Etihad Rail has announced the completion of the UAE national rail network. The ambitious project contributes to strengthening the country’s preparations for the future. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, affirmed that the national railway network is an important milestone in the UAE’s development journey.
The project is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the region and aims to link the seven emirates with a main railway network. Etihad Rail made the gran announcement in a new video on Twitter. The post is captioned: “Inspired by the spirit of unity and the guidance of our leadership, we have taken important steps towards connecting the Emirates through the UAE’s National Railway Network from Al Ghwaifat all the way to Fujairah,” and shows tunnels and tracks being laid down.
The railway line is currently open only for freight
The UAE national railway network passes through a variety of geographical terrains, within a large-scale engineering plan that includes the construction of 593 bridges and crossings of all types, and 9 tunnels with a length of 6.5 km. It took 120 million cubic meters of excavation work to complete, to ensure the highest levels of vehicular traffic flow under the tracks of the railway network. However, it will be long before the train takes in passengers. As of now, the train will only permit freight.
The freight trains will connect 4 major ports. It will include 7 logistics centres across the country, to serve trains and related businesses.
The network also includes a number of charging stations located in Ruwais, Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD), Khalifa Port, Dubai Industrial City, Jebel Ali Port, Al Ghail and Fujairah Port. These locations are a major hub for local and regional distribution and logistics services, as it includes customs warehouses and on-site cargo inspection services.
The UAE National Railway Network will provide solutions for investors and customers, due to its ability to transport all types of goods, including petrochemicals, raw steel, limestone, cement, building materials, industrial and domestic waste, aluminium, food commodities, and general cargo.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; His Highness Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and a number of ministers and senior officials.
The network contributes to supporting companies’ businesses and enhancing investment opportunities. The main line of the UAE National Rail Network extends from Ghuweifat on the border of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to Fujairah, forming an essential part of the global supply network.
The stage one of the Network has been fully operational since January 2016, where the stage two of the project started in early 2020.
The UAE national railway network will contribute to supporting the national economy at a value of AED 200 billion, and saving AED 8 billion in the cost of road maintenance. The network’s tourism benefits are estimated at AED 23 billion.
The project also supports the UAE’s sustainable development goals and contributes to achieving the UAE Net Zero by 2050, through reducing carbon emissions in the road transport sector by 21%, and reducing road transportation emissions per capita by 40%, by 2050.
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