H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court and Chairman of Etihad Rail, expressed his appreciation to the continuous and unlimited support for the Etihad Rail Project by the UAE’s wise leadership, confirming that it gives great importance to infrastructure in the UAE given its role in economic and social development.

This came during a virtual meeting attended by Etihad Rail’s Board of Directors, chaired by H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which was held to reflect upon Etihad Rail’s ongoing achievements of meeting its strategic objectives. In addition, the meeting highlighted the latest progress in the first quarter of 2021 of Stage Two of the UAE’s national railway network.

His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan expressed his deep pride in holding the meeting in conjunction with the beginning of the UAE’s Year of the 50th celebrations, which came following the announcement by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to designate 2021 as the Year of the 50th, celebrating the UAE’s Golden Jubilee. He commented that at this time, the nation embarks on a new journey, defined by the strategic pillars of innovation, creativity, and global leadership. Through this resolution, the leadership has empowered the UAE to achieve and retain leading international competitiveness standards.

He added that the Year of the 50th undoubtedly marks a new phase for the UAE, and that the pursuit of strengthening the nation and forging sustainable development will be accelerated, resting on the legacy of the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

He highlighted that Etihad Rail, since the inception of the project, has been committed to fulfilling the vision of UAE’s leadership and its strategic direction. He also reiterated the forefront priorities are, and always have been, constructing national infrastructure, investing in Emirati talent, and powering the nation’s economy. He added that these accomplishments will drive the country towards achieving economic success in the next 50 years.

His Highness commended the launch of the UAE’s industrial strategy, Operation 300bn, drawing the wide-range of success the nation relishes across various industries, expressing that Etihad Rail is developing a new and integrated industry that bolsters the sustainable development objectives of the UAE, through connecting industrial centres, ports, and commercial hubs.

During the meeting, the board members were briefed on the ongoing progress of the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) facility at Al Faya, Abu Dhabi, where 25% of construction has been completed over the last 12 months. The facility will be the largest and the most significant on the network. It will be responsible for warehousing, installations, operations, and the maintenance of locomotives and wagons. The facility will also include an administrative building to control the operations of the whole network.

The board emphasised that the project’s development must be in line with international best practice, particularly implementing health and safety measures for the safety of all construction workers.

The board members welcomed announcing the first customer for Stage Two of the project, which will see Stevin Rock benefit from the integrated transport solutions that Stage Two of the project provides. An estimated 3.5 million tonnes of construction material will be carried annually from Stevin Rock’s Al Ghail quarry in Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi.

Over recent months, Etihad Rail has laid solid foundations for the completion of the UAE’s national railway network, ensuring its optimal integration with transport infrastructure and systems across the UAE and other GCC states. Such success has been facilitated through signing strategic agreements alongside fostering local and regional partnerships. The most notable of these agreements was the partnership agreed with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure in the UAE, regarding the issuance of safety permits on Stage Two of the project. The company has also partnered with the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) in the exchange of services and expertise. In addition, Etihad Rail partnered with Emirates Nature-WWF, the Fujairah Environment Authority, and the Fujairah Adventures Centre, establishing an environmental protection and community engagement programme in the emirate of Fujairah.

2021 represents a significant milestone for the company, with rapid construction and operational progress. It was acknowledged that Etihad Rail would be a central contributor and partner to the future vision of the UAE’s wise leadership as the nation celebrates its Golden Jubilee.

Source: Four Communications