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GCC Railway: a train across a fractured Gulf?

The repeatedly delayed rail network could boost regional trade and ease mobility.
A man stands watching the newly-opened Holy Sites metro light rail in the western Saudi city of Mecca on November 2, 2010. - The Chinese-built monorail project, will link Mecca with the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, and will operate for the first time during the Hajj this month at 35 percent capacity to ferry Saudi nationals who will take part in the upcoming annual Muslim pilgrimage. (Photo by AMER HILABI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read AMER HILABI/AFP via Getty Images)

Limited progress has been made since a 1,350-mile-long rail network stretching across Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries was announced more than 15 years ago.

Repeatedly delayed, the megaproject is now expected to be partially completed in 2023, linking Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, Saudi newspaper Al-Jazirah reported. Although the report specified Bahrain and Kuwait would be added to the network two years later, Qatar, part of the original proposal, is not mentioned. 

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