Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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Oman and Etihad Rail Company, the developer and operator of the train network connecting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, have signed a preliminary agreement with Brazil’s mining industry major, Vale, to transport iron ore products. The agreement, aimed at bolstering trade and tourism between the two countries and the region, was signed by Ahmed Al Hashemi, the chief executive of Oman and Etihad Rail Company, and Rogerio Nogueira, the director of business development at Vale. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Suhail Al Mazrouei, the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and chairman of Oman and Etihad Rail Company, and Elaina Zugaib, Brazil’s ambassador to the UAE.

The agreement marks a significant step towards establishing strategic partnerships and fostering economic growth, development, and investment in both the UAE and Oman. It aligns with the vision of the UAE and Oman to collaborate with major companies and promote their economic interests. The transport link between the two countries, which was initially announced in September, aims to enhance trade and tourism by establishing a reliable and efficient rail network.

The $3 billion railway project, undertaken by Oman and Etihad Rail Company, is set to connect Vale’s industrial zone in Sohar Port and Freezone to its planned major complex in the UAE. The rail line will cater to both passenger and freight trains, with passenger services operating at speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour and freight trains reaching 120 kilometers per hour. Journey times between Abu Dhabi and Sohar, as well as Sohar and Al Ain, are expected to be significantly reduced, promoting seamless connectivity and facilitating economic activities.

The partnership between Oman and Etihad Rail Company and Vale is expected to benefit both parties. It will support Vale’s plans to develop industrial complexes in the UAE and Oman, specifically focusing on the production of low-carbon products for the steelmaking industry. Additionally, the agreement reinforces regional logistics progress and offers numerous advantages, including the creation of new job opportunities and the provision of high-quality transport solutions.

The completion of the $14 billion unified rail network in March, undertaken by Etihad Rail, will play a crucial role in boosting growth in regional trade and promoting economic integration. It will also contribute to maintaining the UAE’s attractiveness as a preferred investment and business destination. The rail network is expected to attract more investment into key industries and stimulate further economic development in the region.

The agreement between Oman and Etihad Rail Company and Vale signifies the increasing interest in utilizing the UAE-Oman railway network and leveraging its fast, sustainable, reliable, and cost-effective services. As both countries continue to prioritize strategic partnerships, this collaboration is a significant step toward achieving their economic goals while facilitating trade and connectivity within the region.

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