UAE Embarks Upon Transformative Venture, Brings Rail Network to Ras Al Khaimah

Ras al Khaimah emirate in the UAE aerial skyline view at sunset

The United Arab Emirates, also known simply as the Emirates, is a country located in Western Asia along the border of the Arabian Peninsula. The region is revered for its oil reserves and that has correspondingly led to massive economies, both for gas and oil as well as tourism.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic put many major projects on the back burner, there are certain areas where work has continued. In fact, the United Arab Emirates is currently posted to make a transformative rail network, ushering in more than 500 annual train trips to the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. This comes alongside efforts by Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi to open up the economy of Ras Al Khaimah to entirely new possibilities, a continued effort due to the emirate’s lack of traditional oil reserves.

With such a massive undertaking prepared to change the economic complexion of the region, it only stands to reason that we require a deeper and more filled understanding of the process.

Etihad Rail: Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi

The Hajar Mountains stand as the highest mountain range along the Arabian Peninsula, separating Oman’s coastal plain from the high desert plateau. It is deep within these mountains, nestled between Fujairah and Dubai, that engineers are working around the clock on cultivating a new route for the upcoming UAE rail network. At the time of writing, Etihad Rail is preparing a project that will incorporate the transportation of more than 3.5 MILLION tonnes of material from the quarry in Al Ghail located in Ras Al Khaimah all the way to Abu Dhabi for construction purposes.

The Stevin Rock quarrying company is located in Ras Al Khaimah and it has been operating there since 1978, establishing a history of success in the region. Al Ghail’s facility will be incorporated into the freight hub that Etihad Rail has been developing, allowing for the transportation services that we’ve highlighted above. Stevin Rock signed a contract with Etihad Rail to help support the endeavors, reducing carbon emissions while contributing to the effective and efficient completion of the rail network.

Shadi Malak is the CEO at Etihad Rail and he has been one of the voices at the forefront of this developing conversation. Etihad Rail has been crafting its network since 2009, also playing a pivotal role in the development of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s railway network. Malak pointed to the quarry connection put in place by Etihad Rail to underscore how it will become a ‘faster’ and more ‘cost-effective method for delivering the construction materials required for the massive project. In connecting these quarries, Malak also points out that the material will be shipped with a focus on decreasing truck use while also reducing overall carbon emissions.

Malak said of Stevin Rock that they were one of the ‘largest companies’ in the entire ‘global quarrying sector’. Malak went on to describe how Stevin Rock would benefit from offering transportation solutions during Stage Two of the Rail Network’s development. Thanks to this contracted agreement between Etihad Rail and Stevin Rock, nearly 100,000 truck trips will be taken off the board every year, a huge benefit to the roads that network throughout the region as well as the environment that they impact.

At the time of this writing, the UAE Rail Network is set to stretch well over 605km, ranging from Al Ghuwaifait on the border with Saudi Arabia all the way to the port of Fujairah, located on the Eastern Coast across the country.