Etihad Rail set to award phase 2 of $11bn rail plan
The long-awaited contract awards for the second - and largest - phase of the $11 billion Etihad Rail project will be announced soon, according to acting CEO Fares Al Mazrouei.
"With stage two, it's right now with the government," Al Mazrouei said at the GCC Rail and Metro conference in Muscat.
"They're reviewing all of the documents as we speak. We're almost there."
Tenders for the project were first floated in 2012 and contractors looking to win the work submitted bids more than two years ago.
However, the government has sought "a couple of clarifications" over the submissions, Al Mazrouei said, which have now been dealt with.
"All the work has been done. I know the contractors have been waiting, but it's a lot of money that the country has got to spend and we have to answer all of the queries by the government.
Al Mazrouei said that phase one, which has been completed, is a 264km stretch which is now in the testing and commissioning phase. It is being used to carry granulated sulphur used by the oil and gas industry between ports.
It is capable of transferring 7.2m tonnes of product, or around 11,000 tonnes per train.
The second phase will be 628km long and will prvide an important link in the GCC network between Saudi Arabia on one border and Oman on the other.
It will also provide intercity links between Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, as well as the three major UAE ports of Khalifa, Musaffah and Dubai port.
A third phase linking the Northern Emirates will contain 279km of track.
Al Mazrouei said that once complete, the network will add around AED3.5 billion to the UAE's GDP by 2030.