Projects of the 50: Dhs50bn UAE Railways Programme launched
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Projects of the 50: Dhs50bn UAE Railways Programme launched

Projects of the 50: Dhs50bn UAE Railways Programme launched

It includes a high-speed passenger service connecting 11 key cities in the country including Dubai and Abu Dhabi

The UAE Government on Sunday launched the UAE Railways Programme, the largest integrated system for transporting goods and passengers across the country.

A part of the Projects of the 50, the UAE Railways Programme envisions a national network of railway projects that link key cities in the UAE.

The investment of the UAE Railways Programme amounts to Dhs50bn, 70 per cent of which targets the local market. It aims to provide more than 9,000 jobs in the railway and supporting sectors by 2030.

The programme also intends to contribute to reducing 70-80 percent of carbon emissions over the next 50 years, a move that supports the UAE’s efforts achieve its goal of net zero by 2050.

The UAE Railways Programme includes three key projects. The first project is the freight rail, which includes the Etihad Rail freight services. The first phase of the Etihad Rail has been fully operational since 2016, with opportunities to expand beyond the borders of the UAE. It currently connects Ghuwaifat on the border with Saudi Arabia to the port of Fujairah on the Eastern Coast.

The second project under the UAE Railways Programme is the rail passenger services that aim to connect 11 cities with the UAE from Al Sila to Fujairah. Operating at a speed of 200kph, the rail service will connect 11 cities within the UAE, where passengers can travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 50 minutes, and from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in 100 minutes.

By 2030, the number of passengers using the railways is expected to reach more than 36.5 million annually.

The third project is the integrated transportation service, where an innovation centre will be established to ensure the integration of smart transportation solutions. A network of light rail will be connected to the passenger rail system to facilitate transportation inside UAE cities. Additionally, smart solutions will also be developed to allow planning and booking trips, integrating logistics operations, port and customs services, and providing integrated logistics solutions.

The UAE Railway Programme will reportedly create economic opportunities amounting to Dhs200bn. The estimated benefits of reducing carbon emissions amount to Dhs21bn, reduction in road maintenance expenditures amounting to Dhs8bn, in addition to achieving tourism benefits estimated at Dhs23bn during the next 50 years. Meanwhile the public benefits on the UAE economy will reach Dhs23bn.

“The national railways programme reflect the true meaning of integration into our national economic system, as we see the largest partnership between government entities at the federal and local levels. It comes to support a national vision to connect the country’s key centres of industry and production, open new trade routes and facilitate movement of the population, creating the most developed work and life environment in the region,” said Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

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