Etihad Rail, Oman Rail and Mubadala Investment Company have signed a shareholder agreement for the Omani-Emirati railway network, marking the start of construction works of the $3 billion project.

The parties signed the deal during a recent visit of Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to the UAE, according to a statement on Friday.

The three entities also unveiled a new corporate identity of their joint venture, which will now be known as Hafeel Rail, formerly Oman and Etihad Rail Company. This is to pay tribute to Jebel Hafeet, which stretches between Oman and the UAE.

An agreement was also signed to award the civil works and construction tender for the joint network to an Omani-Emirati venture led by Trojan Construction Group and Galfar Engineering and Contracting.

Siemens and HAC have likewise won a tender for the systems and integration of the railway network.

Once completed, Hafeet Rail will provide a faster mode of transport for travellers between the UAE and Oman, with the passenger trains designed to reach speeds of up to 200 kilometres per hour.

Travel time between Sohar and Abu Dhabi will take 100 minutes, while a journey between Sohar and Al Ain will take 47 minutes. Each train can carry up to 400 passengers.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)