His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, and Chairman of Etihad Rail, and his excellency Sheikh Mohamed Bin Saif Bin Mohamed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of FAB’s Board of Directors yesterday witnessed the signing of an agreement between Etihad Rail and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)
The financing of the railway passenger transport services carried a total value of AED 1.99 billion.
The agreement comes as part of the UAE National Railways Program, the largest land transport system of its kind in the UAE, where FAB will be the Certified Lead Arranger for the loan, as part of the agreement.
Sheikh Theyab said: “We at Etihad Rail look forward to enhancing cooperation, uniting efforts, and working together towards realizing the vision of the UAE in accordance with the goals of the UAE National Railways Programme, which was launched under the Projects of the 50 to establish the basis for a new stage of sustainable economic growth for the country.”
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Saif
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Saif said, “Through our support for the Etihad Rail project, we are reinforcing the UAE’s position as a global and regional transport and logistics hub, leveraging our strategic geographic location to improve and reinforce our links with the rest of the world.”
Etihad rail network
Etihad Rail’s passenger services will be the first of its kind, connecting the cities and regions of the UAE. The project is one of the three strategic projects of the National Railways Program, which was launched by the UAE government in December 2021. The Program forms the largest land transport system in the UAE, which is set to outline the future of the railway sector in the coming years, in addition to providing freight rail and integrated transportation services.
With the launch of the railway passenger services, the passenger trains will strengthen connectivity between the UAE by connecting 11 cities and locations in the country from Al Sila to Fujairah.
Traveling at a speed of 200 kph, with a capacity of 400 passengers per train, the number of passengers is expected to increase to reach more than 36.5 million passengers annually across the country by 2030.
Passengers will be able to commute between Abu Dhabi to Dubai in only 50 minutes, between Abu Dhabi and Fujairah in only 100 minutes, between Dubai and Fujairah in only 50 minutes, and between Abu Dhabi and Al Ruwais in only 70 minutes.
Etihad rail project scope
Etihad Rail is forging ahead towards completing Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network. Stage One of the Network has been operational since 2016. The project is progressing at an accelerated pace with 70% of the project being completed in less than 24 months, despite the challenges of the pandemic. Etihad Rail has cooperated with 180 entities and issued more than 40 thousand official papers.
The project involves more than 27,000 experts, specialists, and workers operating at more than 3,000 construction sites across the UAE, putting in 76 million work hours so far using more than 6,000 vehicles and pieces of equipment.