Oman and UAE to launch joint railway system
The project aims to eventually become a part of the broader Gulf railway, a system which will span and connect the six GCC countries
By News Desk - September 29 2022

(Photo credit: Khaleej Times)

During a two-day visit by UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) to the Sultanate of Oman, beginning on 27 September, the two Gulf states signed an agreement to build a railway system linking both countries.

According to a statement by Abu Dhabi, the Omani and Emirati railway companies, Oman Trains, and Etihad Rail have signed a deal to establish a joint company that will build and operate a railway system linking the Omani port of Sohar to the UAE’s national railway network, which is currently under construction.

The 303-kilometer system will be owned equally by both Gulf railway companies, and reportedly has an investment value of $3 billion. Neither side has announced a date for when the project will begin.

The UAE statement adds that the speed of the network will amount to around 200 kilometers per hour, and covers the distance between the Omani port of Sohar and the Emirati city of al-Ain in 147 minutes, “while the speed of freight trains does not exceed 120 kilometers per hour.”

Sohar is located around 200 kilometers north of the capital Muscat, and contains an important industrial zone. The project aims to link the urban and industrial centers of both states, according to the statement.

Additionally, Etihad Rail will be constructing a 1,200-kilometer system for passengers and cargo.

The Emirati-Omani railway system is meant to eventually become incorporated into the larger spanning Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) railway.

This railway was approved in 2009 during the 30th GCC summit held in Kuwait and will connect all six GCC member states.

The GCC railway, also called the Gulf Railway, will span around 2,177 kilometers, is expected to cost $250 billion, and is scheduled to be fully completed by 2023.

Qatar’s Minister of Transport Jassem Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti announced in February that the construction of the Gulf railway is set to begin soon, and will start with a Saudi-Qatari rail link.

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