Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE's railway network, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with DP World, the world's third-biggest port operator, to develop a rail terminal at Jebel Ali Port near Dubai. Under the agreement DP World will supervise the building and operation of the loading and unloading facilities at the rail terminal.
Etihad Rail will construct and own the railway infrastructure and manage the rail services to and from the terminal. “Our collaboration in creating an intermodal rail terminal inside Jebel Ali Port will enable the efficient transfer of containerized freight from ocean vessels onto the rail network and vice versa,” said Chairman of Etihad Rail HE Nasser Al Sowaidi.
The shift from truck to rail transportation will reduce truck traffic at the port terminal and on the roads surrounding Jebel Ali while also being more cost effective for businesses over long haul moves.
One Etihad Rail train will carry up to 260 TEU’s or twenty-foot equivalent container units, which, if transported by road, would require at least 130 trucks, and it is expected that the Jebel Ali intermodal rail terminal will have a capacity to handle the transfer of 5 million TEU’s per annum. Upon completion, the Etihad Rail network.
The network will be 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.