Oman Rail and Etihad Rail to build a $3 billion railway
Oman Rail, part of Asyad Group, the Sultanate’s national developer and operator of railway networks, signed an agreement with Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE National Rail Network, to jointly establish an equally-owned company, Oman-Etihad Rail Company that will hold an overall investment power of USD 3 billion to design, develop and operate a railway network connecting Sohar Port to the UAE National Rail Network.
Under this agreement, the new company- Oman-Etihad Rail- will lay the groundwork and workplan for the project, including its financial mechanisms and schedule. The company will also handle the design, development, and operation of the rail network, which connects Sohar and Abu Dhabi, in line with the standards of the two countries.
The two parties aim to unlock new opportunities by strengthening commercial exchange and social cohesion, connecting key urban centres, facilitating travel between communities and providing seamless transport solutions between economic and industrial zones in Oman and the UAE.
Employing cutting-edge transport and rail technology, the railway network between the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates will boost the growth of the national economy in both countries. It will also improve the efficiency of supply chain, facilitate cross-border trade by linking commercial ports to the railway network, boost market competitiveness and reduce the total cost of supply chains.
With multiple stakeholders set to reap the benefits of this mega project, the railway will provide a host of investment opportunities and support contracts to the private sector. The new transport system will create job opportunities across sectors, develop the national human capital of both countries and kick off a new age of innovation.
Underlining the impact of this landmark agreement, Eng. Abdulrahman Salim Al Hatmi, Group CEO of Asyad, explained, “Adding a new railway capability to our logistics sector will offer trade and logistics companies outstanding investment opportunities and empower manufacturing and industrial activities to quickly expand beyond borders. The envisioned network will complement our comprehensive set of ports and logistics assets, augment our competitiveness and open faster access to global markets.”
The planned 303-km railway between the two countries will primarily link Sohar to Abu Dhabi and will feature the best international safety, security, and environmental standards, to provide faster and safer passenger and freight services. The passenger trains are designed to reduce travel time from Sohar to Abu Dhabi to 1 hour 40 minutes, and from Sohar to Al Ain to 47 minutes.