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Construction work to begin for UAE-Oman railway link

Hafeet Rail promises a 40% reduction in shipping costs. (Image source: Hafeet Rail)

Hafeet Rail has announced that preparatory work is beginning at full speed for the construction of the transformative railway link between Oman and the UAE.

The announcement was made during a site visit for key officials and members of the Asyad and Hafeet Rail executive management teams, in addition to project contractors and consultants.

The visit included an introduction to the key stops at the passengers, repairs, and shipping stations, as well as key bridges and tunnels sites. It underscored the venture’s critical role in facilitating local and regional trade, unlocking new opportunities in infrastructure, transportation, and logistics sectors, fostering economic diversification and strengthening bilateral relations between the two nations.

In addition to providing a first-hand overview of the project, which will include the construction of 60 bridges, some towering up to 34 metres in height, and tunnels stretching 2.5 kilometres in length, the Hafeet Rail team presented the latest rail technologies along with the innovative engineering and architectural solutions designed to overcome the challenging geographical terrain and weather conditions while ensuring the highest levels of efficiency and safety in accordance with international standards and best practice.

Increasing tourism

The rail network will not only serve as a catalyst for stimulating various industrial sectors and economic activities but will also significantly contribute to the tourism industry through the facilitation of easier and faster travel between the two countries.

Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi, CEO of Hafeet Rail said, “The commencement of preparatory works for construction is a testament to the robust synergy between all parties concerned in both nations and has made this milestone possible in record time. We are confidently laying down the right tracks thanks to the shareholders of Hafeet Rail and the expertise of a number of local companies in Oman and the UAE in addition to international partners.”

He added, “During the site visit, we explored some of the most important sites where preparatory works are underway including Wadi Al Jizi where a 700-metre-long bridge towering 34 metres will be constructed. It is envisioned to be an architectural and engineering marvel in a complex geographical terrain. Greater collaboration will be required in the phases to come, and our focus remains steadfast on quality, safety and the environment in line with best international industry practices.”

The project is the first-of-its-kind railway network that links two Gulf nations and presents a seismic shift in goods transportation methods across the region as it can handle substantial cargo volumes. This dependable and efficient transportation option reduces dependency on road transport, which is often slower and less sustainable than rail. Connecting five major ports and several industrial and free zones across both nations, Hafeet Rail promises a 40% reduction in shipping costs and a 50% reduction in transit times compared to traditional land transportation methods. This shift not only decreases the reliance on road transport by cars and trucks but also promotes more sustainable shipping practices.

The establishment of the railway network will also unlock substantial opportunities for SMEs in construction, engineering, and logistics support, serving as a catalyst for economic growth and innovation within the domestic economy. By linking major ports along the route, the Hafeet Rail project offers local SMEs the opportunity to import, export, and distribute their products, amplifying their market reach and competitiveness in the global marketplace.