Even though freight transport is currently the main focus of the UAE National Rail Network, study is being conducted on the passenger services, a top official said in Abu Dhabi.

“Mainly the backbone of the UAE National Rail Network does accommodate, is built on accommodating, all kinds of freights and passengers. Right now, in Stage 2, we are looking at the main backbone, which is the freight. Passenger is still under study. Once all study is done, it will be looked at,” Omar Al Sebeyi, acting commercial director, Etihad Rail, said during a press conference to announce details of the Middle East Rail 2022 – the region’s largest rail exhibition and conference.

Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE National Rail Network, has completed construction works for Package A of Stage 2, which extends over 139 km, and its connection through Al Ghuwaifat on the border of Saudi Arabia with Stage 1, which extends for 264 km from Habshan to Al Ruwais. It has finished 50 per cent of the construction works of the marine rail bridge in the country as part of Package B of Stage 2. The rail infrastructure will be a vital part in the efforts to develop the GCC railway network.

Al Sebeyi underlined the UAE National Rail Network is one of the most significant infrastructure and logistic projects in the country.

“We are poised to transform mobility and logistics across the country and region, linking the UAE’s critical trade, industry, and population centres. Through the construction of a brand-new transport system that complements the nation’s existing infrastructure, the Network provides a tactile impact on the industry,” he told Khaleej Times.

Etihad Rail is the main partner for the upcoming edition of the Middle East Rail, which will be moved to Abu Dhabi from Dubai.

“Our partnership with Middle East Rail has been intrinsic with the development and growth of the local logistics industry as it solidifies our longstanding relationship with the event organisers, and bolsters our efforts in shaping the future of both the rail industry and the transport ecosystem in the region,” Al Sebeyi said.

Saif Ghubash Al Marri, Director, Land Transport Affairs Department, Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, added: “The last exhibition and conference was a very successful one in Dubai. We are expecting the event to be much bigger as it moves to Abu Dhabi.”

Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Chief Commercial Officer, Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, and Mubarak Al Shamsi, Director, Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, were also present during the media interaction.

The exhibition and conference will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center on May 17 and 18.

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