Oman and Etihad Rail Company and Mubadala sign agreement for UAE-Oman rail network

The agreement will strengthen cooperation and accelerate the planning and execution process for the project

Oman and Etihad Rail Company, the developer and operator of the US $3bn UAE-Oman Rail Network, has signed a cooperation agreement with Mubadala Investment Company. The deal is in support of the development of the 303km-long railway network that will connect Oman and the UAE.

In a statement, the companies said that the partnership comes in line with the two parties’ efforts to explore investment opportunities in the railway sector. In addition, it will strengthen cooperation and support the Oman and Etihad Rail Company’s efforts in accelerating the planning and execution process of the UAE-Oman Rail Network.

The cooperation agreement includes the formation of working groups and joint committees to benefit from the shared expertise and knowledge, joint efforts in developing economic and financial feasibility studies. Furthermore, it will support joint investments in the development of the UAE-Oman railway network and cooperation to enhance the project’s added value, the statement continued.

The signing ceremony was attended by His Excellency Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Chairman of Oman and Etihad Rail Company, along with members of the Board of Directors of Oman and Etihad Rail.

In early March 2022, Qatar’s Minister of Transport said the construction of the $250bn Qatar to Saudi Arabia GCC railway link will begin soon.

“The establishment of the Oman-Etihad Rail network, is an extension of the strategic relations and strong historical ties between the UAE and the Sultanate of Oman, and the foundation of the strong partnership between Etihad Rail and Oman Rail. The joint venture (JV) will transform the infrastructure, transport, and logistics sectors, and enhance commercial movement and social cohesion, by linking economic, industrial, commercial, and residential centres through the railway network,” he stated.

The agreement was signed by Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi, CEO of the Oman and Etihad Rail Company, and Dr. Bakheet Saeed Al Katheeri, Executive Director of the UAE Industries Unit at Mubadala’s UAE Investments platform.

“The MOU signed between Mubadala, and Oman and Etihad Rail Company is designed to explore and unlock new opportunities in the infrastructure, transport, and logistics industries. The strategic partnership with Oman and Etihad Rail Company is aimed at driving economic development and collaboration amongst both countries as well as create value for all stakeholders,” stated Dr Bakheet Al Katheeri.

The signing of the agreement follows the establishment of the Oman and Etihad Rail Company, a JV established by Oman Rail, the Sultanate’s national developer and operator of railway networks, and Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s National Rail Network.

In early September 2022, Etihad Rail said it had completed the connection between the ICAD railway freight terminal and the UAE National Rail Network.

Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi, CEO of Oman and Etihad Rail Company added, “The rail network between Oman and the UAE is of strategic importance, as it is a valuable addition to the logistics service sector in both countries, and will contribute to increasing their competitiveness in the market by reducing the total cost of the supply chain. This is in line with both countries’ goals of achieving sustainable development by improving the transport and infrastructure sectors. The agreement with Mubadala reaffirms the strategic position of the joint rail network project to achieve its objectives and ambitions.”

The UAE-Oman Rail Network will increase market competitiveness and reduce the overall cost of supply chains, due to its increased efficiency compared to other modes of transport. The network will also provide trade and investment opportunities for the private sector, providing new and diverse job opportunities, training national human resources, enriching tourism activities, improving the competitiveness of the two countries in global trade and establishing their position as logistics hubs that serve as gateways to regional markets.

The network will employ the highest international security, safety, and environmental standards to provide safe and fast passenger and freight services. Passenger trains will run up to 200km per hour, reducing the time of the journey between Sohar and Abu Dhabi to 100 minutes, the statement concluded.

In late November 2022, Etihad Rail said it had entered into a new partnership deal with Borouge.

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