Nearly 40 UK companies attended Gulf Rail 2012 in Abu Dhabi on Monday, an event hosted by UK Trade & Investment, or UKTI. The companies are here to find out about the array of rail projects currently underway in the Gulf region. From Etihad Rail in the UAE to the Doha Metro, from the Oman Rail Project to the Harmain Rail Project linking Makkah and Madinah, railways are a key driver for growth in the region. Steve O’Leary, UKTI director of High Value Opportunities in Infrastructure, said: “When demand for transportation continues to grow, the development of railways here in the Gulf is timely and essential. These railways will create capacity and foster further economic development. The economic and environmental benefits that will flow from these railways will be a significant legacy, and UK companies are keen to offer their experience and capability to support the delivery of these projects.” The event was sponsored by The Links Group and Simmons & Simmons. “The Links Group is proud to be supporting UKTI and working with the growing rail industry in the region. With the UAE and Qatar as two of the biggest markets for rail projects valued at $21 billion and $35 billion respectively, infrastructure opportunities for UK companies are abundant. We’ve already seen many UK companies enter the Gulf, and look forward to having more move in to the region,” said Joe Hepworth, commercial manager UAE at The Links Group. from khaleej times.