An important milestone for plans to serve major ports in the UAE by rail has been reached with the award of civil engineering and track works for the next section of the Etihad Rail network, connecting Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Two work packages, for 216km and 94km respectively, have been awarded to China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting Company, and these will link Khalifa Port, Khalifa Industrial City (Kizad), and Jebel Ali Port. The total value of the works is AED4.4 billion.
When complete, the 1,200km Etihad Rail project will connect the UAE’s principal industrial, manufacturing, production, population and import/export centres, while also forming an integral part of a wider GCC railway network.
Etihad Rail was established in June 2009 under Federal Law No. 2, with the mandate to manage the development, construction and operation of the UAE’s national freight and passenger railway network. Since then the company has completed Stage One of the network, which is now fully operational, having been delivered on schedule and within budget. The route spans 264 km and is used for transporting sulphur from sites Shah and Habshan to Ruwais. Stage Two will link Fujairah to Ghuweifat via Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali.