The board of directors for the UAE’s Union Railway Company has been set out in a federal decree by President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Hussein Jassim al-Nowais will chair the board and Mohammed Mattar al-Tayer is deputy chairman. Al-Tayer is the chairman of Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), which has overseen the construction of the Dubai Metro.

The board will serve a three-year renewable term.

The UAE’s Ministerial Council for Services approved the inter-emirates railway in March, creating the Union Railway Company.

The federal government plans to complete the first 574-kilometre phase of the project by mid-2011, serving Abu Dhabi and parts of Dubai. The second phase of 246km, will link the remaining areas of Dubai and extend to the northern emirates and east coast.

The line will form the UAE’s section of the wider GCC rail project running from the border of Saudi Arabia to Oman.