Etihad Rail boss quits to join UK's Football League

Richard Bowker leaves US$11bn UAE rail project to join governing body.
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Etihad Rail CEO Richard Bowker has left the company behind the UAE’s proposed US$11bn railway network in order to join British football’s governing body.

Hazem Mobarak, formerly executive director of infrastructure at Etihad Rail, has been appointed as interim CEO, Bloomberg reported.

Bowker is joining the UK’s Football League as an independent director.

The Football League is responsible for organisation the professional levels of the sport below the English Premier League.

Formerly CEO of British transport company National Express, Bowker made an unsuccessful bid to become head of the UK Football Association, the foremost governing body for the sport, in 2005.

When complete, the rail network being built by Etihad Rail will cover 1,200 kilometres across the UAE and is projected to cost around US$11bn, is being built in three stages. The line to Ruwais is part of the first phase.

In October, a contract worth 3.3-billion dirhams was awarded to an Italian-UAE joint venture, consisting of Italy's Saipem, Tecnimont and UAE-based Dodsal Engineering & Construction PTE Ltd, to design, procure and construct the first stage's infrastructure.

The first stage of the rail network will link the western region cities of Habshan and Ruwais by 2013 and join Shah and Habshan by 2014.

Phase two of the project will connect Abu Dhabi to Jebel Ali in Dubai while the third phase will connect the northern emirates.

Contracts for the second stage are earmarked to be awarded in the third-quarter of 2012, Bowker had said in November.

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