Oman Rail and Etihad Rail have reached an agreement to build a railway network to connect Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The duo will jointly set up the Oman-Etihad Rail Company, a new entity equally owned by the two firms, to operate this network.

With an investment of $3bn, Oman-Etihad Rail will be involved in the design, development and operation of a railway network that will link Sohar Port in Oman to the UAE National Rail Network. 

The newly established entity will engage in the preparation of groundwork and work plans for the project, including its financial mechanisms and schedule.

Oman-Etihad Rail will build the new rail network in line with the standards of both countries.

Featuring international safety, security and environmental standards, the 303km railway will primarily connect Sohar to Abu Dhabi.

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With a maximum speed of 200km/h, the passenger trains on the line are anticipated to cut down travel time from Sohar to Abu Dhabi to one hour and 40 minutes, while journeys from Sohar to Al Ain will be reduced to 47 minutes.

The joint venture is part of Oman Rail and Etihad Rail’s strategy to create new prospects in the industries of infrastructure, transport and logistics by linking the two countries through rail.

Etihad Rail CEO Shadi Malak said: “In line with the vision and directives of our wise leadership, we are delighted to start this partnership with Oman Rail, which heralds a new chapter of collaboration and prosperity between both countries.

“The agreement outlines a strategic roadmap for a sustainable project, which will contribute to bolstering the solid relations between the UAE and Oman, and will play an instrumental role in facilitating national and regional trade by connecting the UAE National Rail Network with Sohar Port.”