The MoU, signed by Shadi Malak, Executive Director of Commercial at Etihad Rail, and Hussein Wehbe, General Manager – UAE at Aramex, comes at a time of rapid growth for the Middle East’s transport and logistics market.
Once Etihad Rail is operational, Aramex will utilise the rail network for deliveries across the UAE and for cross-border service to other Gulf countries.
Commenting on the MoU, Shadi Malak, Executive Director of Commercial at Etihad Rail said: “Etihad Rail is changing the face of transportation in the UAE, delivering a mode of transport that is preferred in the logistics industry worldwide for its safety, efficiency, low costs and environmental benefits. We look forward to working with Aramex and are confident our rail network will offer the most effective means to deliver their customers’ goods across the UAE, and subsequently to bordering GCC countries, in a partnership that signifies yet another achievement for the logistics industry in the region.” Hussein Wehbe, Aramex General Manager for the UAE, added: “Etihad Rail is a strategic step forward in UAE’s continuous evolution as one of the leading, trading and transportation hubs in the world. The GCC region is one of our core markets and with this partnership Aramex will have multi-modal transportation capabilities, reduced cross-border logistics costs and processes – competitive advantages that strengthen our regional business further. It also fits strategically with our sustainable business model and we believe it will be of immense value to our customers.” Upon completion, the Etihad Rail network – which will cater to both freight and passengers – will span approximately 1,200 km across the Emirates. It will connect urban and peripheral communities, facilitate trade, open up communication channels and foster economic development. The network will also form a vital part of the GCC Railway Network – linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east. The tendering process is already in progress for Stage Two, which will connect the railway to Mussafah, the Gulf ports of Khalifa and Jebel Ali, and the Saudi and Omani borders. Preliminary engineering for Stage Three, which will connect the rest of the Northern Emirates, is also well underway.