The UAE’s national railway developer and operator Etihad Rail has awarded the contract for the design-and-build of employee residences in Mirfa to the local National Transport & Contracting Company (NTCC).

The housing complex will be built to accommodate employees of Etihad Rail.

The work will involve building 170 serviced beachfront residential units. Recreational facilities have also been incorporated within the design. Construction work on the accommodation facility is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016.

NTCC, which operates in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, has been awarded the contract in a bid to support business and development in that part of the UAE.

“Our selection of NTCC as a contractor is part of our wider strategy to support businesses that play a significant role in driving economic development and growth in the Western Region,” said Faris Saif al-Mazrouei, acting CEO of Etihad Rail.

The firm is currently tendering for phase two of its expansion plans, which will connect the railway to Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali port, and will see the railway extend to the Saudi and Omani borders.

Etihad Rail also recently signed an operational and maintenance agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) for the transport of sulphur between Habshan and Shah to Ruwais.

The railway operator is in advanced commercial and technical negotiations with other prospective partners, including the local DP World and Arkan.