Etihad Rail makes first passenger journey between Abu Dhabi and Al Dhannah

Dr Sultan Al Jaber takes part in first trip which will take Adnoc workers from Abu Dhabi to Al Dhannah

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The first passenger journey on Etihad Rail's route between Abu Dhabi and Al Dhannah took place on Thursday.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc, was among the first passengers.

Once operational, the route, which was announced in November, will enable Adnoc workers to travel by train from Abu Dhabi to Al Dhannah, 250km west of the capital.

“The development of passenger rail services between Abu Dhabi City and Al Dhannah City aims to connect the UAE’s main centres of trade, industry, manufacturing, production, logistics and population,” said Dr Al Jaber.

“The Etihad Rail project is more than just a rail network, it will serve as a vital artery for economic growth and infrastructure development while driving decarbonisation, for the benefit of the UAE and its people.”

Etihad Rail's chief executive also commented on Thursday's journey and what it means to the UAE.

“Etihad Rail is strengthening the position that the UAE enjoys as a leading global hub within the logistics, transportation and infrastructure sectors, by providing more effective and reliable transportation solutions in line with the highest international standards and connecting cities and industries with a safe and sustainable rail network,” said Shadi Malak.

No date has been confirmed for when the UAE's passenger rail service will begin. But it was announced in 2022 that the first passenger station would be Sakamkam in Fujairah.

Etihad Rail announced in February last year that its vast freight network was fully operational.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, officially opened the freight line.

It consists of a fleet of 38 locomotives and more than 1,000 wagons.

All aboard the passenger service

The passenger trains will travel at up to 200kph and can carry about 400 people, linking 11 cities and areas across the UAE, according to details released by Etihad Rail in 2022.

Carriages will offer Wi-Fi, entertainment systems, charging points and food and drink options to cater for everyone from families to workers and tourists.

Customers were told to expect travel time of 50 minutes between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and about 100 minutes from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah, cutting commutes significantly.

Plans for a luxury train service were also unveiled last year, the result of an agreement between Italian luxury hospitality company Arsenale and Etihad Rail.

The “rail cruise” is expected to cross the UAE from Fujairah in the east down to the Liwa desert in Abu Dhabi. The train will consist of 15 luxury carriages.

Tour of facility

Following the milestone journey, Dr Al Jaber also toured Adnoc's hub in Al Ruwais Industrial City

“I am proud of our world-class facilities in Al Ruwais Industrial City and the commitment and dedication of our staff, who are passionate to showcase our unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation,” he said.

“Our facilities and expert workforce play a pivotal role in enhancing our nation’s status as a responsible and reliable global energy leader.”

Updated: May 08, 2024, 9:04 AM