UAE-Oman rail: Meeting discusses implementation plans, design for 303km train network

The $3 billion project will contribute to the growth of the two countries’ national economies whilst facilitating cross-border trade



Supplied photos
Supplied photos

By Web Desk

Published: Sun 2 Oct 2022, 5:53 PM

Last updated: Sun 2 Oct 2022, 6:34 PM

The Board of Directors of Oman Rail-Etihad Rail JV Company – a joint venture between Oman Rail, the developer and operator of the Oman National Rail Network, and Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE National Rail Network – held its inaugural meeting in Dubai, two days after signing an agreement to form the company. The signing ceremony was held on the sidelines of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s visit to Oman.

The Board of Directors includes Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Eng Saeed bin Hamoud Al Maawali, Minister of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology in the Sultanate of Oman; Sheikh Nasser Sulaiman Al Harthy, Acting Vice President of Operations Affairs at Oman Investment Authority and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Asyad Group; Saeed Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Etihad Rail Mobility; Eng Abdulrahman Salim Al Hatmi, Group CEO of Asyad Group and Eng Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail.

The Board members commended the wise leadership of the two countries for their unwavering support and strategic vision towards enhancing cooperation and joint action between both, across various fields. They also praised the leadership’s guidance and direction in the establishment of the joint venture to build and operate a railway network connecting Sohar Port with the UAE National Rail Network, as it is an extension of the longstanding collaboration of the Sultanate of Oman and the UAE – both of whom seek to create new prospects in the infrastructure, transport, and logistics industries by connecting the two countries via rail in a manner to promote trade and social cohesion.

During the meeting, the Board of Directors discussed the implementation plans, including technical studies and architectural design, as well as environmental studies for routes, the business model and the commercial affairs of the joint venture.

Emphasis was placed on the importance of fast tracking the execution of the project and adopting the highest global standards for security, safety, and sustainability throughout the development of the network, which will extend for 303 kilometres, in order to provide safe and fast passenger transport and freight services.

The Board of Directors also appointed Eng Ahmed Al Hashemi as CEO of the company, and Eng Mohammed bin Zahran Al Mahruqi as Deputy CEO.

Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said that establishing the joint venture was in line with both leaderships’ directives for achieving sustainable development by elevating the transport and infrastructure sectors to higher levels, whilst supporting economic and commercial growth.

“The joint railway network will advance the land transport system between the two countries in line with the best-in-class criteria and standards, providing safe, reliable, and sustainable transportation, which in turn, will further facilitate connectivity between industrial and commercial centres, and cement the longstanding social cohesion between the two countries.”

His Excellency Eng Saeed bin Hamoud bin Saeed Al Maawali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology in the Sultanate of Oman, added: “The strategic initiative to develop a railway network between the Sultanate of Oman and the UAE would cement the strong brotherly ties between the two countries and would also reflect their joint efforts to achieve social and economic integration.”

Eng Saeed bin Hamoud bin Saeed Al Maawali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology in the Sultanate of Oman, added: “The strategic initiative to develop a railway network between the Sultanate of Oman and the UAE would cement the strong brotherly ties between the two countries, and would also reflect their joint efforts to achieve social and economic integration.”

The $3 billion railway network will contribute to the growth of the two countries’ national economies, and improve the efficiency of supply chains, whilst facilitating cross-border trade by linking commercial ports to the railways network.

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