Doha Metro in Qatar’s capital city will be one of the most advanced rail transit systems in the world when Phase I becomes operational by the end of 2019.
The emirate had originally planned the metro in 2007, in a bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Doha. Though the International Olympic Committee chose Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Doha still proceeded with the project in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, for which it won the bid in 2010.
With road travel being an extensive mode of transport, Qatar has a well-developed road network with a highway system and expressways. The public transport that does exist is mainly provided by Mowasalat, a state-owned integrated ground transportation company.
The objective of the transport master plan for Qatar is to develop attractive, efficient and reliable public transport in the country. The requirements led for the proposal of a comprehensive railway network for future development in the Greater Doha area and in the state on the whole.
The rail transit system is part of the Qatar Government’s €130bn diversification and modernisation strategy involving public and private investments. The campaign also aims to reduce its dependency on natural gas exports.
Contracts for the first phase of the project were awarded in August 2012, with the ground breaking ceremony taking place on 10 October 2012. Work has started on the Msheireb interchange station, which will serve as the hub for the metro’s operations.
Doha Metro is part of a larger railway network, which consists of five modern and flexible railway systems integrated across the Persian Gulf. The larger network includes the development of passenger and freight rail transport systems, along with fast rail links to the international airport based on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) feasibility study.
The master plan involves development of a metro railway system in Qatar, in addition to long-distance and freight lines connecting the emirate with the rest of the GCC. Currently in the planning stage, the GCC network will connect six member states, namely Oman, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain, with a 1,940km rail network.
In August 2008, national development agency Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment appointed the German national railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) to produce plans for a railway network in the country. DB International (DBI), the international wing of Deutsche Bahn, and Qatari Diar prepared conceptual designs for the consolidated railway network development in Qatar.