The UAE on Tuesday launched Etihad Trains Company with a capital of Dh1 billion which will engage in transporting goods and passengers and invest in a countrywide rail network, that would link all the seven emirates.
The UAE Federal government will contribute 70 per cent or Dh700m to the capital while Abu Dhabi Government will pay the rest – 30 per cent or Dh300 million.
The agreement was signed by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak, Public Works Minister and Chairman of the board of the National Transport Authority, on behalf of the UAE Federal government and Nasser Al Suwaidi, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development - Abu Dhabi and member of Abu Dhabi's Executive Council.
The Etihad Trains Company was set up by Cabinet Decree No. 2 of 2010.
Sheikh Hamdan said establishing the company and its future business is part of the Federal Government's efforts under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the "UAE Vision 2021", a strategic plan launched by Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to achieve a highly competitive national economy.
One of the strategic goals of National Transport Authority, he said, is bolstering railway industry and achieving a safe and sustainable transport system.
For his part, Al Suwaidi said the project will yield significant social and economic benefits through facilitating the transport of passenger and goods and the domestic and regional trade exchange with other GCC countries when planned linkages with their railway systems are achieved.