Construction of $3bn UAE-Oman Hafeet Rail gets green light
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Construction of $3bn UAE-Oman Hafeet Rail gets green light

Construction of $3bn UAE-Oman Hafeet Rail gets green light

A shareholder agreement among Etihad Rail, Oman Rail and Mubadala Investment Company has been signed to kick off the project

Gareth van Zyl

Shareholders behind the new 303 km UAE-Oman rail network, known as Hafeet Rail, have given the go-ahead for construction to commence on the $3bn project.

‘Hafeet Rail’ will stretch from Abu Dhabi to Sohar, with a halfway stop in Al Ain. The train network will twist and turn through mountains and valleys, while running alongside the famous Jebel Hafeet.

When operational, it will cut the travel time between Abu Dhabi and Sohar to just 100 minutes. Meanwhile, trains on the network will be able to travel at speeds of over 200km/hour. The project was previously known as ‘Oman and Etihad Rail Company’.

The move to commence construction comes after officials announced the implementation phase of the project in late April.

READ MORE: UAE-Oman railway Hafeet Rail enters implementation phase

Joint venture with Etihad Rail, Oman Rail, Mubadala

On Friday, a shareholder agreement among Etihad Rail, Oman Rail and Mubadala Investment Company was signed to kick off the project.

At an official signing ceremony, the launch of the new corporate identity of Etihad Rail, Oman Rail and Mubadala Investment Company joint venture was also revealed. Formerly Oman-Etihad Rail Company, the joint venture will now be known as Hafeet Rail.

“An agreement was also signed to award the civil works and construction tender for the joint network to an Omani-Emirati alliance led by Trojan Construction Group (NPC) and Galfar Engineering and Contracting, aligning with joint efforts to build national capabilities and drive in-country value, which includes the involvement of the private sector in the implementation of the joint project,” read a statement from Hafeet Rail on the Abu Dhabi Media Office.

“The alliance will also include Tristar Engineering & Construction (TE&C) and National Infrastructure Construction Company (NICC),” the statement added.

As part of the tenders for the project, a joint venture between Siemens and HAC will ensure that the railway network’s fleet is equipped with the latest technologies. Also, the trains will be equipped with the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2, which is the most advanced system of its kind in the world.

“As a result, the network’s advanced infrastructure will include full digital train control and tracking through GPS technology, enhancing the network’s reliability,” added Hafeet Rail.

Hafeet Rail by the numbers

The $3bn Hafeet Rail project is expected to help amplify the UAE and Oman as gateways to regional markets, paving the way for job creation and creating indirect downstream opportunities.

A single freight train journey on the network is further expected to transport more than 15,000 tonnes of cargo, or approximately 270 standard containers. Sectors expected to benefit from the network will range from mining, to iron and steel, agriculture and food, retail, e-commerce, and the petrochemical sector.

Apart from freight, passengers will also ultimately be able to travel on the network with one train being able to accommodate up to 400 passengers.

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