A $3 billion joint venture business, Oman-Etihad Rail Company, will be established by the Sultanate’s national developer, Oman Rail, and UAE rail network developer Etihad Rail to design, develop, and run a railway network linking Sohar Port to the UAE national rail network.
In pursuance of this agreement, Oman-Etihad Rail shall establish the project’s framework and work schedule, as well as its funding sources. In accordance with the norms of the two nations, the company will also manage the development, design, and management of the rail network between Sohar and Abu Dhabi.
According to a statement from Oman Rail, this significant joint venture is an expansion of the long-standing partnership between Oman Rail and Etihad Rail. The two companies share a desire to open up new opportunities in the infrastructure, transportation, and logistics sectors by connecting the two nations via rail.
Both the CEO of Etihad Rail, Engineer Shadi Malak, and the Group CEO of Asyad, Engineer Abdulrahman Salim Al Hatmi, represented Oman Rail, a division of the Asyad Group, during the signing event.
Al Hatmi highlighted the significance of this historic deal by stating that adding a new railway capacity to their logistics sector will offer logistical and trade companies great investment prospects and enable manufacturing and industrial operations to quickly extend beyond boundaries.
According to him, the proposed network will complement the extensive range of ports and logistics capabilities, enhance competitiveness, and enable faster access to international markets. With the finest worldwide security, safety, and environmental laws, the 303-km railway will principally connect Sohar to Abu Dhabi and will offer faster and more secure passenger and freight services. With a top speed of 200 km/h, the commuter trains are intended to cut the trip times from Sohar to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain to 1 hour, 40 minutes, and 47 minutes, respectively. The freight trains will travel up to 120 km/h in the interim.
According to him, the two parties want to increase trade and social cohesion, connect important metropolitan centres, make it easier for people to move between communities, and offer seamless transportation options between industrial and commercial zones in Oman and the UAE.
Al Hatmi commented on the advantages and potential for the economy, saying that the new Oman-UAE network will help both countries’ national economies flourish by utilising cutting-edge transportation and train technology. Additionally, it will boost market competitiveness, lower overall supply chain costs, and simplify cross-border commerce by connecting commercial ports to the rail network.
According to the top Omani official, the railway would offer a variety of funding opportunities and assistance contracts to the private sector, with numerous stakeholders expected to benefit from this massive project. According to him, the new transportation system will usher in a new era of innovation, expand employment opportunities across industries, and strengthen both countries’ national human capital.
In a broader sense, the initiative will promote travel between Oman and the UAE, boost the two nations’ competitiveness in international trade, and reinforce their roles as logistical centers for export and import to regional markets, he continued.
According to Malak, the new alliance with Oman Rail is in accordance with the goals and strategies of the UAE’s leadership and marks the beginning of a new era of cooperation and prosperity between the two nations.
The agreement, he continued, outlines a strategic roadmap for a sustainable project that would support the strong ties between the UAE and Oman and play a crucial role in enabling regional and national trade by linking the UAE national rail network with Sohar Port.