Construction starts for UAE and Oman rail connection

UAE – Oman railwayEtihad Rail, Oman Rail and Mubadala Investment Company signed a shareholder agreement for the commencement of construction works of the UAE – Oman railway line.

The agreement was signed during an official visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik which is also the Prime Minister of Oman, to the United Arab Emirates, saying that the “project is another step forward in a long history of joint cooperation that will open a new phase of planning for a better future for the two neighbouring countries and their people.”

The three companies also unveiled the new corporate identity of their joint venture, which will now be known as Hafeet Rail, the formerly Oman and Etihad Rail Company.

The project covers the construction of a 303 km line from Sohar in Oman to Abu Dhabi in the UAE estimated at USD 3 billion. The rail network will drive efficiencies within the supply chain, facilitating cross-border trade, and connecting commercial ports to railways within the two countries.

The UAE – Oman railway line is “significant addition to the logistics sector, and will play a role in stimulating various industrial sectors and economic activities, providing increased commercial and investment opportunities for the private sector, supporting the integration of Omani port activities and linking them to regional and international markets, in addition to its contribution to attracting national and foreign investments,” Abdulsalam bin Mohammed Al Murshidi, the President of the Oman Investment Authority, said.

An agreement was also signed to award the civil works and construction tender for the joint network to an Omani – Emirati alliance led by Trojan Construction Group and Galfar Engineering and Contracting. The alliance will also include Tristar Engineering and Construction, and the National Infrastructure Construction Company.

The contract systems and integration of the railway network was awarded to a joint venture of Siemens and HAC. The trains will be equipped with the ETCS Level 2 and the network’s advanced infrastructure will include full digital train control and tracking through GPS technology, enhancing the network’s reliability.

The rail network has a “vital role in facilitating local and regional trade whilst also opening new opportunities in the infrastructure, transport, and logistics sectors. This contributes to the diversification of the national economy and fosters sustainable development across both countries,” said Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of the UAE.

Hafeet Rail aims to contribute to the development of various sectors in both countries, such as mining, iron and steel, agriculture and food, retail, e-commerce, and the petrochemical sector. This is in large due to its ability to provide fast, safe, and sustainable transport services for goods of various sizes and weight via rail.

The passenger rail services will serve to connect population centres, fostering social and familial cohesion whilst also supporting the tourism sector. The speed of the passenger train can reach speeds of up to 200 km/h, covering the distance between Sohar and Abu Dhabi in 100 minutes, and 47 minutes between Sohar and Al Ain. The passenger capacity of one train can accommodate up to 400 passengers.


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