Monday 20 May 2024

$3bn UAE-Oman rail project enters implementation phase

ABU DHABI, 26 days ago

The railway project between the Sultanate of Oman and the UAE has now entered into the implementation phase, said Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi, a top official of Oman and Etihad Rail Company (which has been now rebranded as Hafeet Rail). 
A joint venture between Oman Rail and Etihad Rail, Hafeet Rail will operate the railway network linking Sohar Port to the UAE National Rail Network, with a total project investment of $3 billion. 
The rebranding announcement was made on the sidelines of the joint UAE-Oman Business Forum in Abu Dhabi held today (April 23) where three major agreements pertaining to the joint rail project were sealed.
Speaking at the the forum, Al Hashemi said several tangible steps have been taken, starting with the signing of the partnership agreement between stakeholders, and the awarding of major contracts for the project to a UAE-Omani alliance comprising companies from both countries operating as one team.
The first is a partnership agreement between Etihad Rail, Oman Rail and Mubadala Investment signalling the project commencement.
The second is a set of civil contracts for the joint network, awarded to an Omani-Emirati joint venture led by Trojan Construction Group and Galfar Engineering and Contracting. 
The third involves the systems and integration contracts for the railway network, awarded to a partnership between Siemens and HAC.
Confirming the awarding of the Hafeet Rail project's tender and actual work commencement during the forum, Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said: "The Hafeet Rail will connect two Gulf countries and align with the Gulf Railway, embodying a pioneering GCC vision. The project aims to be a fast and efficient means of connection, reducing car traffic and carbon footprint."
Al Mazrouei confirmed the route will connect the port of Sohar to Abu Dhabi, significantly reducing travel distance compared to traditional routes. 
He also emphasised the train's efficiency and affordability, noting its capacity for both freight and passenger transportation.
On the new identity, Al Hashemi said the new name pays tribute to Jabal Hafeet region which extends between Oman and the UAE.
"The UAE-Oman railway project will serve as a catalyst for further cooperation in various economic and industrial sectors, noting its direct impact on passenger movement between the two countries, further boosting tourism and ties between their peoples," he remarked.
The railway line in this project extends from the existing network in UAE, specifically from the Al Wathba area to the city and port of Sohar, passing through diverse geographical areas from desert to mountainous and valley regions, and running alongside Jebel Hafeet, he added.-TradeArabia News Service


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