The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and Etihad Rail partner for issuances of safety permits on Stage Two of the UAE rail network

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·         Achieved 34% of overall progress on Stage Two of the network

·         Suhail Al Mazrouei: Transportation is a key enabler of growth in the UAE’s industrial and service sectors

·         Shadi Malak: The directives of Sheikh Theyab bin Mohammed bin Zayed alongside the Ministry’s support are key pillars for building a railway network in line with international best practices and safety precautions according to plan and schedule

·         Hassan Al Mansouri: Provision of advanced transport infrastructure is a key priority of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has partnered with Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s National Rail Network, to collaborate on the issuance of safety permits for Stage Two of the UAE’s national rail project.

The agreement was signed at the Ministry’s office in Dubai in the presence of His Excellency Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. The agreement was signed by His Excellency Eng. Hassan Mohammed Juma Al Mansouri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, and Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail, and was attended by representatives from both organisations.

The signing agreement comes as Etihad Rail continues to drive progress on Stage Two of the UAE’s National Rail Network. Across the project’s four packages, Etihad Rail has achieved 34% of overall progress since constructions works commenced in January 2020. The pace in which progress is continually achieved, provides strong foundations for the incumbent completion of Stage Two, continuing the trend of ensuring the railway embeds leading safety standards and procedures throughout the project.

Commenting on the signing of the agreement, His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei said: “The United Arab Emirates continues to successfully enhance its transportation infrastructure: a key enabler of growth in the UAE’s industrial and service sectors. Furthermore, the transport sector delivers wider social and commercial benefits, as well as additional strategic advantages, supporting our nation’s sustainable development objectives. Cumulatively, the industry helps to safeguard the past half-century of growth achieved in the UAE, alongside setting targets for the next fifty years, supporting UAE Centennial 2071 and enabling the UAE’s global leadership across a diverse range of sectors.”

“Etihad Rail continues to forge ahead in the development of the UAE’s transportation sector, which will secure the wellbeing and a quality of life for citizens, residents, and tourists alike. Moreover, their work enhances sustainable development processes, bolstering the UAE’s regional and global standing.”

His Excellency Eng. Hassan Mohammed Juma Al Mansouri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, commented: “The provision of advanced infrastructure for the transport sector and the design of safe, integrated, and sustainable mobility networks which are ingrained with cutting-edge technology are cornerstone priorities for the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. Through such agreements, we look to grow the nation’s transportation sector, following the ambitious vision of the UAE government. Furthermore, the Ministry utilises a wide cross-section of resources and assets, as well as investing in furthering the expertise and exceptional prowess found in the UAE. In doing so, we seek to achieve the aspirations of the government, furthering the UAE’s current and future prosperity in support of UAE Centennial 2071.”

Concluding, His Excellency said: “The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure plays a key role in ensuring the operational effectiveness of the railway network as the regulatory and planning authority for the broader infrastructure and transportation sector. Further, the Ministry ensures that environmental standards are followed across the sector, safeguarding the efficiency and effectiveness of federal infrastructure assets, one of which is the UAE’s National Rail Network.”

Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail, commented: “Through the directives and continued oversight of H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Etihad Rail, our organisation continues to develop the UAE’s National Rail Network following the best in class, international standards, including rigorous safety guidelines. As part of this process, Etihad Rail insists on solidifying our strategic partnerships throughout each stage of the project, ensuring both robust administrative and evaluation procedures, alongside informed issuances of permits and licenses.

“The support of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure is invaluable for the development of the UAE’s National Rail Network. We appreciate the Ministry’s commitment in ensuring that the network is completed in line with leading international practices, particularly in safety. Through our cooperation, we will implement rigorous and robust procedures to ensure the correct issuing and verification of safety permits,” he added.

“The Ministry and Etihad Rail have established a safety authorisation issuance mechanism to fully audit safety permits. Etihad Rail will apply to the Ministry for permits of various types, and permits will be issued once safety files have been audited and a report has been issued by an Independent Safety Assessor. Additionally, we have agreed that Etihad Rail will prepare contractors’ safety assurance documents before submission to the Ministry for approval and accreditation.”

Stage Two of the UAE’s National Rail Network extends from Al Ghuwaifat on the UAE’s border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah on the eastern coast. Upon completion, the network will link ports, manufacturing hubs, and cities in the UAE, alongside connecting into the wider GCC rail network.

About Etihad Rail:

Etihad Rail was established in June 2009 under Federal Law No. 2, with the mandate to manage the development, construction and operation of the UAE’s national freight and passenger railway network. The railway network will link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, and will form a vital part of the planned railway network across the GCC.

Etihad Rail has successfully completed Stage One of the network. Stage One is fully operational and was delivered on schedule and within budget. The route spans 264 km, transporting granulated sulphur from sources at Shah and Habshan to the export point at Ruwais.

Stage Two links the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia from Fujairah Port to Ghuweifat through Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port. Built to international standards, Etihad Rail’s state-of-the-art network will span approximately 1,200 km, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and sustained social development. Upon completion, the railway will redefine logistics and mobility in the region, providing a modern, safe, efficient and sustainable mode of transport that will connect all regions of the UAE to its neighbouring GCC countries.