Etihad Rail has signed a deal to develop a major new freight terminal within Dubai Industrial City.
The agreement means that Dubai Industrial City will become one of Etihad Rail’s main public freight terminals within the emirate and will become the centre of non-bonded goods distribution.
It will also help Dubai Industrial City’s goal to boost the UAE’s manufacturing capability, which is aiming to be the source of 25% of the country’s GDP by 2015.
Dubai Industrial City is part of Tecom Investments, which is part of the Dubai Holding company owned by ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The memorandum of Understanding to build the new terminal was signed by Etihad Rail CEO HE Dr. Nasser Al Mansoori and Dubai Industrial City CEO Abdulla Khalifa Belhoul.
Dr Al Mansouri said: “Etihad Rail is part of a greater vision to drive economic growth and development in the UAE by bringing geographic markets closer together.
“The MoU with Dubai Industrial City is in line with this vision of driving development in all Emirates in the UAE, enhancing the country’s position as a logistics hub by concentrating all types of cargo in one strategic location.
“We look forward to working closely with Dubai Industrial City to develop one of Etihad Rail’s main public freight terminals.”
Abdulla Khalifa Belhoul said: “The decision is further evidence of the key strategic role Dubai Industrial City plays as a hub for the manufacturing and logistics industry on both a local and regional scale.
“The construction of this station – and the Etihad Rail project more broadly – will greatly contribute to the diversification of Dubai’s economy.”
The terminal will be built as part of the 327km-long phase two of the Etihad Rail project linking Abu Dhabi and Dubai’s main ports with the borders of Saudi Arabia and Oman.
Tenders for the second phase were initially issued in July 2012 and work was due to start earlier this year, but no awards have been made yet. In its latest statement, Etihad Rail said contracts will be awarded by the end of this year.
It added that preliminary engineering for phase three – linking the remaining northern emirates – is now “well underway”. Phase one providing a link carrying sulphur from Habshan-Ruwais is expected to begin operations later this year.