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A new agreement will see Iraq and Syria work together to complete the Al-Qa’im railway line and increase trade between the two countries, reports AKnews.

The Iraqi Railways Company signed an agreement this week with Syrian Railways to construct the remainder of the railway line to reach the Iraqi border in the Al-Qa’im area, which will be linked with the Iraqi line at the end of this year.

This will result in two railway ports for Iraq and Syria, the other port being in Rabei.

(Source: AKnews)

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Qatar Airways has announced further expansion of its rapidly-growing international network with five new passenger routes, more cargo services and capacity increases to a number of destinations served direct from the airline’s Doha hub.

Among the new routes are two new destinations in Iraq – the northern city of Erbil and capital Baghdad.

Both routes will be served four times a week, using Airbus A320 aircraft.

The Erbil-Doha route will start in May, while the Baghdad-Doha route will start in June.

(Source: Qatar Airways)

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In cazul in care doriti sa mergeti cu masina in Kuristan e bine sa luati in calul toate amanuntele

Distanta Bucuresti – Erbil 2650km

– plecare dimineata la 6

– Bulgaria este destul de incurcata chiar pentru un sofer obisnuit sa calatoreasca afara. Este bine sa aiba un copilot cu harta. din auzite nu se recomanda folosirea navigatie. Pentru a evita amenzile e bine sa nu depasisti viteza legala. Oricum e bine sa aveti la dumneavostra de cate 10 euro pentru orice eventualitate, adica diverse taxe.

In Turcia cand intrii pe autostrada la turci trebuie sa cumperi un card pe care il vei tot folosi ca mijloc de masurare a costului tau de autostada – in loc de tichetul care se ia in tarile europene folosesti acest card

– Recomandat sa ajungi undeva pana in ora 2 in Istanbul. Daca ajungi mai tarziu iti va lua foarte mult sa traversezi podul peste Bosfor

– Istanbul – Ankara
– Se poate opri dupa Ankara care este la 1.100km pe la ora 11 noaptea dar  daca se pleaca tarziu si i-a cca 3 ore sa traversez Istanbulul
– normal ar trebui sa va opriti la Aksaray care este la jumatatea drumului
– apoi a doua zi Adana – Gaziantep – Viransehir – Silope care este o parte foarte  buna autostrada dar apoi drum simplu cu 2 benzi
– cand ajungi in frontiera vei vedea o coada lunga de tiruri, trebuie sa le ocolesti si sa mergi pe o banda despartita de niste separatoare de beton. Sa nu cumva sa intri pe la tiruri ca vei iesi de acolo dupa 3 zile
– procedurile in vama irakiana dureaza cam 1 ora pentru toate formalitatile necesare la masina. Vor opri pasaportul soferului daca masina este mai veche de 2 ani si 500 USD garantie care va fi recuperata la iesire . Trebuie sa platesti vreo 50 usd.
– benzina sau motorina este f scumpa in Turcia peste 2 euro pe litru benzina si motorina parca 2 euro
– dupa ce iesi din vama mergi vreo 500m si trebuie sa faci dreapta spre Dohuk. Este un check point acolo
– daca este noapte cand esti in Duhok iti recomand sa ramai in Duhok sau sa comanzi un taxi care sa mearga in fata voastra pana la Erbil. Riscul este mare sa te pierzi si sa ajungi la Mosul
– atentie la intrarea in Dohuk sa nu o luati spre Mosul

Daca exista graba e bine sa se mearga cu 2 piloti care sa conduca pe rand.

Costul estimativ al unei deplasari cu masina in 1.500 USD.

Cam atat. Drum bun.

Multumim dlui Catalin si dlui Ahmed pentru infomatii

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Bloomberg and Reuters report that Iraq has invited foreign companies to compete for a $450 million monorail project in the southern holy city of Kerbala [Karbala].

The city, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad, hosts the shrines of two Shi’ite imams and hosts millions of Shi’ite pilgrims each year at several major religious rites.

The head of the Kerbala Investment Commission, Taif Abdul-Hussein [Taief Ali], said on Sunday the 18-km (11-mile) monorail would be built from a northern entrance to the city to the main Shi’ite shrines in the central area and then towards the northeastern city entrance.

The train would be capable of speeds up to 100 km per hour and the line would have 18 stations, situated about 900-1000 metres apart. The last station would be about 200 meters from the Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas shrine.

Lebanese, Iranian and Gulf companies have expressed interest in the project.

In June 2010, the southern city of Najaf awarded TransGlobim International, a privately-owned Canadian consortium, a $600 million contract to build the country’s first monorail.

In January 2011, France’s Alstom signed a memorandum of understanding to build metro line above Baghdad’s streets.

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In 2011, 621,870 passengers used Erbil’s new International Airport, a 37% increase on the previous year, whilst cargo tonnage also increased dramatically, with a 67% increase to 17,769 tonnes per annum.

The increase in passenger and cargo numbers will help cement Erbil International Airport as one of the fastest growing in the Middle East and underlines the wisdom of the KRG’s fifth cabinet and its then Prime Minister, Nichevan Barzani’s decision to commission the new airport in 2004.

With an average of 11 flights a day, and around 38 cargo flights a month the airport is set to grow further in 2012 but does not anticipate that the level of increase will be as strong, reflecting the onset of a period of consolidation for EIA and the fact that levels of air travel around the world have, and continue to be, affected by economic woes.

The +37% increase in passenger numbers to 621,870 puts EIA, four years, and 45% ahead of its own master plan. The independently produced plan has predicted 430,000 passengers in 2011.

The most popular routes remain Istanbul and Baghdad, with Turkish and Atlas leading the way on routes to the north, whilst Iraqi Airways continues to operate the most flights into Erbil with an average of around 95 a month. New routes in 2011 have included Turkish Airways to Istanbul, and Pegasus to Ankara, Eygpt Air to Cairo and Air Cyprus to Larnaca. Etihad increased its frequency from x2 to x 4 per week.

Commenting on the record growth, Airport Director Talar Faiq said:

In March ahead of the official opening I told the media we anticipated around 600,000 passengers this year, that we have exceeded that total, and processed more than 621,000 passengers is welcome news and a great endorsement of the airport in its first official year of operation.

“The growth in passenger numbers reflects not only the confidence the airlines have placed in operations at EIA but also the hard work of all the agencies involved – immigration, customs, security at EIA’s own team. It is also a direct reflection on what is happening in Kurdistan – the growing economy, the security and stability overseen by the KRG, and the growing reputation of Kurdistan as a place to visit and do business.

“It has been a year of first’s for EIA – not only in the official opening but also in behind the scenes developments that are so vital to the running of an airport to international standards – From the airport certification via the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority, to the ability for EIA to control airspace around the airport, to the implementation of safety procedures to the opening up of a business lounge. EIA has invested a great deal in training for radar and air traffic control, to developing is operational staff and ensuring they have the skills to do their jobs. Such developments and milestones are essential to the airports future development.

“The new airport stated operating in September 2010, and was officially opened by the KRG President Masood Barzani and Prime Minister Erdoggan of Turkey in March. I expect the coming year to be one of consolidation with fewer new airlines arriving, but existing airlines developing their business. I anticipate further growth in cargo as Kurdistan’s growth fuels a demand for imports and the ending of exclusive cargo deals opens up the market to more carriers.

“The master plan is a document mapping out the next 30 years for EIA – that we are ahead of schedule is great news but we must think long term and ensure steps are taken to put in place the expertise and infrastructure to take EIA to the next level.

To do so is not an end in itself, but serves to reinforce the role of the airport as a gateway to Kurdistan and a vital economic enabler for development yet to come.

  • The average passenger growth rate since 2006 and the launch of civilian aviation traffic at Erbil International is 31.5% a year.
  • The 2011 increase of 37% is the strongest year on year growth for five years.
  • New routes, increased frequencies from existing carriers are the main reasons for growth.
  • The monthly pattern for travel demand through EIA is consistent with airports in the Middle East and sees peak traffic through in July and September.
  • The growth in cargo has been driven with the demand for imports into the booming Kurdistan economy – Emirates, Etihad, and Maximus all serve Erbil International with dedicated cargo freighters. Cargo tonnage is set to continue to expand in 2012 with a number of airlines seeking to launch dedicated cargo services.
  • Total traffic movement is a combination of passenger and cargo air traffic movements arriving and department EIA and reflects the growth of the airport. The decrease in 2008 reflects fewer cargo flights in that year.

(Source: Erbil International Airport)

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1- River navigation channels
2- River wharfs
3- Maritime navigation channels
4- Ports and wharfs

Transfer Equipments
1- Procurement of ports handling equipments

General Services:
1- Supplying, installing and operating 4 water desalination units for the State Co. for ports
2- Studying and implementing marine pollution project
3- Procurement of maritime units
4- Improving electricity power supply for ports
5- Procurement of 2 vessels for the State Co. for maritime transportation
6- Procurement of costal ships and clean water tankers for the State Co. for maritime transportation
7- Management and support for the Japanese loan projects
8- Cathodic protection for ports wharfs
9- Management and support for Grand Faw consultancy contract
10- Supplying and installing costal radio communications station (GRS)
11- Building 10 miscellaneous ships
Studies and Consultations
Auditing for implemented and withdrawn projects

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1- Procurement of 2 meteorology radar systems in A’ana and Baghdad

International Airport
Studies and Consultancies:
1- Preparing designs and studies for State Co. for Iraqi Airways projects

General Services:
1- Replacement of 18 air bridges at Baghdad International Airport
2- Replacement of fire alarm and self extinguishing systems
3- Runway illumination at Baghdad International Airport
4- Rehabilitation of Basra International Airport
5- Rehabilitation of Mosul International Airport
6- Rehabilitation of Civil Aviation Institution
7- Rehabilitation of Aircrafts parking spaces at Baghdad International Airport
8- Management and support for Karbala International Airport’s consultancy contract
9- Radio coverage
10- Rehabilitation of 3 generators at Baghdad International Airport
11- Rehabilitation of Baghdad International Airport
12- Establishing Air training and development centre
13- Transferring current air cargo department into Cargo Village
Auditing for implemented and withdrawn projects

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Land Transportation:
1- Passengers transportation
2- Goods transportation

General Services:
1- Construction of multi-storey park for delegations transportation company
2- Construction of the International Karbala car park
3- Expansion of the State Co. for passengers’ printing house
4- Importation of 200 trucks for the State Co. for land transportation
5- Procurement of miscellaneous coaches and spare parts
6- Construction of Al-Nahdha passengers station
7- Construction of the International Najaf car park
8- Construction of Mosul passengers station
9- Construction of Aur passengers station in Nasiriya
10- Smart gates for passengers stations and offices in Baghdad
11- Land Acquisition, studies and designs
12- Construction of offices building for Al-Thilal company and its branches

Studies and Consultancies:
1- Preparing designs and studies for private passengers stations in Baghdad and the provinces
2- Designing and studying building Basra land transportation park
Auditing for implemented and withdrawn projects

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Construction of Rail lines and facilities for:
1- Samawa – Nasiriya – Gubaishiya line
2- Yosofiya – Hilla – Samawa line
3- Baiji – Hamam Al-Aleel line
4- Gubaishiya – Basra – Um Qasir line
5- Baghdad – Baiji line
6- Hamam Al-Aleel – Mosul – Saboniya – Rabia’a line
7- Musayib – Karbala line
8- Baghdad Circular line
9- Construction of railways bridge on the Euphrates river near Samawa

Mobile Units:
1- Refurbishment and modernization of 4000 miscellaneous carriages
2- Carriages reconstruction
3- Passengers carriages reconstruction

General Services:
1- Procurement of specialized rail machinery (Details to be discussed with companies)
2- Procurement of transportation communications network
3- Concrete Slabs Manufacturing Unit for Railways
4- Construction of concrete beams plant in Samawa complete with operational parts
5- Acquisition of land
6- Rehabilitation and modernization of Baghdad central station trains shelter, technical station and other station workshops and facilities
7- Rehabilitation and modernization of Shaljiya plants and central warehouses
8- Reconstruction of Baghdad – Basra and Baghdad – Mosul train lines
9- Construction of an engineering consultancy office
10- Construction of pre-cast concrete blocks plant
Feasibility Studies and Consultancies:
1- Conducting connecting Iraq with neighboring countries (feasibility study)
2- Conducting Baghdad – Baquba – Kirkuk – Erbil – Mosul rail line consultancy
3- Conducting Mosul – Dohuk – Zakho rail line consultancy
4- Conducting Basra – Faw rail line consultancy
5- Preparing studies and designs for Kirkuk – Sulaimaniya and Hamam Al-Aleel– Saboniya rail lines
6- Conducting Karbala – Ramadi rail line consultancy study

Express Transportation (Metro)

Rail Intersections:
1- Construction of 70 bridged intersections for railways
Auditing for implemented and withdrawn projects

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Flydubai has added two additional Iraqi destinations to its network with flights to Baghdad and Najaf due to start in the New Year.

The new routes bring flydubai’s network to 48 destinations across 27 countries in the Gulf, Middle East, Africa, Indian Sub-Continent, Asia and the fringes of Europe.

Flydubai launched services to Iraq in 2010, serving Erbil and Sulaimaniyah, providing a huge impetus to travel between the UAE and Iraq, while promoting trade ties between the two countries. The new routes mean flydubai now offers 14 flights a week to Iraq.

Flights to the two destinations will start in the New Year, allowing travellers from the UAE to take advantage of low-cost fares to two of Iraq’s commercial hubs.

The four-times weekly flights to Baghdad will begin on January 17, with the three times a week service to Najaf commencing on January 29.

Flydubai CEO Gaith Al Gaith said:

The UAE is currently one of Iraq’s top trading partners with non-oil trade between the two countries growing 32.6 per cent to Dh26.4 billion, compared to 2008. Our flights to Arbil and Sulaimaniyah encouraged business travel and we aim to mirror that success by connecting two of Iraq’s main commercial and business centres to the UAE. In addition to cultural authenticity, Iraq has a wealth of investment opportunities across sectors such as oil and gas, agriculture and we hope the routes will stimulate UAE-based and international business to explore these opportunities.

Flights to Baghdad will operate four times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from January 17. One way fares from Dubai to Baghdad start at Dh1,230, with fares from Baghdad to Dubai starting at $315.

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