The Middle-East, composed of countries/regions of Southwest Asia and parts of Northern Africa, is a geographical region connected to the land areas of Africa, Asia and Europe. The Middle-East is also connected to maritime areas, where the major trade routes between Asia and Europe operate, including the Indian Ocean, Caspian Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea.
The Middle-East Railways in this Strategic Action Plan imply the UIC Middle-East Regional Assembly member railways. The Regional Assembly for Middle-East (RAME) was established as one of the six regions of UIC, as part of the global dimension in 2007. This region is included in the new UIC statutes adopted in 2009 and officially began its activity from then onwards. The Middle-East Railways include railways from Turkey (TCDD), Chair railway, Iran (RAI, Niroo Rail Transport, METRA, Rail Pardaz Seir), Saudi Arabia (SRO), Jordan (ARC, JHR), Iraq (IRR), Qatar (QRC) Sultanate of Oman, United Arab Emirates UAE (NTA, Etihad Rail), Syria (CFS, CFH/SHR), Afghanistan (AfRA). The UIC Regional Office for the Middle-East is managed by RAI and located in Tehran.
The goal behind this Strategic Action Plan is a move towards an integrated and competitive railway system in the Middle-East region. Presenting the priorities and guidelines of the 16 members of RAME based on three defined strategies of UIC i.e. innovation, integration and involvement of members, this action plan intends to show coherently and concisely the future activities and performances of the Middle-East with a focus on the regional rail projects and expected achievements for the Middle-East Railways.