"The project needs a year to a year-and-a-half for studies to be carried out and to identify locations and stations," says the mayor of Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, Mr Fahad Al-Jubair.

The light rail network will comprise two lines. One line would run south from Tarout Island via Al Qatif, Dammam and Dhahran to Al Khubar, the starting point for the King Fahd Causeway which connects Dammam with Bahrain. The second line would run along on King Fahd Road in Dammam northwest towards King Fahd International Airport.

The June issue of IRJ will have an in-depth report on urban transit developments in Saudi Arabia.