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Etihad Rail awards billions in new contracts

Etihad Rail awards billions in new contracts

New Dhs1.6bn ($440m) contract for systems and integration work for second phase of construction of the UAE’s rail network

A new contract worth billions has been awarded for the second phase of construction of the UAE’s rail network.

Etihad Rail has awarded Hitachi Rail a Dhs1.6bn ($440m) contract for systems and integration work for the projects related to the second phase of construction of the UAE’s rail network. The contract reportedly includes designing and building a power distribution network and electronics subsystems, which will stretch for about 800 kilometres.

The contract is the latest Etihad Rail has awarded as work picks up to connect the UAE’s towns and cities by train. In July, China Railway Construction Corporation and Ghantoot Transport and General Contracting were awarded contracts worth about Dhs4.4 bn ($1.2bn) in total for rail lines travelling 216 kilometres and 94 kilometres, respectively, to connect Khalifa Port and Khalifa Industrial City (in Abu Dhabi) and Jebel Ali Port (in Dubai). Earlier, in March, China State Construction Engineering Corporation and South Korean firm SK Engineering were awarded Dhs1.5bn ($410m) to link railway lines at Al Ruwais – located about 240 kilometres west of Abu Dhabi – with Al Ghuwaifat on the UAE’s border with Saudi Arabia.

In September, Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum met with Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chair of the Board of Directors of Etihad Rail, and other Etihad Rail officials at Emirates Towers in Dubai. During the meeting, they discussed progress on the UAE’s rail network, which is set to connect all seven emirates.

READ: Work progresses on UAE’s Etihad Rail network

Overall, the planned UAE rail network will span 1,200 kilometres. It will be built in stages.

READ: UAE’s Etihad Rail to seek about $2bn in financing

While somewhat rare in the GCC, there are a few rail networks. In Saudi Arabia, for example, a train network connects several cities. More investment in rail is planned in the kingdom as part of Vision 2030 initiatives, including high-speed connections spanning the vast desert between population centres.

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