Delegation on Emirates Rail first passenger service

Etihad Rail welcomes first passenger service

ADNOC, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, and Etihad Rail, the national railway operator, has successfully completed the first passenger rail journey between Abu Dhabi City and Al Dhannah City.

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and managing director and Group CEO of ADNOC, led the delegation aboard the inaugural trip, marking a significant step forward in the strategic partnership between the two organisations.

The new rail network, which is being built in two stages will connect 11 cities in the Emirates. The first stage has been completed stretching from Al Sila to Ruwais. Since 2016, two tracks spanning 264 kilometres have been in operation – with trains transporting granulated sulphur from gas fields to an export point in Ruwais.

Freight services became fully operational in February 2023, after stage one was complete, with freight trains able to travel at up to speeds of 100mph.

Etihad Rail quote

Dr. Al Jaber emphasised the project's broader significance: "The Etihad Rail project is more than just a rail network; it serves as a vital artery for economic growth, infrastructure development, and decarbonisation," he stated. "Our partnership with Etihad Rail strengthens the resilience of our domestic economy by maximising local resources and creating job opportunities for UAE Nationals."

This first passenger service will initially serve ADNOC passengers and staff working in the oilfields to the west of Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail, said: "We are proud to have ADNOC as a strategic partner and early adopter of our rail solutions," he said. "Together, we are building an integrated transportation system that connects cities and industries with a safe, sustainable, and efficient rail network."

Etihad Rail signed a deal with Chinese manufacturer CRCC in march 2023 to build the passenger trains for the network. The initial deal will see CRCC build 7 DMU units capable of hitting speeds of 200 mph.

Photo Credit: Emirates Rail


RTM April/May 24


Immerse yourself with the latest thought leadership on intelligent wayfinding for a more inclusive railway, a revolutionary approach to investment in the south, and strategic investments unlocking the North’s potential.

More articles...

View all
TransCityRail Banner


Mids \ 29 02 24
South \ 11 07 24
North \ 07 11 24

TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.

This series of events supports and informs the whole of the rail industry and connects suppliers with buyers, specifiers, leaders and decision-makers looking to procure a wide variety of innovative products and services for their region.

Rail Technology Magazine Podcast

Listen to industry leaders on everything within rail

Whether it's the latest advancements in rail technology, policies, innovations, or the challenges facing the rail industry providers, we cover it all.


Join us as we engage with top rail professionals, industry leaders, and policy experts to bring you insightful conversations that matter.