UAE to Spend $25bn On Rail Projects

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By ByAarti Nagraj  http://gulfbusiness.com

The UAE plans to invest $25 billion in its railway infrastructure, accounting for 10 per cent of the entire MENA region’s investment in the sector.

That’s according to senior officials from the UAE’s National Transport Authority (NTA).

While $11 billion has been allocated for Etihad Rail, which aims to connect all the emirates, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport has approved a budget of $8 billion for its metro project, and Dubai’s RTA has announced plans to spend $2 billion on developing and expanding its metro and tram facilities.

The remaining $4 billion has been allocated in lieu of inflation and other contingencies, said Nadhem Bin Taher, acting director general of NTA.

“Since the projects are to be completed within the next six to seven years, we need to have some spare amount of money for new technologies and new products that enter the market,” he told reporters.

The first phase of the 1,200km Etihad Rail, which runs from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais, is almost complete, confirmed Abdulla Mohamed Al Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works and chairman of the NTA.

“We hope to inaugurate phase one by the end of this year and phase two has also already started,” he said.

Etihad Rail, which will be developed in three phases, is also part of the wider GCC railway network that aims to connect all the six Gulf states. More info