The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has partnered with Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s National Rail Network, to collaborate on the issuance of safety permits for Stage Two of the UAE’s national rail project.
The agreement was signed at the Ministry’s office in Dubai in the presence of His Excellency Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. The agreement was signed by His Excellency Eng. Hassan Mohammed Juma Al Mansouri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, and Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail, and was attended by representatives from both organisations.
The signing agreement comes as Etihad Rail continues to drive progress on Stage Two of the UAE’s National Rail Network. Across the project’s four packages, Etihad Rail has achieved34% of overall progress since constructions works commenced in January 2020. The pace at which progress is continually achieved provides solid foundations for the incumbent completion of Stage Two, continuing the trend of ensuring the railway embeds leading safety standards and procedures throughout the project.
Commenting on the signing of the agreement, His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei said: “The United Arab Emirates continues to successfully enhance its transportation infrastructure: a key enabler of growth in the UAE’s industrial and service sectors. Furthermore, the transport sector delivers wider social and commercial benefits, as well as additional strategic advantages, supporting our nation’s sustainable development objectives. Cumulatively, the industry helps to safeguard the past half-century of growth achieved in the UAE, alongside setting targets for the next fifty years, supporting UAE Centennial 2071 and enabling the UAE’s global leadership across a diverse range of sectors.”
“Etihad Rail continues to forge ahead in the development of the UAE’s transportation sector, which will secure the wellbeing and a quality of life for citizens, residents, and tourists alike. Moreover, their work enhances sustainable development processes, bolstering the UAE’s regional and global standing.”
His Excellency Eng. Hassan Mohammed Juma Al Mansouri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, commented: “The provision of advanced infrastructure for the transport sector and the design of safe, integrated, and sustainable mobility networks which are ingrained with cutting-edge technology are cornerstone priorities for the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. Through such agreements, we look to grow the nation’s transportation sector, following the ambitious vision of the UAE government. Furthermore, the Ministry utilises a wide cross-section of resources and assets, as well as investing in furthering the expertise and exceptional prowess found in the UAE. In doing so, we seek to achieve the aspirations of the government, furthering the UAE’s current and future prosperity in support of UAE Centennial 2071.”
In concluding, His Excellency said: “The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure plays a key role in ensuring the operational effectiveness of the railway network as the regulatory and planning authority for the broader infrastructure and transportation sector. Further, the Ministry ensures that environmental standards are followed across the sector, safeguarding the efficiency and effectiveness of federal infrastructure assets, one of which is the UAE’s National Rail Network.”
Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail, commented: “Through the directives and continued oversight of H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Etihad Rail, our organisation continues to develop the UAE’s National Rail Network following the best in class, international standards, including rigorous safety guidelines. As part of this process, Etihad Rail insists on solidifying our strategic partnerships throughout each stage of the project, ensuring both robust administrative and evaluation procedures, alongside informed issuances of permits and licenses.
“The support of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure is invaluable for the development of the UAE’s National Rail Network. We appreciate the Ministry’s commitment to ensuring that the network is completed in line with leading international practices, particularly in safety. Through our cooperation, we will implement rigorous and robust procedures to ensure the correct issuing and verification of safety permits,” he added.
“The Ministry and Etihad Rail have established a safety authorisation issuance mechanism to fully audit safety permits. Etihad Rail will apply to the Ministry for permits of various types, and permits will be issued once safety files have been audited and a report has been issued by an Independent Safety Assessor. Additionally, we have agreed that Etihad Rail will prepare contractors’ safety assurance documents before submission to the Ministry for approval and accreditation.”
Stage Two of the UAE’s National Rail Network extends from Al Ghuwaifat on the UAE’s border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah on the eastern coast. Upon completion, the network will link ports, manufacturing hubs, and cities in the UAE, alongside connecting into the wider GCC rail network.