Wednesday 19, October 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: The need to improve transportation links across cities and countries for fast reliable transit of people and goods underpins economic development both within a country and more importantly for the increase in cross border trade. The safe movement of large amounts of people and the convenience of speed and comfort have led to growth of rail as a preferred mode of transport for many modern densely populated cities worldwide. GCC is currently at various stages of developing its rail connectivity among member states while developing country specific networks.

Saudi Arabia currently leads the current spending in this sector, both on projects planned as well as under execution, with the Riyadh Metro being the most relevant project under construction. Following the Kingdom, Qatar and the UAE lead the race, with Qatar having the most pressing need to fulfil its plans of a rail network ahead of the FIFA 2022 World Cup and the UAE in anticipation of Expo 2020.

To this end, Deloitte in the Middle East is pleased to announce its collaboration with Loliwe Integrated Rail Solutions. The collaboration will combine Deloitte’s market leading solutions with Loliwe rail expertise to offer clients a comprehensive suite of both commercial and technical advisory services.

Loliwe Integrated Rail Solutions is a South African based consultancy specialising in rail infrastructure. Loliwe is currently active on several strategic projects in the South African metropolitan rail networks. The projects include modernisation of rail infrastructure to meet best of breed European standards for operations and safety, which are critical to the safe movement of the growing urban population in large cities.

Loliwe typically leads turnkey professional services teams in studies, feasibilities and business plans. They are also responsible for various Technical Adviser roles on larger initiatives, where their signalling, telecommunications, contractual, cost, planning and operational staff provide sector specific advice to clients throughout the project lifecycle.

“There is undoubtedly a lot of uncertainty when it comes to railways and roadways development in the GCC countries, following reductions in many of the GCC’s government capital programme budgets. However, we believe strategically important lines will continue to be built, especially where the economic benefits are proven”, explains Cynthia Corby, Audit Partner and Infrastructure & Capital Project Leader for Deloitte in the Middle East. “Our Infrastructure & Capital Projects team has worked on some of the world’s largest and most complex transport projects. We are pleased and looking forward to this new relationship with Loliwe.

Mr Kevin McGill, managing director at Loliwe Integrated Rail Solutions, notes: “We are delighted to work with Deloitte who have chosen Loliwe as their partner in an exciting sector in an equally exciting region. The need for infrastructure in the GCC, and worldwide, to support rapidly expanding urban environments means that innovative and focussed solutions are desperately needed. It is this challenge that has drawn us to join Deloitte in providing robust value added solutions to suit the unique challenges that face each project in each of the GCC countries. In the face of uncertainty in the GCC relating to the reductions in budgets, it is now that the rail agencies need service providers to assist in bringing projects to fruition so they can continue to grow modern cities that move increasing numbers of people safely and efficiently. We are honoured to partner with Deloitte in taking up this challenge”.