UAE to Oman Rail Network
The UAE-Oman train network will likely usher in a new era of connectivity and economic growth for Oman and help the GCC region become a global logistics centre.
The agreement is in line with both sides’ work to look into possible investment opportunities in the railway sector and to strengthen their cooperation with each other.
This will help the Oman and Etihad Rail Company plan and build the UAE-Oman Rail Network faster. The Oman-United Arab Emirates rail line will join Sohar and Abu Dhabi in just over an hour and a half. You can check out other places to visit in Oman by contacting UAE tour operators like Arabiers.
The train is more efficient than other forms of transportation. Hence the UAE-Oman Rail Network will make markets more competitive and lower the overall cost of supply lines.
The network will also give the private sector chances to trade and invest. It will also open up new and different job opportunities, provide training for national human resources, improve tourism, make the two countries more competitive in international trade, and help them become logistics hubs that serve as gateways to regional markets.
The network will follow the highest standards for security, safety, and the environment to provide fast and safe passenger and freight services.
Freight trains will go up to 120 km/h, and passenger trains will go up to 200 km/h. This will cut the time it takes to get from Sohar to Abu Dhabi to 100 minutes, and it will cut the time it takes to get from Sohar to Al Ain to 47 minutes.
The parties have agreed to set up working groups and joint committees to share their knowledge and resources, work together on economic and financial feasibility studies, invest in expanding the UAE-Oman train link, and work together to make the most of the project.
The goal of the sultanate has always been to be a bridge between the East and the West. The sultanate has discussed its plans to get closer to its GCC neighbours to reach this goal.
“Given its strategic position on the Arabian Peninsula and its closeness to deep-sea ports that look out over the Indian Ocean beyond the Hormuz Strait, Oman serves as a nearly perfect transit hub between the West and the East,” said Mahmood Al Wahaibi, managing partner at Oman Think Urban and infrastructure lead at the Oman National Spatial Strategy project.
After the Oman-Etihad Rail Company and Mubadala signed a $3 billion deal, work will likely start on the first part of the network.
The Oman-Etihad Rail Company was set up last year when Etihad Rail and Oman Rail agreed to work together to make a rail link from Sohar to Abu Dhabi that would be 303 kilometres long.
As Oman prepares to become a centre for logistics, the Sultanate of Oman devised its strategy for the year 2040 in 2014, which calls for the creation of approximately 300,000 jobs in the sector.
Sohar to become an easily accessible tourist destination
Travelling from Sohar and Abu Dhabi will take trains 1 hour and 40 minutes, but from Sohar to Al Ain, it will only take 47 minutes.
Sultan Al Balushi, who lives in Sohar, says, “The railway network will give us another way to travel, in addition to flying and driving.”
People in Oman and the United Arab Emirates who want a faster way to get around at a lower price can take advantage of it.
Many people from other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and residents of Oman have been drawn to Sohar for a long time because of the city’s beautiful foliage and mountains.
Not forgetting, Sohar is the credited mythical birthplace of Sinbad the Sailor and once served as an important Islamic port town.
Some famous tourist destinations in Sohar include the Sohar Fort, Sultan Qaboos Mosque, and the surrounding area.
Aftab Patel, CEO of Al Omaniya Financial Services and a long-time resident of the sultanate said that the “novelty value of train travel” would help the tourist industry benefit from the rail project.
“Once the capital of Oman is connected to the network, tourism could grow quickly, and tourists in both countries could benefit,” he said. “Tourists in both countries will benefit from this.”
Oman Rail told The National that the network would help to “shape a bright future for transportation in Oman and the GCC.”
According to the rail operator, “The network is designed to effect profound social changes by connecting urban centers with economic and industrial zones, creating jobs, building the country’s human capital, promoting regional tourism, and ushering in a new era of innovation.”
Lower costs and improve connectivity
When it’s completed, Oman’s train network will connect all of the ports in the sultanate to the GCC countries.
Mr Al Wahaibi said that a recent deal between Sohar Port and the UAE allowed both countries to work together to receive and export goods, including crude oil, without going through the Strait of Hormuz.
“This new development could make a big difference in how much time and money it takes to do these things,” he said.
According to a Mercator analysis commissioned for Oman’s logistics plan for 2040, ship owners whose boats dock at Sohar port each week can save up to $10 million and 104 days yearly by preferring to move their cargo further inland by rail. This recommendation was made in the report.
This may mean annual savings of anywhere from $50 million to $100 million for ship owners who provide various services.
Adham Al Said, an assistant professor of economics at Sultan Qaboos University and co-founder of The Firm for Business and Consulting, said that economic activity in the transport sector of the sultanate had added about 5 per cent to the real gross domestic product over the past ten years.
About The Author
Robeena Brown is a travel blogger & destination expert living in the UAE and works for local tourism companies like Arabiers UAE. If you have been looking forward to touring Dubai, getting a visa, extending stays and exploring the city, you can follow her on social media.