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Qatar 'to build 140km light rail system'

Doha, January 19, 2008

Qatar is planning a 140-km light rail system in the capital Doha to help ease traffic congestion ahead of its 2016 Olympic Games bid, a paper reported on Saturday.

Qatar, which officially launched its bid to host the summer Olympics last week, will spend billions of dollars to revamp its transport infrastructure irrespective of whether its Olympic bid is successful, the Peninsula reported, citing a government presentation for the bid.

Construction of the light rail system's first 85 kilometres is scheduled to begin in 2009, with completion of the metro scheduled for 2015, it said.

'The rail network will link all major Olympic venues and villages, including the New Doha International Airport, Doha Port and the hotel district,' the paper said.

With Gulf countries witnessing annual population growth of between 5 to 10 percent, cities are increasingly facing congestion, forcing governments to spend on improving infrastructure.

Dubai is expected to complete the first phase of a two-line $4.4 billion metro extending about 70 km by September 2009.

Other Gulf cities including Riyadh, Makkah, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, are also planning rail systems.

According to the Olympic presentation, the number of hotel rooms in Qatar will more than quadruple to 80,000 by 2016 from almost 18,000 now, the paper said. - Reuters




Tags: Qatar | light rail | olympic |

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