Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed during the launching ceremony of the Etihad Rail track-laying work on Thursday. WAM
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, on Thursday inaugurated track-laying works across Al Dhafra Region in Package A of Stage Two of the UAE’s national railway, during his visit to Etihad Rail’s railhead in Al Ruwais.
He was accompanied by Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport and Etihad Rail board member and senior executives from the company.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed was briefed by Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail, on construction progress of Package A, which will connect the UAE rail network to Al Ghuwaifat on the Saudi border and the wider GCC region. Having started in early 2020, steady progress has been made on construction of Package A, which is now 59 per cent complete.
Hamdan Bin Zayed with Etihad Rail project officials. WAM
Sheikh Hamdan reiterated that the UAE, under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, is committed to advanced and integrated infrastructure projects, in particular in the transport sector, which will support the sustainable development of the UAE.
Sheikh Hamdan expressed his appreciation for the continuous support of the UAE’s leadership for a project that is enhancing the UAE’s status both locally and regionally. This support has driven the project towards achieving key milestones, with construction progress of Stage Two accelerated, while Etihad Rail’s Stage One continues to overachieve, with 2020 operations out performing 2019’s results.
Hamdan Bin Zayed inaugurates the project. WAM
A presentation to Sheikh Hamdan on progress being made across Package A revealed that half of the soil preparation works have been completed, with 79% of sand and rock cutting also finished. Overall, 59% of Package A construction works have already concluded.
As the strategic enabler of the UAE’s ambition to become a global hub for advanced logistics operations, Sheikh Hamdan stressed the need to continue developing all four packages of Stage Two, according to the highest international standards.
He also emphasised that the project aligns with one of the most important pillars of the UAE’s preparations for the next fifty years, and is a major contributor to the growth of the national economy, as the development of a national railway network enables a sustainable transport sector.
Sheikh Hamdan praised the efforts made by the Etihad Rail team to expand the horizons of the transport sector and in doing so, to improve the well-being and happiness of every citizen and resident in the UAE.
An aerial view of the Etihad Rail project. WAM
During the presentation, Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail, referred to the directives of Sheikh Hamdan, during his visit in 2013, on the importance of training and employing young nationals to lead this vital sector, pointing out that the company’s team includes several Emiratis working in key positions. In addition, he stated that Etihad Rail has established the first railway Diploma in the UAE, to train and qualify the young Emiratis to be the driving force for this strategic national project, and confirmed that the first batch of students graduated in 2020 and already working on site.
Sheikh Hamdan also met Emirati employees working on the project, including graduates from the railway diploma and he stressed the importance of developing a new generation of Emirati talent to lead the evolution of this vital sector.
During the event, a raffle draw was held for the attending children where 10 lucky were selected. Five won journeys to Paris, France, along with their families, and the other five were given a one-year free pass to Dubai amusement parks.
Speaking on the occasion, His Highness said the UAE’s journey towards sustainable development is backed by quality projects and an infrastructure that is globally acclaimed for its efficiency and reliability.
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