Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network, has signed a Joint Partnership Agreement with the General Administration of Customs in Abu Dhabi, aimed at developing freight transport requirements, enabling trains to travel more efficiently through the adoption of the best practices and smart electronic technology.
His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Etihad Rail; and H.E. Jassim Mohammed Buatabh Al Zaabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office and Acting Chairman of the Department of Finance attended the signing ceremony. The Joint Partnership Agreement was signed by H.E. Rashed Lahej Al Mansoori, Director-General of the General Administration of Customs in Abu Dhabi and Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail.
H.H. Sheikh Theyab commented, “This joint partnership agreement represents an important step in Etihad Rail’s future strategy and contributes to its vision of safely and sustainably connecting regions and integrating industries through rail-based transport. This will strengthen the role of the Etihad Rail project in promoting the UAE’s international trade and facilitate customs clearance, as well as establish a significant shift in the logistics sector by providing an efficient and sustainable rail network and unique shipping solutions in the UAE.”
The Etihad Rail national railway project is elevating the transport and shipping sector in the UAE by connecting ports, manufacturing and production points, and population centers; and therefore, contributing to saving both time and resources to help companies reach their growth potential.
H.E. Jassim Mohammed Buatabh Al Zaabi said, “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with Etihad Rail and to be working together to strengthen the UAE’s leading role in the logistics sector both, regionally and globally. The agreement is in line with the Abu Dhabi Customs Authority’s vision of security and a prosperous economy, in order to achieve a global economic leadership position through enhancing more qualified and effective paths.”
Under the terms of the Joint Partnership Agreement, customs procedures for freight shipments and railway passenger transportation will be developed and introduced within the country of origin or destination, and not on the actual border, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Etihad Rail and the General Administration of Customs in Abu Dhabi will cooperate with the relevant customs authorities in the UAE to initiate revised operations and consequently, supporting growth and progress in various economic sectors throughout the region.
The Joint Partnership Agreement is part of the General Administration of Customs in Abu Dhabi’s commitment to the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership to build an integrated strategic plan for customs work in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The security and safety of the local community is at the forefront of Etihad Rail’s concerns, as is the development of procedures for the transportation of passengers and goods, the provision of excellent and efficient customs services, and the collection of customs revenues through the use of technology and best international practices in the field.
Etihad Rail has recently announced the Design & Build contractor awards for the first phase of Stage Two of the network to connect Ruwais with Ghuweifat. The contract has been awarded to a joint venture between the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and South Korea’s SK Engineering and Construction (SK E&C).
Etihad Rail also recently signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports to connect Khalifa Port to the national railway network, as well as an Agreement of Principles (Head of Terms) with the Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (Zones Corp) aiming to build a logistics center and railway depot in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD).
Stage Two, when complete, will run for 605 kilometers from Ghuweifat to Fujairah through Khalifa Port and the ports of Khor Fakkan, Jebel Ali and Fujairah, followed by a number of future route additions to complete the network.