Local Press: Etihad Rail Will Change The Way UAE Passengers Travel Forever

Local Press: Etihad Rail will change the way UAE passengers travel forever

ABU DHABI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / WAM - 07th Dec, 2021) A local English-language daily has commended the country's announcement regarding "Etihad Rail", which His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, called it, "the largest project to consolidate the strength of the union for the next 50 years".

In an editorial on Tuesday, The National said, "Etihad Rail, which was originally announced as a freight project, will also include a passenger service that runs across the country. Officials did not announce a start date for the first services, but said that the number of passengers is expected to reach 36.5 million per year by 2030."

These are high projections, but understandable considering the vast convenience and benefit it will bring. With trains set to travel at around 200 kilometres per hour, the journey from Abu Dhabi to Dubai will take just 50 minutes, the paper added.

"For the country as a whole, creating passenger lines will also support a number of long-term goals. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid spoke of the huge reduction in carbon emissions that the railway would bring about. And as the UAE seeks to create green but also profitable initiatives, Etihad Rail makes particular sense. Completed in 2016, the first phase of the railway is already moving industrial products between the country's ports.

The wider value of the railway is worth an estimated $54.5 billion," the daily noted.

It continued, "Much of this will come from tourism, domestic and international. The past year and a half has seen the rise of staycations, and with quick rail links, this type of holidaying is about to become cheaper, faster and greener. It will also link travellers to rail networks in five neighbouring GCC states, a boon for regional tourism. International travellers will profit similarly, bypassing the need to rent cars and navigate a new country on their own.

"Behind big numbers, Etihad Rail's deepest significance is that it will change transportation in a country that has always been on the move. Construction on the UAE's first paved roads started in 1966. At the time, most journeys would have been done by off-road vehicles at best, and a camel trip from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah would have taken days. On Etihad Rail, it will take an hour and 40 minutes."

The Abu Dhabi-based daily concluded by saying, "The UAE has emerged strongly from the pandemic, but for the first time in its history it had to put up with unprecedented barriers to internal travel. It is fitting, therefore, that as the country emerges from COVID-19, connection is not just getting back to normal, but reaching new levels."