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Despite the decline in global oil prices, Oman is pushing ahead with the construction of several major infrastructure projects across the country. Included in these projects is the construction of Oman’s national rail, which will form part of the wider GCC Union Rail network.
Once completed, the estimated total length of the railway network will be 2135km. The project is one of the biggest investments in infrastructure Oman has ever seen, costing about $15.7bn.
The network will aim to make Oman a logistical hub for the GCC and provide alternative routes for the movement of freight and passengers, both internally and to neighbouring countries.
The project was initially due to start construction by the end of 2015; however, there have been several delays which have pushed the start back to 2016. Oman Rail is expected to award the contract for the first sector in the coming days/weeks. The shortlisted bidders for this contract are Italy’s Salini Impregilo, the Saipem-led consortium, who are thought to have submitted the lowest bid and Austria’s Porr Bau.
Despite the delays, Oman Rail is still pushing for the rail network to come online in 2018.
It is no secret that there is already a short supply of rail professionals in the region with the various rail and metro construction projects in the GCC. As a result, staffing is going to be a major challenge that Oman Rail will face with this project. This will only be made harder following Kuwait’s announcement, as it plans to start construction of its metro and long distance network next year as well. One of the biggest constraints has always been the requirement of an educational degree. Should Oman Rail be able to oversee this, then they will be opening up a massive untapped talent pool of highly skilled professionals.
In line with Cavendish Professional’s business objective and passion for staffing major rail and metro projects at a governmental level, we are happy to announce that we are up to the challenge presented and are a preferred recruitment partner for Oman rail to assist in ensuring their vision comes to life. We have experience staffing rail projects in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Europe, which puts us in a great position to assist.