His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Court for Development, Chairman of the Office of Development and Martyrs Affairs at the Presidential Court, and Chairman of Etihad Rail, said the agreements signed during the recent state visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to the UAE were in line with the wise directives of the leadership of the two neighbouring countries, enhancing the longstanding historical relations between them, supporting economic and commercial integration, and strengthening their social and cultural ties. Etihad Rail, Oman Rail and Mubadala Investment Company signed a shareholder agreement during the visit, marking the commencement of construction works of the joint railway project with immediate effect.

His Highness emphasised that the project is another step forward in a long history of joint cooperation and will open a new phase of planning for a better future for the two neighbouring countries and their people.

His Excellency Abdulsalam bin Mohammed Al Murshidi, President of the Oman Investment Authority, said that the joint railway network is a significant addition to the logistics sector, and will play a role in stimulating various industrial sectors and economic activities, providing increased commercial and investment opportunities for the private sector, supporting the integration of Omani port activities and linking them to regional and international markets, in addition to its contribution to attracting national and foreign investments. This will drive the competitiveness of the two neighbouring countries at a global trade level, which will in turn enhance their economic prosperity.

An agreement was also signed to award the civil works and construction tender for the joint network to an Omani-Emirati alliance led by Trojan Construction Group and Galfar Engineering and Contracting, aligning with joint efforts to build national capabilities and drive in-country value, which includes the involvement of the private sector in the implementation of the joint project. The alliance will also include Tristar Engineering and Construction, and the National Infrastructure Construction Company.

A tender for the systems and integration of the railway network was awarded to a joint venture between Siemens and HAC. The trains will be equipped with the European Train Control System Level 2. The network’s advanced infrastructure will include full digital train control and tracking through GPS technology, enhancing the network's reliability.

Etihad Rail, Oman Rail, and Mubadala Investment Company also unveiled the new corporate identity of their joint venture, which will now be known as Hafeet Rail (formerly Oman and Etihad Rail Company). The name pays homage to Jebel Hafeet, stretching between Oman and the UAE.

His Excellency Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of the UAE, emphasised the significance of the accomplishments achieved by the company since its inception. He highlighted its commendable levels of efficiency and dedication in taking early steps to establish a safe and sustainable joint railway network, in alignment with the strong bilateral relations and ties between the two nations. He also underscored the vital role of the network in facilitating local and regional trade, whilst also opening new opportunities in the infrastructure, transportation, and logistics sectors. This, in turn, contributes to the diversification of the national economy and fosters sustainable development across both countries, he concluded.

His Excellency Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, Minister of Investment of the UAE and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ADQ, underscored the joint venture’s accomplishments in the 18 months since its announcement, chiefly the completion of engineering and preparatory work for the network, which has paved the way for the commencement of construction. He emphasised the network's role in facilitating local and regional trade, unlocking new opportunities in infrastructure, transportation, and logistics sectors, and fostering economic diversification and comprehensive development. He also highlighted the tourism benefits that the project will provide, through the facilitation of easier travel between the two countries.

Abdulrahman Al Hatmi, Chief Executive Officer of Asyad Group, highlighted the role of the project in reaffirming Oman and the UAE’s position as strategic logistical hubs for import and distribution of good to regional and global markets. He commended the strategic vision of both countries, which aim to foster an integrated transportation ecosystem that will reshape the logistics landscape in the region.

He emphasised that the project reaffirms the strategic and economic visions of both countries, reflecting their positions as logistical hubs for the import and distribution of goods to regional and global markets. The project aims to transform the logistics landscape, increasing economic competitiveness. By offering a dependable and sustainable transportation solution, it aims to reduce time and costs, whilst also improving the connectivity of sea and land ports to local and regional markets.

The network also aims to increase job opportunities throughout various sectors in both countries, fostering the development of national talent pools. The network will drive efficiencies within the supply chain, facilitating cross-border trade, and connecting commercial ports to railways within the two countries.

Hafeet Rail aims to contribute to the development of various sectors in both countries, such as mining, iron and steel, agriculture and food, retail, e-commerce, and the petrochemical sector. This is in large due to its ability to provide fast, safe, and sustainable transportation services for goods of various sizes and weight via rail.

The passenger rail services will serve to connect population centres, fostering social and familial cohesion whilst also supporting the tourism sector. The speed of the passenger train can reach speeds of up to 200 kilometres per hour, covering the distance between Sohar and Abu Dhabi in 100 minutes, and 47 minutes between Sohar and Al Ain. The passenger capacity of one train can accommodate up to 400 passengers.

The signing of the agreements reinforces the unwavering support of both governments for the project and demonstrates their commitment to its implementation and advancement. This commitment reflects the shared goal of strengthening the longstanding ties, and historical relations between the two nations. The agreements align with efforts aimed at bolstering collaboration and coordination across economic, commercial, investment, cultural, and developmental domains, supporting their long-term sustainable development. The agreements also support the long-standing directives of the leadership of both countries to establish a joint railway network.