Etihad Rail, Saudi Railway sign cooperation deal
Abu Dhabi, May 11, 2014
Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Railway Company (SAR) to enhance rail industry collaboration among GCC members.
Signed by Eng Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, acting CEO of Etihad Rail, and SAR CEO Dr Rumaih bin Muhammad Al Rumaih, the MoU seeks to introduce common solutions, leverage best practice and allow for the free exchange of ideas and knowledge to improve the safety, efficiency and economy of both countries’ railways networks.
The agreement will serve as a partnership between both parties and will enhance the relationship and long-term collaboration that will ultimately promote and lead to the successful economic development of the railway industry in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Committees including representatives from both parties will be created and collaborative meetings, seminars, and workshops will be held on a regular basis, a statement said.
Al Mazrouei said: “We are proud to announce this important MoU with SAR. We already work closely with our GCC neighbours in an effort to ensure that technical standards and technology for the railway network in the GCC are consistent, and this agreement will pave the way for greater cooperation, collaboration, and the exchange of knowledge with SAR.
“We can greatly benefit from Saudi Arabia’s pioneering experience, particularly given that both Etihad Rail and SAR share common goals and aim to leverage the latest technology and the highest standards of safety, and to provide the most sustainable services in the transportation field."
Al Mazrouei added: “Work on the UAE’s national railway is progressing on schedule, and Etihad Rail believes that forming strong relationships with stakeholders of all railway projects in the GCC will further contribute to the success of the operation of the rail, as well as provide a secure link between the UAE and its neighbours. We are pleased that the completion of Stage One of Etihad Rail also represents the completion of the first stage of the main GCC line.”
Al Rumaih said: “Establishing such relations and cooperation with Etihad Rail will improve both projects’ executional mechanism and operations efficiency, in the future, not only for Saudi Arabia and the UAE but for all GCC countries. This will contribute to creating an attractive market environment for rail and open doors to compete with other means of transportation, especially for freight and heavy haul."
He also said SAR had gained, during the last eight years, an extensive experience in both railway projects and operations that our partners across the GCC can benefit from. The scale of the whole Saudi railway networks is more than 7,200 kilometres. SAR is taking a big portion of that by projects of more than 4500 km.”
Upon completion, the Etihad Rail network, which will cater to both freight and passengers, will span approximately 1,200 km across the Emirates. It will connect urban and peripheral communities, facilitate trade, open up communication channels and foster economic development across all Emirates in the UAE, said the statement.
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. -TradeArabia News Service