Etihad Rail: The UAE’s First National Railway Network

If you own a business that requires a lot of transport of goods across the region or are planning to establish one, this one’s for you. 

One of the most talked about projects in the UAE and the world is Etihad Rail, which is surely to make business quite easy for you. 

Property Finder has gathered all the need-to-know information right here. 

etihad rail infrastructure

What Is the Etihad Rail Project?

The Etihad train or Etihad Rail is the national railway network that will completely connect the seven emirates, a project that first came to light back in 2009. 

It is being developed by Etihad Rail PJSC company; however, it is 70% owned by the Abu Dhabi government and 30% owned by the federal UAE government.

The megaproject was established with the goal of managing all operations of the national freight routes, connecting all major industry points in the country. Furthermore, the Etihad Rail masterplan will eventually expand to the entire GCC. 

etihad train

What Are the Benefits of the Etihad Rail Network?

With a project of this magnitude, built with state-of-the-art technology and facilities, there are several benefits that come along with it:

  • The network helps the economy grow when many businesses find it easy to transport their cargo 
  • It provides the ultimate efficiency, safety, and sustainability when it comes to the standards of logistics in the region
  • It is a modern cost-effective solution to cargo transport
  • More jobs are created within the project

The Etihad Rail line is part of the UAE Vision 2021 and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, both aiming at significant socio-economic growth. 

You can also check the ground-breaking Dubai 2040 urban master plan to envision a sustainable future and how it may affect your business plans. 

etihad rail construction

How Is Etihad Rail Sustainable?

One of the most important details of the Etihad Rail project is that it’s a sustainable project. This is due to the fact that it will immensely decrease the carbon footprint of the UAE once fully operational. 

This reduction will happen because the train will effectively replace hundreds of cargo-carrying vehicles:

  • One freight train that is fully loaded is the same as 300 trucks, which means that carbon emission will be slashed by 80% 
  • The entire network will reduce an amount of 2.2 M tonnes of greenhouse gases every year
  • The rate of road collisions will decrease as well since the network is replacing an expected 375,000 vehicles.

Who Are the Project Contractors Working on Etihad Rail?

Here’s a list of the most significant companies working on the project:

etihad rail project contractors

What Are the Stages of Etihad Rail?

The complete infrastructure of Etihad Rail consists of 2 different stages divided as follows: 

Stage 1: Completed 

This stage has been fully operational since 2016. This Etihad Rail route goes from Hanshan and Shah to Ruwais. Every day 22,000 tonnes of granulated sulphur are transported on this network for ADNOC. 

Stage 2: Under Construction 

With stage 2 of Etihad Rail, the network is to extend from Ghuwaifat right on the border of Saudi Arabia all the way to Fujairah through Abu Dhabi and Dubai. 

This expansion of Etihad Rail is the biggest stage yet.

What Is the Specific Route for Etihad Rail in the UAE?

This route map for Etihad Rail project shows the operational lines and ones under construction in the UAE:

etihad rail route

You can check all available warehouses for rent in the UAE to choose close locations to the rail’s future routes. 

If you have plans to buy instead, here are the warehouses available for sale in the UAE on Property Finder.

What Is the Future Route Outside the UAE?

There are plans to expand to the entire GCC region as per this Etihad Rail map as shown here:

etihad rail map

How Long Is the Railway Network?

Once it is completed, the length of the network will span a distance of 1,200 km. The project includes at least 15 tunnels and 35 bridges specifically built to withstand heavy cargo. 

The network features the longest tunnel in the UAE (1.8 km) going through Hajar Mountains. 

Can Passengers Use the Train?

Yes, the Etihad Rail is expected to carry passengers in the near future. The company is working on facilitating transportation for passengers with local transport authorities. 

How Fast Is the Etihad Rail?

Freight trains reach a speed of 120 km/h, while passenger trains have a maximum speed of 200 km/h.

What Are the Features of Each Train?

Each of the network’s trains is 1 km in length with 70 wagons, which means each train holds a capacity of up to 7,000 tonnes. 

How Many Trains Are Expected to Use the Rail Network?

The plan is to have more than 1,000 trains using the Etihad Rail network. 

etihad rail network

What Are the Freight Facilities Offered for the Railway Network?

Etihad Rail will be offering various freight facilities at several significant locations and ports, which include the following:

  • Loading and unloading operations
  • Container storage 
  • Container maintenance.

These will offer great help when it comes to facilitating your business needs. 

When Is the Project Expected to Be Completed?

Construction of the Etihad Rail will be completely finished by 2024. 

Where Is the Etihad Rail Office Located?

You can check the location for Etihad Rail PJSC at Capital Gate on Khaleej Al Arabi St. in Abu Dhabi. 

What Are the Contact Details for Etihad Rail PJSC?

You can contact the company for any enquiries at the following number:

  • +971 (0)2 499 9999

The ambitious project is a true achievement for the UAE and it will cement the country’s status as a major destination for logistics all over the world. 

Furthermore, as a business owner, your company will thrive as you introduce the concept of sustainable, easy transportation using Etihad Rail. 

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This Blog is made available for educational purposes only, in addition to providing you with general information and a general understanding of its content, including referenced laws and regulations, and not to provide specific legal advice. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent advice from a licensed professional.