The developer and operator of the UAE rail network Etihad Rail has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hoyer Global Transport, a Dutch subsidiary of a German logistics firm.

The aim of the agreement is for the two companies to work together on the development of a safe and sustainable rail system able to transport bulk liquids across the UAE and into the wider GCC region.

The Etihad Rail network is still under development. On completion, it will span a total of 1,200 kilometres across the seven emirates. The network will also form part of the GCC railway network, linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia through Ghuweifat in the west and Oman via Al-Ain in the east.

Preliminary construction work is already taking place on stage one of the network and the tendering process is in progress for stage two of the project, which will connect the railway to Mussafah, to the Gulf ports of Khalifa and Jebel Ali and the Saudi and Omani borders.

In August, MEED reported that Etihad Rail approached a number of banks for financing to support the construction of phase 1.