Abu Dhabi to host new global rail conference

Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the Etihad Rail event in October

The event is being hosted by Etihad Rail, which is building a UAE-wide passenger service. Photo: Etihad Rail
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Abu Dhabi will host a major railway conference in October.

The three-day Etihad Rail event is set to attract about 15,000 decision-makers, 1,000 delegates and more than 300 exhibiting companies from over 40 countries, the emirate’s media office said on Friday.

Attendees at the first Global Rail Transport Infrastructure Exhibition and Conference are expected to reflect on the next generation of rail transport, smart systems and the role of artificial intelligence in automating railways.

The event, set to feature than 120 speakers including policymakers, government representatives, institutional leaders and railway pioneers, will also examine other issues affecting railways such as the environment, financing, logistics and advanced security and safety.

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, it takes place from October 8 to October 10 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.

“Etihad Rail is cultivating a thriving transportation ecosystem for our region and the rest of the world that is rooted in collaboration, prosperity and opportunity,” said Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed, chairman of Etihad Rail and a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

He added that the conference “provides Etihad Rail with a platform that will enrich the regional transport and logistics sector, ensuring its growing demands are met, and thus further driving its development”.

Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said the railway sector in the UAE and the GCC was a “pivotal part” of our future vision.

“Global Rail will contribute to forming partnerships and concluding future agreements in conjunction with the launch of the next phase of our journey, especially as we hold the reins of the future of the transportation and logistics sector,” he said.

The event is separate from Middle East Rail, a pre-existing conference held in the capital.

It comes at a time when Etihad Rail is going from strength to strength.

A new Etihad Rail passenger service station will be built in Sharjah, it was announced earlier this month.

Once up and running, the new station will help to increase the number of passengers on Etihad Rail to about 14,000 a day during the week.

The Etihad Rail passenger network aims to link 11 cities and regions across the country, from Al Sila to Fujairah, taking in Sharjah, Al Ruwais, Al Mirfa, Fujairah, Al Dhaid, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

No date has been confirmed for when the UAE-wide passenger rail service will start running.

The freight network is already in operation.

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