ABU DHABI, 17th May, 2022 (WAM) -- Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE national railway network, has said that Etihad Rail is committed to foster the vision of country's leadership, to play an integral role in sculpting the progression of the UAE for future generations.
"We are in a privileged position that we can change the face of logistics and mobility in this country, helping to connect industries, businesses and people, supporting tourism, whilst establishing rail as a cornerstone of the UAE’s overarching government initiatives," he said in his opening keynote speech at Middle East Rail 2022, the region’s most important rail conference and exhibition.
"The identification of this whitespace opportunity and the wider benefits it brings is a testament to the visionary leadership of the UAE and is personified in our chairman H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has been a steering force in the establishment of rail and garnered support from government entities across the country," he added.
This year’s exhibition sees over 250 exhibitors join from across the globe, bringing cutting edge products and solutions from the entire transport ecosystem. In addition, 600 industry VIPs including 10+ international Ministers of Transport and CEOs of all the major railway operators from across the region are participating in the region’s most important rail conference and exhibition from 17th-18th May, 2022, at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and the Department of Culture and Tourism, Middle East Rail 2022 showcases the latest innovations and generate new business opportunities to drive the growth of the industry.
The event bring together more than 600 VIPs, government officials, transport and infrastructure industry experts from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and attract more than 6,000 attendees, 200 industry leading speakers , and more than 250 exhibitors from across the region and beyond.
On Etihad Rail’s services, Shadi Malak said, "We want to utilise the approach of being customer centric, to benefit all potential end users. By introducing a cheaper, faster, more reliable, and sustainable service, rail will change public perception, on how we move our goods and ourselves. This provides rail the platform to place itself as the frontrunner, logistic and mobility solution in the UAE. Etihad Rail will enable businesses to thrive and make different logistical decisions that uplift efficiencies and provides cheaper alternatives, for their business model.
"Our carefully planned solution for passenger travel provides an opportunity, where you can live in one emirate and work in another, without the pressures of driving long distances, paying for fuel, or leaving your family home in another emirate."
He concluded, "28 months after construction began, where the support of the government allowed us to work throughout the pandemic, we have completed over 75 percent of our network. Having access to rail in every emirate is just the beginning of many new chapters where Etihad Rail is already working on various new products, rail services and integrated opportunities.
"We are in a position to mold the industry, redefine business models and human behaviour. I truly believe the future of transport is in our hands, and at Etihad Rail we are committed to fostering the vision of our leadership, to play an integral role in sculpting the progression of the UAE for future generations."
Over the two-day event, Etihad Rail will outline the roadmap for transforming the transportation & logistics industries in the region.
Etihad Rail aims to link the UAE’s centres of trade, industry and population, and will provide passenger and freight services. Stage One of the Network has been operational since 2016. Stage Two is progressing at an accelerated pace, achieving 75 percent of the project’s completion. The UAE National Rail Network will play a significant role in providing a modern and sustainable network for transporting freight and passengers, bolstering the leading regional position of the UAE.
WAM/MOHD AAMIR/Tariq alfaham/Hazem Hussein