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A glimpse of Etihad Rail's passenger train, which will provide transportation services for millions of passengers between the UAE’s major cities. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Twitter/Etihad Rail

Dubai: If you are looking forward to travelling by train across the UAE, there is good news. On January 25, Etihad Rail conducted its first passenger journey between the cities of Abu Dhabi and Al Dhannah. This route as part of a strategic partnership between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Etihad Rail.

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Once this route is fully operational, it will enable ADNOC’s staff and contractors to travel between the two cities. In the future, however, the complete passenger network of Etihad Rail will link all seven emirates, but official dates for the passenger rail operations have not been announced, yet.

However, Etihad Rail’s freight train services have been in operation since 2023.

Here is what we know so far about UAE’s plans for a passenger railway network.

Etihad Rail’s freight network
In 2023, Etihad Rail inaugurated the network expansion, spanning 900 km linking all seven emirates, from Ghuweifat, in Abu Dhabi, on the border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah on the eastern cost of the UAE, and launched freight train operations across the UAE.
According to Etihad Rail, the network connects maritime ports and industrial zones across the emirates, including Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi, the Jebel Ali Port in Dubai, the Port of Fujairah, the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD), Al Ruwais, and Ghuweifat.


Coming soon: Passenger train

Etihad Rail’s 900 km network will extend across the UAE, connecting 11 cities in the UAE, from Al Sila, in the western region of Abu Dhabi to Fujairah.

Cut down on travel time

At a speed of 200 km/h, the passenger rail service will allow you to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 50 minutes, and from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in an hour and 40 minutes.

The carriages will also be equipped with Wi-Fi, entertainment systems, charging points, and various food and beverages options.

Oman and Etihad Rail agreement

In September 2022, Etihad Rail also signed an agreement with Oman Rail to jointly establish the Oman-Etihad Rail Company and develop a 303 km railway link between Sohar and Abu Dhabi, reducing the travel time between the two cities to one hour 40 minutes, and from Sohar to Al Ain to 47 minutes, travelling at a maximum speed of 200 km/h.