Futuristic port-rail project gets UAE backing
In an effort to connect Abu Dhabi ports to the existing rail network, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Government is to fund the second stage of Dubai’s national railway network, which is currently being built by Etihad Rail.
Stage two encompasses more than 600km of rail connecting the existing network in Shah and Habshan to Mussafah, Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi, Jebel Ali in Dubai and to the Saudi and Omani borders.
The US$1.2 billion stage one phase was financed by a five-year loan from the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Company in 2013.
The loan was also backed by state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, which is the primary user of the stage one network.
The Etihad Rail network, with an estimated total cost of around US$10.8 billion, is part of the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rail network, connecting the six GCC states of Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Oman.
The GCC states have targeted completion of the regional rail network by 2018.