The UAE Railways Program, a long-term strategy for the Emirates’ railway sector, has been officially launched at a special event at Dubai’s EXPO 2020, which is taking place from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.
The programme includes a number of railway projects that will link 11 key cities and regions across the UAE, and is valued at AED50 billion (12.05bn euros | 13.61bn USD).
By 2030 it is expected to provide over 9,000 jobs in the railway sector and supporting sectors.
The launch event highlighted the objectives of the programme and the phases of the Etihad Rail project, which connects Ghuwaifat on the border with Saudi Arabia to the port of Fujairah on the eastern coast.
The first phase has been fully operational since 2016.
“The National Railways Program reflects the true meaning of integration into our national economic system, as we see the largest partnership between government entities at the federal and local levels.
“It comes to support a national vision to connect the country's key centres of industry and production, open new trade routes and facilitate population movement, creating the most developed work and life environment in the region.”
The UAE Railway Program has three key projects. The first focuses on freight rail, the second on passenger services.
The Rail Passenger System will connect 11 cites across the UAE, and provide high-speed rail travel that will enable passengers to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 50 minutes, and from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in 100 minutes.
By 2030, passenger numbers are expected to reach over 3.5 million.
The third project is the Integrated Transportation Service, where an innovation centre will be established to ensure the integration of smart transportation solutions to further improve the appeal of travel by rail.
A light rail network will also be connected to the Rail Passenger System to improve travel to and within cities.
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