New serviced beachfront homes for Etihad Rail staff
Employees of Etihad Rail BD, the company responsible for the first stage of the Etihad Rail project in the UAE will be housed in dedicated residences next year, as a residential area in Mirfa is planned to be built for this purpose.
This weekend, Etihad Rail announced it had awarded the contract for the design and the construction of the residences to National Transport & Contracting Company (NTCC), a building company operating in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.
The community will count 170 high-quality, serviced beachfront residential units equipped with advanced technology and entertainment systems, and recreational facilities will be available. Construction work of the long-term accommodation facility is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016, said Etihad Rail.
Etihad Rail DB employees and contractors have been working in the Western Region for more than one year now, facilitating railway operations and maintenance in stage one of the national railway project, which includes the connection from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais.
“Etihad Rail DB’s top priority is the safety and well-being of our employees,” said Shadi Malak, Acting CEO of Etihad Rail DB. ”We are committed to going beyond conventional methods to reinforce this, as the environment and nature of our work are unique. Our plan to build a dedicated residential building for our employees is a prime example of this commitment – it will not only mitigate the safety risk of a commute from Abu Dhabi, but by establishing a comfortable, strategically-located community for our personnel, we are creating an environment where productivity can be maximised.”
The development of staff facilities is just one way the railway project will contribute to the economy of the region, Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, Acting CEO at Etihad Rail, pointed out.
“Since Etihad Rail was founded and began construction in the Western Region, the board of directors has had a long-term vision to help drive economic prosperity in the region – in line with the wise direction and guidance of the UAE government and leadership – via investment opportunities in residential, educational, healthcare, and other facilities.
“The presence of Etihad Rail’s operating arm in Mirfa has helped identify our first opportunity to begin fulfilling this vision, with the development of permanent employee residences in the Western Region. Etihad Rail is also currently collaborating with the Western Region Development Council (WRDC) to explore further long-term investment prospects, given WRDC’s numerous initiatives to develop residential real estate for the private sector.”
Etihad Rail is currently in the stage of securing government funding and awarding contracts to build the second phase of its $11 billion national rail network, which will connect the Mussafah port and industrial area and ports in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with the Saudi and Omani borders.
Operations on the Shah-Habshan-Ruwais track have commenced on a trial basis, while efforts are ongoing to invite companies in the UAE to partner with Etihad Rail as a transport provider.
The total network in the UAE is expected to stretch along 1,200km, serving Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah on a freight as well as passengers basis.
As soon as 2018, all six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will be connected through a rail network covering a distance of 2,177km. From Oman, it will cross the border to the UAE, from where it will lead to Saudi Arabia. Links will be established to connect Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait to the network.
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