The total value of GCC railway projects in the pipeline stands at more than $240 billion at present, according to an industry report by Terrapinn Middle East.
As of January 2017, Saudi Arabia had registered the highest rail construction project value of 50%, followed by the UAE (18%) and Qatar (17%).
The planned investments of $30 billion in the UAE's railway networks include Abu Dhabi Metro and Light Rail, skyTran Yas Island, the next stages of the Etihad Rail national network, the Dubai Metro extension for Expo 2020 and the new stages of the Al Sufouh Tram.
The construction timeline for the 2,117km-long $200 billion GCC Railway Network that will link all six nations has been pushed forward to 2021 from 2018 in the aftermath of the oil price plunge.
Abu Dhabi is leading the GCC rail network with its Dh40 billion ($10.89 billion) Etihad Rail project that will link major industrial zones, cities and ports in the UAE, and will eventually connect with the GCC railway.
In January 2016, Etihad Rail suspended the tendering process for phase two of the UAE portion of the project. Once completed, this section of the network will connect the country's borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman, in addition to other areas within the UAE.
The Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and South Asia hold the largest selection of freight and urban transport projects across the globe, with over $642 billion worth of planned railway investments.
Key projects expected to be awarded to contractors in Saudi Arabia in 2017 are Zulfi - Al Majmaah Passenger Railway, North South Rail - Waad Al Shimal - Turaif - Al Jouf (ST320), Makkah Mass Rail Transit (MMRT) - Makkah Metro.