Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s National Rail network, and Dubai Industrial City, one of the region's largest manufacturing and logistics hubs and a part of TECOM Group, have announced an advanced freight terminal spread across 5.5 million square feet.
The terminal, which comes as a result of the collaboration between Etihad Rail and Dubai Industrial City over the past years, will contribute to cementing the UAE’s position as an international trade hub and boost Dubai’s global competitiveness in manufacturing, logistics, transport, trade, and investment. This comes in line with the UAE’s Railways Programme, which aims to facilitate trade by connecting the country’s industrial and manufacturing centres and opening new trade routes.
The announcement follows Etihad Rail’s achievement earlier in March 2022, of completing the connection of Abu Dhabi and Dubai with a direct railway within the “UAE National Rail Network”, in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of Etihad Rail. Their highnesses installed the final piece on the railway track, marking the start of a new phase of logistic and economic integration between the two emirates, and in preparation for linking the rest of the emirates to an integrated national railway network in the UAE.
A major element of the UAE’s advanced transportation system
The announcement of the rail freight terminal was attended by His Excellency Eng. Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail; His Excellency Malek Al Malek, Director General of the Dubai Development Authority and CEO of TECOM Group; Abdulla Belhoul, Chief Commercial Officer of TECOM Group; Saud Abu Alshawareb, Managing Director of Dubai Industrial City, and other officials and key representatives.
The rail freight terminal will complement Dubai and the UAE’s advanced infrastructure and state-of-the-art transport network, cementing the nation’s position as a gateway to the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
The terminal at Dubai Industrial City will deliver a major boost to the UAE’s Industrial Strategy, also known as Operation 300bn. Increasing the industrial sector’s contribution to the economy by building advanced logistics infrastructure will strengthen the country’s position as the leading Arab nation on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.
His Excellency Eng. Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail, said: “The terminal will contribute to strengthening the supply chain and freight logistics services, in line with the UAE’s efforts to develop the country’s transport and logistics sector. With a capacity of 5 million tonnes, the terminal will connect the industrial and manufacturing centres in the UAE, open new trade routes, and support the country’s sustainable development.”
His Excellency added: “The announcement of the new terminal comes in line with the UAE Railways Programme, which aims to enhance the country’s transportation infrastructure through the development of the UAE National Rail Network, which play a key role in the country’s development, modernisation and urban planning. Through our collaboration with Dubai Industrial City, we look forward to providing our local and international customers with logistics and shipping services to support them in achieving their strategic goals and contribute to growing their business.”
His Excellency Malek Al Malek, Director-General of the Dubai Development Authority and CEO of TECOM Group, said, "The vision of our leadership has focused on enhancing our robust infrastructure and world-class transport system as they are essential drivers of economic development. Dubai has transformed into a global logistics and industrial hub in recent years, attracting leading regional and international players and enabling them to grow and expand from the emirate. The addition of rail into the UAE’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and transportation network will strengthen the nation’s leading position as a global trade and logistics hub.”
Abdulla Belhoul, Chief Commercial Officer of TECOM Group, added, "Our Group has always been a key contributor to achieving the leadership’s vision of economic diversification. Over the past two decades, we have focused on advancing the industrial sector through our leading business districts, including Dubai Industrial City, which provides advanced infrastructure and a competitive environment which facilitates strategic partnerships and reinforces the sustainability of supply chains. The addition of the station will support the growth of business partners, expand the emirate’s logistical capabilities, and attract more investments in the industrial sector, thus consolidating its position globally.”
The new terminal builds on Dubai Industrial City’s proximity to Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum International Airport, which allows hundreds of companies to reach two-thirds of the world's population in eight hours. It will provide a range of benefits to the 780 business partners in Dubai Industrial City and the surrounding areas, centred around improving efficiencies and reducing costs.
The environmentally friendly terminal will be the newest mode of transport in Dubai and will complete a comprehensive mobility network comprising one of the world’s busiest airports for international travel, the region’s largest port and state-of-the-art infrastructure nationwide.
A global industrial and logistics hub
The development at Dubai Industrial City is part of Etihad Rail’s sustained efforts to generate maximum benefit for the National Railway project. Spread over 550 million square feet, Dubai Industrial City is a major business district for local and regional manufacturing and logistics and is strategically situated adjacent to Jebel Ali Port, Al Maktoum International Airport, and Dubai’s network of high-speed roads.
The industrial hub provides a range of logistics facilities and substantial storage area covering 4.3 million square feet. With such capacity, the hub offers suitable housing for construction materials and machinery, lowering storage costs and increasing operational efficiency for companies within the district. Dubai Industrial City is expected to attract additional light and medium industries and businesses across a range of sectors.
Facilitating economic and industrial growth
Through integrating Dubai Industrial City into the UAE National Rail Network, more than 780 companies, operating within the industrial hub - which provides direct access to Dubai’s main lines, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road - will be able to benefit from Etihad Rail’s cost-effective, time-saving, and efficient rail solutions. In addition, more than 280 factories in Dubai Industrial City will also be able to benefit from Etihad Rail’s transport solution, which enhances the transport solutions available for these companies and supports the wider industrial growth in the UAE.
The new terminal is located within the Etihad Rail’s network which runs from Seih Shuaib to Dubai and Sharjah and forms a critical part of Stage Two of the UAE National Railway. As construction is ongoing in this phase, Etihad Rail continues to pursue strategic partnerships with a range of key entities. Such partnerships align with the company’s wider efforts to ensure this national project plays an important role in the sustainable economic development of the UAE.
Sustainable and reliable
The UAE National Railway will deliver wider national economic growth through an efficient, sustainable, safe, and cost-effective transportation network. Locomotives on the network are equipped with advanced emission reduction technology to cut carbon emissions by 70-80%. A single freight train can transport the same amount of goods as up to 300 trucks.
Etihad Rail has also adopted international best practices and carries out constant Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) to minimise the environmental impact of the railway throughout its planning, development, construction, and operation.