Saudi rail chiefs reveal expansion plans for freight, passengers

SAR has ambitious plans for an expanded passenger network. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 11 September 2018
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Saudi rail chiefs reveal expansion plans for freight, passengers

  • The Saudi Railway Company (SAR) moved 9 million tons of freight last year
  • SAR has plans for an expanded passenger network

RIYADH: Saudi rail chiefs plan to turn the Kingdom into a global logistics hub with an expanded network of commercial and industrial freight services.

The Saudi Railway Company (SAR) already moved 9 million tons of freight last year, delegates to a forum in Riyadh were told. Compared with other means of transport, trains have a lower carbon footprint, cost less, are more reliable and have lower manpower requirements, the forum heard.

“The railway sector is witnessing qualitative growth with added focus on freight,” said Saudi Transport Minister Nabeel bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi. 

“Conditions have been put in place for rail freight to unleash its enormous potential and increase its attractiveness to customers.”

SAR also has ambitious plans for an expanded passenger network, its Chief Executive Bashar Khaled Almalik told Arab News at the forum. “We are growing and growing,” he said.

“We have several projects under construction including a connection to Jubail Industrial City and another to Ras Al-Khair, where we have gone up to the northern borders.

“We are also looking to build the connection between the two networks here in Riyadh and move on, depending on the demands and the needs of our customers.”

Transport Minister Al-Amoudi added: “We have expansion plans and some master plans to be executed within next few years. We are looking at the Saudi Land Bridge Project, which will connect Riyadh with Jeddah.”

 


Saudi camel racing no longer an all-male affair, says Princess Jamila

Updated 23 March 2019
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Saudi camel racing no longer an all-male affair, says Princess Jamila

  • Princess Jamila’s camel will compete in a race marking the conclusion of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival
  • King Salman will attend the grand finale of the 46-day event

JEDDAH: A camel owned by a woman will compete in an official race in Saudi Arabia for the first time, a senior figure in the sport said on Friday.

Fahd bin Hithleen, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Camel Club and the newly appointed president of the International Camel Organization (ICO), said the race is part of the closing day of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on the outskirts of Riyadh, which began on Feb. 5 and ends on March 23.

“The camel race will end this Saturday with the participation of the first female in camel racing,” Hithleen said on his official Twitter account. “I congratulate Princess Jamila Bint Abdulmajeed bin Saud bin Abdulaziz for breaking into the camel world and wish her all the success.”

The festival finale will take place in the presence of King Salman.

Princess Jamila said that camel racing is no longer exclusively the preserve of men, as the ongoing reforms in the country continue to empower Saudi women and open up new opportunities for them across the Kingdom.

The Kingdom established the ICO, the first global group of its kind for camels, on Thursday with the participation of representatives from 96 countries. Riyadh was chosen as the location for its headquarters and Hithleen was appointed to serve a five-year term as its first president.