Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE's integrated railway network, today (January 7) began track-laying works across the Al Dhafrah Region under Package A of Stage Two of the country's ambitious railway network project.
Having started in early 2020, steady progress has been made with regard to the Package A with half of the soil preparation works already completed, and 79% of sand and rock cutting also finished. Overall, 59% of Package A construction work stands completed.
Announcing the launch of track-laying works, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, said the project has achieved key milestones, with construction progress of Stage Two accelerated, while Etihad Rail’s Stage One continues to overachieve, with 2020 operations out performing 2019’s results.
He was speaking to the media during his visit to Etihad Rail’s railhead in Al Ruwais. Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, took part in the ceremony along with Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport and Etihad Rail board member and other senior executives.
Sheikh Hamdan was briefed by Etihad Rail CEO Shadi Malak on the ongoing construction progress of Package A, which will connect the UAE rail network to Al Ghuwaifat on the Saudi border and the wider GCC region.
Later he met the Emirati employees working on the project, including graduates from the railway diploma and stressed the importance of developing a new generation of Emirati talent to lead the evolution of this vital sector.
During his presentation, Malak stressed on the importance of training and employing young nationals to lead this vital sector, pointing out that the company’s team includes several Emiratis working in key positions.
In addition, he stated that Etihad Rail has established the first railway Diploma in the UAE, to train and qualify the young Emiratis to be the driving force for this strategic national project, and confirmed that the first batch of students graduated in 2020 and already working on site.