Subjects – Syria Report



The Hijaz Railways Organisation recently announced that it generated thousands of dollars in cash and millions of dollars in shares from its investments in Solidere, the company established by the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Al-Hariri in 1994 to rebuild and develop Beirut after the Lebanese civil war.
This month, the government inaugurated a five-star hotel in Damascus and laid the foundation stones for three other projects in the capital and the coast, as it seeks to attract investment in a foreign currency-generating industry.
The government has signed two contracts for large investments in the tourism sector reminiscent of similar projects from the pre-2011 era. However, the significant deterioration of the business environment since that time raises doubts about their feasibility.


This report provides an overview of Syria’s railway sector from the early 2000s until today. It sheds light on the sector prior to the Syrian uprising; the many projects that coincided with President Bashar Al-Assad’s ambition of transforming the country into the region’s transport hub; the damages to the sector caused by the decade-long conflict; and the challenges to the sector’s reconstruction.


The Hijaz Railways Organisation (HRO) is one of two state-owned railway companies operating in Syria, the other being the Syrian Railways Organisation (SRO).