Oman and Etihad Rail Company and Mubadala officials sign the deal.

Oman and Etihad Rail Company, the developer and operator of the UAE-Oman Rail Network, has signed a co-operation agreement with Mubadala Investment Company, a sovereign investor in Abu Dhabi, to support the development of the 303-km railway network linking Oman and the UAE, at an overall investment value of $3 billion.

Oman and Etihad Rail Company – a joint venture between Oman Rail, the developer and operator of sultanate’s railway networks, and Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s rail network – was set up last year on the sidelines of the visit of UAE President HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the sultanate.

Announcing the strategic deal, Etihad Rail said the partnership comes in line with the two parties’ efforts to explore investment opportunities in the railway sector and strengthen cooperation to support the Oman and Etihad Rail Company in accelerating the planning and execution process of the UAE-Oman Rail Network.

The cooperation agreement also includes formation of working groups and joint committees to benefit from the shared expertise and knowledge, joint efforts in developing economic and financial feasibility studies, in addition to joint investments in the development of the UAE-Oman railway network and cooperation to enhance the project’s added value.

The network will employ the highest international security, safety, and environmental standards to provide safe and fast passenger and freight services.

Passenger trains will run up to 200 km per hour, reducing the time of the journey between Sohar and Abu Dhabi to 100 minutes, and between Sohar and Al Ain to 47 minutes, while the freight train speed will reach 120 km per hour.

Meanwhile, Oman’s Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT) has invited bids from qualified international consultants for conducting the feasibility study for a mass transit development project in the capital.

The Muscat Metro project is part of the sultanate’s long-term “strategic urban development plan”. The consultant will support the ministry in delivering the project, reported Oman Daily Observer, citing the ministry. In addition, the ministry has commissioned a study to assess the socio-economic benefits of the project for Muscat governorate and the broader economy, it stated.