The United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman have been cooperating neighbors since their establishment. Now, their connection is getting even more profound as the two countries signed a new deal linking them via a new railway system.
A few hours after UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan arrived in Oman during his two-day visit, the president and Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tarik discussed deepening the two countries’ ties. Those discussions bore fruit as several agreements between the two countries were considered, and later the previously mentioned landmark deal was inked.
What does the deal include?
The deal includes freight and passenger transportation over a new railway system with speeds reaching up to 200 km/h when transporting people, and 120 km/h when it comes to supplies and containers.
Passenger trains will connect Abu Dhabi with Sohar, a port city to the north of the Omani Capital, Muscat with trips arriving in 100 minutes, while there will also be other trains from Sohar to the Emirati city Al-Ain with those trips arriving in 47 minutes. On the other hand, freight trains will have an annual capacity of 282,000 containers, reaching 22.5 million tonnes of bulk cargo.
The two companies, UAE’s Etihad Rail and Oman Rail will create a new joint company that will work on developing, designing, operating, and managing the project between the two countries to ensure things go smoothly. This new company will also have funding power, with investments reaching three billion dollars.
What did the people behind it have to say?
“In line with the vision and directives of our wise leadership, we are delighted to start this partnership with Oman Rail, which heralds a new chapter of collaboration and prosperity between both countries. The agreement outlines a strategic roadmap for a sustainable project which will contribute to bolstering the solid relations between the UAE and Oman, and will play an instrumental role in facilitating national and regional trade by connecting the UAE National Rail Network with Sohar Port,” said Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail.
“Adding a new railway capability to our logistics sector will offer trade and logistics companies outstanding investment opportunities and empower manufacturing and industrial activities to quickly expand beyond borders. The envisioned network will complement our comprehensive set of ports and logistics assets, augment our competitiveness and open faster access to global markets,” said Abdulrahman Salim Al Hatmi, group CEO of ASYAD, Oman’s global integrated logistics service provider.
Connecting the Emirates
The UAE is already working on a huge rail project that will connect all the Emirates and their major cities with each other to boost transportation between them, shipping, and accessibility.
According to Al-Arabiya, “About 70% of the line has already been constructed and, once completed, is expected to carry millions of passengers annually between the country’s major cities by 2030,” going on to state that “passengers will be able to travel Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 50 minutes, and from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in 100 minutes.”
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