The agreement will see Dubai Industrial City becoming one of Etihad Rail’s main public freight terminals in the Dubai emirate, and paves the way for the destination to become the centre of non-bonded transport (non-free zone areas) in the Emirate. Furthermore, the MoU supports Dubai Industrial City’s objective to cultivate the growth of the UAE’s manufacturing industry, which the UAE government aims to increase to comprise 25% of the GDP by 2015.
Dubai Industrial City has had considerable interest from customers in the automotive industry, with companies including Al Rostamani Group, Gargash Motors, Al Habtoor Motors and Al Naboodah Automobiles, finding the City an ideal destination for their logistics service centre and automobiles storage warehouse. These companies, recognising Dubai Industrial City as a local and regional hub for their needs, will also develop support and supply centres in the City for exports specifically to markets in developing countries.
The terminal is to be located within Dubai Industrial City – which, at 55 square kilometres, is the second largest industrial real estate project in Dubai – and will incorporate extensive container, automotive and bulk-handling facilities. The destination boasts close proximity to the UAE’s top hubs for transport, situated 25 km away from Jebel Ali Port, 50 km away from Khalifa Port, and 5 km away from Al Maktoum International Airport between roads E311 and E611.
The agreement comes at a time of rapid progress as Etihad Rail prepares to launch rail service on the Habshan-Ruwais route as part of Stage One later this year. Meanwhile, construction contracts for Stage Two, which will connect the railway to Mussafah, the Gulf ports of Khalifa and Jebel Ali, and the Saudi and Omani borders, will be awarded by year-end. Finally, preliminary engineering for Stage Three, which will connect the rest of the Northern Emirates, is well underway.
Upon completion, the Etihad Rail network, which will cater to both freight and passengers, will span approximately 1,200 kilometres across the Emirates. It will connect urban and peripheral communities, facilitate trade, open up communication channels and foster economic development across all Emirates in the UAE. The network will also form a vital part of the GCC Railway Network, linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east.