Etihad Rail and Sharjah Cement sign agreement

Etihad Rail announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sharjah Cement Factory, a venture of Sharjah Cement & Industrial Development Company (SCIDC), marking the first prospective customer for Stage Three of the rail network. The agreement will see Sharjah Cement Factory use rail for the efficient transport of basic raw materials and cement to its customers throughout the UAE.

By (Compiled from staff reports)

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Published: Wed 21 Nov 2012, 10:49 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:46 PM

The MoU, signed by Dr. Nasser Saif Al-Mansoori, CEO of Etihad Rail, and Ahmad Abdalla Al Noman, chairman of Sharjah Cement Factory, will facilitate the transport of more than five million metric tonnes (MT) of cargo per year – a volume that matches more than half of the factory’s existing logistics needs. The agreement will offer Sharjah Cement Factory a logistics solution that will enhance its competitive advantage, reduce transport costs and improve efficiency through allowing the Company to use a mode of transport that is safer and more environmentally friendly than trucks.

Sharjah Cement Factory was the first venture set up by the Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development Company to help support the industries in the northern emirate. Since its inception 35 years ago, the factory now has the total installed capacity of clinker at 2.2 million metric tonnes per year and an annual cement grinding capacity of 4.27 million metric tonnes.

Dr Al-Mansoori, CEO of Etihad Rail, said: “The agreement with Sharjah Cement Factory is of great significance as it marks Etihad Rail’s first customer for Stage Three of the strategic national rail project, which will contribute to the UAE’s economic growth. We are delighted to provide the local factory with a sustainable transport solution that will positively impact their customers and the UAE community, in line with UAE Vision 2021.”

Mr. Ahmad Abdalla Al Noman, Chairman of Sharjah Cement Factory, added: “As a local building materials manufacturer, an efficient distribution system is critical for our competitive growth. Rail is globally preferred as a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly mode of transport for cement than trucks, and we look forward to using the Etihad Rail network to further enhance the efficiency of our distribution system to our customers.”

Today’s signing with Sharjah Cement Factory marks Etihad Rail’s first prospective customer for Stage Three, with an impressive list of customers Stage Two already secured. The company recently signed MoUs with HOYER Global Transport, who will use the railway for the transport of liquid bulk, and DHL, who will use the railway network to meet its customers’ growing logistical needs. Etihad Rail has also signed agreements with other customers across a range of industries including Al Dahra, Emirates Steel, Arkan, Etisalat and du. While Al Dahra will use rail to transport hay, Emirates Steel and Arkan plan to transport their raw and finished materials via the railway, and du and Etisalat will benefit from access to the network’s infrastructure to expand their growing network and customer base.

Upon completion, the Etihad Rail network – which will cater to both freight and passengers – will span a total of 1,200 km across the Emirates. It will connect urban and remote communities, facilitate trade, open up communication channels and foster economic development. The network will also form a vital part of the GCC Railway Network – linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east.

Construction work on Stage One, which links Shah and Habshan to Ruwais, is well advanced, and the tendering process is already in progress for Stage Two, which will connect the railway to Mussafah, the Gulf ports of Khalifa and Jebel Ali, and the Saudi and Omani borders. Preliminary engineering for Stage Three, which will connect the rest of the Northern Emirates, is also well underway.

CBD reaffirmed as A- with a stable outlook

Fitch recognises Commercial Bank of Dubai’s (CBD) strong capitalisation and consistent performance through the crisis. Fitch expects revenue and profit growth given the still challenging operating environment. Fitch indicates that CBD’s margins remain strong due to its niche focus on family-owned business groups in the UAE, preference towards short-term lending and good access to low cost funding.

CBD continues to derive strong non-interest earnings from mainly trade finance and transaction banking. CBD’s Fitch core capital ratio of 19.3 per cent at end-9M12, is high compared with peers and provides a buffer against concentration risk.

Etihad named best long-haul airline

Etihad Airways has won best long-haul airline at Belgium’s 15th annual Travel Magazine Awards, held in Antwerp.

This is the first time Etihad Airways has won the prestigious Belgian travel industry award, beating five other long-haul carriers operating to and from Brussels International Airport.

The judging panel consisted of almost 400 Belgian travel industry professionals, tour operators, travel agencies, airlines, and cruise lines.

Etihad Airways’ chief commercial officer, Peter Baumgartner, said the airline was delighted to win the coveted title.

“This award cements us as the airline of choice for long-haul guests travelling to and from Brussels, a strategically important market for Etihad Airways.

“It is testament to the strength and success of our whole product experience, whether it be Diamond First, Pearl Business, or Coral Economy. The award also recognises our success in inspiring our guests from the moment their journey begins, right through to journey’s end – in the air and on the ground.”

Etihad Airways’ codeshare partner over Brussels, Brussels Airlines won the award for Best Short-haul Airline.

Organised by Travel Magazine – a Belgian travel trade publication, the 31-category Travel Magazine Awards have established themselves as a highly respected annual celebration of achievements within the Belgian travel industry.

Etihad Airways operates eight times a week between Brussels and Abu Dhabi, offering onward connections to more than 80 destinations.

Marshall Goldsmith workshop

Dr Marshall Goldsmith, a leading thinker and speaker on the subject of business and human resource management and leadership, will hold a workshop in Dubai on Thursday for CEOs and successful individuals.

Right Selection is organizing the event at The H Hotel, formerly the Monarch Hotel.

Goldsmith is the author and editor of 32 books including New York Times and Wall Street Journal’s best sellers MOJO and Learn Like A Leader and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. Listed as the seventh greatest business thinker in the world and termed as the Global Leader in HR Thinking by World HRD Congress, he is generally regarded as America’s topmost executive coach, said Gautam Ganglani, managing director of Right Selection Group.

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