The gas-rich gulf state of Qatar plans to build a rail network linking cities within the peninsular state and also connecting the nearby countries of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, at an approximate cost of $25 billion.
Qatari Diar, the real estate investment company controlled by Qatar Investment Authority, and the German national rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) launched a joint venture, Qatar Railway Development Company (QRDC) for the construction of the rail system, yesterday in Doha.
The deal was signed in presence of the prime minster of Qatar Sheik Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani and the German transport minister Peter Ramsauer.
''The signing of this agreement shows that German expertise and German technology in the transport sector are in demand the world over,'' Ramsauer said in a statement.
Qatari Diar will own a majority stake of 51 per cent in the newly formed company, while DB will hold the remaining 49 per cent.
QRDC will be responsible for setting up a railway organisation and will steer all planning and construction activities for the establishment of one of the most modern metro and railway systems in the world.