Etihad Rail could boost transport in 
the UAE

It will bring Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and people closer, while travel time will be reduced to just 50 minutes

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File photo
File photo

Published: Wed 18 May 2022, 10:15 PM

The Etihad Rail train service between Abu Dhabi and Dubai will bring the two emirates, and people closer, as travel time is reduced to just 50 minutes.

A transformation of the transportation sector in not just the UAE but also the Gulf and wider Middle East is not hard to fathom, though a date has not been set for the launch of the first passenger service between the emirates.

The benefits of such a railway system are many. It’s climate-friendly and will reduce pollution caused by vehicles on the roads.

Closer integration of the two hubs could make ‘Abu Dubai’ a reality as people live, work and experience the two emirates in the comfort of the advanced trains that can hit top speeds of 200kmph. Freight traffic will garner revenue for the government as goods can be easily moved across the emirates and the reliance on trucks is diminished.

What’s more. Etihad Rail will create new jobs and boost real estate projects as new communities and businesses sprout near the stations, which is good for the overall economic development of the UAE as it diversifies from the oil economy.

With the expected dip in road traffic with the project, drivers on the roads can expect to get to the two emirates swiftly and safer. Part of the 1,200-km long Gulf project stretching from Saudi Arabia border to Oman, the 256-km line connecting Abu Dhabi and Dubai could be a game-changer for residents who commute daily by car between the two cities.

Officials said the trains could ferry 36 million people every year by 2030, and 11 cities in the seven emirates would be connected. Railways are about hassle-free travel and the success of the Dubai Metro project proves that with the right feeder traffic that includes buses and cabs, the system could be a boon for commuters in the city who want to travel to work in Abu Dhabi. The project is 75 per cent complete, and officials said the network has a larger purpose of moving people and goods across the GCC.

In March, it was announced that the Abu Dhabi-Dubai line had been completed. The route has 29 bridges, 60 crossings, and 137 drainage channels. Officials said it took 13,300 workers to finish the project. In Dubai, it would be interesting to know how the Metro would connect to the main line.

While Dubai has advanced bus and taxi feeder services to stations, other emirates have an opportunity to build their local public transport systems and connect to Etihad Railway hubs. The future looks exciting for rail transport in the UAE.

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