How UAE railway can lead region’s growth


By Samir Salama, Associate Editor

Abu Dhabi: Completion of the UAE railway by 2018 can only bring more prosperity not only to the UAE but also the country’s five GCC neighbours as rail lines are constructed across the region, said Etihad Rail.

The UAE railway will connect with the sources of raw materials, industrial areas, ports and major population centres, says Etihad Rail, and will be built in three phases, the first of which will be a 266km-long western stretch between Al Ruwais and Shah. The Shah-Habshan-Ruwais freight line is being built in collaboration with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc).

The 2,177-km-long GCC rail network, which will link all six Gulf states by rail for the first time — providing an alternative to air or sea travel for both goods and passengers in the region — will be fully operational in 2018, said Dr Ramiz Al Assar, World Bank resident adviser of the GCC Secretariat General in Riyadh, in October.

“The designs of the nearly $200 billion (Dh734 billion) network, which will run down the Gulf coast from Kuwait, through Saudi Arabia, to the UAE and Oman, with branches linking Bahrain and Qatar, will be completed by the end of this year or in the first quarter of next year. Construction on the network is to start in 2014-15 and it will be fully operational in 2018,” Dr Al Assar told the Mena Rail and Metro Summit, being held in Abu Dhabi. More info