The UAE Cabinet has approved the country’s first railway law, according to UAE Infrastructure Development Minister Abdulla Belhaif al-Nuaimi.
The new legislation is expected to provide the basis for the future development of the country’s railway infrastructure.
In addition to specifying safety standards, the legislation aims to encourage private sector participation in the financing and provision of operation and management services for the country’s railway sector.
“We have an active legislation starting today that we can rely on,” Al-Nuaimi told a conference on 1 March. “It will regulate future developments, standards and interconnectivity between the emirates, among others.”
MEED understands it is the first in the series of legislation that is designed to ensure private sector confidence in the country’s rail and transport sector.
Future legislation will cover new developments such as autonomous vehicles, Abdullah Salem al-Katheeri, director general of UAE’s Federal Transport Authority – Maritime and Land, told MEED.
In addition to announcing the new rail law, Al-Nuaimi confirmed the release of project management and construction management (PM/CM) and engineering design contracts for stage 2 of the Etihad Rail railway network, whose procurement phase was suspended in January 2016.
The 264-kilometre first phase of Etihad Rail has been operational since late 2015.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is the offtaker for the railway’s first stage, which is used mainly to transport granulated sulphur from Shah and Habshan to the Mirfa depot in Ruwais, from where it is being exported.
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