Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network, recently received the Strategic Project of the Year award at the 6th Annual Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum in New York. The prestigious award recognises projects that will have a positive impact on a country or region’s productivity and competitiveness, and which will serve as a model for other countries.
Etihad Rail, which was represented at the forum by its CEO, H.E. Dr. Nasser Saif Al-Mansoori, was selected from among the 100 projects featured in the forum, and the Strategic Project of the Year award is the most coveted of the five awards presented. Supported by the world’s top consultancy and infrastructure firms, the forum first selects the top 100 projects based on their creation of business opportunity, productivity, competitiveness, jobs, and carbon efficiency, with the five winners then announced during the two-day event.
Commenting on the award, H.E. Dr. Nasser Saif Al-Mansoori, CEO of Etihad Rail, said: “Etihad Rail is a strategic project that will change the face of transport in the region, connecting to key ports and neighbouring GCC countries. The future integration of the rail network with other key infrastructure projects has seen the UAE ranked nineth in infrastructure in the World Economic Forum’s 2012-2013 Global Competitiveness Report, and fourth most attractive location for infrastructure investment according to the Infrastructure Investment Index Report. This award is further testament to our efforts and plans to cultivate a new transport culture – one that will serve as a benchmark for rail networks worldwide.”
With over 400 participants, the forum offers an opportunity for key developers and infrastructure decision-makers to network and engage in high level discussions regarding some of the world's most competitive and innovative infrastructure projects. Proceedings are presented through a variety of in-depth workshops, presentations, one-on-one meetings and sessions focusing on the global infrastructure marketplace.
Upon completion, the Etihad Rail network will extend approximately 1,200 km across the Emirates, catering to both freight and passengers. It will connect urban and remote 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.