Suhail Al Mazrouei reviews the progress of the UAE National Rail Network in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, UAE – 15 March 2022: His Excellency Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, inspected the progress of construction works of Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network, which is being developed by Etihad Rail. His Excellency boarded the inspection train, designated for site inspection and supervision, to review the various constructions sites in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei, accompanied by His Excellency Eng. Hassan Mohamed Juma Al Mansouri, Undersecretary for Infrastructure and Transport Affairs, were received by His Excellency Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail, and representatives from the Company.
During their visit, Al Mazrouei and Al Mansouri inspected the main O&M facility, which is the nerve of the network responsible for controlling the operations of the whole network. Al Mazrouei was briefed on the train operating systems, and toured the centre and its facilities, which are seeing exceptional progress in construction works and are being developed according to the highest international standards and criteria, and as per the company’s set timeline. Al Mazrouei was also briefed by the Emirati cadres, project directors, and engineers about the progress of the Etihad Rail project and its connection with the GCC.
His Excellency viewed the operational model and examined the freight train facilities, in addition to Stage One achievements and the progress of Stage Two of the project, including the recent 256-km railway link between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, bringing the company one step closer towards connecting the rest of the emirates, and aligning with the UAE Railways Programme. Launched recently by the UAE government as part of the Projects of the 50 with an estimated investment value of AED 50 billion, the Programme is the largest land transport system of its kind in the UAE and will shape the future of the railway sector for the coming decades.
His Excellency was also briefed on the passenger railway services project, legislations, commercial developments, in addition to contracts and partnerships recently signed by Etihad Rail, including the agreement with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) for financing the passenger transport services project valued at AED 1.99 billion, where FAB will be the Certified Lead Arranger for the loan.
During the tour, His Excellency Al Mazrouei expressed his appreciation of the progress achieved in the project, recognising the efforts of the Etihad Rail team working on completing the project, who have demonstrated their dedication to the execution of the project rapidly and deliberately, according to the highest international practices.
His Excellency Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail, thanked the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, for the unlimited support for this strategic national project, which contributes to establishing a new transport sector in the UAE. Malak has also confirmed that Etihad Rail has made remarkable achievements in the development of the UAE National Rail Network, demonstrating its efficiency in the completion of the project as per the set plan. This comes in line with the company’s goals of developing cost-effective transport solutions using a safe and sustainable railway network, which connects the Emirates and provides special services to industries and the society, supporting the UAE’s economic growth and consolidating its leading position internationally.
Etihad Rail is working at an accelerated pace to complete Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network, after the launch of Stage One of operations in 2016, finishing 70% of the project despite the conditions imposed by the pandemic. The project is supported by 180 government and services establishments, developers, and contributing companies, and has issued more than 40,000 approval and no-objection certificates.
About Etihad Rail:
Etihad Rail was established in June 2009 under Federal Law No. 2, with the mandate to manage the development, construction and operation of the UAE’s national freight and passenger railway network. The railway network will link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, and will form a vital part of the planned railway network across the GCC.
Etihad Rail has successfully completed Stage One of the network. Stage One is fully operational and was delivered on schedule and within budget. The route spans 264 km, transporting granulated sulphur from sources at Shah and Habshan to the export point at Ruwais.
Stage Two links the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia from Fujairah Port to Ghuweifat through Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port. Built to international standards, Etihad Rail’s state-of-the-art network will span approximately 1,200 km, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and sustained social development. Upon completion, the railway will redefine logistics and mobility in the region, providing a modern, safe, efficient and sustainable mode of transport that will connect all regions of the UAE to its neighbouring GCC countries.