Etihad Rail is planning a USD 11 billion railway network, to be built in three stages, spanning the United Arab Emirates.
Solid progress has been achieved to ensure timely completion of the project within five years.
Etihad Rail will be building a USD 11 billion railway network in three stages across the United Arab Emirates. The railway project is part of intensive efforts by Arab states to improve connectivity by spending several billions of dollars on infrastructure projects.
Huge investments are being made in power, transport and housing sectors to diversify the economy and to improve services for local populations. Development of such projects also have political motives in the wake of the Arab Spring. Over the next five years, Saudi Arabia alone is expected to spend an estimated USD 400 billion on infrastructure projects.
“Etihad Rail plans to operate some passenger trains between Abu Dhabi and Dubai once stage three is in place by 2018. We have considered the possibility of another separate connection between the two cities.” — Shadi Malak, Executive Director of Commercial and Operations of Etihad Rail
He also said that the sleeper factory in Mirfa is now fully functional and the first train is expected to operate from Habshan to Ruwais by the end of this year.
The tendering process for Stage Two of the network which will extend to the borders of Saudi Arabia and Oman, is already underway. However, Etihad Rail has also clearly outlined its intentions to connect the UAE to other global cities via an international rail network that would stretch from the Middle East to Europe and Asia. By becoming the preferred mode of transport for goods, Etihad Rail hopes to play a pivotal role in promoting the access of UAE goods to global markets.
The rail network has already signed 15 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with several industrial, oil and gas, waste and agricultural businesses in the Emirate.