GCC Railway Authority may be established by 2014

Issue of customs one of the biggest challenges facing GCC integrated railway project

Gulf States will decide policies on customs and immigration for expatriates living in the Gulf, and commuting via the planned GCC Railway by the end of the year, a World Bank official involved with the process revealed in a press interview.

They are currently considering policies on how expatriates can travel from one Gulf country to another via the integrated railway system, said Ramiz Al Assar, resident adviser at the GCC Secretariat General at the World Bank, at the Middle East Rail conference. A proposal will be put forward to study the move, he said. The study will take about a year.

The issue of customs is one of the biggest challenges facing the Gulf countries in the integrated railway project, he said during his presentation at the conference.

Cross-border points, customs, security, smuggling and immigration for expatriates are some of the ‘sensitive issues’ the Gulf states must deal with, he said.

‘Tenders will be awarded in April for a proposed $4.5bn causeway between Saudi and Bahrain as part of the GCC Railway network,’ he continued.

A GCC Railway Authority may be established by 2014 to co-ordinate and organise with the Gulf states for the implementation of the rail projects, he added.


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