Oman and Etihad Rail Board Reviews Railway Network Project Updates and Future Plans
The Board of Directors of Oman and Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the railway network linking the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates, held a meeting in Muscat, attended by His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Etihad Rail, and His Excellency Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oman and Etihad Rail Company, and His Excellency Eng. Saeed Hamoud Al Maawali, Omani Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and members of the Board.
The board has reviewed the advancements that support the continued development of the project, which will see the construction of an efficient railway network that links Sohar Port with the UAE National Railway Network, in line with global standards.
His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “The joint rail network will contribute to reinforcing the strong strategic and cultural ties between the UAE and the Sultanate of Oman. Critically, it aligns with the directives of our visionary leadership, who have always prioritised the enhancement of both economic and cultural ties between our two countries.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to the completion of this transformative project and recognise the pivotal role the establishment of a robust railway network that unites the two nations will play in driving sustainable socio-economic growth.”
His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the board discussed key project milestones, particularly the innovative design strategies tailored to the diverse terrain across both the UAE and Oman.
Among the achievements highlighted were the innovative engineering solutions employed to tackle diverse terrains along the route, which led to a 25% reduction in tunnel works and a 50% reduction in bridge construction. The project boasts several 2.5-kilometer-long tunnels and bridges reaching a height of 34 m. Specialised hydrological solutions were also incorporated to address diverse weather conditions along the network.
The board also reviewed the progress of different tenders for all project packages, encompassing civil works, systems, locomotives, and trailers. During the meeting, the members also praised the company's collaborations with partners in the UAE and Oman, highlighting the active involvement of local companies and their cooperation with prominent global companies specialised in these fields as well as the significance of driving local added value across all aspects of the project.
Echoing these sentiments, His Excellency Suhail bin Mohamed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei said: “We take pride in the collective efforts dedicated to the advancement of the UAE-Oman Rail Network, which is a crucial link in the integrated transport and logistics services that will extend across region, and will provide social benefits, economic advantages, and competitive incentives for both countries. Oman and Etihad Rail Company is committed to supporting all sectors by fostering promising commercial and investment opportunities, in addition to our capacity to attract, develop, and train Emirati and Omani talents. This commitment contributes to solidifying the positions of both countries as global logistical hubs for the import and distribution of goods to regional markets."
For his part, His Excellency Engineer Saeed bin Hamoud Al Maawali, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: “The project’s remarkable progress underscores its strategic importance both locally and regionally. Within a short period, the project has successfully attracted leading companies across various sectors, evidenced by the signing of long-term agreements and partnerships with various local and regional companies.”
His Excellency added that the project’s success is a result of the commendable efforts of the teams operating across various sectors, serving as a testament to the strong relations between the two countries.
In addition, the board recognised the advancements in tender processes for different project segments and commended the strong partnerships established, both domestically and globally. The importance of localisation in stimulating economic contributions was accentuated, alongside the efficient coordination between parties in the UAE and Oman, as demonstrated by the rapid issuance of permits and certificates.
The board also discussed the company's collaborative strategies with various firms in the UAE and Oman to establish integrated logistics solutions. These initiatives aim to interlink the railway network with ports, maritime and land shipping, and logistics services, including warehousing and distribution, to cater to the evolving demands of customers.
The meeting concluded with a discussion of plans required for the integration of logistics solutions, linking train networks, ports, freight, and services to meet customer needs. The board emphasised the project's role in enhancing commercial activity and social cohesion by linking economic, industrial, commercial, and residential areas through a railway network, as part of the joint efforts by both parties in various aspects of economic and social development.