Entrants: Parsons-Aecom joint venture (JV) and Saipem-Dodsal-Tecnimont JV

Project owner: Etihad Rail

Developers: Etihad Rail and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc)

EPC contractor: Saipem-Dodsal-Tecnimont JV

Project management: Parsons-Aecom JV

Financier: Adnoc


Etihad Rail’s 1,200-kilometre network will extend across the UAE, from the border with Saudi Arabia to the border with Oman. The network will run from Ghweifat to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Northern Emirates, with major connecting points in between, including Al-Ain and Madinat Zayed.

The national railway will provide freight terminals, distribution centres and depots located close to major transport hubs, warehouses and storage facilities across the UAE, such as at Mussafah, Khalifa Port, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Port of Fujairah and Saqr Port. Etihad Rail will also connect with the planned GCC network.

The Shah-Habshan-Ruwais line is the first railway in the UAE, and will bring numerous employment opportunities.

A single freight train can carry the load of up to 300 trucks, meaning road congestion and accidents will be reduced.

More than 442km of track works have been completed in 18 months, with a world record of 70km of track laid in just one month. More than 85 million cubic metres of material have been moved in 24 months in the desert.

There are eight huge oil and gas pipeline corridors, 49km of protected areas crossed by the railway, and more than 40 road crossings. Safety statistics are outstanding, with 18 million man-hours completed in challenging conditions without any lost-time injury incidents.