The passenger train that will connect the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates

Next stop, inter-emirates trip…

For those whose hearts beat with wanderlust, there’s something particularly romantic about the idea of ​​train travel, especially when it traverses the kind of grand geography found in the Emirates. United Arabs.

That feeling of crossing borders, of hurtling towards the horizon with otherworldly plains flooding past the window. And that might be something we’ll experience here sooner than you think, following a new update released by the UAE Rail Program.

Yes, according to the latest projections, the UAE’s own “Sanpiercer” (not the official name) will welcome passengers by 2030…

From the beautiful renderings above provided by Etihad Rail, we can see that the sleek conical nose train looks very similar to those of other high-speed networks around the world. It looks like there will be at least two cabin classes to choose from, spacious bathrooms, comfortable seating and a kitchenette. There is literally no information to support whether there are private suites on board, but we dare to dream.

Instead of getting the bottom of GOAT train wisdom, Francis Bourgois – we contacted Etihad Rail directly for more stats and facts about the train. Expect these to hit the What’s On platform imminently.

On the right track

Etihad Rail is a 50 billion dirham “Projects of 50” venture launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan , Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Speaking about the project at a special ‘Projects of 50’ event held at Expo 2020 last December, Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail, said that “passenger rail services will improve the transport system across the United Arab Emirates, allowing passengers to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 50 minutes, and from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in 100 minutes.”

All aboard

Passenger rail services will be the second part of the project (after freight) and are expected to carry more than 36.5 million passengers per year by 2030.

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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “The Etihad Rail is the biggest project to consolidate the strength of the union for the next fifty years. It will connect 11 key cities and regions across the UAE. »

“The project is in line with the UAE’s environmental policy and will reduce carbon emissions by 70-80%,” he added.

The third part of the project will be a “light metro” network in cities in the United Arab Emirates (like the Dubai Metro and Tram). Expect Samert systems to be fully integrated here, enabling seamless ride and booking experiences for passengers.

Some important figures

Let’s take a look at some key figures behind the project – by 2030, the rail program will provide over 9,000 jobs and create “economic opportunities” worth around Dhs200 billion; the estimated benefits of reducing carbon emissions amount to 21 billion and road maintenance savings of 8 billion Dhs have been projected; then, of course, there is the additional tourist activity valued at 23 billion Dhs over the next 50 years; and the benefits of public spending for the UAE economy will reach 23 billion dirhams.

All in all, this program is shaping up to be a rather nifty, carbon-efficient project of the 50s.

Images: Etihad Rail

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Jose P. Rogers