Etihad Rail's passenger train project will add an estimated Dh 200 billion to the UAE economy. Spacious passenger cabins and comfortable travel for people were introduced at the presentation of a train to be used in the UAE's new passenger rail service.
The rail service will provide a reliable, safe, efficient, comfortable and environmentally friendly journey to travel across the region.
Etihad Rail is working closely with the Federal Transport Authority and transport authorities across the country to enhance existing networks to improve passenger connections. Eventually, population centers in the UAE will be linked to neighboring GCC countries.
Etihad Railway work began in 2009. Once the grid is fully operational, greenhouse gases will be reduced by more than 2,2 million tons per year. The new passenger rail service is expected to significantly reduce road congestion and the number of traffic accidents.
Etihad Rail has signed an agreement worth Dh 1.99 billion ($541.8 million) with First Abu Dhabi Bank to finance passenger rail transport services. The deal becomes part of the UAE National Railways programme, the largest land transport system in the country.
Etihad Railway announced in December that it will expand its operations from heavy goods services to passenger train services by 2030.
Etihad Rail said the project will add an estimated 200 billion dirhams to the economy and will allow "passengers to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 50 minutes and from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in 100 minutes."
Connecting 11 cities and regions across the UAE, from Al Sila in the west to Fujairah in the north, the project is expected to handle more than 2030 million passengers per year by 36,5. Passenger trains, which will travel at speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour, can carry up to 400 people.
Last month, The National was given exclusive access to the first images of what the UAE's new passenger trains will look like. The UAE has not yet announced when the trains will start operating.
The passenger service extension of Etihad Rail is one of three strategic projects of the National Railways program launched by the UAE government in December 2021.
Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail, said: “Through this agreement, we will move forward with our mission to provide passenger rail services that will support the public transport system in the UAE and the wider region. Etihad Railway is a key component of the Gulf Cooperation Council rail network, and this agreement brings us one step closer to achieving our strategic goals of strengthening the UAE's reputation as a regional and global transport hub.”
Hana Al Rostamani, CEO of the FAB group, said: “By connecting the UAE through a fully integrated rail network, Etihad Rail will deliver significant economic and social benefits to the businesses and communities it serves, foster future growth and open up opportunities for all.” said.