Isn’t this the best news you’ll hear today? With a partnership agreement with Mubadala Investment Company in Abu Dhabi, ambitious plans for a rail network connecting the UAE and Oman have advanced significantly.
Oman and Etihad Rail Company, a joint venture between Oman Rail and Etihad Rail to oversee the project, has signed an agreement with Mubadala for the development of the 303km route.
The railway network has a $3 billion investment value altogether. The important transportation link, which was initially announced in September, intends to increase chances for trade and tourism between the Gulf neighbors and the rest of the region.
When the rail project will be finished is still unclear. When operational, the regional rail route will handle both passenger and freight trains. Freight trains can travel at 120 kph, while passenger services can travel up to 200 kph.
It would cut the time it takes to travel from Abu Dhabi to Sohar, which is located north of Muscat, in half, and will connect Sohar to Al Ain in just 47 minutes.
The transportation link comprises tying the sultanate’s deep-water port, Sohar, to the UAE’s current freight service line.
In accordance with the cooperation agreement with Mubadala, working groups and joint committees will be established to share knowledge and skills, produce economic and financial feasibility studies, and make joint investments in the network’s expansion.
Dr. Bakheet Al Katheeri, executive director of the UAE Industries Unit of Mubadala’s UAE Investments platform, and Ahmed Al Hashemi, chief executive of the Oman and Etihad Rail Company, inked the agreement.
Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, and chairman of Oman and Etihad Rail Company, said the scheme will bolster ties between the nations across various sectors.
“The establishment of Oman-Etihad Rail network, is an extension of the strategic relations and strong historical ties between the UAE and the Sultanate of Oman, and the foundation of the strong partnership between Etihad Rail and Oman Rail,” he said.
“The joint venture will transform the infrastructure, transport, and logistics sectors, and enhance commercial movement and social cohesion, by linking economic, industrial, commercial, and residential centres through the railway network.”