A driverless Metro system linking Bahrain’s new international airport in Muharraq with residential areas will launch the procurement process for its construction in early March.
The project will be similar to Dubai’s automated rapid-speed Metro system and is part of $32 billion of investment into Bahrain’s infrastructure.
A virtual forum planned for the first week of March will introduce potential partners to the Metro project that is expected to be operational by 2027, revolutionising Manama's public transport network.
Tendering via a global competitive bidding process is due later in the year for the 109 kilometre rail-based urban transit system.
“We have been working in full force on a complete transportation infrastructure improvement strategy covering land, air and sea,” said Kamal bin Ahmed Mohamed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications.
“This will support and drive the kingdom’s economic development and serve our citizens, residents and visitors.
“Through the Bahrain Metro project, MTT aspires to apply the latest technology that is up to international standards.
“This marks an important milestone as it will improve the quality of life of citizens by providing a fast, comfortable, reliable, and sustainable transportation system in the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
The Metro project is the latest in a long line of large-scale projects in Bahrain that promise to transform the transportation, industrial, hospitality and retail sectors through public and private investments.
It includes a $7.5bn investment across the manufacturing, energy, healthcare and education sectors.
Meanwhile, government holding companies will be investing more than $10bn across projects within the aluminium, oil and gas sectors. Work is also set to begin on the $4bn King Hamad Causeway project.
Phase One of the Metro network’s ambitious plans comprises two lines with an estimated length of 28.6km. There will be 20 stations with two interchanges.
The two lines aim to connect the key transit points including Bahrain International Airport as well as major residential areas, commercial areas and school districts across the country.
On completion, the system will have a capacity to transport 43,000 passengers per hour.
Bahrain International Airport’s new $1.1bn terminal opened its doors at the end of January, increasing annual capacity by 14 million passengers.
With 104 check-in counters, 24 security screening points and 36 passport control stations, the airport promises a ‘contactless’ journey for passengers.