Etihad Rail was established in June 2009 under Federal Law no. 2, with a mandate to manage the development, construction and operation of the UAE’s national freight and passenger railway network.
The railway network will be built in phases to link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, as well as to form a vital part of the planned GCC railway network linking the six countries of the GCC: The Kingdom of Bahrain, The State of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UAE.Built to international standards, Etihad Rail’s state-of-the-art network will act as a catalyst for economic growth and sustained social development. Once complete, the railway will redefine logistics and transport in the region; thus providing a modern, safe, efficient and sustainable network which will connect the UAE and its regions to its neighbouring GCC countries.
Etihad Rail is in line with the objective to further diversify the UAE economy as set by the UAE Vision 2021 and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.
UAE Vision 2021 sets the key themes for the socio-economic development of the UAE, specifically calling for a shift to a diversified and knowledge-based economy. A national railway network to connect the UAE’s key centres of trade and population is an integral component of this vision.Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 forms a roadmap for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It aims to increase GDP contribution from non-oil sectors to over 60% by 2030 with 12 strategic industry sectors identified – including transportation and logistics, and with Etihad Rail being one of the key economic projects for growth and diversification.