UAE mulls rail network

ABU DHABI — General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said that a study will be conducted on the construction of a freight and container train project to connect all the emirates as a first phase.

By (Wam)

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Published: Wed 7 Dec 2005, 10:05 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:17 PM

The announcement came as the UAE celebrates the 34th anniversary of its federation.

"A commuter train project will follow as the second phase," said General Shaikh Mohammed in a statement yesterday, adding the project is of a national and strategic significance that will benefit the national economy and bolster the country’s commercial, regional and international status.

“We are confident that the emirates railways can be transformed into a major freight transportation system throughout the Arabian Gulf region. The railways will consolidate the role played by the UAE in an endeavour to make it the logistic services’ eastern gateway to the Middle East and global markets," he noted.

General Shaikh Mohammed, who is also the chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, said: "Today, we are striving to lure the private sector to partner with us to implement this project."

He pointed out that the UAE, while implementing the proposed project, would be contributing to the enhancement of the Gulf-Arab economic integration and cooperation mechanisms.

“This will be done through strengthening the intra-Arab trade and expediting joint Gulf and Arab action via connecting border points with modern means of transportation, thus serving as a major bridge for development and a booster of the region’s economies," he maintained.

He said the project would but add to the UAE’s competitive and economic edge, create investment, economic and job opportunities and serve as a magnet for foreign investments. The study comes as part of endeavours of Gulf Cooperation Council’s member states to lay a railway linking their countries prior to building an Arab railway system.

Meanwhile, Shaikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Planning and Economy Department, said a preliminary study had already been done where all rail transport and other options were analysed.

The study, he elaborated, indicated that the Middle East had been flooded by containers at significant levels, notably over the past five years.

“The UAE has now placed itself as major hub for marine trade in the region. However, to make optimum use of a regional railway network, the prime objective of a logistic gateway, must be to develop individual efforts of each emirate and provide effective and viable logistic services."

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