Qatar Railways, the operator of Qatar’s planned QR130bn ($36bn) rail network, will award the first construction contract in July next year.

The scope of work includes design and construction work on the railway project, as well as major underground and elevated civil works, and enabling works including roads and utilities diversion.

The tenders will be issued at the beginning of next year, and the first phase work needs to be completed in time for the Football World Cup in 2022.

The integrated rail project includes the $35bn Doha Metro as well as national freight and long-distance passenger lines.