Etihad Rail to change UAE's infrastructure map, says Sheikh Mohammed

Vice President reviews railway project at Cabinet meeting on Monday

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid chaired the Cabinet meeting on Monday. Photo: Dubai Media Office
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday said the Etihad Rail project would "change the infrastructure map in the country".

Chairing a Cabinet meeting held in Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed said the railway project had been reviewed and called it "the largest infrastructure project in the UAE, linking 11 cities, seven logistic centres and four international ports in the country".

"The project is under the directives of [UAE President] Mohamed bin Zayed, may God protect him, and the follow-up and supervision of Theyab bin Mohammed [chairman of Etihad Railways]," he said. "The project that will change the infrastructure map in the country, God willing."

Once operational, passenger trains will travel at speeds of up to 200 kilometres an hour and can carry about 400 people.

No start date for the passenger service has been made public but officials have said more than 36 million people will be using the service annually by 2030.

Carriages will be equipped with vital amenities such as Wi-Fi, entertainment systems, charging points and various food and beverages options.

There will also be various seating segments, including first class, business class and economy.

Customers can expect a travel time of 50 minutes between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and about 100 minutes from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah, cutting commutes significantly. Construction of the UAE-wide network is advancing rapidly with close to 70 per cent of the twin-track route already built.

The line from Sharjah to the east coast comprises 54 bridges and 20 wildlife crossing points. It also has nine tunnels, which extend for 6.9km through the Hajar Mountains, including the largest heavy freight railway tunnel in the Arabian Gulf that runs for 1.8km.

The trains will also boost the UAE's sustainability efforts. Carbon emissions will be reduced by 70 to 80 per cent, compared with the amount emitted by lorries, with one single train journey potentially replacing about 300 lorries on the road.

Updated: October 11, 2022, 10:15 AM