Etihad Rail – the master developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway – has hosted three successive seminars for the logistics and bulk sectors in the Northern Emirates and Dubai. The seminars, which were held in March , are further initiatives by Etihad Rail to proactively provide an opportunity for its team to share industry best practices and build relationships with partners and potential customers. These latest sessions follow seminars for the bulk commodities and shipping and freight sectors which took place in September last year.
Key players from the bulk industry sector attended the first sessions in Ras Al Khaimah, including companies such as Stevin Rock, Saif Bin Darwish, Al Jaber and Al Futtaim Tarmac. The logistics industry session that followed in Dubai saw more than 25 companies participate and they were welcomed by guest speaker Mr. Suoud Al Agroobi, Director of International Relations at the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) of the UAE, who discussed the concerns and challenges facing the logistics industry today. The FCA works to ensure that customs in the UAE meet international standards and requirements.
Commenting on the seminars, Shadi Malak, Executive Director- Commercial at Etihad Rail said: “The industry seminars are a critical element of our efforts to understand and support the needs of our prospective partners and customers and therefore to develop an integrated rail network that will benefit the whole of the UAE. They provide not only a forum for Etihad Rail to discuss the core benefits of using rail as a safe and cost-effective method of transport, but also enable our team to gain industry know-how from our stakeholders in order to support Etihad Rail’s decisions on how to build and operate the types of facilities they need.”
Delighted to have participated, Mr Suoud Al Agroobi, Director of International Relations, FCA said: “The Etihad Rail event was a great opportunity for us to discuss the various projects that are currently in progress at the FCA as well as getting feedback from the logistics community. The ongoing work by FCA in the GCC Customs Union as well as the different projects underway internally is vital in driving the role the UAE plays in the trading community. I believe the initiative undertaken here by Etihad Rail is extremely important, and with the FCA’s participation, truly demonstrates how government entities in the UAE are collaborating together to promote and enhance our business community.”
Feedback from the potential customers in attendance was extremely positive as they cited the benefits of such an event for their business and industry.
Deepak Shirodkar, Operations Manager, DHL Abu Dhabi said: “It is a great opportunity to be in the company of many of the UAE’s logistics and bulk industry experts to discuss important topics in our industry. As we know the benefits of rail are numerous, particularly as it will contribute significantly to reducing our carbon foot print and benefiting our environment as a whole. As such, it is a very vital partnership between Etihad Rail and the freight, logistics and integrators community to bring the sustainable, alternate, long-term transportation solution to the region.”
Etihad Rail is already seeing the construction on the first stage of the 1,200km national railway network that will span across the Emirates and connect urban and remote communities, facilitating trade, opening up communication channels and fostering 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. It is an integral part of the vision for the economic development of the Western Region, Abu Dhabi Emirate, the UAE and the wider GCC region.