Qatar to deliver first underground metro in the GCC by 2019?

With the many multimillion dollar projects Qatar is handling, the underground metro line is said to be top priority. Metro lines exist in the GCC, specifically in Dubai, however an underground metro line is something completely new to the region. The Metro Line is said to reduce carbon emissions by 258,000 tonnes per year. It is also said to provide jobs for many and create sustainability and stability for Qatar’s growing economy. This project is also a great way of resolving traffic jams and road blocks. With the FIFA World Cup in 2022, the rail way system will resolve Qatar’s concerns of road congestion for the substantial event. Nevertheless any delay in this project will cause greater concerns for the 2022 World Cup, as the railways will be a primary source of transportation for the event and will heavily reduce traffic.


This multi-billion-project has so many aspects to consider in order for it to be completed successfully, the major concern would be time in this case.

As we know the railway industry has come a long way from the days of using manual labor for creating underground tunnels, and accordingly Qatar has managed to sign a deal with German Tunnel Boring Machine Herrenknecht, for the supply of 21 drilling machines that will manage to drill the underground passages of the metro line in two years time. The metro will consist of four main lines most of which will cover the greater Doha area and estimated daily excavation quantity is said to be 600 m³ with a total estimated excavation quantity of 5,000,000 m³, that’s a lot of drilling that needs to be done in two years! A great deal of monitoring and coordination is required to meet that two year deadline. Funding for the project may not be the greatest issue, however other issues need greater attention, such as machine maintenance, meeting daily targets, safety hazards, weather conditions, road blocks and so much more. Also, with the recent oil crisis in the middle east region, we may see a delay in current projects, however these things will be put into better perspective as we go further into 2015.


Railway projects are very costly and time consuming, some of the most famous underground projects, like the London Underground, took almost 40 years to complete, but with the major technological innovations in the industry, and the use of drilling machines, underground railway construction has become faster and more efficient. Qatar’s delivery date for the project is four years from now, which begs the question is this enough time to deliver a major project such as this one?

Also, with the FIFA World Cup 2022 around the corner from 2019, if any delays were to occur how badly would they effect the upcoming event? Could this risk be averted in time for it?




7 thoughts on “Qatar to deliver first underground metro in the GCC by 2019?

  1. I believe Qatar will be able to accomplish the project on time. They do have all the resources in term of money & labor. The only issue that may cause the delay is the current situation in the middle east (Yemen, Iraq & Syria).
    Most of labor that are working on this project are coming from Asia & if the Asian countries decided for some reasons not to export their labor to GCC this may impact the entire project and FIFA 2022.

  2. Thank you for your post Hessa. I think this would be great for Qatar. I also think Qatar will be able to deliver as per their project timeline, although I foresee potential delays but they will definitely have it before the World Cup. Looking back at Dubai, it took them 6 years to transform the city, with the resources Qatar owns it can take them far less. However, other setbacks to the project might be the FIFA 2022 controversy and the issues related to mistreatment of immigrant workers. Personally, I wish to see such railways within our countries and cross-border.

  3. Glad to hear that such railways are to be constructed in our regions within the coming year! This will really help boost up the growth of not only Qatar’s economy but also the other GCC economies especially in the tourism sector. As mentioned by Omar, Qatar has all the required resources to proceed with this project, let’s only hope that the current Middle East situation won’t affect the export of the Asian labours. By taking account of all required logistics, risks and time frame, I’m sure Qatar will find a way to carry on this project and overcome any obstacle to take advantage of the tremendous tourism season during FIFA World Cup 2022.

  4. I think this project would be a great way for Qatar to handle the amount of tourists that will be visiting the country for the World Cup in 2022. However as many projects in the region are always delayed, Qatar will need to ensure that the project management team is able to complete this on time. If this is not completed on time the project could cause an annoyance to visitors and the teams that will be competing in the world cup.

  5. Four years is enough time to complete the Qatar underground metro project given the technological advances utilized throughout the construction. Manual labour used to create these tunnels thereby taking a lot of time. For example, the London Underground which began in 1863 used manual labour to dig through 402 kilometres of the tracks. It is no wonder the London Underground took 40 years to complete. The Qatar project will use drilling machines that will dig about 163 kilometres in just two years. The project will fully utilize such advanced technology throughout, therefore, it will complete in 2019 as scheduled. Any delays in the project will adversely affect the approaching FIFA World Cup in 2022. During the event, traffic and road blocks will cause excessive road congestion, increased carbon emissions and increased spending on oil for motorists. The underground system will be the primary means of transport for the event, and so any drastic delays will cause mayhem. To avoid the risk of any delays, the project managers can pay attention to every detail. They should ensure daily targets are met, proper maintenance of machines, handle safety hazards with caution, and monitor weather conditions so as to plan accordingly.

  6. I would like to thank you to share this topic. I think with good planning, huge budget, and following up you can do difficult things. But my question is: all of us know Qatar is like bahrain when you start drilling sea water will come out espacilly near the sea which it will be one of the challenging factor for the project. I think Qatar plan also for the delay for the project where they have 3 years after the expected date of Fifa 2022 so in bad condition they can manage the situation. Qatar finish up many grand projects I think they can done the project before 2022.

  7. It is very interesting to see the type of infrastructure that other countries are planning. It sounds like the planning for this underground train is part of the bigger plan for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. They must have realized that reliable transportation was essential to manage the amount of tourism that would be coming to Qatar for the event. The FIFA organization is currently under investigation and will research whether or not Qatar won the bid without bribes. It will be interesting to see if the underground train will still continue to be built as planned if for some reason the World Cup in Qatar is cancelled.

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