STOCK Hafeet Rail - UAE-Oman rail network
Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Court for Development and Fallen Heroes' Affairs, and Chairman of Etihad Rail, said the agreements signed during the recent state visit of Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to the UAE were in line with the wise directives of the leadership of the two neighbouring countries, enhancing the longstanding historical relations between them, supporting economic and commercial integration, and strengthening their social and cultural ties.

Etihad Rail, Oman Rail, and Mubadala Investment Company signed a shareholder agreement during the visit, marking the commencement of construction works for the joint railway project with immediate effect.

Abdulsalam bin Mohammed Al Murshidi, President of the Oman Investment Authority, said that the joint railway network is a significant addition to the logistics sector, and will play a role in stimulating various industrial sectors and economic activities, providing increased commercial and investment opportunities for the private sector, supporting the integration of Omani port activities and linking them to regional and international markets, in addition to its contribution to attracting national and foreign investments.

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An agreement was also signed to award the civil works and construction tender for the joint network to an Omani-Emirati alliance led by Trojan Construction Group and Galfar Engineering and Contracting, aligning with joint efforts to build national capabilities and drive in-country value, which includes the involvement of the private sector in the implementation of the joint project.

The alliance will also include Tristar Engineering and Construction, and the National Infrastructure Construction Company.

A tender for the systems and integration of the railway network was awarded to a joint venture between Siemens and HAC. The trains will be equipped with the European Train Control System Level 2. The network's advanced infrastructure will include complete digital train control and tracking through GPS technology, enhancing the network's reliability.

Etihad Rail, Oman Rail, and Mubadala Investment Company also unveiled the new corporate identity of their joint venture, which will now be known as Hafeet Rail (formerly Oman and Etihad Rail Company). The name pays homage to Jebel Hafeet, stretching between Oman and the UAE.

Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, emphasised the significance of the company's accomplishments since its inception. He highlighted its commendable efficiency and dedication in taking early steps to establish a safe and sustainable joint railway network, in alignment with the strong bilateral relations and ties between the two nations.

Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, UAE Minister of Investment and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ADQ, underscored the joint venture's accomplishments in the 18 months since its announcement, chiefly the completion of engineering and preparatory work for the network, which has paved the way for the commencement of construction.

Hafeet Rail aims to contribute to the development of various sectors in both countries, such as mining, iron and steel, agriculture and food, retail, e-commerce, and the petrochemical sector.

The speed of the passenger train can reach speeds of up to 200 kilometres per hour, covering the distance between Sohar and Abu Dhabi in 100 minutes, and 47 minutes between Sohar and Al Ain. The passenger capacity of one train can accommodate up to 400 passengers.