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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Once ready, GCC to have a luxury train service

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Once ready, GCC citizens, tourists and residents, including those in the Sultanate of Oman, will be able to avail the luxury train experience.


Etihad Rail, the UAE Rail Network developer and operator, has signed an agreement with Italian luxury hospitality company Arsenale to roll out a luxury train experience in line with local culture and heritage.


The luxury train will travel throughout the UAE towards the border with Oman, passing through Mezeira’a, along the Liwa desert and its famous oasis. It will extend to the wider GCC, once the GCC Railway is operational. This will be Arsenale’s second international luxury train project, following the recent announcement of The Dream of the Desert project in Saudi Arabia.


The train will consist of 15 luxury carriages that will pass through Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Fujairah, the border with Oman, and the Liwa desert.


It may be noted that the GCC Railway project will include a line connecting Suhar and Abu Dhabi.


The 303-km railway will feature the best international safety, security and environmental standards, to provide faster and safer passenger and freight services.


The passenger trains are designed to reduce travel time from Suhar to Abu Dhabi to 1 hour 40 minutes and from Suhar to Al Ain to 47 minutes, travelling at a maximum speed of 200 km/h. Meanwhile, the freight trains will run up to 120 km/h.


En Said bin Hamoud al Maawali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, recently told the Observer, "We expect by the end of this year or early next to award the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for this project. As such, the actual work on the ground will take a year or so from the awarding of the EPC. The government is working on a railway project that will offer a link to Saudi Arabia." Oman-Etihad Rail, the joint venture between Oman Rail and Etihad Rail, has already launched a prequalification tender for civil works.


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