Throughout history, railways have brought prosperity and opportunity and their impact has been immense in the world. Think of the great rail lines that were built across the United States, laying the foundations for unprecedented growth. Canada was united and forged as a nation as a result of the railways
Similarly, the Trans-Siberia Railway united the vast landmass of Russia as never before, and across Europe, India and where ever rails were laid, commerce, trade and economic growth followed.
The launch of Etihad Rail in the UAE is indeed a very significant milestone, one too that will lay the literal groundwork for a united transport and passenger structure that will further bring this nation together. Going forward the rail will bind the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council closer, allowing for goods and people to travel quickly and conveniently across this region.
The timing of the launch is certainly significant, announced as it was at Expo2020 — a global showcase of what this nation can do. It is a statement for the world that the UAE never sits still, never rests on its laurels, but always seeks to secure growth and prosperity, building ties and connections.
It also comes days after the UAE turned 50 — an occasion to appreciate just how far the country has come, and how far it will go in a future marked by optimism and opportunity.
Connecting 11 key cities and communities, the project also marks the UAE’s commitment to a carbon-neutral future, one where the environment is protected and where people use environmentally friendly modes of transport.
The economic benefits of the railway’s impact on the environment alone are estimated to cut Dh21 billion in carbon emissions. On a broader scale, the railway programme is calculated to create at least Dh200 billion in further economic growth while also removing tens of thousands of truckloads of goods from our roads and highways.
As His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces together noted, this is a project that will unite the homeland even more over the next five decades.