Saudi transport authority gets update on Haramain railway

A view of the Haramain Railway station in Jeddah. (SPA file photo)
Updated 19 April 2019
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Saudi transport authority gets update on Haramain railway

RIYADH: The Haramain High-Speed Railway linking Makkah and Madinah, and its strategic role in developing the Saudi transport industry was discussed during the monthly meeting of the Public Transport Authority at its headquarters in Riyadh.
Rayan Al-Harbi, the director general of operations and maintenance for the railway, which began operating a little over six months ago, discussed the main features of the megaproject, which is the largest of its kind in the region and the sixth-largest in the world, and how it helps to promote the transport industry in the Kingdom.
He also talked about the strategic locations chosen for the five stations served by the railway, in Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh. The Jeddah station is the biggest of its kind in the world, which gives the project additional value through the state-of-the-art services it provides to travelers.
Al-Harbi praised the use of technology in the railway’s operational processes and electronic services, including online reservations. The huge national project relies on a highly qualified national workforce, and many important jobs have been Saudized, he noted, from work teams and leaders to maintenance and operations staff.
He said the project is one of the largest rapid-transport projects in the world in terms of infrastructure. It includes six giant power generators and a large number of bridges that are specially designed to be safe and secure in case of sand drift or floods.
More than 700 trips have been completed and more than 300,000 passengers have traveled on the Haramain railway since it was officially opened by King Salman in Sep. 2018. It is expected to carry up to 60 million passengers a year.


Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Updated 23 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting
  • Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan. 

The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments.

But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.