A multi-billion dollar inter-emirate rail network project will link the country’s two main emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 2016 before it is extended to other parts in 2018, the semi official daily Alittihad said on Wednesday.
Etihad Rail, which is carrying out one of the largest train projects in the Middle East, said it would launch the second phase later this year and it would extend nearly 510 km to link Abu Dhabi to Jebel Ali and Dubai city.
The first stage covers Musaffah industrial area and Khalifa Port, which will be connected to Jebel Ali, the largest free zone in the Gulf.
“The second phase will link the network in Abu Dhabi to Dubai…it will be completed in 2016-2017 while the third phase to link Jebel Ali with Fujeirah will be finished in 2017-2018,” the paper said, quoting Abdul Rahman al Janahi, planning director at Etihad (union) Rail.
In a recent statement, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Rail has said the 1,200-km project could involve total investments of nearly Dh40 billion and will have a capacity of nearly 16 million passengers a year.
“The capacity could climb to 110 million tonnes of cargo and two million containers after the project is linked to the planned rail way in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 2030, “ it said.
According to Etihad Rail website, the railway will connect the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the West and Oman via Al Ain in the East. The railway will be built to link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, as well as to form a vital part of the planned GCC railway network, said Etihad Rail, which was formed in line with a federal law in 2009.
“Once complete, the project will redefine logistics and transport in the region, providing as a safe, efficient, sustainable network that links all corners of the UAE, and eventually, the UAE to the wider GCC….…this extensive investment will support the Government’s continued mission to build a diversified economy and continued economic growth.”