012, an event hosted by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). The companies were there to find out about the array of rail projects currently underway in the Gulf region.

From Etihad Rail in the UAE to the Doha Metro, from the Oman Rail Project to the Harmain Rail Project linking Mecca and Medina, railways are a key driver for growth in the region.  The ultimate goal is to link each country’s high speed rail network into the GCC Rail Network, connecting all the Gulf states.  Not only will these projects provide the necessary infrastructure to move freight around the region, but they will also improve public transportation through commuter metro lines and tram lines.


There is a great opportunity for British companies to showcase their expertise in this sector.  UK capability in rail infrastructure is well-renowned, with 200 years of history to reflect back on.  But it is in looking forward to new opportunities, such as these in the Gulf, where the UK can make a difference.


Steve O’Leary, UKTI Director of High Value Opportunities in Infrastructure, is accompanying the delegation. He said:


“When demand for transportation continues to grow, the development of railways here in the Gulf is timely and essential.  These railways will create capacity and foster further economic development.  The economic and environmental benefits that will flow from these railways will be a significant legacy, and UK companies are keen to offer their experience and capability to support the delivery of these projects.”


The event was sponsored by The Links Group and Simmons & Simmons.


Joe Hepworth, Commercial Manager UAE at The Links Group said:


“The Links Group is proud to be supporting UKTI and working with the growing rail industry in the region. With the UAE and Qatar as two of the biggest markets for rail projects valued at US$ 21 billion and US$ 35 billion respectively, infrastructure opportunities for UK companies are abundant. We’ve already seen many UK companies enter the Gulf, and look forward to having more move in to the region,”


Andrew Wingfield from the international law firm Simmons & Simmons added:


"Simmons & Simmons is pleased to support Gulf Rail 2012.  We have been committed to the Middle East region for over thirty years, giving us the depth and breadth of knowledge and experience to support companies as they expand to the Gulf."


Dominic Jermey, HM Ambassador to the UAE, added:


“I am delighted that UK companies were here in Abu Dhabi to hear firsthand about opportunities from rail authorities around the Gulf.  These are innovative British companies which can contribute enormously to the growth of rail across the Gulf.   UK Trade & Investment supports companies from the UK to do business overseas, and bringing them here for this event is an excellent example of their work in action.”

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